Monica says: My husband Tom and I have been married for 10 years and have six children. We recently joined a Catholic group in our parish for prayer and discussion.
We are very happy with both the prayer and discussion part, however lately we have been receiving off-hand comments from a few of the participants about the number of children we have and suggestions like “hopefully, that’s the end.” One man even told us that we are “too close to the Church and too far from the drugstore.”
Tom is very upset with this and thinks we should not go back to this group and seek our spiritual faith-life in another parish. Tom is not afraid to speak his mind and I am concerned he may cause a scene at one of the meetings.
Tom says: Monica and I initially had problems conceiving a child in our marriage. We were very grateful when God sent our first child to us and, after praying together about it, we decided that we would be open to whatever number of children God would decide to send to us. I am fortunate to be blessed with a very good job, so Monica is able to be a stay-at-home mother and we are financially secure in raising our family.
I will not tolerate snide remarks about the size of our family from our so-called fellow Christians. “Children too are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward” (Psalm 127: 3).
What do they do?
When the Catholic Church describes the blessings inherent in parenthood, it consistently uses the phrase, “responsible parenthood.” The procreation of life should not be left to chance, or to blind fate. A responsible decision concerning the creation of new life demands a serious, honest discussion between the husband and the wife. It must be a shared decision. To decide responsibly involves consideration of the personal, social, economic, biological and mental health of the existing family unit.
Monica and Tom appear to have had, and continue to have, the discussion all couples should have concerning the size of their family. Their state of life and finances appear to be sufficient to support the large number of children God has sent to them.
Rather than receiving negative comments about their family-size decisions, Monica and Tom should be receiving respect and support from the members of their parish.
Tom needs to dial down his irritation with the negative comments and show some Christian charity on his part toward those who speak them, hopefully winning them over with his patience and forbearance. “He who reviles his neighbor has no sense, but the intelligent man keeps silent” (Proverbs 11:12).
Monica and Tom, give your current group another chance, placing your trust in the Holy Spirit, and perhaps your example and leadership may persuade others to re-examine their own family planning thoughts and ideas.
“My foes turn back when I call on you. This I know. God is on my side. God, I praise your promise; in you I trust, I do not fear” (Psalms 56: 10-12).
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In the wonderfully Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia, I have had a deacon’s wife openly tell a prayer group that there’s nothing wrong with contraception. Pastor’s response was to put her and her husband in charge of PreCana.
I’ve been told by a Catholic schoolteacher that she and her husband had “fixed that little problem.” And I have heard many snide comments about our five children.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Stephen, I check my mucus. Couples who practice NFP use what they know about a woman’s fertility to promote their chances of conceiving or to delay sexual involvement to avoid pregnancy…usually for a good reason. My husband and I really wanted children. We lost four babies. I needed some time for my body and emotions to heal. We used NFP for a year and then felt we could face another pregnancy and now have a son.
I do not consider us “do good phonies” but an ordinary couple who has tried our best. We have tried to learn about true Church teaching.
I do not know what kind of a Catholic you represent. You obviously like Planned Parenthood, so are you a catholic that approves of the in utero destruction of babies and harvesting their body parts that PP facilitates…with my tax dollars?
I agree with your question: Where are the Catholics in Philly?
If Baptized Catholics call themselves Catholic, like you do, and are so judgmental, critical, and support PP there are very true Catholics left in our City. Stephen, it may be time for you to reevaluate your “Catholic” sense, because surely your arrogance and know-it-all attitude do not make you appear Christ-like…and certainly not a “do gooder.”
Tom doesn’t need to “dial down” his irritation. Tom’s level of disgust is completely justified. If that guy who said they were “too close to the Church and too far from the drugstore” makes that comment again, Tom should reply by demanding that the guy specifically explain what he means. When the guy admits that he means that Tom and Monica should use birth control, Tom should be blunt with the guy and tell him that he’s wrong for disagreeing with Church teachings and that he’s not a good enough Catholic. Hopefully, that will shut him up and send a message to the rest of them.
Who gets babysitting for 6 kids and uses it to go to a parish discussion group? Are you swimming in childcare or something?
I deal with enough difficulties raising a big family in the world–I don’t need self-professed Catholics piling on. I’d depart the parish, and send a letter to the priest explaining why.
CCC 2373 Sacred Scripture and the Church’s traditional practice see in large families a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity.
To the couple who asked the question: please come to Mass at Our Lady Of Lords. There is a beautiful Traditional Latin Mass every Sunday. Large families welcome.
Since this is a “prayer and discussion group” how about a discussion about the Catholic teaching on contraception (which sure doesn’t include a drugstore) and about being “too close to the Church”. Tom doesn’t need to go off in anger on these misguided people, but since this is supposed to be a spiritual group associated with a Catholic parish–a little more Catholic teaching (and charity by those making the snide comments) would be a prescription.
What happens to couples who have five children and suddenly the husband and father loses his job and his wife gets cancer? Do they have a right to kill all those under three? After all, that would be the responsible thing to do according to this article. Also, it is not Christian Charity to go along with the world. Those souls are headed for hell. The serious and charitable Catholic admonishes them and doesn’t mind insulting their unchristian attitude for the love of God and their souls. Get out of that Parish. It is anti Life and Anti God. They want to be God and usurp the rights of the Creator. They sound like a bunch of demons to me.
Boy, I agree with you James. I would say to Tom to confront charitably these ‘parishioners’ with true Catholic Doctrine. The person who made the comment to him that they were ‘too close to the Church and too far from the drugstore’ needs correction, charitably but firmly. And then again, maybe this isn’t even the right ‘prayer group’ or ‘Parish’ for this couple. It sounds like a N.O. politically correct Parish.
I am surprised to discover that leaving matters of life up to the Lord to decide is called leaving things “up to chance, or blind fate.” I thought God is sovereign. Has Church teaching changed?
With my wife and I raising 11 children, similar to the couple mentioned, we also received similar remarks from “fellow Catholics”. Mostly done in joking fashion we laughed and retorted with our own equally joking jab in favor of large families. There is one thing missing and fail to mention. How many of these parishioners contracept? Judging from the national polls, at least 85% do. Given that their open dissent from Church Teaching is pretty obvious, Christian Charity can come in the form of Spiritual Works of Mercy of “admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant”. It appears Toms “negativity” is really the work of mercy and it is the parish that needs to “dial it back”, not Toms. In all reality you don’t dialogue with evil. You confront it. Good work Tom
“When the Catholic Church describes the blessings inherent in parenthood, it consistently uses the phrase, “responsible parenthood.” The procreation of life should not be left to chance, or to blind fate. A responsible decision concerning the creation of new life demands a serious, honest discussion between the husband and the wife. It must be a shared decision. To decide responsibly involves consideration of the personal, social, economic, biological and mental health of the existing family unit.”
Complete garbage. Every word. Does God and His will have any part to play in your contraceptive puzzle, “Deacon”? Or is it simply non-binding gibberish spewed by modernist churchmen such as you?
To the good folks who have been open to God’s will and been blessed with many children: run like the wind from this diseased novus ordo parish. Shake the dust off your feet and don’t go back, ever.
“When the Catholic Church describes the blessings inherent in parenthood, it consistently uses the phrase, “responsible parenthood.” The procreation of life should not be left to chance, or to blind fate.”
Could the author of this article (1) explain the difference between the terms: “chance”, “blind fate”and “Divine Providence”; (2) Explain the difference between the terms : “the blessings inherent in parenthood” vs “every child is a GIFT (or a Blessing) FROM GOD; and (3) Explain where God comes into this guidance supposedly given by a “catholic” publication: “responsible decision concerning the creation of new life demands a serious, honest discussion between the husband and the wife. It must be a shared decision. To decide responsibly involves consideration of the personal, social, economic, biological and mental health of the existing family unit.” and reconcile this guidance with God’s first command to Adam and Eve: “And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it,” Genesis 1:28
Here’s what happens to those who claim to work for Jesus Christ but actually work for the devil: “If there rise in the midst of thee a prophet or one that saith he hath dreamed a dream, and he foretell a sign and a wonder, And that come to pass which he spoke, and he say to thee: Let us go and follow strange gods, which thou knowest not, and let us serve them: Thou shalt not hear the words of that prophet or dreamer: for the Lord your God trieth you, that it may appear whether you love him with all your heart, and with all your soul, or not. Follow the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and hear his voice: him you shall serve, and to him you shall cleave. And that prophet or forger of dreams shall be slain: because he spoke to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of bondage: to make thee go out of the way, which the Lord thy God commanded thee: and thou shalt take away the evil out of the midst of thee.” Deut 13:1-5
“The procreation of life should not be left to chance, or to blind fate”
Absolutely Not! What we need it Planned Parenthood!
Check my mucus would ya honey?
Who does that?
For God sake the real laity needs to take the church back from these do-gooder phonies.
Are there any Catholics left in Philly?
I found the answer to be inconsistent with what the Church taught for centuries. When a couple is married, they are agreeing to be open to as many children as God wills to send them. This new pop psychology is very dangerous and actually part of the contraceptive mentality that has infected the NFP crowd. Most of the Christians ever born would not have satisfied the idea of “responsible parenthood.” Were the Hebrews in slavery in Israel parenting responsibly? Were pregnancies which occurred during times of war, famine, plagues, etc… responsible? What has happened to trusting in God the Father to provide for our needs? My husband and I also have a large family. We can provide for them not because we timed our children to coincide with an increase in our finances. We put our faith in God’s will, not our own. He has never failed to give us what we NEED. Not what we want, what we NEED. And yes, it is very annoying when Catholics hear these comments from other (supposed) Catholics. The individuals who say these things show their inability to believe that God will provide. We are called to a radical faith, not a convenient faith. Responsible parenthood is responsibly accepting the will of the Father in Heaven.
Amen Judy, excellent response.