How Could the Catholic Church Develop Its Teaching on Artificial Contraception?

Started by Vox Clara, November 11, 2022, 10:34:22 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Quote from: Instaurare omnia on November 17, 2022, 06:05:47 PM
Exactly. And for that reason, St. Gianna would be a role model of the most exemplary decision, even if it were to make some of those prospective couples a bit uneasy. Modernist educators love to use these sorts of "values clarification" exercises. Let's see them try this one.

Or how about Ruth Pakaluk?  She had cancer, and priests and doctors alike agreed that she could use NFP according to Church guidelines... but she and her husband decided to conceive another child even though this was a huge risk.  Sophie Pakaluk wouldn't exist if they hadn't made this decision.

Another poet who's published at the same online magazine told me about Mrs. Pakaluk and the book The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God by Michael Pakaluk (her husband) after my poem "Elegy for the Child Never Conceived" (my most popular poem so far) was published.  I have a link to it in an earlier post, but here's the text:

Elegy for the Child Never Conceived
by Joshua C. Frank

His would-be parents had but days;
The procreative ship sat docked,
And with the passengers' delays,
That ship is gone, forever locked,
But if, instead, he'd been conceived
And been allowed to live and die,
His soul could one day be received
In the embrace of God Most High.

And hence it grieves my heart to see
A child-shaped space unoccupied,
Not running in the grass with glee,
Nor leaning on his mother's side,
And no one in his space in bed
To kiss goodnight while tucking in;
No smiling face, no heart well-fed,
No warm caress from hands to skin.

When weighed against one human soul,
No sacrifice too great to give
Could ever be for such a goal
That one's own child may simply live.

For me, this is the strongest argument against NFP.  Anyone who feels the same way could do me a huge favor and spread it as far and wide as possible.  A friend of mine believes it could be responsible for a few miracles in an increasingly barren world.


Oh, and if you like that poem, I've got more:

Stay tuned for another one on the theme of NFP on December 9.


Correction: December 30.  The one for December 9 is an anti-abortion poem.


And a poem about the Pakaluks' heroic decision, scheduled for January 13.


As promised:

Two Empty Chairs

"We did the NFP [natural family planning] bit for
awhile [sic]... and have felt revulsion over it ever since.
During that time we might have had at least two more
children."  —Letter to the Editor, Seattle Catholic, 2002

Two empty chairs, each in its place—
The kitchen table's vacant space,
Where our six children see the chill
Of unworn seats, both standing still
Like Tiny Tim's by the fireplace.

We timed the marital embrace
To procreate at slower pace.
That empty phrase means none shall fill
Two empty chairs.

Our family planning did erase
Two precious souls we can't replace;
We chose ourselves above God's will.
Their nonexistence buys each frill,
And never shall their presence grace
Two empty chairs.

The No-Life Algorithm

based on a letter to the editor of Seattle Catholic, 2002

The priest gave papers teaching birth control
Through tracking monthly cycles, maddening us
With calendars and charts and stickers, full
Of codes far more complex than C++!
Thank God we've never tracked the monthly rhythm;
The papers, shredded up, we've never missed.
For, had we learned the no-life algorithm,
Which of our seven children would exist?

Would it be Mary, Peter, Anne, or John,
Or Paul, Elizabeth, or Catherine
Whose lights of life would never even dawn
Because avoiding children seemed a win?
Well, all I know is this: I'd rather give
My life than not allow my kids to live.

Poet's note: C++ (pronounced "see-plus-plus") is a computer programming language, criticized for its complexity even by some notable programmers.


Joshua C. Frank found this poem in the 1951 book by
Archbishop Sheen titled Three to Get Married.

by John Davidson

Your cruellest pain is when you think of all
The honied treasure of your bodies spent
And no new life to show. O, then you feel
How people lift their hands against themselves,
And taste the bitterest of the punishment
Of those whom pleasure isolates. Sometimes
When darkness, silence, and the sleeping world
Give vision scope, you lie awake and see
The pale sad faces of the little ones
Who should have been your children, as they press
Their cheeks against your windows, looking in
With piteous wonder, homeless, famished babes,
Denied your wombs and bosoms.

Michael Wilson

"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers


As promised:

For Sophie Pakaluk Barrows

based on The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God by Michael Pakaluk

Before God made her soul and mind,
Before her parents' genes entwined
To start life's spark,
To them each priest and doctor bade
That no more children should be made
To board life's barque.

For if her mother were with child,
The hormones might spread cancer wild
From one stray sprout,
And anti-cancer weapons, maybe,
Could be fatal to the baby;
They'd be ruled out.

With eyes of faith the future seeing,
They brought their daughter into being—
No unmade waif.
No grounds were there for doctors' fears—
The cancer stayed away for years!
The birth was safe.

Although her mother still is missed,
She's still so grateful to exist
By their endeavor.
Thanks to her parents' sacrifice,
Someday she'll live in Paradise
With God forever.

Poet's note: Sophie Pakaluk Barrows was born on April 16, 1993.  She is now a farm wife and assistant director to a high school Shakespeare Troupe in Maryland.  She has four children as of the writing of this poem.