It seems oddly appropriate on "Labor" Day (for us Americans, anyway!) to ponder the event that leads in most cases to labor: conception. Sara Fox Peterson at CatholicMom.com has a good article on the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception. In particular, she addresses whether a couple with a "medical reason" may in good conscience use a drug or treatment that will result in sterilization. The answer, of course, is "yes": If the drug is not specifically designed for the sole purpose of contracepting. Then she notes this challenging quote from John Paul II:
“Contraception is to be judged so profoundly unlawful as to be never, for any reason, justified. To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that in human life, situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God.” (Pope John Paul II – Osservatore Romano, October, 10, 1983)
That is, the Church's teaching on contraception is not about who we are, our male and female parts, the hang-ups of old white guys in the Vatican... It is about who God is.
The Scientist Dad and I partook of a Planet Earth marathon yesterday. What we couldn't get over was how prolific creation is. Even in the most hostile environments, there is life in one bizarre form or another. Not only is there life everywhere, but everywhere life is bent on reproducing. Metabolize and reproduce. That's about it. The God who made all that--from the cave fish to the snow leopords, from the cicadas to the great redwoods--is clearly the sort of Being who loves life. The God who is God alone made us, too, along with our rather stange system of reproduction. To recognize God as God is to stand in profound awe of that power.