A monthly column by the Billings Ovulation Method Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOMA-TT).This is part three of a three-part series that examines Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on human life, Humanae Vitae, from a female perspective.
“Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and the general lowering of moral standards…The young, who are so exposed to temptation, need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law…” (Consequences of Artificial Methods, HV #17).
In speaking to teenaged girls, the line is becoming very blurred between contraception and abortion. The thinking is that ‘if you take a pill, you do not get a baby’, and their reality is that it does not matter when the ‘pill’ is taken, the same result is achieved. This is very dangerous and the ripple effect can already be seen after the video of a young actress having an abortion went viral. A life is a life, and once we say NO to procreation, we say NO to life. The young also need to be taught what true conjugal love is and about the different stages of love, so they will quicker resist temptation if they can discern lust from love.
“A man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as a partner whom he should surround with care and affection” (HV #17).
After about five years of using contraceptives in a marriage, many wives begin to feel used by their husbands. Unfortunately it is an intangible reality so many couples do not easily identify the cause, nor can they provide statistical evidence. But if they are honest with themselves, then they will see clearly that this is a contributory factor to the increased divorces.
When women allow themselves to be treated with this lack of reverence, is it any wonder that women cannot receive the respect that they deserve in our culture? We enjoy listening to songs that disrespect women, wear revealing clothes, and carry on in a degrading manner. These are all parts of the same picture.
“Careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of moral law (HV #17).
Once we remove God as the Author of life through procreation and negate its relation to marriage and human sexuality, we embark upon a slippery slope. The opportunity to create life can now gain ground as we have seen with In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). I wonder what Our Lady would say about the Barbados Fertility Clinic promoting this ideal of motherhood for Mother’s Day last year. The statement, “It is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it” (HV #14), resonates as an underlying mantra that we must uphold no matter how convincing the other arguments may be.
We need look no further than Obamacare, all the policies being put in place to re-define marriage, and proposed laws that are anti-life and anti-family with a myriad of unforeseen consequences – one of the most recent being the IVF child with two biological parents, a surrogate mother, and two natural parents (of the same sex). Is this the image of the new family? Where is God in all of this?
These things did not occur overnight, they are the consequences of choices and decisions made about how we value our sexuality when the procreative aspect of marriage is nullified, and a lack of recognition that God is the source of the generation of Life. ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’ indicates not only the great power of motherhood, but also the great responsibility that goes along with it.
When women abdicate this responsibility in favour of the licence of pleasure they become the initiator as well as the victim of the lack of dignity shown to the human person, and if women are the ones to set the tone for relationships, others will follow their lead.
Everyone is encouraged to read Humane Vitae, the language is not complex and the message is clear. “Consider this mission as one of your most urgent responsibilities at this present time” (Pastoral Directives to the Bishops, HV #30).
Contact BOMA-TT at 384-1659 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.billingstt.webs.com