So this is baby # 2 for me. I was asked by someone close how many kids we plan on having. I suspect this person was going to give me unsolicited advice about it. We have to pick our battles, so all I could say was we'll see how it goes. I also can't help but think about the initial shock I felt with how this person felt they could ask such a personal question, when it really shouldn't have shocked me. It is awkward though when you think children are a blessing and dream of a large family, but the vibe of questioner seemed to be ready to say get fixed after this one. Which brings me to another question, what happened to large catholic families? I have noticed a higher rate of couples not being able to concieve who want to in general. Must be the diet, stress and time we are in.
It really is a sign of the diabolic when the blessings of God are despised, or such base things as money (an arbitrary human invention) are valued over life. I am always reminded of the psalms and the Nuptial Mass: Behold, children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the sons of vigorous youth. Blessed is the man that has his quiver filled with them ... Thy wife is like a fruitful vine on the walls of thy house. Thy children like young olive trees, round about thy table (Psalms 126 & 127). Obviously according to God having children is like striking the lottery. I think ultimately we can boil people's attitudes to a few factors:
lack of belief and trust in God's providence : we can't afford it ...
willful pride : we don't want it (my will, God, not thine)
atheism : opps
materialism : if it makes you feel good, or if it is "green"
ignorance : nobody told me that is catechism class
My simple answer always is "we are having as many as God wants us to have". Or if someone says something with the word "plan" in it, I say that I plan on having children. And then I tell them how very fun it is. No messing around with contraception which is destructive to your health, or destructive to your love life. Also liberals are so used to being liberal, that unless they are environmental Nazis, they'll accept you with the usual derisive comment now and then. It is amazing how people insult you and don't even realize it, or maybe they do, but they do it to feel justified within themselves that they are not practicing evil. I know about this a bit. When I was young, I thought the large Catholic family was weird. My family was liberal, and we barely were Catholics. My parents contracepted -- I know this now -- and we followed the norm (never more than 3, 2 is preferable). Then in my teens, I thought contraception was completely okay. I also thought abortion was okay too, as an absolute last resort (I did have residual morals). My opinion was, be responsible, put it on, or don't have sex. Many people are in this mentality, which is evil and disordered on some many levels. Literally this is diabolic disorientation in which good is evil and evil is good, and no one can explain why they do what they do. The plain truth is that 99% of "Catholics" use contraception, or "NFP" (I use quotes because NFP is used as another excuse to justify oneself). Very few Catholics are following God on this point. I think the number of Muslims and Mormons following God is probably much greater. So all of the large Catholics families are a mirage, a holdover stereotype from those crusty days when Catholics were Catholics. As for sterility, I think it is a punishment from God due to all these things. I am not saying the individual people are being punished, some very just people are given it as a cross, but when blessings are despised, God withholds His blessings.
Finally we can recall the words of Fulton Sheen. He said that he doesn't use the term birth control because it is neither about birth or control. He also said to imagine violins and bows which never meet one another and produce a symphony. Congratulations on your child!