It is frequently asserted that contraception, if made safe and available to all, is the most effective remedy against abortion. The Catholic Church is then accused of actually promoting abortion, because she obstinately continues to teach the moral unlawfulness of contraception. When looked at carefully, this objection is clearly unfounded. It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the \"contraceptive mentality\"-which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act-are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived. Indeed, the pro- abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected. Certainly, from the moral point of view contraception and abortion arespecifically different evils: the former contradicts the full truth of the sexual act as the proper expression of conjugal love, while the latter destroys the life of a human being; the former is opposed to the virtue of chastity in marriage, the latter is opposed to the virtue of justice and directly violates the divine commandment \"You shall not kill\".
Within this same cultural climate, the body is no longer perceived as a properly personal reality, a sign and place of relations with others, with God and with the world. It is reduced to pure materiality: it is simply a complex of organs, functions and energies to be used according to the sole criteria of pleasure and efficiency. Consequently, sexuality too is depersonalized and exploited: from being the sign, place and language of love, that is, of the gift of self and acceptance of another, in all the other's richness as a person, it increasingly becomes the occasion and instrument for self-assertion and the selfish satisfaction of personal desires and instincts. Thus the original import of human sexuality is distorted and falsified, and the two meanings, unitive and procreative, inherent in the very nature of the conjugal act, are artificially separated: in this way the marriage union is betrayed and its fruitfulness is subjected to the caprice of the couple. Procreation then becomes the \"enemy\" to be avoided in sexual activity: if it is welcomed, this is only because it expresses a desire, or indeed the intention, to have a child \"at all costs\", and not because it signifies the complete acceptance of the other and therefore an openness to the richness of life which the child represents.
There are still many married couples who, with a generous sense of responsibility, are ready to accept children as \"the supreme gift of marriage\".21 Nor is there a lack of families which, over and above their everyday service to life, are willing to accept abandoned children, boys and girls and teenagers in difficulty, handicapped persons, elderly men and women who have been left alone. Many centres in support of life, or similar institutions, are sponsored by individuals and groups which, with admirable dedication and sacrifice, offer moral and material support to mothers who are in difficulty and are tempted to have recourse to abortion. Increasingly, there are appearing in many places groups of volunteers prepared to offer hospitality to persons without a family, who find themselves in conditions of particular distress or who need a supportive environment to help them to overcome destructive habits and discover anew the meaning of life.
43. A certain sharing by man in God's lordship is also evident in the specific responsibility which he is given for human life as such. It is a responsibility which reaches its highest point in the giving of life through procreation by man and woman in marriage. As the Second Vatican Council teaches: \"God himself who said, It is not good for man to be alone' (Gen 2:18) and who made man from the beginning male and female' (Mt 19:4), wished to share with man a certain special participation in his own creative work. Thus he blessed male and female saying: Increase and multiply' (Gen 1:28). 30
92. Within the \"people of life and the people for life\", the family has a decisive responsibility. This responsibility flows from its very nature as a community of life and love, founded upon marriage, and from its mission to \"guard, reveal and communicate love\".117 Here it is a matter of God's own love, of which parents are co-workers and as it were interpreters when they transmit life and raise it according to his fatherly plan. 118 This is the love that becomes selflessness, receptiveness and gift. Within the family each member is accepted, respected and honoured precisely because he or she is a person; and if any family member is in greater need, the care which he or she receives is all the more intense and attentive.
When it comes to parenting, marriage, and other relationship issues, people are turning to bestselling author, counselor, and radio personality Dr. Randy Carlson. Recognized as an advocate for the family, Randy hosts Intentional Living, a live daily call-in program syndicated to radio stations nationwide. As president of Family Life Communications Incorporated, Randy also oversees the ministries of Intentional Living (Parent Talk, Inc.) and Family Life Radio. Randy has written or coauthored five books: Starved for Affection, Unlocking the Secrets of Your Childhood Memories, Parent Talk, Father Memories, and The Cain & Abel Syndrome. His sixth book, The Power of One Thing, was released in October 2009.
Randy is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a doctorate in counseling psychology and over 26 years of counseling experience. He shares wisdom, encouragement, and comfort from God's Word with people who call the daily Intentional Living program with issues that affect their families today. He has appeared on national radio and television talk shows such as Good Morning America, Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson, and Moody's Midday Connection. He also speaks at conferences and seminars around the country. 1e1e36bf2d