"Be fruitful and multiply"

This was God’s command to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28. Put another way, God directed them to “have children.”

When is the last time you heard a bishop or priest tell his flock to “have children”? I never have.

Rather, once per year, we get a sermon on the evils of contraception, and we are told that we should “be open to life.” But telling someone to “be open to life” is kind of a passive way of expressing the message. Why not affirmatively say, “Have children!” After all, that’s what God directed Adam and Eve to do.

Plus, at the same time we say, “Don’t use contraception,” we qiuckly add, “There’s no need to use a condom–we can show you how to use NFP instead, and it’s just as effective.” Mixed messages.

Our message should be simple: Have children, lots of them!

Well, for one thing, we’re not Adam and Eve!

Adam and Eve were told to fill the Earth. That’s already be done. Filling the earth is not the same as being open to life. People don’t need to have ten kids anymore. Not everyone is called to do so. Those being called to have large families are doing so.

The Earth isn’t anywhere close to being “full.” There are vast areas of fairly underpopulated areas all over the US, for example.

Places in NA that are sparsely populated are so for a reason. I live in such an area. Water is scarce, the climate is extremely hot. It wouldn’t hold a dense population.

We are not called to turn the whole world into a suburb. Large areas of forest, etc, are needed for general wellbeing. NA and the world are doing just fine peoplewise.


not true. in fact, if you name almost any major problem we have in the US, it’s because we haven’t had enough kids in the past 50 years. why are social security and medicare going broke? because there are too many retirees and not enough young workers to support them. why do we have 12 million illegals here? because we haven’t had enough kids to do the work that needs to be done. etc., etc.

but that’s politics, and i’m not talking about politics.

i’m talking about God’s command: Be fruitful and multiply.

either it still applies today or it doesn’t.

NFP would not stop God from giving someone lots of children. He can do whatever He wishes.

Women use NFP because most need to work and cannot take time off to have 10 kids. People cannot afford to have ten kids and give them a good standard of living, unless you’re a millionaire.

I note from your username and attitude that you’re almost certainly male. My sister is going through utter hell at this very moment, trying to give birth to her first child. She’s exhausted and has been in agony for over 24 hours. I would hate her to go through that every year (until she dies in childbirth or can’t carry a baby to term).

If you think it is so important that people have lots of children, you give birth to them.

There aren’t just two anymore. And fill the earth doesn’t mean fill it to capacity, it means fill it. And yes, we’ve done that :thumbsup:


I’d also like to point out that God can give those who use artificial birth control kids too. According to those on CAF, even moreso when one is using ABCs because NFP is so reliable.


You need vast underpopulated areas in order to support vast overpopulated areas. For example, if NYC had to support itself based on the resources contained within its boundaries, the city and its population would rapidly collapse. Just to give an idea of how much resources such areas use, we actually used to camp hours from NYC, near one of the water sources NYC needed to sustain itself. You can’t dramatically increase the population in between with dramatically affecting the resource balance.

Are those areas habitable? What about the wild animals who live there? Surely the US is not inviting people in overcrowded countries to emigrate to the US and fill up all those empty spaces.

America would be dying if it weren’t for immigration.

Europe is dying. So is Japan.

If parents don’t have two children, then they aren’t even replacing themselves. Most people in the United States have less than 2 children, in fact huge swathes of ppl have no children. The growth rate in the U.S. without immigration is well below 2.1, which is the bare minimum you need to sustain a culture.

Catholics really should still take this message literally. Why? Because the vast majority of Americans aren’t having enough children to even replace the population. Without all the immigration from Latin America, we would have a shrinking population. Imagine that a decade ago 10 million more people lived in America than today. That’s the case in Russia, today there are around 140 million people, but they used to have 150 million people living there.

So… schools would have to close, then businesses would have to close bc of a smaller and smaller workforce. And retired ppl would have to work bc there wouldn’t be enough people supporting them.

And btw, the only reason Latin American immigrants have so many children is because they’re Catholic and not secularized. Their view on sexuality is dominated by the Catholic Church… but that will slowly stop being the case. They’ll become increasingly secularized in the U.S.

Anyways, if all the Catholics in the U.S. had the same number of children today, and throughout the sexual revolution as they did in 1950, this would be a Catholic-majority country by now. Unfortunately, the sexual revolution affected the vast majority of Catholics. What percentage practice NFP? What percentage NEVER use contraception?

**This could’ve been a Catholic country by now had we not been deceived by the sexual revolution.

Every Catholic family with 10 kids is really just having the kids that they should have plus the kids that 4 secular families SHOULD have, but have 0 kids. Should someone who never had children get the same amount of social security/ medicare as someone who did have children?

Sure, the message to be open to life implies having children, and using the message “Have children” is reasonable…for those called to do so. Recall, we are not all called to have children…some are called to celibacy, etc… One must also define “lots”, which is a subjective term whose definition will different for each couple who is called to have children. Not every couple is called to have 4 or 5 or 10 or 12 children. Some couples can’t have ANY, despite wanting them. So, the message to be open to life does seem more appropriate than “have children, lots of them”.

Good post! We just to be mindful that only a couple can discern how many children God is calling them to have, or when they are ready to have another child. But then, that’s the beauty of NFP…as the need to avoid conception decreases, so does the will to avoid conception.

Statistics tend to be selective. For example, you see the Chinese example continually ignored completely in such discussions.

I’m all for an honest discussion, but skewed and selective statistics on works when preaching to the choir.

I agree. It’s too bad we don’t hear more homilies about the blessings of large families. It’s not that small families are bad but the pressure of our culture is that anything more than 2.5 kids is irresponsible. :mad: We need our shepherds to give Catholics the support they need to be counter-cultural in this regard.

I also wonder if this is somewhat of an American or at least Western ommission. When I lived in South America, we heard regularly about how having larger families was not only a blessing in itself but also an important fact when it comes to vocations.

The documents of the Church certainly contain the message that large families are good. We just need the teaching echoed locally.

Amen! Few of the Parishes I’ve been to have had that welcoming feel in regards to large families. One seemed outright hostile. The one I belong to currently is very welcoming and accommodating…but still I’ll admit there is not a whole preached about the beauty of large families…though it IS talked about on occasion. (They also support us homeschoolers…actively…and that is WONDERFUL!..but a different topic. :wink: )

The Deacon at our Church raised five children, and the priest is one of five as well… one of his sisters became a nun.

And in fact, there are two twin brothers who are in seminary for our diocese right now…

So, vocations certainly flourish with larger families * :D*

i truly believe that if a married man will ask God to show him how to earn enough money so that his wife can stay home with their children, that’s a prayer God will always answer. He has for me. my wife quit working 12 years ago to raise our three kids. i’ve worked as hard as any man i know to make a living, but it has been well worth it, and God has richly blessed us. My wife–who was a tenured college professor when she quit–has never once regretted her decision to leave her career and stay home.

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