Excerpts from the book New Perspectives on Contraception by Dr. Donald DeMarco
The Path to Wholeness
The notion of a unified being does not mean very much to most people. It seems far too abstract, even though it does represent the fullness of a person's reality. Looking good and experiencing sexual pleasure for them seem to be more real. This attitude is evinced through interviews with people who continue to use contraception even when they experience its side-effects and are fully cognizant of its more serious risks.
(p. 34) Unity or wholeness is not something that people feel. It is, rather, who a person is. Feelings can create a momentary sense of strong unity, even when that unity has been compromised in its reality. We are often more sensitive to the lack of wholeness or authenticity which we find in others than we are in noticing it in ourselves. Everyone prizes wholeness, but few practice it. Holiness itself is nothing more than a person living out the wholeness of his being.
To appreciate the value of one's wholeness requires a certain amount of wisdom. Philosophers, history's inveterate seekers of wisdom, have explained time and again that pleasure is associated with the part, but in order to be happy, to be filled with joy, one must whole. We need a brain so that we can know what we need to know in order to direct our lives properly. Realistic ideas are crucial. They are, one philosopher remarks, "what enables man to live a life which is something above meaningless tragedy or inward disgrace. At the same time, it is only too common for people to submerge their capacities for realistic ideas, illuminating knowledge, and clear thinking under a torrent of emotionalism. If it "feels good, do it" better represents the contemporary ethos than "use your brain."
(p.35) We need a heart so that we can love, so that we can extend to everyone the warmth of personal affirmation. Knowledge furnishes light, but love provides joy. Yet there is much discrimination, violence, and abuse in our society, and even marriage and the family, supposedly havens in a heartless world, are under attack.
We need courage so that we can face dangers, difficulties, and oppositions, without abandoning our commitment to what is right. Courage gives us the strength to stand by what we know and those we love. Nonetheless, the lack of courage in society is only too apparent.
The turbulent drama of sexual passion is not going to be brought under control by the mere dictates of reason. It requires something no less passionate than itself, a vibrant, animated courage, if it is to be integrated within the whole person. Knowledge and love will not be harmonized with each other in the absence of such a courage.
History makes it only too plain that the path to personal wholeness is indeed a long and crooked one.
(p.36) Particularly demanding of wholeness is the domain of human sexuality. Knowledge is needed not only in the personal sense to enable the spouses to become closer to each other, but also in the scientific sense to deepen one's awareness of reproductive physiology. Love is needed to fulfill and make fruitful the spousal relationship. Courage is needed to possess the strength to follow the path of knowledge and love, however unpopular or "politically incorrect" it may be in the eyes of the world.
divided self is less than whole. Therefore, he is less happy and is
less able to give everything he is. Contraception, in separating,
baby-making from love-making, is divisive of the self. But it also
diminishes what the marriage partners are able to bring to each other.
Contraception is neither a boon to the self nor to marriage.
|2001 Catholics Against Contraception|