I had a tubal ligation, have repented, and have been absolved, but I still feel guilt. Can you give me any guidance? Was the Crucifixion God the Father taking out his wrath on God the Son? What advice can you give to someone who is struggling with pornography and masturbation? What about someone in a relationship with such a person?
Ask Christopher West is a weekly podcast in which Theology of the Body Institute Director Christopher West and his beloved wife Wendy share their humor and wisdom, answering questions about marriage, relationships, life, and the Catholic faith, all in light of John Paul II’s beautiful teachings on the Theology of the Body.
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Q1: My husband and I have 5 children. After 4 C-Sections and tremendous pressure from medics, I agreed to tubal ligation. I prayed about it all through my last pregnancy and decided to have the procedure. I have been left with very debilitating conditions following my c sections and another pregnancy and section would have been extremely risky. I have felt shame and guilt. I've spoken to several priests and I've asked and received forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. Now I'm at a loss. Priests assure me that I'm not committing sin when my husband and I embrace but now having read your book "TOB for Beginners", I'm once again heartbroken. My husband does not believe in the teachings on contraception but he was loving and supportive when we used NFP. I'm 45. I adore my husband and now Im scared that we are committing terrible sin. I'm also a Eucharistic minister and lector and I just don't know where to go from here.
Q2: Just wondered if I could get the book reference that Christopher made in the Atomic Pumpkin episode from Pope Benedict, regarding not getting off track about the crucifixion on "paying the price"? I was just talking to a friend about the difference between Eastern and Western soteriology (Christus Victor vs. penal substitionary atonement models) and personally think the best approach is our Catholic "both/and". I'd LOVE to read more about what Pope Benedict had to say on this matter! Thanks-- I'm a 38, current theology student at Franciscan University, recent convert to Catholicism (three years), HUGE ToB fangirl, and lifelong lover of Jesus! Love you guys, so thankful for you--I pray for your ministry and family regularly!
Q3: What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with pornography and masturbation, but wouldn't consider himself addicted? And, what advice would you give to someone on the other end of that relationship? Where is the line between being compassionate/understanding and knowing when it's time to walk away?
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Resources mentioned this week:
Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Ratzinger
Christopher references the 1990 edition, pages 172, 214, 222
Fill These Hearts by Christopher West
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Christopher and Wendy hope their advice is helpful to you, but they are not licensed counseling professionals. If you are dealing with serious issues, please consult our list of trusted professionals.
Featuring music by Mike Mangione.
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