I have a new article up at NewEvangelizers.com.
Pope Paul VI was just canonized a saint.
Our reflections on Humanae Vitae have been building to its ultimate purpose, the one to which Pope St. Paul VI has been directing us. Almost all of the ink spilled on this document has focused on its negative commands. In other words, Humanae Vitae is remembered primarily as the Church’s most important “no” statement to the question of contraception.
And to be sure that has been a strong focus of this series. To be a true Christian to often to stand in defiance to the world and to say “no.”
But as with any moral teaching, the “yes” has more spiritually fruitful consequences than the “no.”
It is essential that we avoid sin, but that is not the end in itself. As a child, if I refrain from hitting my little sister, that is good. But the end is not simply to not hurt my sibling. My parents raised me so that I would care about her to the point where hurting her would be unthinkable. Submitting the will to the Church’s teaching is good. But it is better to mold your character, and in this case your marriage, to where contracepting is unthinkable.
Saying “yes” to Humanae Vitae is saying yes to a holy marriage.
Now, to be sure, avoiding contraception is not sufficient by itself for a holy marriage. But it is essential. Why?