Being committed to living out a true authentic Catholic marriage, by being open to life, has been one of the most challenging yet exciting adventures of my life.  Despite or perhaps due to the difficult trials in our marriage and the blessing, yet constant, challenge of having many children, I can honestly say that living a Catholic (or contraceptive-free) marriage has been more satisfying and fulfilling than I ever imagined it could be.  Never easy and still to this day extremely challenging, but always having the gift of a deep sense of peace from God.  This peace doesn’t necessarily come from anything I do but simply in experiencing His blessing and hand in our family as we have continued to abandon our “family planning” to Him.

Our culture convinces us that the Church’s teaching is extremely restrictive and prohibitive in its limits and rules.  It claims the Church is robbing us of our due pleasure, satisfaction and freedom.  When in reality, I have experienced the opposite in Catholic married life.  It has been precisely through the Church’s guidelines that I have experienced a true satisfaction, fulfillment and freedom in my marriage.  As my husband and I have lived this commitment (believe me, it has only been lived with the grace of God), struggling along the way, we have been forced to grow in patience, self-sacrifice and generosity towards one another.  Like a fine wine, this commitment has produced a deep intimacy and satisfaction in our marital relationship.  All the ways the culture claims to satisfy in this area have seemed to fall short of this lasting peace and intimacy I have experienced.

Ultimately, It is the sharing in this community of persons, according to the way that God designed, that has lead me closer to Christ in a way that can only be experienced in marriage.  It is a new, exciting and always challenging adventure every day.

Submitted from Virginia

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