Running a city parish can be mighty discouraging. The Masses are mostly empty, and those that actually make it to Mass struggle with the burdens of advanced age, some in wheelchairs and many with canes. Anyone looking at the average city parish from the outside would say the Church is dying because very few are having children. A family came to the 11:00 Mass this morning with six children, and they radiated throughout the huge empty church like the sun. I met them after Mass: “Oh, we don’t live in San Francisco—could never afford it. We’re on vacation.”
Fifty years ago the Church said that if we accept a contraceptive mentality, we will have fewer children. If we have fewer children, we will become more selfish. If we become more selfish, we will become more desperately sad. I live in a city of unparalleled natural and historical beauty that is desperately sad.
There is a reason they call it “birth control.” It is an attempt to control human generation, to control our species at its very core, to control nature at its essential genesis. Mother Nature, and Nature’s God, however, will not be controlled, and we priests need to reassure our people that we can trust nature and nature’s God even with our sexual lives.
[To be continued next week….]