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Does the Contraceptive Mentality Exist?


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  #1  
May 16th, 2012, 12:14 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Very well written piece on Faith & Family today!

Faith & Family Live! : Does The Contraceptive Mentality Exist?
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  #2  
May 16th, 2012, 12:52 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Thanks for sharing. I hadn't seen this article. I admit, I don't tire of the NFP conversation because it one of my hugest struggles and I like to read other people's take on it. I want to properly form my conscience but I feel like I've been trying to do so for years now and have not found peace on the issue. I want to quote part of what she wrote:
"When I hear people talk about “contraceptive mentality,” what I picture is the young converts in my parish RCIA class who have to make a huge leap in the interior forum to accept magisterial authority in several matters of sexuality. Or of the young couples who come through my marriage preparation classes, almost all of whom are cohabiting and on the pill because not one single parent, grandparent, teacher, friend or priest has ever taught them otherwise and are making a heroic leap of faith and change of practice by deciding to abide by Church teaching. Or of young grad student couples in my neighborhood who are earnestly and sincerely trying to be holy and generous and who live on one grad student stipend so the mom can stay home with a new baby.

Are we trying to terrify these people?

Or undermine their sincere, but shaky, resolve? Because that’s what it seems like to me. They do the right thing—put their faith in God and avoid sin—and we seem to me to pummel them with burdens that are not yet theirs to face—or worse, to tempt them to give up more easily because if they already have a “contraceptive mentality,” maybe they should just go back on contraception?

For pity’s sake, let them get their sea-legs, and as both grace and experience grow in them, they will get better."

I agree that a couple's decision is nobody else's business but the full teaching on NFP should be taught. It doesn't need to be pounded into a couple but it almost seems like she is suggesting we hold off on giving the full truth - just get the couple off contraception and get them to use NFP and through practice of NFP they will come to the full truth. I do not think it is good to withold the truth from a couple in this situation out of fear it will scare them away.
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  #3  
May 16th, 2012, 01:15 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't think she's saying to withhold the truth, but there are people out there witnessing about NFP who harp on and on about the "contraceptive mentality." I think that's more of what she is addressing. Not just teaching that our reasons for TTA should be just (as in, not frivolous), but those who really feel that you should be on death's door in order to have a serious enough reason to TTA. That kind of fear-mongering, which isn't what our faith teaches anyway and doesn't do anything to help newcomers to NFP overcome their fears about it!

I think what she's saying is our attitudes are often not entirely in line with our actions; but the important thing is to do what's right and grace will transform our attitudes along the way. Yet some NFP advocates put a lot of pressure on people to have the perfect attitude in place before embracing NFP; as though the accompanying attitude or mentality can somehow render the action as mortally sinful as contraception. That's not the case at all. How can a couple's attitude be transformed when they are blocking out His grace through the mortal sin of contraception? The blockage has to be removed before the doors of their hearts will be open to grace again. So maybe there is something to not putting undue burden upon couples as they make that initial step? Help them remove the blockage of sin first so that they can grow in holiness along the way after?
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  #4  
May 16th, 2012, 04:07 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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I think that blogging is wonderful but it does allow for people to vent, get on a soap box, or judge more than they might otherwise.
I do agree with what you said about doing what is right and grace will transform our attitudes along the way in the sense that using ABC is wrong and therefore stopping the use of it would be a morally good thing and grace will come from that. I think using NFP is a morally neutral act - good if used with the right intentions and bad if not. Not to say the sin of using NFP selfishly would ever equal the sin of ABC because it does not.
In terms of what she said about people new to NFP I guess I think teachers or those promoting it should present the truth - maybe HV and the CCC - and then not try to make and kind of commentary as to what would be or wouldn't be valid reasons. If I were a teacher I guess that is what I would feel best about and then if further questions would ask I would provide more resources from Church authority and/or suggest the couple talk to a priest or spiritual advisor.
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  #5  
May 16th, 2012, 04:22 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDG View Post
In terms of what she said about people new to NFP I guess I think teachers or those promoting it should present the truth - maybe HV and the CCC - and then not try to make and kind of commentary as to what would be or wouldn't be valid reasons. If I were a teacher I guess that is what I would feel best about and then if further questions would ask I would provide more resources from Church authority and/or suggest the couple talk to a priest or spiritual advisor.
I think that's very wise.
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  #6  
May 16th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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There is a line in the article: “serious ones, with due respect to moral precepts." It is talking about why not to have kids...if pregnancy is seriously more than I can handle again, is that serious enough? Right now I think also serious enough is our financial situation, but that might change some day...I don't think the "I can't handle another pregnancy" will change.
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  #7  
May 16th, 2012, 05:01 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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well, like I said above, I don't think it is my place to give an opinion on any specific situation. If it is something you are unsure of now, or in the future, I think it is best to seek out the advice of a holy priest who you are sure is in line with Church's teachings in this matter.
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  #8  
May 16th, 2012, 05:08 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJD3Tdance View Post
There is a line in the article: “serious ones, with due respect to moral precepts." It is talking about why not to have kids...if pregnancy is seriously more than I can handle again, is that serious enough? Right now I think also serious enough is our financial situation, but that might change some day...I don't think the "I can't handle another pregnancy" will change.
Those can certainly be serious enough reasons, if that's where your discernment has led you! If you have any uncertainties about how to discern whether you have just reasons for TTA with NFP, talk to your priest or spiritual director.
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  #9  
May 16th, 2012, 09:42 PM
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If it were you, how would you talk to him? Like would you set up an appointment? And would you for sure bring your dh along...cuz I'm seeing that could be a problem...

DH I think is 100% over the idea of any more. If I could have a great pregnancy guaranteed and dh had a really solid job I could easily change my mind. However, I can't guarantee that first one.
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  #10  
May 16th, 2012, 10:18 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yes, an appointment. Tell him you need some help with discernment or spiritual direction. Certainly include DH if he's open to that!
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