Life Begins at Conception

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Life Begins at Conception. When life is conceived in the mother’s womb, it is not just the physical form that has been created but a Soul has been created by our Heavenly Father. This Soul is eternal. It doesn’t cease to exist when life on earth ends.

Then God said, “Let us make human kind in our image, according to our likeness…..” – Genesis 1:26

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1: 27

Isn’t it wonderful how God created mankind in his own image to share his love with us. God created mankind and blessed him to be fruitful. He blessed man with the gift to become co-creators of life through human procreation.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” – Genesis 1: 28

We are called to be faithful to God’s design. Human Life is sacred and from its very inception, it reveals the creating hand of God.

If life begins at conception, have we prevented this life at any stage? Have we destroyed a life which was created by God alone and not by our own abilities? Abortion may be a raging topic but what about Contraception?

Human Embryo – Approximately 6 weeks from conception

The Catholic Church has always opposed contraception. Never has the Church wavered on its stance on Contraception unlike the other Christian denominations. Artificial contraception is considered a mortal sin. This has been explained and expressed by Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae in 1968. Some methods of natural family planning are morally permissible, as they do not oppose the natural way of conception.

Natural family planning (NFP) refers to the family planning methods approved by the Roman Catholic Church, which keeps the dignity of the human person, and excludes the use of other methods of birth control. It emphasizes the Principles of Married Love & Responsible Parenthood. NFP methods can be used to achieve and avoid pregnancy. NFP is the most effective method of Family Planning when followed correctly.

Birth Control Pills have become the norm in the Western World. Women often chose from the numerous forms of Birth Control available – be it The Pill, The Patch, Implantable Rods, Intrauterine Devices or even Emergency Contraception such as the “Morning After Pill” or “Plan B”. Men often choose Barrier Methods, Vasectomy or Sterilization. All these forms of Artificial Contraception hamper the dignity of human life and destroy the whole moral law of marriage.

How often are we ashamed as Catholics to practice Natural Family Planning. We may be devout Catholics who attend mass without fail on every Sunday, we may be reciting our Morning & Evening Prayers faithfully, we may be going for Confession regularly, we may be sending our children to Catholic Schools, but are we Open to Life? Have we failed when it comes to the Church’s Teaching on NFP? Have we ignored NFP as an impractical method? Have we ridiculed the Church for promoting NFP? Have we proudly practiced Contraception in one form or the other? Do we believe that NFP is difficult to follow and is prone to failure?

There are many Catholics who firmly believe that Abortion is a sin but completely support Artificial Contraception. Abortion and Contraception are mortal sins. They can be seen as two sides of the same coin. There are many people who do not practice NFP as they have never heard about it -  specially in the Developing countries.

Sometimes, it is heart-breaking to see friends and family practicing Contraception as if it’s the most natural thing to do. They talk about Copper T and Mirena IUDs as if it’s part of your human body. Many Catholics happily avoid Catholic hospitals and seek out Secular hospitals for undergoing contraceptive medical procedures.

Whom are we deceiving? Are we defying the Catholic Church or are we defying our Lord Jesus Christ? It’s time to wake up and realize the gravity of the sin we are committing. Let us take time to learn more about the Catholic Church’s teachings on Life, Abortion and Contraception. Let us try whole-heartedly to explore Natural Family Planning and its benefits rather than ridiculing it.

Food for Thought

  1. Have I opposed the Church’s teaching which is Christ’s teaching on Abortion & Contraception?
  2. Have I practiced Artificial Contraception thus becoming selfish and not open to life?
  3. Have I taken steps to know more about Natural family Planning and it’s dignity?
  4. Have I mistreated by body by loading it with hormones and other contraceptive devices?
  5. Have I respected my Spouse and treated him/her with dignity?
  6. Have I seen my children as a blessing from God or do I take them for granted?

Catholic Resources

  1. Natural Family Planning – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  2. Couple-to-Couple League – An international, Catholic, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and teaching fertility awareness (natural family planning)
  3. Billings Ovulation Method
  4. Natural Family Planning – Key to Intimacy
  5. What does the Church teach about Birth Control? – on EWTN

A Prayer for Life

Father and maker of all,
you adorn all creation
with splendor and beauty,
and fashion human lives
in your image and likeness.
Awaken in every heart
reverence for the work of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of life.

Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in
the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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