I want to become Catholic, but am afraid to because of the no birth control rule. I know about NFP, I’m just afraid it won’t work. I don’t want to have too many kids. Would God understand if I waited to become Catholic until my less fertile years (I’m almost 34)?
You are responsible for what you know. You know what the Church teaches regarding contraception. You cannot pretend you do not know, you are only fooling yourself-- certainly not God.
I suggest you spend some time in prayer.
What about being afraid of the harm of many forms of contraception?
What about being afraid that contraception will fail?
If contraception fails, how will you feel?
Exactly. There is no such thing as a guaranteed way to avoid having kids if you are in your fertile years and sexually active. God’s plan, as reflected in human biology, is strongly geared towards linking sex with reproduction, as is reflected in the rate of contraception failure (which is much higher than the manufacturers would dare ever admit to). Abortion rates are skyrocketing, which should tell you something - most of those seeking abortions were on some form of contraception which failed.
You called the Church teaching on contraception a “rule”. In truth it’s not a rule, but rather another way of defending the sanctity of life. We all should know that a child is not another thing that popped into our life, but rather a person entrusted to us by God to take care of. The conception of a child is much more than a physical act. It is like a sacrament or a sign of not only which we participate in the creation of life but also witness a small part of beatific vision. I would suggest you pray heavily the Holy Spirit guide you and read up more on why the Church teaches against contraception. Also remember our Lord tells us in scripture, “You are either against me or with me.” There is no middle ground. You are in my prayers. The Lord keep you and bless you.
This reminds me of St Augustine’s prayer “Lord make me chaste…but not yet”
It’s a tough thing. You may know this but until the 1960’s virtually every Christian denomination held the no birth control position.
Take an NFP Class and see if that brings some comfort.
I would say also bring it before The Lord in prayer. Do we really want to say we believe the Gods Truth and want to embrace it, but then choose ourselves over him?
I know it is a tough complex issue, but really spend some time in good research, study and prayer!
Thanks for the replies everyone!
Look further into resources on NFP and you’ll see that when using it to avoid (because it can also be used to conceive; birth control can’t do that) that it is just as, if not more, effective than a birth control pill, and with much less health risks (since it deals with your own body and no artificial hormones or chemicals). Keep in mind that birth control is said to be a class 1 carcinogen.
Natural Family Planning is actually very effective. In fact, it can be as effective as the birth control pill if it is used correctly. And you don’t have to deal with all of those nasty artificial hormones and side effects because its natural!
It is also a fact that married couples who use natural family planning are more likely to stay together than those who don’t or those who use contraception.
As others have said it’s not a man made rule, but living out God’s design. Remember that the Church is here to get us to heaven. It doesn’t throw up rules just to be a pain in the rear. If contraception is wrong in a couple years then its wrong now. Truth doesn’t change.
That being said you’d be surprised how quickly fertility drops off in women. I believe it is something like 2-3% every year between 20 and 35 (from 85%-50%). Between 35 and 40 it starts to plummet. If I remember the statistics correctly a woman at 35 has a 50% chance of pregnancy in a given year. At 40 it has dropped to something like 30-35% chance and is at about 5% by 45. Many of my wife’s NFP clients are in the mid-thirties and desperately trying to get pregnant after having wasted the fertile years using ABC. Too many women think the are still in their peak fertility in their mid to late thirties and are crushed when they try to start a family at 35 and then struggle to get pregnant.
I’m not saying that the above is the case with you, but only trying to point out that even in your mid thirties its not likely you’d have more than one or two more if you were practicing NFP to achieve. If you are trying to avoid the chances of pregnancy are significantly lower.
I hope that doesn’t sound like rude, but just trying to point out the statistics of fertility. Too often people assume fertility is the same until perimenopause and never realize that statistically it wains from the very beginning.
We all have these fears. Becoming Catholic might actually lessen these fears because of the graces in the sacraments.
The Billings Method devised by John Billings a Catholic who was recognised by the Church receiving a Papal Knighthood. It is as if not more reliable as IUD and other forms of artificial contraception. The difference is the Billings Method is NFP and accepted by the Church.
It has been reported to be 99% effective with proper technique.
In trials Billings method related pregnancy rates have ranged between 0% to 2.9%.
In a recent trial in China 992 couples using the Billings Method were compared to 662 couples using the IUD. The method-related pregnancy rate amongst Billings users was zero and the total pregnancy rate was 0.5%.
In studies up to the 1980s teaching related pregnancies ranged between 0% to 6%. Total pregnancy rates vary between 1 and 25%.
Reasons for a higher total pregnancy rate include misunderstanding the method, risk taking, ambivalence toward pregnancy, and deciding to become pregnant.
I hope you will enjoy your adventure of learning about the Catholic faith (what we believe, morals, sacraments, and prayer), and most importantly, that you will become ever closer to our Lord and His holy Church in the ongoing process of conversion in Him.
Please do not strive to become a “Cafeteria Catholic”, in which you select only the beliefs are suitable to you. Jesus told us that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” – I hope you will learn what this profound statement means in reference in making choices on how to live day to day.
With regard to your concerns about your fertility, please reflect on and pray about the truly beautiful gift God has given you. Also realize that the Church doesn’t expect that each married couple have 14 children in order to be “faithful.” But Christ, through His Church, does expect married couples to be open to the role as co-Creator with our heavenly Father. I encourage you to learn what you can about the natural family planning methods. I think doing so will help to alleviate some of your anxiety.
With regard to birth control pills, did you know that the World Health Organization has named the birth control pill a Group 1 Carcinogen — along with asbestos, radiation and cigarettes?
Did you know that the bc pill increases health risks?
Did you know that the bc pill (both kinds) contains an abortifacient (abortion-inducing drug), because its two “contraceptive” components can fail to prevent conception? You do not believe that abortion is morally okay, do you?
Did you know that with proper use of natural family planning methods, the effectiveness rate of avoiding pregnancy with NFP is equal to or greater than the effectiveness of the bc pill?
The Pill vs. NFP: A Catholic Physician’s Story
Health risks of the pill
Effectiveness of NFP
The Pill is a carcinogen-- womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=12488
Your becoming Catholic or not can never change the truth. You either accept truth or not and that starts now. Avoidance of truth only fools you and you can never fool God. God bless you and I can understand your concern but God is in charge. If you truly believe that then your decision is already made.