So, for example, in answering this particular question of whether or not to avoid the likelihood of pregnancy, I am convinced that a husband must consider this from the standpoint of serving his wife. Not that he should simply defer to her judgment; for that would not be serving her, but abdicating his headship and avoiding his responsibility. Nor do I mean that he should chiefly be concerned about her feelings and desires, which are susceptible to the same sinful weaknesses as his own. Rather, it is a question of her life and health and strength and well-being. My opinion is that husbands and wives should normally not seek to avoid or reduce the likelihood of pregnancy; though I do not offer this opinion as a hard-and-fast law, but simply as a default rule of thumb. The norm, in other words, is that a husband and wife will gladly receive God's good gift and blessing of children, however few or many sons and daughters He may graciously choose to bestow upon them. So far, so good. But I am also suggesting that a departure from this norm may be pursued by a husband for the sake of his wife, in order to protect and care for her. In such a case, he is not acting apart from faith in God, but he is bearing the burden of love . . . .
In my own heart I perceived how easily I could be swayed by doubts and fears and a lack of faith, and I fled from proceeding along such a path. Instead, I took up the much different perspective — not only a different consideration, but a different way of thinking: in the way of the Gospel instead of the Law, for the sake of my neighbor instead of my self — whether my wife would be endangered or harmed by another pregnancy, or so burdened in her own mortal frailty as to be undone or brought low in grief and sorrow . . . .
18 July 2008
More deferring to our betters
Flat out great post from Father Rick, reminiscent of Gauntlets' reflections a while back which so many of us found beneficial. Of particular note: