So far this blog has been about my own spiritual journey and random adventures around the world. Recently though I have been feeling more compelled to speak out on moral and political issues. About a month a ago I attended a social justice conference sponsored by my diocese. The first session I sat in was about the necessity of getting involved in the public sphere as Catholics. With recent issues like the HHS mandate, we have an urgent responsibility to speak out. So this, and other places on the internet, is where I choose speak out, to educate and engage others.
In this post I’m just going to come right out and address contraception, sex and God’s beautiful plan for us. Now when someone like me addresses things like this everyone asks: How can someone who is going to be a nun, has never had sex and hasn’t even been in a serious relationship talk about these things intelligently? I can do this because I have an understanding of heaven and the nuptial union between God and His Church. As usual, my man JPII has something to say on this subject. In his words: “Marriage reveals the nuptial character of celibacy, and celibacy reveals that the ultimate purpose of marriage is to prepare us for heaven.” (http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0114.html)
Let’s break that down. Marriage is a sacrament; sacraments are meant to be a physical sign of an inward grace, or spiritual reality. Marriage is the foreshadowing of the marriage feast of heaven, when we will all be reunited with God. Celibacy “skips” this earthly foreshadowing and attempts to live out a deeper union with God here on earth. In a nutshell, my life as a nun will hopefully mirror the deeper meaning behind marriage and all that goes with it. If that made zero sense, see the link above.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself what the point of this post is anyway. Well the catalyst was the launching of a wonderful, revolutionary website called 1flesh.org. BadCatholic(the blogger I would marry if I wasn’t going to be a nun) helped create this project as an attempt to reveal the truth about artificial birth control and why sex is better “naked.”
So I was on Catholic cloud nine, exploring this website and helping to blow up the internet with its bold truth. But of course the majority of people in this world can’t handle the truth and certainly don’t like being told how to live their lives. Over on the Atheist channel at Patheos I came across this article: “Catholic Blogger’s Dangerous New Project Warns People to Stop Using Contraception.” And as I began reading, my head started inadvertently hitting the desk in frustration. This blogger couldn’t even come up with new or creative arguments. It is clear to me that she does not have a grasp on the Catholic understanding of sex or why this understanding is freeing, not constraining.
Firstly this: “it’s an archaic, unrealistic standard.” It just occurred to me how incredibly stupid this argument is. People are always saying that the Catholic Church is outdated and has “unrealistic” expectations. Why do we think that people today are less capable of self-control than those of the 19th century? Personally, I have more faith in humanity than that. We Catholics hold the crazy notion that people can and should control their desires. Apparently that’s too much to ask. People are obviously going to have sex anyway, so let’s just make it easier and more convenient!
Second bone of contention: apparently avoiding artificial contraception makes women “into slaves of their own biology despite the existence of readily available alternatives.” Does this lady know anything about NFP or the like…? Newsflash: Catholics are not against preventing pregnancy and planning a family prudently (gasp), we simply believe that artificial contraception inhibits the unitive and procreative nature of intercourse.
And the last paragraph just pushed me over the edge: “1Flesh will fail at making uncontrolled fertility and high-risk sex cool, and that’s a blessedly good thing. Still, it is utterly irresponsible and dangerous for anyone to attempt to convince people not to use contraception. It’s one thing to preach abstinence. It’s another to tell people who are having sex without the intent to have children to stay away from highly-effective forms of contraception.” If 1flesh is preaching the truth, which I believe it is, it will certainly not fail but flourish and reach thousands of people. Again, I’m not sure what Catechism you’ve been skimming, but the Catholic Church does not promote “uncontrolled fertility” or “high-risk sex.” We do not operate under the assumption that fertility is under our control. It is a gift from God, who expects us to use it responsibly and not throw it out the door completely, as with artificial contraception. Hence, the no sex outside of marriage. Oh yeah, and children aren’t a “risk” of sex – Catholic couples who practice some sort of natural family planning aren’t living in constant of fear of pregnancy. As for the last sentence – we are not just willy nilly going around telling people not to use contraception but to continue having all the sex you want. Our aim is to teach people God’s plan for our sexuality and that most of the time you should be at least open to having children(since that’s kinda what it’s for).
Woah, apparently I had a lot of feelings about that…
In case you forgot in the midst of my rantings, please check out 1flesh.org.