Willfully sinning?

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MooCowSteph

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Hi everyone. I am wondering what opinions you hold on dissenting opinions and not following Church doctrine and beliefs. I think it is very important to try to understand the church’s positions on social and political issues, and I try to follow the guidelines the church puts forth. My problem is that I am a young married woman, a recent college graduate, and my husband and I are in no position, financially, to have children. We, therefore, use birth control. While we plan to have children someday, I am to afraid of natural family planning, and that it will result in an unexpected surprise. I am whole-heartedly pro-life, as is my husband, so we would obviously have any child who we conceived. I am just very distressed at doing something against church teaching.

Steph
:ani_help:
 
My fiancee and I are going through the NFP class offered through the Couple to Couple League (ccli.org/) and I STRONGLY encourage you to check it out. There are many more reasons to use NFP than just to avoid pregnancy. There are also health issues, moral issues, and even intimacy/relationship issues (Less than 5% of marriages using NFP end in divorce).

Let me also say that NFP isn’t what most people think it is. It is NOT the rhythm method. Instead, NFP utilizes physical signs of fertility (such as waking temperature and mucus) to determine when your fertile and infertile periods are. When used properly, NFP is actually more effective than the pill in avoiding pregnancy.

Using contraceptives to prevent pregnancy IS a sin. There are natural ways of avoiding pregnancy that are effective, acceptable, and moral. PLEASE check out the Couple to Couple League.

ccli.org/
 
Also, you might want to check out this talk given by Janet Smith called “Contraception: Why Not?” It will give you several things to consider about contraception. It is well worth the $5 plus S&H you pay for it. It is available in cassette tape form as well as CD.
 
My wife and I also use NFP and it is the best thing we could have ever done! It is very effective and has been a blessing for both of us. I strongly encourage you to check the link given to you by funkyhorn.
Also let me point out that it is a contradiction to say that you are pro-life and contracepting, since by definition a contraceptive is something that prevents conception (the creation of new life). Also most hormonal contraceptive are abortaficient which means that if there is conception in spite of the contraceptive (that does happen more than you think) then the fetus will be unable to implant itself in the uterus and they will die! Thus the pill achieves its high success rate by killing any baby that would happen to be conceived anyway. If you are truly pro-life then you can’t possibly use contraception. It is against God’s will and is a serious evil that will only bring sorrow and unhappiness to your couple.
Stick with the Church’s teaching!
You are in my prayers,

Sky
 
Hi there,

Sinning is distressing to us. God’s teachings are always for our own good and are freeing when we follow them.

I second the poster who recommends checking out the Couple to Couple League. Also read Humanae Vitae vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html and Catholic Answers on the subject.

My husband and I used to contracept before I converted to Catholicism. I can tell you from my experience that our relationship improved when he stopped playing God with our bodies. We took an NFP class about 3 or 4 years ago. And while it was well worth it, we haven’t really had to use it yet. Extended Breastfeeding has spaced our children nicely. But that’s us. You may very well have legitimate reasons to not conceive right now and that’s fine. But you need to use a moral means of spacing your children. The Couple to Couple Leagues method is just as effective or more effective than artificial methods. If you really do have a serious reason to not conceive, don’t you want to use the best method available? Unlike whatever you are using now, NFP is 100% safe! If you explain this to your husband, I would think he would not want to put your health or your fertility at risk with the continued use of Artificial Birth Control. Please look over the info about contraception at this site all.org/ Even a condom can ruin your fertility. 😦

Also want to mention how devastating it was when I found out that the Birth Control Pill can so often really act as an Abortifacient. I was on the Pill for years and years and can only wonder how many children were literally flushed away. I was also angry at the medical community and our Priests for failing to get the word out about this! Millions and millions of people are probably killed by the Pill. Its a very sad situation.

Many of us feel that contraception is what feeds abortion in this country. I know few pro-lifers who are not adamantly against its use.

If you would like to e-mail me, please feel free.No question is too personal for me. I love girl talk too! Spend some time in deep prayer on this issue and God will guide you and your husband. There is nothing to be afraid of!

God bless,
Stephanie (and if I don’t lose some weight soon I will have to take your username from you!)
 
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MooCowSteph:
Hi everyone. I am wondering what opinions you hold on dissenting opinions and not following Church doctrine and beliefs. I think it is very important to try to understand the church’s positions on social and political issues, and I try to follow the guidelines the church puts forth. My problem is that I am a young married woman, a recent college graduate, and my husband and I are in no position, financially, to have children. We, therefore, use birth control. While we plan to have children someday, I am to afraid of natural family planning, and that it will result in an unexpected surprise. I am whole-heartedly pro-life, as is my husband, so we would obviously have any child who we conceived. I am just very distressed at doing something against church teaching.

Steph
:ani_help:
Where’s your faith in God? Don’t you ask God for your “daily bread”? Don’t you ask God for your health?

Do you think He doesn’t know what’s best for you if you put your faith in him? If he wants you to have children SO BE IT! If he wants you to go bankrupt because of it SO BE IT! Heck, if he decide to take your husband life and give him everlasting grace in Heaven SO BE IT!

Contraception is a sin. There’s no way around it. You must confess this grave sin if you comit it.

The Church allowed postponing children FOR GRAVE reasons. And the mean is Natural Family Planning.

Trust YOUR God! Not some contraception!
 
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MooCowSteph:
Hi everyone. I am wondering what opinions you hold on dissenting opinions and not following Church doctrine and beliefs. I think it is very important to try to understand the church’s positions on social and political issues, and I try to follow the guidelines the church puts forth. My problem is that I am a young married woman, a recent college graduate, and my husband and I are in no position, financially, to have children. We, therefore, use birth control. While we plan to have children someday, I am to afraid of natural family planning, and that it will result in an unexpected surprise. I am whole-heartedly pro-life, as is my husband, so we would obviously have any child who we conceived. I am just very distressed at doing something against church teaching.

Steph
:ani_help:
So why are you doing it?

NFP is far more effective than any other birth control, is not a mortal sin needing confessed, and doesn’t have the possibility of killing a baby every month by stopping a fertilized egg from implanting.

It is also condusive a long and happy marriage.

Here is a huge amount of reference material about halfway down this page on contraception and NFP.
phorum.phatmass.com/index.php?showtopic=6081

phatmass.com also has a discussion board of people who are practicing NFP. Come visit us over there.
 
Hi Steph,
May I give you a perspective from an older woman view point? My husband and I have 6 children. Our 5th child is a Down’s Syndrome child. Our children are grown now, the youngest is 23 yrs. Through all our married life we used NFP. We can look back now and know almost exactly when each of our children were conceived. That was nice because we began praying for that child from that point on.

Now we are grandparents and you may ask so what has this to do with NFP? As my body gets older and less attractive I can look on 35 years of love making knowing full well that it was always pure and chaste. I was never taken for granted. I was never just a sex object. My husband and I gave ourselves to each other totally and completely holding nothing back.

This makes me aware I was loved for myself not for any self gratification. And as my physical attactiveness wanes it makes me more secure in the love my husband has for me.

Give it a try. There are many advantages besides postponing a pregancy.

pat
 
Let me share with you my wife and I were both outside of the Church when we married and we used birth control (as I could not see it in the Bible. (long story short) I came back to the Church (I have an annulment but that is for another time), went to confession came home and my wife and I agreed to get off the birth control. We went a peroid of time wtih no Sex, then something weird happened for the first time I made Love to my wife. It was not Sex it was love. I was open to LIFE, She was open to LIFE, I had to trust her, and God. I was humbled and at the same time lifted up.

Let me now ask you a few questions:
  1. Do you Love your husband?
  2. Enough to give him all of you and recieve all of him?
  3. Does he love you?
  4. How much money need you have in the bank before you will be able to have kids $5000.00, $10000.00, $100,000.00?
  5. Do you really trust God?
These are hard questions but I think worth asking, when we were blessed with Joseph we had a little better than $350.00 in the bank and were living in a small apartment with no idea how we would get into a house, but we were working and my Father is so faithful. We now have more in the bank and we are living in a nice house with a new swing set we just built in the back yard, but to see Joseph at 18 months old pick up an empty box smile from ear to ear is how do they say PRICELESS.

God Bless you we will be praying for you.:tiphat:
 
Thank you, everyone, for the kind and informative responses. We have decided to stop using artificial birth control, and to trust in God. I guess my problem was that while I always knew it was wrong, I never really understood why. Now I do. While my heart is heavy now, I am very much looking forward to going to confession this afternoon and in a sense, starting my marriage anew and without sin.

Thanks again,
Steph
🙂
 
Hey, Steph,

srkdbk has some great advice here. When I met my wife, I had fallen away from the Church, and was actually practicing Wicca! (A very long story…with a happy ending!) We were living together, and she was on the pill. A very bad situation.

When I converted, we stopped sleeping together, and got married in the Church as soon as we could. She converted not long after…but she didn’t want kids. I had had a vasectomy during a first marriage (another story!) and I decided to spend the money to have the vasectomy reversed, even though it cost a fortune and insurance wouldn’t cover it.

We were broke, living in a rental house in a dicey part of town, and I went ahead and spent our savings to get the vasectomy undone. Not long after that, we were able to buy a house, incredibly, and our finances improved dramatically even though we also started tithing 10% of our combined income. The reversal surgery was “mechanically” successful, but I was still infertile, because too much damage had been done. They tried hormone therapy and all sorts of medication, but nothing worked. I was (am still) infertile. Even so, we started practicing NFP, because we thought it was the right thing to do.

Slowly, my wife became more open to life, and we started praying for a baby. Everyone we knew started praying. We were doing novenas, you name it. We met Fr. Michael Scanlon at a talk one night, and he prayed over my wife. Soon after, she was pregnant!

She quit her job, and money looked tight again. But, our house had doubled in value, so we sold it and bought a big house in the country. Now, we have three kids, we practice NFP, we tithe, we trust in God, we pray together daily, and life couldn’t be better. And somehow, our finanaces are fine, even it’s just me working, at the same job I had when we were broke!

And sex is totally different. Like srkdbk said, it’s not sex anymore, it’s love, and it actually feels different. It’s hard to explain - more than being a physically stimulating, fun activity, it’s a tremendously warm, giving, caring, self-donation. And it’s still fun!

You won’t feel peace until you stop using contraception. You know it’s wrong, and it will continue to chew at you until you stop. But don’t beat yourself up over it…many Catholic couples do it, terrible as it is. At least your conscience is bothering you! Please go to confession tomorrow, and promise God you’re over this. Then find out about NFP. There’s probably an instructor in your diocese who will meet with you and your husband. It’s not rocket science…and it’s healthy, chaste, and pure. God WILL bless you, I promise.

Kids don’t cost much. Couple of diapers, a crib from the thrift store, some cheap plastic toys, and you’re good to go. My kid’s favorite toys are sticks and empty boxes. They don’t eat much, either. Go ahead and see what God wants to do with your life! I’m sure His plan is a lot more wonderful than anything you could think up…after all, he’s God!

Glenn in KC
 
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MooCowSteph:
Thank you, everyone, for the kind and informative responses. We have decided to stop using artificial birth control, and to trust in God. I guess my problem was that while I always knew it was wrong, I never really understood why. Now I do. While my heart is heavy now, I am very much looking forward to going to confession this afternoon and in a sense, starting my marriage anew and without sin.

Thanks again,
Steph
🙂
Thank you Steph,
I can really say now that I have seen the Holy Spirit at work.
He has worked through all the people that responded to your post.
And now you have seen the right thing to do.
Good luck, and may God bless you with children when the time is right.
Love Kellie
 
First off may I say I’m very Catholic and totaly open to life. My wife and I have four wonderful children. I trust God and His Will for myself and my family. I also trust in the Church and belive it to be extramly wise.

Having said that, can someone tell me how NFP is different from contraception? I don’t mean technically speaking, I mean philosophically speaking. Isn’t it the practice of trying to aviod pregnancy, and isn’t that realy the “sin?”

I’m not trying to be flip, I don’t claim to have all the answers, and I’d love to hear from my peers on this issue.

Genuinely interested and open to all answers,
 
Pat Laub:
Hi Steph,
May I give you a perspective from an older woman view point? My husband and I have 6 children. Our 5th child is a Down’s Syndrome child. Our children are grown now, the youngest is 23 yrs. Through all our married life we used NFP. We can look back now and know almost exactly when each of our children were conceived. That was nice because we began praying for that child from that point on.

Now we are grandparents and you may ask so what has this to do with NFP? As my body gets older and less attractive I can look on 35 years of love making knowing full well that it was always pure and chaste. I was never taken for granted. I was never just a sex object. My husband and I gave ourselves to each other totally and completely holding nothing back.

This makes me aware I was loved for myself not for any self gratification. And as my physical attactiveness wanes it makes me more secure in the love my husband has for me.

Give it a try. There are many advantages besides postponing a pregancy.

pat
That is beautiful.

God bless you
 
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MooCowSteph:
Thank you, everyone, for the kind and informative responses. We have decided to stop using artificial birth control, and to trust in God. I guess my problem was that while I always knew it was wrong, I never really understood why. Now I do. While my heart is heavy now, I am very much looking forward to going to confession this afternoon and in a sense, starting my marriage anew and without sin.

Thanks again,
Steph
🙂
And God bless you too!
 
Hi, Nick!

I’ll try to answer your question.

Is it a sin to not have sex? Religious who take vows of chastity are promising they will never have sex. They are, technically, “not open to life” because they plan not to have children.

Obviously, that’s not sinful, or all priests and nuns would be living in a state of sin. Simply avoiding pregnancy is not a sin.

When couples practice NFP, they abstain from sex during the couple’s fertile time. That is a perfectly natural way of avoiding prregnancy. When couples contracept, they can have sex at any time. They rely on chemicals, barriers, or surgical methods to alter their bodies to stop the natural processes that God has ordained. It’s a willful interference with God’s plan.

On the flip side, if a couple practiced NFP throughout their entire marriage to willfully prevent pregnancy, that would be sinful, UNLESS there were grave reasons for doing so.

NFP actually increases a couple’s chances of conceiving, because you become so much more attuned to the woman’s fertility cycles. You become more aware of God’s creative genius, and you cooperate with it.

Just as it is not sinful for single people or religious to abstain from sex, it is not sinful for married people to abstain periodically to more effectively space their children. Couples do have a right to responsibly space the births of their children, and to consider the health of the mother. For example, my wife is currently nursing our three-month old daughter, and she is already fertile. She doesn’t want to become pregnant now, not because she doesn’t want another baby, but because she wouldn’t be able to effectively nurse the baby we already have. So we’re going to wait until Melania is finished nursing, whenever that happens. Then maybe God will give us another miracle!

This is probably a poor answer, but maybe it helps a little…

Glenn in KC
 
BikeBoy,

Thank you – poor answer? No-way, that was a great answer. I have a much better understanding, and your insight on NFP was helpful. Congratulations to you and your wife on your new daughter. God bless you!
 
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BikeBoy:
Hi, Nick!

I’ll try to answer your question.

Is it a sin to not have sex? Religious who take vows of chastity are promising they will never have sex. They are, technically, “not open to life” because they plan not to have children.

Obviously, that’s not sinful, or all priests and nuns would be living in a state of sin. Simply avoiding pregnancy is not a sin.

When couples practice NFP, they abstain from sex during the couple’s fertile time. That is a perfectly natural way of avoiding prregnancy. When couples contracept, they can have sex at any time. They rely on chemicals, barriers, or surgical methods to alter their bodies to stop the natural processes that God has ordained. It’s a willful interference with God’s plan.

On the flip side, if a couple practiced NFP throughout their entire marriage to willfully prevent pregnancy, that would be sinful, UNLESS there were grave reasons for doing so.

NFP actually increases a couple’s chances of conceiving, because you become so much more attuned to the woman’s fertility cycles. You become more aware of God’s creative genius, and you cooperate with it.

Just as it is not sinful for single people or religious to abstain from sex, it is not sinful for married people to abstain periodically to more effectively space their children. Couples do have a right to responsibly space the births of their children, and to consider the health of the mother. For example, my wife is currently nursing our three-month old daughter, and she is already fertile. She doesn’t want to become pregnant now, not because she doesn’t want another baby, but because she wouldn’t be able to effectively nurse the baby we already have. So we’re going to wait until Melania is finished nursing, whenever that happens. Then maybe God will give us another miracle!

This is probably a poor answer, but maybe it helps a little…

Glenn in KC
Glenn I really like the way you put this thanks for sharing. One question though could we say the religous are open to life just through a different calling. The reason I ask is I would like to mod this and use what you have authored in the future.

thanks and God Bless
Scott
 
Beautiful explanation BikeBoy. You said it perfectly.

I would like to offer one more insight on NFP that my husband and I have found to be an added bonus. In practicing NFP it required us to be completely open with each other in regards to where I was hormonally at certain times of the month, my fears or desires to have another baby, his fears and desires - you got the picture. Well, what we discovered is that being able to discuss on this very personal, private level not only brought us closer together, but it also freed us to discuss other things on a more intimate level. It paved the way for much more open exchange on other matters such as finances, free time, raising the children, etc.

If you can share on this very personal, intimate level of your sexuality, anything else that comes into married life that needs to be shared between the two of you is a piece of cake.

Who would have thought that would be part of God’s wonderful plan of sex in marriage? It does make sense though because pure, chaste sex is always life giving.

pat
 
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MooCowSteph:
Hi everyone. I am wondering what opinions you hold on dissenting opinions and not following Church doctrine and beliefs. I think it is very important to try to understand the church’s positions on social and political issues, and I try to follow the guidelines the church puts forth. My problem is that I am a young married woman, a recent college graduate, and my husband and I are in no position, financially, to have children. We, therefore, use birth control. While we plan to have children someday, I am to afraid of natural family planning, and that it will result in an unexpected surprise. I am whole-heartedly pro-life, as is my husband, so we would obviously have any child who we conceived. I am just very distressed at doing something against church teaching.

Steph
:ani_help:
Steph,

If you are distressed it is because you know you are not following Christ’s commandments. I can appreciate your concerns…so can the good Lord, but when we try to control things by means which are evil to achieve what we think is good for us…we will fail and fail mightily.

Those unexpected surprises are gifts…not burdens. We were young and not financially well off when we had one of those little surprises. It was not easy but we would not trade our little surprise for anything. Against all odds of my surviving and the child…we both did. Even though we knew if the child lived there would be a 50% chance of his having a dreadful inherited disease, I knew that was not mine to make a choice about. I refused to even consider the abortion option which the doctors suggested due to the medical problems. This was prior to Roe V Wade…but they were done even then to save the mother’s life. I am no hero but I knew I could never trade my child’s life for my own. While some of the Doctors dire predications did happen…it just did not matter. God was in control and we have been so very blessed. Physically, financially etc., it was hard but it was wonderful. And my little surprise is all grown up and pretty healthy for a fetus who is not suppose to have rights. I am sure glad mine does. He is an outstanding young man…of course I am prejudiced.
jmj,
Marie
 
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