Practicing chastity in marriage

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Mary_Ann

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I hope someone can help me with this question. Should my husband and I refrain from sexual intercourse to atone for the years of using artifical contraception. We have three children. We have been to confession and I threw my diaphragm away months ago. I try to be in the present, but I find myself grieving for those children that should be here, and are not. Would adoption be one way to atone? Blessings, Mazie
 
There seems to be no valid reason to abstain from relations. If you’ve made a valid confession and done the required penance, that’s it. Pray and play 👍 hard with your husband, and don’t let residual guilt hinder your relationship anymore than it already has.
 
Sometimes the hardest thing about the Sacrament of Reconciliation is being able to forgive ourselves. If you have been absolved from your sin and made the required penance, then you have done all that is necessary to “atone” for your sins. Anxiety about past sins that have already been forgiven is called scrupulosity, which itself can be a sin (nothing’s easy, is it?). I also don’t know if it would be right to withold your gifts from each other through abstinence, as you are not living in a way contrary to Church teaching.
 
Wow, scupulosity. I haven’t heard that word it years! Martin Luther was suspected of scrupulosity, to the point of dementia.
 
Some have said that Satan’s greatest work is to continually convict us of our sins, even those that have been forgiven. You have been to confession, you have been forgiven. Let it go, and perhaps God will grace you with more children. Adoption or even foster children would be a wonderful gesture, but I don’t know that I would necessarily think God is demanding it of you.

I empathize with you somewhat, only our sin was to use Natural Family Planning inappropriately, to take over lordship of our own fertility when there was no “grave” reason for doing so. I too grieve for the children that might have been.
 
Mary Ann:
I hope someone can help me with this question. Should my husband and I refrain from sexual intercourse to atone for the years of using artifical contraception. We have three children. We have been to confession and I threw my diaphragm away months ago. I try to be in the present, but I find myself grieving for those children that should be here, and are not. Would adoption be one way to atone? Blessings, Mazie
How do U know that there would have been additional children? I have counseled several couples who are both fertile, healthy adults with an active sexual relationship who are unable to conceive.
 
Mary Ann

I have to agree with everybody else – and remember; you’re called to be a mother and wife, so don’t try to take that away,
 
👍 Sounds like some very sound advise to me!
The Lord wants a contrite heart.
Your contrite is showing Mary Ann!
You guys are great.

🙂 DigitalDeacon
 
From The Holy Apostolate of Motherhood, A vision on Sunday, March 15, 1987. Christ Child: "The Lord deals out vengeance with a two-edged sword and vengeance is Mine says the Lord. Those who have mutilated their bodies in the never-ending attempt to prevent life are in need of repentance. They have sinned in a grievous manner and should remain chase in atonement for their sin. Any feedback on this would be appreciated.The Holy Apostolate of Motherhood. Published by The Riehle Foundation, 1991. Nihil Obstat Monsignor Joseph P. Malara
Imprimatur Most Reverend Ottenweller, Bishop of
Steubenville
 
Hi am one of those who had a tubal ligation before I was converted. When I went to confession, the priest told me that I was not requirered to do anything further. Some lay people advocate that I should have had a reversal. But this is major surgery. So the church does not require it. Also it is not covered by insurance. So for a family that is struggling financially, it is not an economic option. Actually, it would have been easier if I could have had the surgery. This is a terrible thing to live with now that I know how grievous a sin it is.

Out of my guilt and desire to make reparation, I was pushing my husband away and it almost ruined my marriage. My husband was not at the same place I was spiritually, so he did not understand what I was going through. And he was very resentful and jealous of my love of God. Finally, I had to make a decision to stay married and accept intimacy with him or separate. But the Lord gave me the grace to see that it would be more pleasing to Him to stay in my marriage and keep my vows than to alleviate my guilt but split up a family. It has taken years but my husband is slowly converting to the truth. And for the first time in our marriage, our relationship is closer to what it should be.We still have a ways to go. But isn’t marriage for a lifetime?
 
Read the Parable of the Prodigal Son. God the Father loves us all. His mercy is an ocean of forgiveness. If you seek forgiveness and are truly sorry and go to confession, God has forgiven you. NO strings attached. He is very happy you have returned to communion with the Church. All the angels and saints rejoice. Another sinner has returned. God has forgiven you. Do not punish yourself.
 
Mary Ann:
I try to be in the present, but I find myself grieving for those children that should be here, and are not. Would adoption be one way to atone? Blessings, Mazie
There aren’t souls floating around out there waiting for parents; there’s no guarantee you would have had children in those years. If you’ve gone to confession, let it go. If you feel the need to do something more, how about some regular sacrifice for an end to abortion? Or sacrifice for all Catholic couples who don’t yet know the truth about Catholic teaching in this area? --KCT
 
If you feel you should have had more children, what good would abstaining do? Maybe you should do the opposite and partake in the marital act more often. Then you can have those babies you feel you should have had!
:gopray:
 
Having normal sexual relations with one’s spouse within a marriage is chastity. Are you thinking of celibacy?
 
Mary's Lamb:
Hi am one of those who had a tubal ligation before I was converted. When I went to confession, the priest told me that I was not requirered to do anything further. Some lay people advocate that I should have had a reversal. But this is major surgery. So the church does not require it. Also it is not covered by insurance. So for a family that is struggling financially, it is not an economic option. Actually, it would have been easier if I could have had the surgery. This is a terrible thing to live with now that I know how grievous a sin it is.

Out of my guilt and desire to make reparation, I was pushing my husband away and it almost ruined my marriage. My husband was not at the same place I was spiritually, so he did not understand what I was going through. And he was very resentful and jealous of my love of God. Finally, I had to make a decision to stay married and accept intimacy with him or separate. But the Lord gave me the grace to see that it would be more pleasing to Him to stay in my marriage and keep my vows than to alleviate my guilt but split up a family. It has taken years but my husband is slowly converting to the truth. And for the first time in our marriage, our relationship is closer to what it should be.We still have a ways to go. But isn’t marriage for a lifetime?
When my wife and I got married she already had three boys from her previous annuled marriage. After the birth of the third of of our boys she had a tubal done.

When we met and married we explored the possibility of a reversal of the tubal but I was really concerned about her having to undergo a major surgery. Also, she of course would have to go under general anesthesia and this seemed tremendously too risky to her.

You have been absolved of your previous sins and if you are in a category similar to ours you will find that at this point my wife can’t have children anymore. So we try to enjoy each other and our boys and our two grandsons…All in LOVE!

God Bless you in your conversion and for your faithfulness!

Keep praying for and with your husband–the Holy Spirit will help with the other things.

Carl
 
Ah, yes. Early in our marriage (decades before becoming Catholic), I approached my husband about wanting to stop our use of contraception. He almost collapsed with relief! And that was that. Now, no longe fertile and after many years of “living like Catholics,” I still mourn the mistake of our early marriage: sin may be repented, confessed, and forgiven, but still mourned. To be sorry for past sins is not scrupulosity, and it does give one ample opportunity to rejoice in the boundless mercy of God.
 
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