bulimia.jpgI know, I know, we’re all sick if this topic, but it’s important (and really seems to be one of the biggest things separating protestants and Catholics). So one more time, just a brief thought.

Catholic theology in dealing with sin makes distinctions between means and ends. The moral nature of the end may be determined by the means. So, for example, let’s say you want to lose twenty pounds. While it could be an immoral goal (like say if you already weigh 85 lbs. and want to be thinner due to disordered perceptions of your body) the morality of losing twenty pounds is likely to be determined by the means you use.

You could do like Josh just did recently and start appreciating food, eating less, exercising and suchlike.

Or you could eat like usual and stick your finger down your throat afterwards and throw it up. Or you could take some pills that trick your body into thinking you’re not hungry when you are so you don’t want to eat as much.

The first one works in accordance with God’s plan for how our bodies are supposed to work. It brings you to a grateful attitude about food and is good for your body and your soul.  The latter two are obviously unnatural. They thwart the plan God has made for how our bodies are supposed to work. Insofar as they do that, they are sinful.

In like manner, the goal of preventing conception for a time for serious reason is not necessarily immoral, but there are various ways of going about it and they are not all morally equivalent simply because they can achieve the same ends. You could learn to appreciate the way your bodies work as a couple, understand your wife’s fertility, learn to be patient and make sacrifices for each other, learn to master your sexual impulses in service to your wife and family. Or you could use a condom and thwart the natural processes you’ve set in motion or you could have your wife pop pills that trick her body into thinking it’s pregnant when it’s not.