By using contraception, couples may think that they are avoiding problems or easing tensions, that they are exerting control over their lives. But the gift of being able to help create another person, a new human being with his or her own life, involves profound relationships. It affects our relationship with God, who created us complete with this powerful gift. It involves whether spouses will truly love and accept each other as they are, including their gift of fertility.
Finally, it involves the way spouses will spontaneously accept their child as a gift from God and the fruit of their mutual love. Like all important relationships with other persons, it is not subject solely to our individual control. In the end, this gift is far richer and more rewarding than that.
The Church’s teaching on marital sexuality is an invitation for men and women—an invitation to let God be God, to receive the gift of God’s love and care, and to let this gift inform and transform us, so we may share that love with each other and with the world.
Where to Learn More
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/index.shtml. (Offers information on Church teachings on conjugal love and responsible parenthood, methods of natural family planning [NFP], where to find local classes, and which NFP organizations offer home study programs.)
Pope John Paul II. Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life). Washington, DC: USCCB, 1995.
Pope Paul IV. Encyclical Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Birth).
Washington, DC: USCCB, 1968.