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Humanae Vitae: Day 27 Doctors and Nurses

To Doctors and Nurses

27. Likewise we hold in the highest esteem those doctors and members of the nursing profession who, in the exercise of their calling, endeavor to fulfill the demands of their Christian vocation before any merely human interest. Let them therefore continue constant in their resolution always to support those lines of action which accord with faith and with right reason. And let them strive to win agreement and support for these policies among their professional colleagues. Moreover, they should regard it as an essential part of their skill to make themselves fully proficient in this difficult field of medical knowledge. For then, when married couples ask for their advice, they may be in a position to give them right counsel and to point them in the proper direction. Married couples have a right to expect this much from them.

Obviously, doctors and nurses should never advise anyone to do anything that is contrary to the Gospel of Life, but Christian doctors and nurses should also be well-informed about the life issues.  They should know about those things that are contrary to the Gospel of Life, but they should also be able to direct couples who likewise want to be faithful to God’s plan for marriage.  They should know why In Vitro Fertilization, even if it done with good intentions, is by its nature contrary to the Gospel of Life and is therefore gravely sinful.  They should know about things such as Natural Family Planning so that they can help couples to understand it and its benefits.

Humanae Vitae: Day 26 The family Apostolate

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Family Apostolate

26. Among the fruits that ripen if the law of God be resolutely obeyed, the most precious is certainly this, that married couples themselves will often desire to communicate their own experience to others. Thus it comes about that in the fullness of the lay vocation will be included a novel and outstanding form of the apostolate by which, like ministering to like, married couples themselves by the leadership they offer will become apostles to other married couples. And surely among all the forms of the Christian apostolate it is hard to think of one more opportune for the present time (cf. Lumen Gentium 35, 41 and others).

In my own experience, I have seen this happen in parishes. Married couples who are faithful to the marital laws of the Church are happy couples with happy families. Yes, there are challenges, but they know that the grace of God is with them. Other couples see their joy and want to know what makes them so happy.

This builds up happy parishes with a solid Catholic culture. The Catechism calls the family “the original cell of social life” (2207) and says that the well-being of a society depends on families (cf. 2210). This is true of the parish as well. Strong Catholic families build up strong Catholic parishes. And it all begins with fidelity.

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

Humanae Vitae: Day 12

”Union and Procreation

12. This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.

The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called. We believe that our contemporaries are particularly capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason.”

Sex is ordered toward union and procreation.  Or as Dr. Janet Smith would say, sex is for babies and bonding.  This is how God ordained it.  This is His eternal plan, and man on his own initiative cannot break this inseparable bond.  Contraception, sterilization, sex outside of marriage, and homosexual acts are all contrary to God’s divine plan.

I think the last line was thrown in there to point out that this is common sense stuff.  It’s not merely a “religious” topic.  If you have sex, it is natural for the woman to get pregnant.  Pregnancy and fertility are not diseases that need to be treated.  Children are meant to be born within families where there is a father and a mother.  And Paul VI reminds us that “this teaching is in harmony with human reason.”

 

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)