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Thus contraceptives are used in an attempt to eliminate the opportunity for commitment and permanent bonding. The Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, birthed the greatest weapon against the kingdom of darkness. So Satan hates sexual purity and works to destroy male and female virgins with illicit sex.

All of this leads us to a lost generation riddled with emotionally deficient sexual encounters that often lead the participants down a path to multiple sexual encounters, divorce, disease and abortion. The situation is by no means hopeless. Courtships, as in non-sexual romantic activity, can lead to marriage. Dating often leads to sexual encounters without lasting commitment. If men and women come to understand Divine Purpose for Man Male and Female , with Male operating in Divine Authority and Female operating in Divine Influence, coupled together in marriage to produce strong babies who grow into strong men and women, the reality of abundant life increases.

Too long have women competed with men in an attempt to wrest authority from the spiritual head. With Christ as the head of every relationship, then men and women are free to live abundantly.

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As a mother, minister and family relationships counselor, I have experienced an increasingly favorable response to the growing movement to encourage abstinence, chastity, sexual purity, and marriage. All of us, as community activists - community servant leaders, as it were - we have a responsibility to lead by example, to teach, and to equip our communities with tools and information that will allow them to succeed in implementing action plans that foster healthy lifestyles. In I Corinthians 6: You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

May these words bring thoughtful reflection on this profound Encyclical. The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the future of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety. Please reflect on the implications of this quote as it relates to the sacredness of life, marriage and the family. What signs of hope are given by the author regarding the advancement of life, marriage and the family? Can you add some other signs of hope that encourage you? It is necessary to accept with integrity the body of belief which the Church, the Body of Christ, holds to be true.

While I cannot remember the details the priest shared that Sunday regarding Humanae Vitae, I can recall the sense of many people near to me. While the words may not be exact, they do express their sentiment: The Church does not have the right to tell us what to do regarding conjugal fidelity, contraception and the transmission of life. Like many, I bought into that thinking and wandered from the authority of the Church. As I earnestly examined texts like: I submitted to Christ and to the teaching authority given to the Church by Him.


On the other hand, Humane Vitae submitted to on His terms, helped lead me full circle to the Catholic Church and her divinely inspired teaching on the sanctity of life, marriage and the family. It is my sincere prayer that this Study Guide to Humanae Vitae will lead many wayward sons and daughters full circle and to accept with integrity the body of belief which the Church, the Body of Christ, holds to be true. Why is the theme On Whose Terms critical to how one lives out the Catholic faith?

Please share a similar experience that you may know of. Associate Director, Priests for Life. I was born in Brooklyn , New York in and grew up educated in Catholic schools. I am the oldest of four children, with fourteen years separating the oldest from the youngest. I graduated from college in and married in It was a time when my Catholic faith no longer seemed to make sense, and I gradually drifted away from the Church. At the same time, all my close friends were getting married, so marriage seemed like the next step to take - or so I thought.

I became engaged after dating my future husband for three months. From there things moved quickly towards our wedding day. At Pre-Cana classes the priest told us that depending upon the circumstances, birth control pills could be an option for us to consider. What I didn't realize was that this was bad advice in every way: As the oldest of four siblings, I had many years of experience dealing with diapers and babysitting, and felt that delaying the start of a family was a good idea. At this point in my life, then, both a priest and a doctor had legitimized the use of contraceptives, and so I began my journey down the slippery slope.

I started taking birth control pills three months before my wedding date. I had been a virgin up until then! I gave in to the pressure, and so my marriage got off to a bad start. When you begin marriage not knowing each other very well and then compound things by moving into a very intimate physical relationship, you set the stage for disaster. I continued taking the pill for two years. Once I was off the pill, I got pregnant immediately and gave birth to an absolutely beautiful baby girl.

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I threw all my attention into motherhood, and as a result wanted to delay having another baby. I went back on birth control pills until my daughter was thirteen months old. I then felt it was important for her to have a sibling, so I stopped taking the pill. Once again, I became pregnant almost immediately. The lesson I was teaching myself was this: No pill equals countless children! This time I gave birth to beautiful twin girls. By this time information was released showing the risk of clots and strokes associated with birth control pills.

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With a history of strokes in my family, I was afraid to go back on the pill. I didn't know about Natural Family Planning. In fact, the only natural method that I knew of was the old "rhythm" method, which was considered by most to be unreliable. Since my marriage was built on a physical relationship, you can imagine the amount of arguing and fighting that began. When the twins were three, I thought I was pregnant again. It was just a scare, but it was enough to make me do something really drastic: I had a tubal ligation.

I felt I had solved all my problems - or so I thought.

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I had embraced everything that the feminist movement promoted as being liberating and empowering for women. In reality, I had not been liberated; everyday I felt more trapped in a bad marriage. As my marriage continued its downward spiral, I focused more and more on my three daughters. The good news is that I became reconnected with my Catholic faith around this time. As I began to rediscover my faith and the teachings of the Church, I learned about God's beautiful plan for marriage, including Natural Family Planning.

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At the same time, I became aware of how birth control pills really worked. I had always thought that birth control pills simply prevented fertilization. Besides trying to prevent fertilization, the Pill also thickens the cervical mucus, which then acts as a barrier, preventing the sperm from getting to the egg. If both of these first two methods fail and ovulation and conception both occur, then the Pill acts to prevent the fertilized egg the newly conceived human being from implanting itself onto the side wall of the uterus.

The child is then aborted out of the body. I didn't feel the impact of this newfound information until several years later. As I began to watch a beautiful video showing the wonder of how life began, I realized what taking the birth control pills really meant: In the years that I had been taking birth control pills, I had been very sexually active.

I also knew that I was an extremely fertile woman.

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  • Given these facts, there is no doubt that I had successfully conceived new life many times, but had never given these little babies the chance to grow inside me. For the very first time in my life, I came to grips with the fact that I had not only shut myself off to life, but had also destroyed an unknown number of children.

    As I came out of that exhibit, there was a giant rushing water fountain nearby. I walked over to it and began to sob uncontrollably.

    Christian Life (Essay 3) - Diarmuid O'Murchu

    I stayed there for quite some time, absorbed in my sudden feelings of grief and remorse. This was the very first time I became aware of the full impact of what I had done. As I became more involved in pro-life work, I learned more about the damage that abortion does to women. Like postmodernism, it is a complex subject and open to a range of interpretations.

    Post-colonialism loosely designates a set of theoretical approaches which focus on the direct effects and aftermaths of colonization or colonialism , noting particularly how the colonizing influence is subverted in forms of human exploitation, normalization, repression and dependency cf. For instance, several postcolonial elements prevail in the way we teach history: Internalised oppression is one of the more pervasive consequences of the colonial mind-set. It can be understood in both systemic and personal terms.

    The political regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, as evidenced in the opening years of the 21 st century, highlights the systemic mimicry often noted in postcolonial studies. Having thrown off the imposing control of the external colonizer namely, the British , Robert Mugabe, and his cronies, have internalized the very domination they fought so hard to get rid of, and now impose it on the Zimbabwean people through forms of oppression and deprivation, some of which are worse than ever imposed by the British colonizers. The personal nature of internalized oppression is best exemplified in the sense of victimization incurred by abuse — physical, emotional or sexual.

    These feelings may be buried deep in the subconscious, until brought into conscious awareness deliberately as in therapy or accidently as in a traumatic experience. While the person feels victimized, the oppression is at work. When the person internalizes a sense of being a survivor rather than a victim , then freedom is more likely to ensue. Power and powerlessness tend to be the two dominant dynamics being played out — at both the personal and systemic levels. All the formal religions seem to embody this destructive quality of power. And in order to exert that control, people are made to feel unworthy, dependent, needing to suffer, and virtuous to the extent that they prove to be obedient.

    It is also in the religions that we see colonization and internalized oppression working hand in hand. Segovia and Sugirtharajah , in their analysis of the New Testament, surface several examples. They suggest that the iconic language of the Kingdom of God is a deliberate ploy to counter the rhetoric and power of the Kingdom of Rome Roman Imperialism. The bread does not change, it is the meaning for the recipient that changes. The opposition to transubstantiation, a doctrine considered by many to be holy, makes the Eucharist a sign of contradiction according to Catholic doctrine.

    According to Catholic theologians, the double-movement is shown in 1 the breakup of the Protestants into thousands of denominations, with different views on the Eucharist, which for Catholic doctrine is the source of Church unity. The practice of mortification , a way of following Christ's advice to his disciples to "renounce yourself, take up your cross, and follow me" is also usually attacked as sado-masochism , a search for pleasure through pain. Catholics believe, on the other hand, that it is through suffering and pain that Christians "complete in themselves the afflictions of Christ" as St.

    This means Christians see themselves as forming the "one mystical person" with Christ, and therefore should help people by loving and obeying God by undergoing pains and sufferings, thus making up for the sins of men. Views on the cross creates a division: Paul said "many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. The Jews demand signs miracles , and the Greeks wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified - to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness; but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God" 1 Corinthians 1: Whitehead in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic: The Early Church was the Catholic Church , [7] the sect being referred to here by the Jews is the early church of Christians.

    The Church and the early Christians, according to these Catholic theologians, are one with Jesus Christ. As an example, they say that when Paul was persecuting the early Church, Jesus Christ appeared to him and said: Why do you persecute me? The passage from the Acts of the Apostles is related to John This passage shows the double-movement depending on the two possible attitudes towards Christ: The early Christians, regarded as forming a pernicious sect by several authorities of the Roman Empire, are also seen as a sign of contradiction.

    Early Christians were called cannibals for reputedly eating the "body of Christ" , they were called atheists for not following the established Roman religion , they were also accused of burning Rome during the time of the Emperor Nero , and thus were tortured and burned as torches. Emperors after Nero also saw them as a threat to the unity of the Empire. Tertullian , an early Christian apologist, said that the persecution of the first Christians helped in propagating Christianity: These historians say that it was the Christian monks who eventually tried to keep intact the ancient culture in their monasteries.

    Many Catholic Church Fathers are also seen by theologians as signs of contradiction. A specific example is St. Athanasius or Athanasius of Alexandria , who defended the divinity of Christ, the basic reason behind the Christian religion, according to Patrologist Johannes Quasten. Quasten says that Athanasius was the deacon and secretary to bishop Alexander of Alexandria. As such he attended the Council of Nicea in where he fought for the defeat of Arianism and acceptance of the divinity of Jesus.

    Against Arius who said that Jesus Christ was not eternal and not God but a mere creature, Athanasius formulated the doctrine that Jesus Christ is "consubstantial" with the Father, a doctrine now known as "homoousios. Athanasius later became the Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt in When the Arians gained political power, Athanasius was exiled five to seven times, but was restored to authority each time. This gave rise to the expression "Athanasius contra mundum" or "Athanasius against the world. While Arius, his opponent, died in , Athanasius died in surrounded by the affection of his flock, and from then on revered as a great saint in Christendom.

    He has also been declared a Confessor of the faith and Doctor of the Church. After Ignatius of Loyola 's death and through the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the Jesuits became widely known as the schoolmasters of Europe, in part for their reputation as scholars and their demonstrated intellectual excellence as shown through the thousands of textbooks they authored. They were also known for their unity with the Pope, which was made explicit by taking a fourth vow: Their status in Europe greatly changed in when Pope Clement XIV gave in to pressure from groups across the continent.

    On the heels of the pope's suppression of the Jesuits , many of the Jesuit's educational institutions fell under state government control, and much of the Jesuit's books and teaching materials were subsequently destroyed. Over members of the order fled to Russia while over 20, others scattered throughout the world. Pope Pius VII lifted this suspension in and the Jesuits re-emerged as they were asked by many governments to return to the colleges they once gave up.

    The absolutist monarchs who had demanded the suppression had fallen by then, swept by the forces unleashed by the French Revolution of The period following the Restoration of the Jesuits in was marked by tremendous growth, as evidenced by the large number of Jesuit colleges and universities established in the 19th century. In the United States, 22 of the Society's 28 universities were founded or taken over by the Jesuits during this time.

    Another example of a sign of contradiction is the life of Pius VII. His was a difficult pontificate filled with moral and physical problems inflicted by Napoleon I whom the pope himself consecrated Emperor of the French in Notre Dame in Paris. The Columbia University Encyclopedia states: