Hi, guys —
I understand that sexual intercourse within
marriage should only be done to introduce
new life into the world.
- Does that mean if a couple only wants
two (2) children, they can only engage
in it twice,
or however many times it takes to bring
forth two (children|new lives)?
- When else are they allowed to engage in
- If you're going to bring up the topic
of a woman's cycle as natural
birth control, isn't that contraceptive as well?
Thanks in advance.
Is the number of times spouses wish to copulate limited to the number of children they want? }
Your premise is not entirely true.
It's not that sexual love can be
expressed only when a child is in
mind, but rather, the potentiality
of a child should not be intentionally
blocked. Love and life is the natural
double meaning of sexual intercourse,
but both don't always have to be
As long as there is no intent to
contracept then intercourse between
spouses is morally legitimate.
Yes, Natural Family Planning (NFP)
is a moral option when it comes to
spacing children for
non-selfish reasons; and, no, it
is not contraceptive. It is cooperating
with the design and purpose for which
God created us rather than contradicting
it. In other words, NFP or periodic
abstinence does not violate natural
Take two people who want to maintain
their weight for a beauty contest
they're in next week.
One diets by skipping a meal, now
and then, while the other enjoys
heavy calorie-laden meals
but vomits afterwards. They both
achieve the same goal: neither gained
- Which of the two did it morally?
Same principle applies to NFP. Contraception
is akin to sexual bulimia.
Hi, Anonymous —
You have an incorrect understanding
of the Catholic view.
The Catholic view is that every act
of intercourse must be open
to life, that is to say, must
not involve any deliberate elements
that throw up barriers to new life.
It doesn't mean that each act has
to produce a child; no one has control
over that but God. Thus it is legitimate
for a couple to have conjugal relations
when the woman is not fertile, because
you are working within the natural,
God-ordained purpose and use of marriage,
not attempting to thwart them.
In general, couples should be generous
and open to life. The attitude of:
"I want exactly 2.1 children."
should be foreign to a Christian's
mind as that's not what God calls
us to. We must not be conformed to
this world but to the kingdom of
God. If there are grave reasons,
couples can use techniques such as
Natural Family Planning (not to
be confused with the much less effective
rhythm method) to space their
advantage of periods you know the
woman is not fertile (from physical
signs). Those using NFP are still
open to life and still leaving things
in God's hands, as opposed to forcing
the body into an unnatural state
in an attempt to totally exclude,
as much as possible, conception.
Put another way, NFP reduces the
chances for conception but is not
intended to go against (contra) it, in the sense of thwarting the
natural and healthy workings of the
It's like, if you are parents and
you want to have a private discussion
with your spouse. You might go into
the bedroom and shut the door so
the kids will stay out. Now you can
lock the door, preventing them from
coming in and excluding them entirely,
or you can merely shut it, sending
the signal that they should avoid
coming in, but not preventing them
from doing so in an emergency.
Hi, Anonymous —
Just to add to what Paul and Eric
have said, within the marital covenant,
sexual intercourse is always greatly encouraged for two reasons:
- babies, and
- the bonding of spouses
As both my colleagues pointed out,
there should never be an obstacle
to new life at any time.
Despite what our modern culture says,
God didn't put any limits on family
size, but said,
Go forth and
multiply. (Genesis 1:26-31)
Through a shared prayer life and
spousal conversation, the Lord will
tell any couple how big your family
should be, despite what our culture
tells you. I know of one family with
10 children and another family with
I would recommend a very good article
by world-renowned teacher Janet E.
Why Not? (Audio)
We get a lot of questions that deal
with an array of sexual issues.
All men and women deal with the after
effects of original sin. This is
Although, due to this fallen nature,
our minds and bodies may be drawn
to see the Church's view on sexual
the Church of No.
when we step back and learn about
our nature and our passions through
what the Catechism teaches, we will
begin to see the Church's view on
these issues as:
the Church of Divine Logic and
True Love (for our well being).