Message from FATHER PAUL B. MARX, OSB
Founder and President Emeritus of the
Human Life International
To the delegates of the HLI Asia Pacific Congress, Cebu City, Philippines.
People are always surprised when I tell them I practice birth control all the
times! In fact, I have practiced it for 86 years with no failures!
And now I would like to talk to you about natural family planning, God’s
way of infertility control, built into the human reproductive system, the workings
of which all people should know before getting married.
We are all aware of the massive abuse of God’ gift of human sexuality.
Also, if we are careful observers, we will note that contraception, all sinful birth
control, does not make people happy. Sin never makes people comfortable or
spiritually peaceful. That is one reason why I have practiced birth control for 86
years. My methods works!
For the married natural family planning is God’s way of controlling
fertility; if you understand the human reproductive system, you will know that
God has made the human reproductive system rather infertile. Experts say that the
human female, at most, is fertile about 20 hours per cycle, and often less. There
are signs and symptoms of when that one lonely egg comes along and is present.
Most of the time, by God’s grace and will, the human reproductive system is
sterile, that is, there is no egg, and so the couple cannot get pregnant.
In fact, through the years I have noted that a considerable number of
couples cannot get pregnant because God allows them to be infertile; so they have
a different vocation, perhaps by adapting children.
I used to teach several classes each year at two universities on marriage
preparations; of course, I always thought my college students where babies came
from. To be in control of their fertility makes couples happy, and they know that
they are following God’s will. If a surprise pregnancy should come along for
whatever reason, they accept it gratefully because God above all wanted them to
have a particular baby.
I have traveled for more than 740 countries of the world to fight abortion
and contraception, to teach natural family planning and to prepare couples for a
healthy, happy, holy marriage.
In fact, I would say the happiest couples that I knows are those who obey
the law of God of this matter. I the contraception and sterilization give couples
joy and peace of mind, why are there many divorces? Let me repeat, the happiest
couple I know are those who obey the church, know their God-given human
reproductive system and who are abstain out of love when another birth is not
feasible at a particular time. These couple knows that only God really knows how
many children each couple destined to have.
We are living in a time when there have never more separations and
divorces; I dare say that never has there been more unhappiness of unmarried life;
and of course the chaos and confusion of children who never have a loving, self-
sacrificing set of parents, than which there is hardly a greater blessing in this life
Religious vocations are in short supply in today’s world. We know that a
religious and priestly vocation generally comes from larger, faith-filled families
with unselfish, sacrificing parents. I was number 13 in 14 children; number 15 in
17 pregnancies. Among the living children there were 11 girls 3 boys; there were
4 religious vocations, 2 priests and 2 nuns. Ask why I became a priest, I jokingly
tell people that I had 11 sisters and they are the cause of my brother and me
Let me emphasize that contraception and sterilization are not the solution
of the so-called birth control problem. Contraception and sterilization have only
brought us the dying nations ( 60 so far ), ever fewer religious and priestly
vocations, ever more divorce, confused fornicating youth, massive venereal
disease, dangerously low birthrates with the dying nation, etc. God made the
human body, the marital relationship, and gave us the way to control our fertility.
Either we follow it lovingly or we create for ourselves lots of problems - and
problems for our children, who need to good example, that is self-sacrificing and
truly loving parents.
So, what must we do in this world of unhappy parents, shaky families,
fornicating youth, massive venereal disease, etc.? The first thing is to learn our
faith thoroughly and to practice it. We must learn NFP before we get married. As
I have said for many years all over the world, no one should get married who does
not know how God made the unique human reproductive system.
Making sure their children know about NFP, and to prepare them before
marriage for that God-given vocation seems to be one of the greatest obligation of
parenthood today. As it is. Most married couples go into married life not
understanding true, human and marital love, and the means of legitimate birth
It is essentially necessary that the young, preferably from the parents and
their teachers, learn how God made the human reproductive system. It continues
to amaze how many people get married who do not really know where babies
come from, not ready for that before marriage or even with marriage. As a priest,
having traveled around the world in many countries, I can tell you that the
happiest couples I have met and know are those who are in loving control of their
God-given fertility. God made the human reproductive system comparatively
sterile. He wants the couple to enjoy their sexual communication. And foolish is
the couple who does not know this, and who therefore does not live by God’s
plan, which can make them truly happy and responsible in married life. Look
around and you will see the enormous unhappiness of those who do not let God
help them to control their fertility!
Today we are terribly short of priest and religious women and men. This
can only be remedied by generous and holy parents. It has been very much
evident in history that those who has a generous number of children, the number
they can afford, are the happiest, have that peace of mind that only God can give.
We are living in evil tines. But all of is can say with Pope Pius XI, “I
thank God for every day to allow me to live in these trying times in which I
can do so much for the Lord and his Church.”
May God bless you All!