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Openness to Life

September 7, 2023 2 min read
Life in the desert

The phrase “openness to life” has been used most often to describe the lived reality of spouses when they consent to welcome new life in their conjugal union. There are methods broadly known as contraceptives that prevent an interior consent to new life. These contraceptive methods lead to what has been called the “contraceptive mentality.”

More broadly, “openness to life” signifies a mentality and disposition toward life that allows one to approach events and persons with generosity and a detachment from control. We are tempted to control things in order to prevent them from causing a disruption to our life, often lived in a “this-worldly-mindset” characterized by comfort, limits on demands, and a certain socio-economic acceptableness.

“Openness to life” is freely accepting new life, be that new children, new parishioners (or even record numbers of freshmen), immigrants, and all the effects that these newcomers bring. Fear and a mentality of scarcity and control inhibit the effects of the Holy Spirit to make these occasions of joy. A “contraceptive mentality” in institutions or families prevent the life that makes our lives adventures and spark creative resourcefulness. As Europe, Japan, Canada, and segments of the United States are revealing, this mentality of control and comfort-driven affluence lead to the desiccation of a family and a society, as seen in divorce rates and a populace that is not replacing itself.

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