Generosity, our sexual passions are about generosity. They are the cries of the child wanting to be listened to, of the poor seeking to be attended to, the immigrant looking for assistance, the unwanted looking for acceptance.
Be generous, be fruitful! This is its constant call.
Children are, from the beginning, inherently selfish. If it wasn’t for nature’s assistance and opiates we would be inclined to treat them like we tend to treat anyone else who is helpless, infirm, poor, or annoying.
This is the nature of the sexual opiate, to help us forget about consequences in order that we might be life giving.
Now, there are various ways that we can handle the cries to be generous; some are licit and some are illicit. They all achieve the same end but not in the same manner. Abuse, aggression, racism, ignoring, distancing, genocide, infanticide are all examples how we can immaturely deal with these cries. Listening, acknowledgement, charity, patience, forgiveness, prudence, discernment are mature ways of listening to the cry to be generous.
Maturely approaching the call to be generous is not the same as always saying yes; always giving what is asked. The baby is crying, but I don’t necessarily have to give what is wanted; but I cannot simply refuse to be bothered. I cannot send the child to an orphanage, I cannot use chemicals to drug them, and I cannot put them outside in the cold.
This is the fundamental difference between Artificial and Natural forms of Family planning. Artificial forms puts up barriers, physical and chemical, around the call to be generous. It is a means of helping us not to be bothered by such requests. It cut short the hard work of discerning whether or not you should grant the request of the pleading eyes.
Artificial Contraceptives (surgical, physical, and chemical) isolates the opiate of the sexual passions for public use and consumption creating a dependency both inside and outside of marriage. It opens the doors to all sorts of violence, social experimentation, and avoidance behavior.
Natural Family Planning, on the other hand, is hard work. It involves virtue, communication, listening, discernment, and self-knowledge. It too can be used for selfish purposes; but it at least does not cut off the conversation with the call to be life giving. It is a mature means of being a generous and responsible steward.
Natural Family Planning calls us to face the selfish tendencies in ourselves so that we can direct those same tendencies in our children. If we cannot live chastity how will we ever direct our children in that work?
And so here we then see the connection between all these realities in our society: racism, xenophobia, poverty, war, and family planning are all the same issue. Where are we simply refusing to be bothered? Where are we being hospitable?