“Julianna, you have to pull them out at the root,” she corrected.
That made for infinitely more effort on my part. But there was a greater task at hand than
So when I hear Isabel Sawhill’s contention to increase contraception use among the young – in
order to achieve a more efficient, planned parenthood – I return to this lesson I learned so long
She writes (at least in part) with the intention of improving the lives of the young. She claims
children of more prepared parents will have better lives, the parents themselves more educational
and career-related opportunities.
And then she says, “Imagine being able to eat all the chocolate ice cream you want without
gaining weight” – and that’s where I hit a breaking point.
The problem with this is not just that it is impossible. It is inherently selfish, especially with the
awareness that she is comparing chocolate ice cream to the conjugal act. Oh, how we have
forgotten what that means. It’s not a toy for us to use for our own pleasure; it’s sickening to see
how people have become unaware of such exploitation of a God-given gift, from our
Pope Francis and Alexander Schmemann instead nip it at the bud, as my Nana taught me. The
lives of our youth will not improve with mere attempts at the issues of unplanned parenthood.
We instead must take the frightening dive of personal exertion toward the root of it all, and we
dive toward a greater love.
Marriage is supposed to be among the greatest of love and its expressions. A reflection “of God’s
inner life,” if the love is full and exceeds selfishness. It’s not supposed to shatter with the
slightest irritation or fade into another exploit. In Pope Francis’ words, it is not passable once it
“proves inconvenient or tiresome.”
We cannot take a rain check on marriage or make ourselves arbiters on the matter because we
can never pass on God, the only arbiter.
Nor can we ever propose solutions to society’s problems like Sawhill that live outside of God’s
plans for marriage.
Nor can we ever begin to save our world and the life of the world to come if we do not tirelessly