Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Contraception of Grief

Not an easy book to read nor absorb, although I did technically-speaking "finish" it in under two hours. It can be purchased from Priests For Life or read entirely on-line.

The difficulty in the first chapter stems from the historical framework, medical language and theological background necessary to place this work in its proper perspective. So while I'd love to be able to just hand it to my teen-age daughters the way my own mother handed me a book on "The Facts" when I was about twelve, it wouldn't be advisable.

In one of the subheadings, "The Manipulation of Language" I was again reminded of Josef Pieper's Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power where he talks about lies, the crafting of well-reasoned arguments and whether the writer is seeking to convey the truth or deceive his audience. When such is the case, 'from that moment on (the author/artist) no longer considers the other as partner, as equal. In fact, he no longer respects the other as a human person.' Pieper says this 'becomes a speech without a partner, since there is no true other; such speech, in contradiction to the nature of language, intends not to communicate but to manipulate.'

This section of the book examines popular methods of birth “control” – commonly used even by those who consider themselves pro-life – which in effect do more than just prevent conception. Subtle shifts in definition, lack of full information and pressure from significant others have led to life-changing choices by women with disastrous results.

Chapter 2, A Collection of Personal Testimonies, is the longest; while less challenging methodologically it is more draining emotionally. Families – and women in particular – who are still trying to come to grips with their own Contraception Grief are encouraged to begin the process of healing. One place where understanding and compassion may be assured is at Janet Moreno’s website Silent No More.

Subsequent chapters offer other positive solutions, stories and redeeming outpourings to flow from this holocaust of sorrow, including: Contraceptive Evangelization; acknowledging the challenges of living this Truth; the virtue of Chastity; the healing power of the Eucharist and the power of the Marital Covenant. So while the first two chapters can be overwhelmingly difficult to read, especially for anyone between the ages of sixty and twenty who has been a victim of this disinformation campaign, there is hope to be found in this book and honestly, it’s the only true Hope to be had anywhere, redemption through Jesus Christ.

Important book!

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