Maryvale was teaching me a great deal. I learned about the Catechism and I learned what was taught in the Catechism. I took the step from understanding authority to understanding how the Church teaches infallibly and what was NOT a pick'n'mix way to do things.
So I was faced then with the question over contraception. I had always known the Church did not approve, but despite having read Humanae Vitae when I was 18 I had never grasped it, not its importance, and no one had explained it to me. In fact I had been told it was merely the pope's opinion.
Every Christian I knew contracepted. It was normal life.
Scott Hahn explained not only what the Church teaches but WHY She teaches as She does. As Karen has pointed out in the comments on the previous post, it destroys the Covenantel nature of the marriage. It is a barrier between husband and wife and between the couple and God.
I was surprised to learn the history and Biblical basis against the use of contraception and to see that no Christian ever accepted it as licit until the Anglican Church decided to allow it in certain circumstances at their Lambeth Conference in 1930.
I read a report in Touchstone recently that suggests this is because many married clergy were already contracpting and they wanted it made licit for their own sake.
Pius XI wrote Casti Connubii in response to the terrible decision by the Church of England.
Dr Janet Smith has an excellent talk on the whole nastiness of contraception.
I'll find her MP3s as well and do a post just on them.
Anyway I realised we needed to change our practice, but my beloved husband was not at all convinced. We went through a rather difficult phase where I wanted to use NFP and he did not.
I was not sure yet about what being 'open to life' meant. I thought we should still avoid pregnancy, but I was not sure what 'serious reasons' meant. We were skint and I was struggling to maintain a couple of part time jobs, the MA and the family-so I thought we had serious reason enough.
I went to Confession and was told my husband was right and I should not try and use NFP-that Humanae Vitae did not really say that. He pointed out that I should look after the children I had and not try and have any more.
Confused I fell back on my prayer for discernment and having researched some more I stuck to my guns on NFP and after some tape listening he agreed to change to NFP too.
So I charted-but I didn't get any lessons!! But partly my dear fellow NFPers is because the info says its EASY-well yes it is, but that does not take into account the utterly MASSIVE-Gi-
normousness of the shift in thinking from 'contraceptive thinking' to 'thinking with the Church'. It is not easy.
Meanwhile I was busy being terribly holy and telling God He could do with me as He liked.
Raw chicken began to smell really unpleasant and I desperately wanted to eat and even drink Marmite.
Yes-I was pregnant!