Wages of Control


The woman’s voice was distant, fearful, and urgent. Frank recognized it but had difficulty placing whose it was.


Frank snapped back to reality, bizarre as it was. He had been in the car at a stoplight, driving his wife, Kate, and their children to Mass, but he was no longer in a car and neither was she. Neither was hurt. It was Kate’s voice calling his name. Of course! He recognized it now.

They stood on a rocky ridge high over a forested valley, the wind biting cold as it chilled them to the bone through their summer Sunday-best. “Were we in an accident?,” Frank wondered.

“Frank! Look!” Kate called, her arm clinging tightly over his shoulder, her voice trembling with fear and urgency. She pointed with her other hand all around them at their feet.

The stone on which they stood rumbled, quaked, and resonated with a deep groan. Up popped green shoots, one after another, after another, surrounding them. Shards of decomposed granite flew in all directions as the new stalks wriggled eagerly toward the clear blue sky. One bud formed at the top of each stalk, adorned with vibrant spring green leaves. The stalks towered above the couple clinging together, then each turned down to “look” at them. The buds swelled, developed, then burst open, revealing a brilliant array of luminous color — some gloaming dusty purple, others brilliant sunrise red, orange, or pink. Light burst forth from behind the petals, which then bloomed, peeling open, revealing a white, balled center. Arms and legs gracefully unfolded from the center and rose further until a human adult stood draped in a long, flowing white robe. Each vibrant, young woman and man climbed smoothly from their stalks.

Frank and Kate watched with wide-eyed-awe as twenty, or perhaps thirty, people gathered around them, first bowing in thankful reverence then kneeling and gazing heavenward in reverent, urgent prayer. Their faces looked similar, yet each was wondrously unique, like they were one big family of brothers and sisters.

“Who are you?” Kate asked, only able to manage a soft whisper.

One of them, the first to grow and emerge, rose and stepped forward — a beautiful young woman with long, curly hair flowing in the now gentle, warm breeze. She looked at Frank and Kate with loving intensity.

“We are your children,” she said, her hands sweeping wide to indicate all the kneeling people encircling them, gazing skyward in raptured prayer.

“You can’t be,” responded Frank, somehow already knowing he was wrong though his head shouted at him this was impossible. “We only have two children, and they aren’t grown.”

Frank now saw with astonishment that the beautiful young woman looked very like Kate when he first met her. She smiled knowingly and somewhat sadly, her eyes glimmering with swelling tears. “Now you know you have many, many more children. And yet more to come, if you choose to be open to life. Please, for their sake, and yours, be open to life!”

“HOOOOONK!” The blaring horn behind him snapped Frank back to the car. The light was now green. Automatically he drove forward, resuming their way toward Church. He glanced at Kate next to him. She stared at him with wide eyes, her face ashen. Clearly she had had the same experience he’d just had.

Kate felt the burden of years of sin suddenly recognized for what it was. All that pain and loss they had unknowingly chosen. Her chest tight and heavy, she said, “I – we -- need to stop the birth control.”

Frank also felt horror as the realization of their sin dawned on him. “Yes,” Frank said, his hand drifting gently over to hers, their shared warm, smooth touch suddenly soothing, like healing balm on a deep, festering wound.

Before Mass, Frank and Kate went to reconciliation. They ceased using birth control, and to their amazement discovered a new vibrancy in their marriage, lives and faith. Six months later, they were pregnant with the third of what would become their five living children.

One of the ways that birth control pills and other contraceptives work is by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the lining of the uterus. All birth control deadens life and breaks right relationship, causing seemingly unexplainable strife in marriage. Reignite your marriage and your soul by being open to life!





Year of Mercy, Mercy and Life


Year of Mercy, Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs


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