Friday, October 27, 2006

On a lighter note...

Where has mum2twelve been lately?

Why to London to visit the Queen of course. Okay not really, but she has been to Charlotte to enjoy the 12th annual Fundraiser for Room At the Inn

The keynote speaker was Patrick Madrid.

And before we left last night for Charlotte I reminded the children as I closed the front door; “Remember, if I come home tonight to a clean downstairs with all your chores done - we will spend to tomorrow finishing our costumes for the Trunk or Treat party at church.

My children, lollipops hanging from their lips and eyes glued to the tv screen as they watched a DVD Teddy had received for his birthday, murmured their assent. That unified and vague response left me feeling assured that I would not be needing to do any sewing today!

However, I am happy to announce that work on our costumes today - we did! When I opened the front door at about midnight last night, I was met with swept and gleaming doors, toys tidy in their toy boxes and the supper dishes in the dishwasher awaiting for morning so as to be put away.

So today, we have been cutting, sewing, and gluing while listening to Christmas music. (Weird I know - but preferable to Monster Mash in my opinion!) The only downside - the floors are no longer clean and tidy. Rather they are covered with wood shavings, pieces of thread and others bits of evidence of a hard days worth of creativity. Now I just have to figure out what is for supper -although the warm pile of chocolate chip cookies Anna and Gabriela have just pulled out of the oven might do. What do you think? Read more!

Uh oh - here I go again!

When reading a comment left on Antonia's blog where a reader was defining the definition of “artificial” contraception as taught by the Catholic Church, I was struck again by how when someone expounds on the use of NFP as a means of fulfilling the teachings of the Catholic Church’s against the use of artificial contraception, the following teachings of the church are typically neglected.

John Paul II, 14 Dec. 1990: Humanae Vitae, n. 10
Through this sense of responsibility for love and life, God the Creator invites the spouses not to be passive operators, but rather "cooperators or almost interpreters" of His plan (Gaudium et Spes, no.50). In fact, they are called out of respect for the objective moral order established by God, to an obligatory discernment of the indications of God’s will concerning their family. Thus in relationship to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood will be able to be expressed "either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a large family, or by the decision, made for serious moral reasons and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, another birth"
(For more excerpts from Church documents regarding this teaching click HERE.)

While I agree with Antonia's reader's definition that NFP is not a contraceptive, as in it does not stop the procreative potential of a given act of intercourse at any time; I find the lack of children in the pews these days an indication that within the Catholic Church NFP can be, (and quite likely is being) used in an immoral fashion.. In other words, with a contraceptive mentality.

Not only does the Church forbide the artificial means of contraception BUT one is not suppose to frivolously limit the size of their family. I think too many Catholics today have fallen for the secular mentality of materialism. The “we can’t afford to raise a large family” belief. Or they succumb to the idea that each child must be perfectly provided for with a savings account for an expensive college education, summer camps, lots of sport activities, clothes that are brand name and allow their children to hang with ’The Best’ and how are we to do that if we have more than 2 or 3 children? These parents are (possibly) well intentioned BUT have they properly and seriously attempted to complete “an obligatory discernment of the indications of God’s will concerning their family.”

So some couples begin to use NFP as a means of limiting their family without having really educated themselves with what the church teaches about when and why it is appropriate to practice NFP as a means of limiting their family size. And sadly the very success of NFP (NFP has a 99% method effectiveness, click HERE to read more statistics) has become an evil in itself, with many Catholic families believing that by using NFP (as a natural contraceptive) they have met the 'law of the church’.

On a more personal note, while I myself have given birth to twelve beautiful blessings and have six in heaven besides, I do not believe it is the duty of every family to have a family of this size. Neither does the church.

John Paul II, 14 Dec. 1990: Humanae Vitae

In relation to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth. (9)

Rather She is calling us to prayerfully to consider when it is right and necessary to limit the size of our family. To do this we must establish an ongoing relationship with God and the regular reception of the sacrament of confession and especially the receiving of the Eucharist will help us in that regard, as will an established prayer life. If we do not seek to know God, we cannot know His will for us, or for that of our family.

I will close with a famous quote of Mother Theresa.

It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

To this I add, it is poverty to decide that a soul will never have had the opportunity to be conceived so that we may live as we wish. Read more!

For further edification...

... I have included the following:

Gaudium et Spes (Second Vatican Council)

50.2 Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love. Thus they will fulfill their task with human and Christian responsibility, and, with docile reverence toward God, will make decisions by common counsel and effort. Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring. For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society, and of the Church herself. The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God. But in their manner of acting, spouses should be aware that they cannot proceed arbitrarily, but must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church's teaching office, which authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel. That divine law reveals and protects the integral meaning of conjugal love, and impels it toward a truly human fulfillment. Thus, trusting in divine Providence and refining the spirit of sacrifice,(12) married Christians glorify the Creator and strive toward fulfillment in Christ when with a generous human and Christian sense of responsibility they acquit themselves of the duty to procreate. Among the couples who fulfill their God-given task in this way, those merit special mention who with a gallant heart and with wise and common deliberation, undertake to bring up suitably even a relatively large family.(13)
Marriage to be sure is not instituted solely for procreation; rather, its very nature as an unbreakable compact between persons, and the welfare of the children, both demand that the mutual love of the spouses be embodied in a rightly ordered manner, that it grow and ripen. Therefore, marriage persists as a whole manner and communion of life, and maintains its value and indissolubility, even when despite the often intense desire of the couple, offspring are lacking. Read more!