For a while now, I have been trying to write a post on being open to life. I started thinking about this when I heard or read comments about “planning” children or postponing children because of upcoming plans or deciding to be done because the next baby would require the purchasing of the dreaded minivan.
As a Catholic, I trust Holy Mother Church and Her teachings on family planning. I embrace the teachings of Pope Paul VI in Humane Vitae. I trust in God. I know God will not give us more than we can bear, emotionally, physically and financially.
God has never let us down. He has never given us more than we can handle. When I look back at our budget sheets from our first two years of marriage, I wonder, how did we do it? How were we able to put food on the table and a roof over our head? Yet, in that time, we paid our bills on time, did not have a lotÂ of extras, and we trusted our fertility to God.Â In just over two years of marriage we had two babies to care for on Earth and one to intercede for us in Heaven. God has since blessed us with two more wonderful babies and we hope to be blessed with more.
As I stated in my first paragraph, I often hear reasons for why couples are avoiding or postponing pregnancy, reasons that seem to overlook Church teaching on being open to life. It seems that people are not open to life in the way the Church intends and I pray that couples will ask for guidance and seek out fidelity in the matter of openness to life.
Children, too, are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. (Ps 127:4)
Beth, I appreciate and admire your openness to life. God has blessed you abundantly. The church teaches that our free will is important to God – He gave it to us as one of our first gifts. With that in mind, those who use Natural methods of Family Planning are in no way going against our Creator. He made us “co-creators” with him – giving us the free will to decide on the size of our families. Of course, being open to life means that when those “unplanned pregnancies” come along, we are fully willing to participate responsibly and reverently with the utmost respect for the gift of new Life that God has given. Remember, that God often DOES ask more than we can handle. St. Gianna made the ultimate sacrifice for her child. Her whole family suffered a great loss because of her openness to life. She did not die happy – she was heart-broken but so in love with our Lord that she could not have done anything differently. This heavy burden – much too great to bear – was only tolerated because this family knew of God’s great Mercy and Love! He helped them through every unimaginably painful part of this journey. I agree that not wanting to get a mini-van is a pretty lame reason for avoiding pregnancy. I think when someone speaks this way, they are hiding a very personal part of themselves that struggles with knowing God’s will for them. For those of us who are done having children, our focus is on educating those we have for eternity. As a Catholic Mother, I also realize my call to be “Mother” to the whole human race, modeling after our Blessed Mother. I am called to aid humanity in not falling – a big task! I embrace this state of life, will always cherish the baby-raising days – and am eternally grateful for the three beautiful children God gave me and… marvel daily at the beautiful women they are becoming. God Bless the Face Fam!!!