There are three consequences of sinfully indulging the flesh, according to the mid-20th century, English mystic and author, Caryll Houselander, as she outlines in her 1949 book, The Passion of the Infant Jesus Christ. In reading her excerpted statements here in bold, consider the impact that the federal approval of artificial contraception has had on realizing these consequences.
First they become depersonalized. This is because they depersonalize sexual life. It no longer means for them, this man, that woman, this chosen individual who is uniquely loved, in whom alone there is the consummation of life. The individual gives place simply to man, woman. Any man, any woman, no longer a particular person. Consequently there is no longer any objective love, but only self-love. Sex is robbed of its meaning, its spiritual potency and its glory.
This passage reflects the first ventures of people with artificial-contraception when the extolled virtues of contraception included the testing of the love of two before the involvement of a third. The claim is that contraception permits the expression of love without negative consequences.
Secondly, when the capacity to love is dead, they become dehumanized. They cut themselves off, ipso facto, not only from the Communion of Saints, but even from the Communion of Sinners.
The old sanctities and even the old necessities of human beings are held in contempt, the holiness and the permanence of marriage, that lasting love that is four walls and a roof, that is food and clothing, a pillow for the head, a light in the house, a rock under the feet.
In this second stage, we find that marriage is now disdained with a preference for cohabitation, one-night stands, or even hookups that allow for return visits without strings attached. Further, the dehumanization of sex gives license to forsaking not just this man with this woman, but the very idea of a man with a woman. Anything can go, including a man with a man, or a woman with a woman, or a human with an animal, or even a human with a robot.
As Houselander intimates in the last sentence above, at such a point, the meaning of marriage is lost. The western culture, for the most part, has blown past this point in the pat decade and as it now seeking to equate unions between a man and woman with the homosexual unions. Not yet satiated for acceptance, homosexuals are now seeking full societal acceptance of a person’s chosen gender. One is no longer to be saddled by the physical realities of one’s sexual organs at birth defining one’s gender, instead personal choice is to win out. More than the meaning of marriage is being lost as reality itself is now at risk of losing its meaning.
Finally, they are denaturalized, they are no longer in the stream of life that pulses through the heart of the world; they have said with the Pharisee: “Thank God, I am not as other men,” and, consequently, they have less of nature than the humble sinless animals. They have no part in earth or fire or water or stars, no part in the moon or the sun; they are not in harmony with the music of the universe, and that music is God’s law. It is these people who boast that they accept no authority but the irresistible drive of their own primitive urges, who have, in fact, cut themselves off from the primitive splendor of human nature and all nature. Completely turned in on self, they forsake and betray their own children.
This third and final stage, the denaturalization of people is particularly interesting as here we have human beings now seen as the source of all disharmony in the universe. This is a very Catholic view as Fallen Man and Woman are truly the source of all disharmony in the universe. All of creation is without the rational mind with which humans are bestowed and, in acting true to their respective and created nature, all other things do as God ordained them. As St. Francis humbly observed, the disdained cockroach does God’s will for it better than man does in fulfilling human nature. The rational mind leads us into sin and causes disorder in all of creation.
Recall it is written that all of creation awaits with eager expectation our redemption. cf. Romans 8:19 All creation is affected by our sins. It is not surprising that we have the rise of the militant ecologists who value nature over humans. There is an imperative to preserve nature from humans as humans are not only the source of all disharmony, but many also view humans as irredeemable. Irredeemable in part because many do not believe in Jesus Christ. The imperative to eliminate the human’s harm to nature dovetails well with the opinion of many that there has been a population bomb that threatens our planet’s existence. Their answer is more of the same; more contraception, more birth control, more abortion, and more suicide – assisted or otherwise.
Jesus Christ and His Redemptive power and work for each and all men and women are being overlooked. God’s imperative in valuing humans over all of the rest of creation has become an anathema to those of the ecology ideology.
Contraception, as all sin does, creates a bondage in spirit and mindset. It forecloses the sight of possibilities which is the realm in which God so often does His mighty work. Regular turning away from God combined with God’s abandonment of us to the natural consequences of our own sin in lieu of a prescribed and instant punishment lead many to reject the notion and wonder of God’s existence.
Caryll Houselander’s prophetic insights may very well play a role in untangling the human mind from its infatuation with contraception.
Peace of Jesus in the womb of Mary be with you.
© 2019 Patrick A. O’Donnell All Rights Reserved