Ok, advil first.

There is a concept in Christian thought (goes all the way back to when there was such a thing as “Christian thought”) of the natural function of the body. It’s good to do things that help the body function properly or restore function to the body that has been lost. To wit: It’s good to have surgery on your heart if your heart is not pumping your blood like God designed it to.

It is bad to do something to your body that does not help it’s proper function. To wit: It’s bad to cut off your finger because you’re harming the functionality of your body.

Now, there is obviously more to life and our treatment of our bodies than the purely physical and functional side, but the physical is one side of things that is a concern.

Now, how does this apply to pill popping? It is the natural function of your head to protect your brain and keep all your squishy bits in place. It is not the natural function of your head to ache. Your head was not built in order to be an aching machine. Therefore, taking a pill that will not otherwise harm your body or reduce the functionality of any other part of your body is not a problem (I throw in that last part because taking say, four codeine to get rid of your headache would certainly do the trick but would reduce the functionality of other parts of you, i.e. your reason, your motor function, etc.)

It is the natural function of your eyes to see. If you get macular degeneration and there’s a pill you can take to make your eyes better, you can take that. You’re restoring your body’s proper function.

It’s the natural function of your reproductive organs to reproduce (not they’re not called the orgasm organs). To take a pill that makes your reproductive organs unable to perform their task harms the function of your body and is not good. It might feel good to use your genitals after you rendered them useless, but that doesn’t mean you’re using your body for the function God built into it.

It might help to think about the fact that God gave us our bodies and, ultimately, they are His. We are responsible to use them in accordance with the purpose to which they were given to us. This applies to any gift of God.

Money is a gift of God, but that does not mean that any pleasurable use of money is permissible. Children are a gift of God, but that doesn’t mean we can use them for slave labor, as enticing as that might be. That’s not what God gave us children for. He gave us children that we might train them up to be His servants. There are attendant pleasures to having children, no doubt, but if we were to take the pleasure of having children and shirk the responsibility, we would be misusing the gift God gave us, no matter how much fun it might be.

So, when we take our sexual capacity with its reproductive capacity which are inextricably linked, and take a pill to reduce the functionality of our bodies, we are acting against nature and against the way God designed us.

Simply put, the advil restores a proper function of the body, the Seasonale defeats a proper function of the body.

As to who finishes first, I think there is a misconception which is being and will continue to be cleared up as Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body continues to permeate Catholic culture. The sexual act cannot be thought of as merely what happens from the moment of penetration to the moment of male ejaculation.

The sexual act is much bigger and reaches far beyond these clinical terms. That’s why I’m hesitant to engage is such discussion. Our former Holy Father, may his memory be eternal, was an avid student of phenomenology and certainly agreed with this line of thinking. The most crucial factor for Pope John Paul II was that the sexual act be an act on the part of both parties of complete self-donation, or mutual self-giving. If one goes into the marriage bed with that as the primary goal, everyone will come out happy. This will probably take work and practice like everything worth a damn, but I assure you it can all be achieved without contraception of any kind. If the reader cannot picture how this could be, he is either not married or has a very poor imagination/sex life.

The Church teaches that what is offensive to God is any sort of sex that puts up any sort of barrier that would prevent the couple from giving themselves to one another completely, fertility included. If you’re not in conflict with that, you’re fine.