So after abstaining all these years, instead of following God’s plan for your marriage, you are going to make a mortal sin out of every sexual act during your first week of marriage? What a horrific way to start your life together - by separating yourselves from God and putting yourselves in danger of hell on your wedding night.
Have you taken the NFP classes yet? If not, how will you know whether or not you’re fertile at that time? Instead of planning in advance to destroy your souls on the wedding night, why not educate yourselves instead, and if it turns out you’re fertile, either a.) abstain or b.) trust in God’s providence that He will not give you more than you can handle. (Personally I would choose option b.)
I think you need to educate yourselves on the Church’s teaching on contraception. (See the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and/or books by Christopher West such as Theology of the Body for Beginners and Good News About Sex and Marriage.)
I also recommend this blog post by Mark Mallett, “An Intimate Testimony”:
LIKE most Catholic newlyweds, neither my wife Lea nor I knew much about the Church’s teaching on birth control. It wasn’t mentioned in our “engagement encounter” course, nor at any other time during wedding preparations. We’d never heard a teaching from the pulpit on it, and it wasn’t something that we had thought to discuss much with our parents. And if our consciences were pricked, we were able to quickly dismiss it as an “unreasonable demand.”
So when our wedding day neared, my fiancée did what most women do: she started taking “the pill.”
About eight months into our marriage, we were reading a publication in which we discovered that the birth control pill can be an abortificant. We were horrified! Had we unknowingly ended the life of one—or several—of our own children? We quickly learned the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception and decided then and there that we were going to follow what Peter’s successor was telling us. After all, I was bothered by “cafeteria” Catholics who picked and chose whichever teachings of the Church they would follow and those they wouldn’t. And here I was doing the same thing!
We went to Confession shortly after and began to learn about the natural ways that a woman’s body signals the onset of fertility so that a couple can plan their family naturally, within God’s design. The next time we united as husband and wife, there was a powerful release of grace that left both of us weeping, immersed in a profound presence of the Lord. Suddenly, we remembered! This was the first time we united ourselves without birth control; the first time we truly gave of ourselves, one to the other fully, holding back nothing of ourselves, including the awesome power and privilege to procreate.
THE SPIRITUAL CONDOM
There is much talk these days about how contraception prevents pregnancy. But there is little discussion on what else it prevents—namely, the full union of husband and wife.
Contraception is like a condom over the heart. It says I am not fully open to the possibility of life. And didn’t Jesus say He was the way, the truth, and the life? Whenever we exclude or deter life, we exclude and deter the presence of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. For this reason alone, birth control has silently divided husbands and wives in ways they cannot comprehend. It has prevented the deepest unity of souls, and therefore, the deepest of unifying and sanctifying graces: life Himself, Jesus, who is the third partner of every sacramental marriage.
Is it any wonder that scientific surveys have found the following results among couples who do not use artificial contraception? They:
* have a dramatically low (0.2%) divorce rate (compared to 50% in the general public);
* experience happier marriages;
* are happier and more satisfied in their everyday lives;
* have considerably more marital relations;
* share a deeper intimacy with spouse than those who contracept;
* realize a deeper level of communication with spouse;
(To see the full results of Dr. Robert Lerner’s study, go to www.physiciansforlife.org)
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LOVE NEVER FAILS
Above all, the friendship with my wife since that decisive day has only grown and our love deepened, despite the growing pains and difficult days which come to everyone. It’s hard to explain, but when you permit God to enter into your marriage, even in its most intimate details, there is always a newness, a freshness that keeps one falling in love all over again as the creative Spirit of God opens up new vistas of union.
Jesus said to the Apostles, “Whoever listens to you listens to me.” I wish I had listened to the Holy Father sooner than I did.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32)