Humanae Vitae

07-27-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

Greetings from Detroit! My summer courses are half over this past week. While I have missed the slower summer pace at home, the study here has been very fruitful for me. I have had the opportunity to spend longer periods of time in prayer and to re-contact the truth that I am dependent on prayer; I am dependent on God. It also gives me a chance to reflect on important aspects of parish life that can easily get lost in the daily routine of taking care of the business at hand.

This past Friday July 25th was an important anniversary that generally gets little notice. It was the 46th anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, which Pope Paul VI addressed with great clarity the burning question of conscience: "Is it morally acceptable for a married couple, for grave reasons, to contracept in their marriage act?" The prevailing spirit of the age gave a resounding "yes" and at that time there were so many reasons that made it seem so right and logical.

During the 1960's, many social influences converged to make the answer seem obvious. One strong influence was the rise of a new feminism represented by Betty Friedan who advocated that women be freed from the shackles of child bearing in order to take her rightful place alongside men in the workplace. Another influence was the population scare. Some social scientists were warning that the resources of the earth would run out if large families were to continue. Economic questions of how to support large families in a changing society was of equal concern. Another major influence was the development of the birth control pill, which was hailed as a great "medical achievement." However, it was the first "medical" advancement that was not about correcting a bodily system that was malfunctioning, but rather was designed to cause a system that was functioning correctly [the fertility cycle] to malfunction.

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Spiritual Development

07-13-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family,

Greetings from Detroit! As you may remember, part of my continuing education that I began on my academic sabbatical last year requires that I attend summer intensive courses in theology to complete the degree. This summer I am spending four weeks at Sacred Heart Seminary here in lovely Detroit, Michigan. It has been three days since I left, but I miss you already!

During these summer intensive classes, I am joining 12 other priests from around the country and from Africa and India. It is fascinating and fun to hear the experiences, trials and joys of the priesthood in all these places. We all have in common our desire to engage the New Evangelization. It was St. John Paul II who really articulated, almost thirty years ago, what is the new evangelization: "…it is not a new gospel, but rather the eternal gospel message made available to men and women today." He exhorts that it should be "new in ardor, method and expression."

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