Basically, “openness to life” means the potency of the act has to be respected. If the potential for procreation is, through natural causes, not present, one is not hindering procreation by engaging in sexual intercourse, nor is one frustrating the act in any way. If the potency is present, then to hinder it is to frustrate the act. One simply may not frustrate the primary purpose of the sexual act on account of its dignity. This doesn’t mean that one may not engage in the sexual act for secondary reasons — mutual love, cure for concupiscence, etc. But it means that one may not pursue a secondary end while frustrating the primary end. Christopher ZehnderWhile this is a really nice explanation, the problem is that it won't convince anyone in the pews because it's cryptic to the modern mind.
As I've : noted elsewhere We live in a society where tools and chemicals are constantly used to manipulate our daily lives, and where ABC (artificial birth control), not unlike NFP, is to all appearances just another benign mechanical or chemical device. And because ABC does appear benign, what is needed is a very clear explanation of why in this particular circumstance using an artificial means of family planning is sinful when using a natural means is not sinful. Unfortunately as it stands, the explanations and examples given by the visible Church are very much neither clear or helpful.
Speaking of potency and frustrating an act may be exactly why ABC is immoral and in turn why NPF is not, but in our modern egalitarian protestantized society were every man is his own theologian, what is needed is clear language that speaks to the modern mind.
I happen to really like Christopher Zehnder's explanation, and could not ask for more, but in a modern world where the unitive aspect of marriage is now often pushed as preeminent over the procreative, we need more clear and precise guidance.
I wonder if Christopher Zehnder is up to the challenge? I'm not convinced many would listen anyway, but perhaps a few would
Although, on the other hand perhaps it's better to let sleeping dog lie so to speak, there is something to be said for the secret strategy of Catholic colleges in america to make peace with the world while also saving souls by sowing invincible ignorance one student at a time.
And this is a really nice follow up by Christopher Zehnder on the meaning of nature or natural, as in Natural Family Planning. Which of course, as I've written means that NFP is natural medicinally.
I find it strange how people who in other respects are holistic in outlook, i.e . the appeal to aggrariansim and similar, really have little understanding of themselves and their position, and when given an explanation of what it means to be holistic sexually and why in turn contraception is wrong simply walk over the issue siding with modernist occultism.
Perhaps occultism is the wrong term, but the modernist use of tools for unnatural purposes, whatever the proper term for that might be.