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Nickels, Dimes and Family Size
the diocese of scranton ^ | 02.23012 | Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.

Posted on 05/16/2018 2:05:50 PM PDT by Coleus

altA few years ago, I spoke with a young man preparing to get married. His aunt told him that she thought he and his fiancée were too financially-strapped to have a child, and that it wouldn’t be fair to bring up a baby in poverty. Keenly aware of his joblessness and his minuscule bank account, he concluded she was probably right.

 The young man and his fiancée were ready to tie the knot in a few months and they expected that she would be at the infertile phase of her cycle around the time of their honeymoon, so they would be able to consummate the marriage while avoiding bringing a child into the world. They agreed they would use Natural Family Planning (NFP) after that to avoid a pregnancy. A few years later when they felt financially secure, he told me, they would have their first child. He admitted, however, that he was conflicted about whether they were really being “open to life” in their marriage if they were going into it with this kind of forethought and intention of avoiding children.

In marriage, it can certainly be challenging to harmonize spousal love with the responsible transmission of life. Janet Smith and Christopher Kaczor, in an illuminating passage from one of their recent books, acknowledge this challenge and point to the need for a “spirit of generosity” when it comes to procreation:

“Pope John Paul II spoke of ‘responsible parenthood,’ in which a couple uses practical wisdom, prayer and a spirit of generosity in determining how many children they should have. Some Catholics believe that the Church permits the use of NFP only for reasons that verge on the truly desperate, such as a situation where a pregnancy would threaten a woman’s life or a family is living in dire poverty. Magisterial documents, however, state that spouses may have physical, psychological, economic or social reasons for needing to limit family size, using several different adjectives to describe those reasons: One can have ‘just’ reasons, ‘worthy’ reasons, ‘defensible’ reasons, ‘serious’ reasons and ‘weighty’ reasons. In short, the Magisterium teaches that spouses must have unselfish reasons for using NFP and limiting their family size.”

At times, then, our justifications for avoiding a pregnancy may merit further reflection and scrutiny on our part. When it comes to “poverty,” for example, would our poverty, in the true sense of the word, mean that the child would be malnourished and without warm clothing, or would it simply mean that he or she would forego some of the latest hi-tech gadgets that other children in the neighborhood might be enjoying?

I recall what a father of seven children on a tight budget once told me in a conversation: “Honestly, there’s always room around the table for one more, and with ‘hand me down’ clothing we always manage. And my goodness, isn’t it a momentous thing to receive that trust of preparing another soul for an eternal destiny with God?” His wife pointed out how the older children ended up helping with raising the younger ones, lessening the burdens on mom and dad, and turning it into a “team effort.”

The ancient Christian teaching on the two-fold purpose of marriage; namely, the “procreation and education of children,” and the “mutual help and sanctification of the spouses,” accurately summarizes the inner order of marriage. As the future John Paul II wrote in his great 1960 book Love and Responsibility, radical personal openness to both of these purposes is essential to the success and meaning of any marriage. We should never enter into marriage with active opposition to the very ends for which it exists. If a couple is preparing to embark upon marriage with the immediate intention of avoiding offspring (even if they are using morally acceptable means such as NFP), they perhaps ought to consider delaying the exchange of their vows until they have resolved the various impediments, whether financial, career-related, or personal, that are leading them to be closed to the idea of having children.

I recall hearing about another family that had six children. They didn’t have two nickels to rub together. After the father came down with mental illness, the mother had to support the family single-handedly. A clear-thinking woman with an unflinching faith, now elderly and reflecting on her past, she memorably remarked to her neighbor: “I’ve never seen the Lord send a child without also sending a lunch pail.” God, who is the very source of the immortal souls of our children, is a provident God who invites us to examine the heart of our marriages. He invites us to entrust ourselves to him, so that we might be courageous and authentically open to the gift of life he sends us in the midst of the marital embrace. 

Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See http://www.ncbcenter.org/


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: babybatter; catholic; children; childrencostafortune; demonseed; familysize; finance; kidlets; kids; kidsareexpensive; kidscostmoney; liverounds; marriage; prefernicestuff; pregnancy; pregnant
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Married couples need to put all their trust and faith in God and be open to life, open to the "gifts" God wants to bestow on them.

Today, even the wealthy have their token 1 or 2 children, money isn't the issue, it's convenience and time, the same excuse used for abortion.

1 posted on 05/16/2018 2:05:51 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus

You know what they call people who practice NFP?

Catholics?

No: Parents!


2 posted on 05/16/2018 2:20:26 PM PDT by willgolfforfood
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To: Coleus

Certain elements of our society don’t worry about this at all.


3 posted on 05/16/2018 2:21:55 PM PDT by GnuThere
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To: Coleus

This article glosses over the very real and daunting challenges facing the middle class with regard to having a large family. Hand me down clothes and older siblings helping out? Great. What about the enormous monetary costs? I mean c’mon.


4 posted on 05/16/2018 2:22:48 PM PDT by steel_resolve (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm)
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To: steel_resolve

Trust in the Lord; he will provide for those who keep his laws.


5 posted on 05/16/2018 2:29:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The ancient Christian teaching on the two-fold purpose of marriage; namely, the “procreation and education of children,” and the “mutual help and sanctification of the spouses,” accurately summarizes the inner order of marriage. As the future John Paul II wrote in his great 1960 book Love and Responsibility, radical personal openness to both of these purposes is essential to the success and meaning of any marriage. We should never enter into marriage with active opposition to the very ends for which it exists. If a couple is preparing to embark upon marriage with the immediate intention of avoiding offspring (even if they are using morally acceptable means such as NFP), they perhaps ought to consider delaying the exchange of their vows until they have resolved the various impediments, whether financial, career-related, or personal, that are leading them to be closed to the idea of having children.

Yet the very same denomination, the RCC, says Joseph and Mary did not have any children of their own.

Based on the above position of Roman Catholicism, they never should have entered into marriage.

Fortunately, we know the NT tells another story that Joseph and Mary did have kids of their own.

6 posted on 05/16/2018 2:36:49 PM PDT by ealgeone
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To: willgolfforfood
NFP worked perfectly for Mrs. RWA and me.

7 posted on 05/16/2018 2:41:23 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Kill: google,TWITTER,FACEBOOK,WaPo,Hollywd,CNN,NFL,BLM,CAIR,Antifa,SPLC,ESPN,NPR,NBA)
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To: ealgeone
"Fortunately, we know the NT tells another story that Joseph and Mary did have kids of their own."

The NT tells nothing of the sort.

8 posted on 05/16/2018 2:42:42 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard ( Flag burners can go screw -- I'm mighty PROUD of that ragged old flag)
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To: ealgeone

Are you sure you want to tell Catholics what to believe?


9 posted on 05/16/2018 2:47:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

“The Gospel only speaks of the virginity of the Virgin up to the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. All with reference to Jesus Christ.”—Blaise Pascal, Pensees 742 (Proofs of Jesus Christ).

Pascal had a high view of SCRIPTURE.


10 posted on 05/16/2018 3:01:52 PM PDT by avenir ("But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine."--Paul to Titus)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

“Fortunately, we know the NT tells another story that Joseph and Mary did have kids of their own.”
The NT tells nothing of the sort.”
——-

Yes, it does.


11 posted on 05/16/2018 3:13:10 PM PDT by Moonmad27
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

Well, if you read it the story is clear.


12 posted on 05/16/2018 3:17:27 PM PDT by ealgeone
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To: Salvation

All I’m doing is again comparing Roman Catholic sources with Scripture and once again Roman Catholicism comes up wanting.


13 posted on 05/16/2018 3:19:05 PM PDT by ealgeone
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To: Moonmad27

Are you trying to interpret the Scripture by yourself. YOPIOS style?

Have you ever heard a preacher say “Dear brothers and sisters?”

That’s how the words “brothers and sisters” was used in the New Testament — believers of the same faith — sometimes meaning relatives such as cousins.


14 posted on 05/16/2018 3:19:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Coleus

Liberals intentionally lie about the cost of having children to discourage the responsible from having them or having very many.
It does NOT cost a quarter million plus to raise a child.


15 posted on 05/16/2018 3:30:23 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: Salvation; Moonmad27
That’s how the words “brothers and sisters” was used in the New Testament — believers of the same faith — sometimes meaning relatives such as cousins.

There is a specific word for cousin in the Greek. It is used one time in the NT.

There is a specific word for relatives.

And lastly....context is your key to properly understanding the Scriptures. I know that is a new concept I've introduced to Roman Catholics on these threads....but it is a very, very important one.

16 posted on 05/16/2018 3:51:00 PM PDT by ealgeone
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To: willgolfforfood
You know what they call people who practice NFP?

Catholics?   No: Parents!  >>>

from the article

They agreed they would use Natural Family Planning (NFP) after that to avoid a pregnancy. A few years later when they felt financially secure, he told me, they would have their first child. He admitted, however, that he was conflicted about whether they were really being “open to life” in their marriage if they were going into it with this kind of forethought and intention of avoiding children.

It works if you practice self-control.

and btw, for those who use birth-control pills and other forms of IUD's, abort their children, conception takes place, implantation does not.  Then you have to factor in the birth-control pill and breast-cancer link.  It's not worth it.

17 posted on 05/16/2018 3:53:16 PM PDT by Coleus (For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.)
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To: ealgeone

.
The presumption that a papist has the slightest desire to understand scripture is usually way off base.
.


18 posted on 05/16/2018 3:53:21 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: ealgeone; Salvation

Interesting pints being brought up.

If Joseph and Mary did marry, then is the rc position that they never consummated? Or that they did, but God sent no more children?

If they didn’t consummate that is not a true marriage, even according to rc doctrine right? It could be annulled.

If they were having sex like husbands and wives are generally supposed to, why would God withhold children? Of course He can donas he likes.


19 posted on 05/16/2018 3:55:48 PM PDT by Persevero (Democrats haven't been this nutty since we freed their slaves.)
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To: Persevero; Salvation
If Joseph and Mary did marry, then is the rc position that they never consummated? Or that they did, but God sent no more children?

Official Roman Catholic dogma is Mary remained a virgin her whole life. Roman Catholics HAVE to believe that in order to be good Roman Catholics.

If they didn’t consummate that is not a true marriage, even according to rc doctrine right? It could be annulled.

That's my point...per what is posted in the article Joseph's and Mary's marriage is not a valid marriage in the eyes of Roman Catholicism as Rome says they were not going to have any children of their own and that is the purpose of marriage per Rome.

Roman Catholicism is in a bind on this one...though I doubt they will admit it. Roman Catholics don't like the discussion when these points are raised.

20 posted on 05/16/2018 4:02:46 PM PDT by ealgeone
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