In closing, one cannot of course ignore the fact that some women may also be, through no fault of their own, the victims of animalistic savage behaviour by men. This sometimes results in these women becoming pregnant and having to carry with them the daily reminder of this horrific event. On this I cannot write. I would simply not be able to do the subject any justice. My answer would serve no purpose except to show my complete lack of understanding and appreciation of a women faced with this situation. I therefore leave this to those more able than me to do so.
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Does Humanae Vitae Explain Love or Contraception?
Last night I treated myself to the DVD “Paul VI – The Pope In The Tempest”. The movie is just over 3 hours long and is in Italian. It has English sub-titles so it requires concentration all the way through because I don’t understand a word of Italian. Anyway, I didn’t want to tell you about my concentration skills. There are, as it should be, obviously a number of scenes in the movie regarding the decision by Pope Paul VI to issue his controversial encyclical “Humanae Vitae – On The Regulation Of Birth” in 1968.
I have seen this movie a few times before. I have a collection of movies, such as this one, that I haul out occasionally to supplement the, more often than not, non-existence of anything worthwhile to watch on TV in South Africa. I have of course also read Humanae Vitae. Last night however some thoughts came to me, while watching the scenes about the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which I thought I would blog about today. I am sure these are not fresh ideas. In fact, I am sure the average reader will wonder why it has taken me so long to get here. Please be patient, I am a slow learner.
Humanae Vitae is about the love between a husband and wife. Yes, sex is pleasurable or we wouldn’t want to do it. I am sure that this was exactly why God created it to be pleasurable. He wanted husband and wife to enjoy these intimate moments together. However, despite the fact that sex is pleasurable and fun, it is first and foremost always an expression of a husband and wife’s love for each other.
Sex is and must always be understood, to be the physical expression of Love between a husband and wife. The great miracle of this expression of Love, is that sometimes Love, expressed between a husband and wife, converts from something that is just an intangible emotion or intellectual thing, into a living being. Love miraculously becomes tangible. Love literally comes alive. It becomes alive for the husband and the wife to experience together outside of the bedroom. When a husband and wife show you their child, they show you their Love for one another in a physical form.
It is therefore obvious that all Humanae Vitae is surely teaching us is that, when married couples artificially block the ability for their Love to miraculously convert into a living human being, they are actually saying to one another and to the world, they have limits on the extent to which they actually Love each other.
It is true that sometimes, for a variety of valid reasons, it may not be appropriate for a married couple to have another child at that time. That does not however mean that the expression of Love – sex – now converts from an expression of Love into a purely animal act of selfish pleasure. No, now sex continues to express Love for one another. However, this time, sex expresses Love by its absence during those times when the wife could fall pregnant. The husband and wife say, I Love you so much that we will abstain now, because this is what is good for us and our other children right now. And if, for whatever reason and despite being careful and practicing abstinence, Love manifests into a child anyway, they accept it as an expression of Love, trusting God to help them to cope. Beautiful.
Sex, understood as an expression of a married couples love for one another, also then leaves no need to explain why we should refrain from such expression with any person that is not our spouse. If we don’t and we continue to have sex with someone who is not our spouse, we say, by this action, that we have no free will. We say quite loudly and very clearly, both about ourselves and the other person in the sexual act, that we have become nothing more than animals. We have lost our ability to practice self-control or to think rationally.