by whom is the question.elijahmaria said:The answer to this is very important because it is often misunderstood and misrepresented.stanley123 said:Here's where I get confused. If a couple uses NFP with the intention to prevent children for a particular period of time, what is the conclusion about openness to life for that particular time period?Wyatt said:The intent of the couple is what determines whether there is openness to life.
Raises the question, why are they married? That is against the nature of marriage. As our Lord points out, citing Genesis.elijahmaria said:I ask that it be published here and then I will refrain from any other comment on birth control in this thread, please.
1. There is no! precept in the Catholic Church against continence in marriage, meaning that there is nothing in Catholic morality that precludes a couple from deciding not to engage in conjugal lovemaking, sex.
And IIRC the Vatican does forbid this, when it suppressed the Celtic form of monasticism of couples living "as brother and sister" rather than entering the monastery and convent. There are also canons against having "sisters" in the same house.
Sure you can. Much of what St. Jerome says in his praise of virginity and his hatred of children are among the most eloquent proof.elijahmaria said:2. And in the inverse, according to the unitive principle of the sacrament of marriage, there is no precept against the couple having intercourse, conjugal lovemaking, at OTHER periods from the fertile period.
3. Openness to life NECESSARILY involves the act of conjugal sex. IF you are not engaging in the sex act, you cannot be accused of being closed off to life.
I now direct the attack against the passage in which, wishing to show your cleverness, you institute a comparison between virginity and marriage. I could not forbear smiling, and I thought of the proverb, did you ever see a camel dance? Are virgins better, you ask, than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were married men? Are not infants daily fashioned by the hands of God in the wombs of their mothers? And if so, are we bound to blush at the thought of Mary having a husband after she was delivered? If they find any disgrace in this, they ought not consistently even to believe that God was born of the Virgin by natural delivery. For according to them there is more dishonour in a virgin giving birth to God by the organs of generation, than in a virgin being joined to her own husband after she has been delivered. Add, if you like, Helvidius, the other humiliations of nature, the womb for nine months growing larger, the sickness, the delivery, the blood, the swaddling-clothes. Picture to yourself the infant in the enveloping membranes. Introduce into your picture the hard manger, the wailing of the infant, the circumcision on the eighth day, the time of purification, so that he may be proved to be unclean. We do not blush, we are not put to silence. The greater the humiliations He endured for me, the more I owe Him. And when you have given every detail, you will be able to produce nothing more shameful than the cross, which we confess, in which we believe, and by which we triumph over our enemies.
But as we do not deny what is written, so we do reject what is not written. We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. That Mary was married after she brought forth, we do not believe, because we do not read it. Nor do we say this to condemn marriage, for virginity itself is the fruit of marriage; but because when we are dealing with saints we must not judge rashly. If we adopt possibility as the standard of judgment, we might maintain that Joseph had several wives because Abraham had, and so had Jacob, and that the Lord's brethren were the issue of those wives, an invention which some hold with a rashness which springs from audacity not from piety. You say that Mary did not continue a virgin: I claim still more, that Joseph himself on account of Mary was a virgin, so that from a virgin wedlock a virgin son was born. For if as a holy man he does not come under the imputation of fornication, and it is nowhere written that he had another wife, but was the guardian of Mary whom he was supposed to have to wife rather than her husband, the conclusion is that he who was thought worthy to be called father of the Lord, remained a virgin.
And now that I am about to institute a comparison between virginity and marriage, I beseech my readers not to suppose that in praising virginity I have in the least disparaged marriage, and separated the saints of the Old Testament from those of the New, that is to say, those who had wives and those who altogether refrained from the embraces of women: I rather think that in accordance with the difference in time and circumstance one rule applied to the former, another to us upon whom the ends of the world have come. So long as that law remained, Genesis 1:28 Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth; and Cursed is the barren woman that bears not seed in Israel, they all married and were given in marriage, left father and mother, and became one flesh. But once in tones of thunder the words were heard, 1 Corinthians 7:29 The time is shortened, that henceforth those that have wives may be as though they had none: cleaving to the Lord, we are made one spirit with Him. And why? Because He that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married is careful for the things of the world, how he may please his wife. And there is a difference also between the wife and the virgin. She that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. Why do you cavil? Why do you resist? The vessel of election says this; he tells us that there is a difference between the wife and the virgin. Observe what the happiness of that state must be in which even the distinction of sex is lost. The virgin is no longer called a woman. 1 Corinthians 7:34 She that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. A virgin is defined as she that is holy in body and in spirit, for it is no good to have virgin flesh if a woman be married in mind.
But she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. Do you think there is no difference between one who spends her time in prayer and fasting, and one who must, at her husband's approach, make up her countenance, walk with mincing gait, and feign a show of endearment? The virgin's aim is to appear less comely; she will wrong herself so as to hide her natural attractions. The married woman has the paint laid on before her mirror, and, to the insult of her Maker, strives to acquire something more than her natural beauty. Then come the prattling of infants, the noisy household, children watching for her word and waiting for her kiss, the reckoning up of expenses, the preparation to meet the outlay. On one side you will see a company of cooks, girded for the onslaught and attacking the meat: there you may hear the hum of a multitude of weavers. Meanwhile a message is delivered that the husband and his friends have arrived. The wife, like a swallow, flies all over the house. She has to see to everything. Is the sofa smooth? Is the pavement swept? Are the flowers in the cups? Is dinner ready? Tell me, pray, where amid all this is there room for the thought of God? Are these happy homes? Where there is the beating of drums, the noise and clatter of pipe and lute, the clanging of cymbals, can any fear of God be found? The parasite is snubbed and feels proud of the honour. Enter next the half-naked victims of the passions, a mark for every lustful eye. The unhappy wife must either take pleasure in them, and perish, or be displeased, and provoke her husband. Hence arises discord, the seed-plot of divorce. Or suppose you find me a house where these things are unknown, which is a rara avis indeed! Yet even there the very management of the household, the education of the children, the wants of the husband, the correction of the servants, cannot fail to call away the mind from the thought of God. Genesis 18:11 It had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women: so the Scripture says, and afterwards Abraham received the command, Genesis 21:12 In all that Sarah says unto you, hearken unto her voice. She who is not subject to the anxiety and pain of child-bearing and having passed the change of life has ceased to perform the functions of a woman, is freed from the curse of God: nor is her desire to her husband, but on the contrary her husband becomes subject to her, and the voice of the Lord commands him, In all that Sarah says unto you, hearken unto her voice. Thus they begin to have time for prayer. For so long as the debt of marriage is paid, earnest prayer is neglected.
I do not deny that holy women are found both among widows and those who have husbands; but they are such as have ceased to be wives, or such as, even in the close bond of marriage, imitate virgin chastity. The Apostle, Christ speaking in him, briefly bore witness to this when he said, 1 Corinthians 7:34 She that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, how she may please the Lord: but she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. He leaves us the free exercise of our reason in the matter. He lays no necessity upon anyone nor leads anyone into a snare: he only persuades to that which is proper when he wishes all men to be as himself. He had not, it is true, a commandment from the Lord respecting virginity, for that grace surpasses the unassisted power of man, and it would have worn an air of immodesty to force men to fly in the face of nature, and to say in other words, I want you to be what the angels are. It is this angelic purity which secures to virginity its highest reward, and the Apostle might have seemed to despise a course of life which involves no guilt. Nevertheless in the immediate context he adds, 1 Corinthians 7:25 But I give my judgment, as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I think therefore that this is good by reason of the present distress, namely, that it is good for a man to be as he is. What is meant by present distress? Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! The reason why the wood grows up is that it may be cut down. The field is sown that it may be reaped. The world is already full, and the population is too large for the soil. Every day we are being cut down by war, snatched away by disease, swallowed up by shipwreck, although we go to law with one another about the fences of our property. It is only one addition to the general rule which is made by those who follow the Lamb, and who have not defiled their garments, for they have continued in their virgin state. Notice the meaning of defiling. I shall not venture to explain it, for fear Helvidius may be abusive. I agree with you, when you say, that some virgins are nothing but tavern women; I say still more, that even adulteresses may be found among them, and, you will no doubt be still more surprised to hear, that some of the clergy are inn-keepers and some monks unchaste. Who does not at once understand that a tavern woman cannot be a virgin, nor an adulterer a monk, nor a clergy-man a tavern-keeper? Are we to blame virginity if its counterfeit is at fault? For my part, to pass over other persons and come to the virgin, I maintain that she who is engaged in huckstering, though for anything I know she may be a virgin in body, is no longer one in spirit.
I have become rhetorical, and have disported myself a little like a platform orator. You compelled me, Helvidius; for, brightly as the Gospel shines at the present day, you will have it that equal glory attaches to virginity and to the marriage state. And because I think that, finding the truth too strong for you, you will turn to disparaging my life and abusing my character (it is the way of weak women to talk tittle-tattle in corners when they have been put down by their masters), I shall anticipate you. I assure you that I shall regard your railing as a high distinction, since the same lips that assail me have disparaged Mary, and I, a servant of the Lord, am favoured with the same barking eloquence as His mother.
Is it sinful in monasticism?elijahmaria said:4. It is possible to not want children at all ever, and in general terms, that would be a sinful intent in marriage
That was, and is, an accusation brought against monasticism:failure to produce the next generation.. But that is part of the point of the monasticism, and there is more to it than that.
But there is more to marriage than just procreating too.
So you think that "ABC" makes marriage simple?elijahmaria said:HOWEVER, if the health of man or wife precludes children without grave risk to all, then the Church will permit marriage even for those who cannot bear children, knowing in her wisdom that God provides in strange ways.
5. Artificial birth control, on the other hand, has none of these complexities of human interaction and relationship, provides for sex-on-demand, has NO ascetic value at all in the life of the couple, and allows for sexual intercourse that is patently, expressly and intently closed to life.
Neither does coitus interruptus nor frottage. Would you put them in NFP, or ABC?elijahmaria said:6. NFP does not allow for sexual intercourse that is patently closed off to the possibility of life.