Tuesday evening I was driving west at sunset, heading home after a Richmond meeting. The Blue Ridge came into view, and I thought to myself, “Sure do love Virginia!”
As any nine-year-old could tell you, the ensuing question is, “So do you want to marry it?”
Back in my early days in the seminary, the cool people regularly harped on how His Holiness, the late Pope Paul VI, correctly predicted what would happen in the latter part of the 20th century. He warned the world about the proliferation of artificial contraceptives, that it would lead to widespread abortion, divorce, out-of-wedlock births, increased objectification and disrespect of women.
Hearing this, my budding Thomistic mind said to itself, “These were not exactly ‘prophecies’ in the strict, supernatural sense of the term. But, indeed: Humanae Vitae has some remarkably prescient passages.”
But even the great Pope could never have predicted this. Even he did not foresee that what would eventually land us in jail would be our refusal to allow two members of the same sex (!) to get married (!!!) in our churches. (Just a matter of time now till some of us go to jail over this.)
Humanae Vitae gave us what we needed to hear, in so many ways more than one. The whole business of how we come into the world makes such perfect and beautiful sense by the light of the encyclical’s teaching. Orwell’s 1984 has certainly arrived, when we read in all the papers about the “children” of two men or two women.
May it please the Lord to choose us to die in jail for the truth. The madness that artificial contraception has unleashed in the Western world can only last so long. Because masturbation–which all sex becomes, in the contraceptive culture–really is just pathetic. People who like to see the sun rise and breathe the crisp air don’t have time for it.
So the nonsense can’t last forever. But some of us are going to have to go to jail in the meantime, so let’s be ready.