One day while in the monastery I received a letter from Melissa. After reading it I wept for joy! Here is her story.
Raised Catholic, Melissa married a Catholic man and they had two wonderful sons, 6 and 8 years old. Melissa wanted no more children. She intended to find some interesting job that would satisfy the empty space she felt within.
Then one day she received a set of tapes in the mail. They were talks by Tom Hummer, a lay evangelist in Cleveland, Ohio.* The talks had been taped at a parish mission he had given. The first was on God’s Love. It stirred her soul; she ached for love, but didn’t know how to satisfy that deep need. She knew something was missing from her life, even though she had a loving husband and two wonderful sons. The next tape she listened to was on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This talk, too, touched her deeply. One day as she was driving down the road in the small town in which she lived, she felt an urgency to stop at the rectory and go to confession. She drove up to the rectory and knocked at the door. A priest answered. He had another appointment, but he rearranged his plans and heard her confession then and there. Mellisa had not been to confession since she was a child. She poured out her life story to the priest who sat before her ‘in persona Christi’. She wept, and shared the sins she had committed and even some of the sins that had been committed against her. Then Our Lord said to her through the lips of the priest, “I absolve you of your sins. Go in peace.” Into her soul rushed tremendous joy and peace and a great KNOWING that God loved her. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. That moment changed her entire life.
Sin blinds, and when this young woman was spiritually dead in sin she saw nothing wrong with the practice of contraception. After being restored to life spiritually, she began to see that contraception is indeed a grave offense against God. The marriage embrace is meant to be an icon of the Holy Trinity: the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father and Their live-giving love spirates the Holy Spirit. In order for sexual union to image the Trinity, the man and woman need to 1. be united in the covenant of marriage; 2. the act must be done out of love, not selfishness, and 3. they must be open to new life, to lovingly accepting any children the Lord may wish to give them through this union. If any of the above three elements are missing in a sexual union, it is not an image of God, but blasphemy, distorting His image.
With the light of grace shining in her soul, Melissa was now ready to surrender her life to God. She was open to life. They now have four beautiful, delightful children. Melissa home schools the children and their family is a light to her extended family, the Church and to the community.
Not only was the life of this mother dramatically changed that day by her confession, but her family has been greatly affected as well. Indeed, the entire world is affected by this young woman’s decision to choose life – spiritually for herself, and physically for the children she has now and any more that God may bless them with in the future. Imagine, if she had not confessed her sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this couple’s two youngest children would not be alive today.
It is true that married couples may have legitimate reasons to space or limit the number of children they wish to conceive. The Church recognizes that fact and approves, in such circumstances, the practice of Natural Family Planning. This is a scientifically proven method of planning births that is even more effective than artificial birth control. And Natural Family Planning (NFP) does not use women as guinea pigs for experimentation giving them drugs that can and do have many adverse side effects – some very serious and even life-threatening. Little is known of the dangers involved in using artificial contraception because large profits are made by the drug companies who sell them and by Planned Parenthood who promotes them; the truth is hushed. Many do not even know that most artificial contraceptives are abortifacients – causing the baby to be aborted from the mother’s womb soon after conception, perhaps even before she is aware that she has conceived.
NFP requires some self-discipline, and it, too, has side effects, but they are all positive! Self-discipline, self-sacrifice results in an increase of love and respect for the spouse, and even for oneself. Most importantly, it is in keeping with God’s law, and is life-giving for the soul. People who are willing to practice self-control, who love their spouse and are more interested in pleasing God and in the spouse’s good than in selfishly satisfying their own desires, are people of character and virtue. People who love God and live in His light, obeying His commands, have inner peace and are peace-makers.
Family life in the western world is in shambles. It is no coincidence that the breakdown of the family occurred simultaneously with the widespread use of contraceptives.
Contraception sometimes prevents conception, and sometimes kills the conceived; it spiritually kills those who practice contraceptive sex. Families have become breeding grounds NOT for new life, but for selfishness and hedonism. What was once fertile soil for character building has become training ground, through the example of parents, for self-seeking; pleasure, money, self-fulfillment, material goods, vacations, and other selfish pursuits have taken priority over cooperating with God in giving life so that God can create souls that will live for all eternity!
Millions of people have been duped into thinking that contraception is legitimate. It is not. It is evil, and is causing much harm to individuals and whole societies. If those who have been deceived into thinking otherwise would pray with an open heart and mind and ask God to show them the truth, He will surely do so.
“When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do His will. There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.” (Sir. 15:14-17)
P.S I just phoned Melissa and asked her to send a family picture I could include with this article. She answered on her cell phone. She told me that she was just coming from Vacation Bible School. She was in charge of the music (she has a beautiful voice). She told me that she had the children raise up their hands and faces as they sang to the Lord, and what a wonderful sight it was to see them singing to Him.
What great joy Melissa’s love for God brings to my heart! I can only imagine the joy she is bringing to the Heart of God!
* If you would like to order the talks by Tom Hummer, call 1-877-463-3461