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Michael Thompson wrote:

Hi, guys —

My wife and I have been married for 43 years. We did not have children, as she had her tubes tied. I know that is a huge mortal sin, one I have confessed several times.

We are both practicing Catholics so I approached her about not having sex any longer. She seemed quite upset about that. I love my wife dearly. She has gone through (20) twenty sessions of Chemo and (28) twenty-eight sessions of radiation well after her tubes were tied.

The more I read about sins of the flesh, the more I find myself struggling with my, and her, final judgement, due to the fact that we did not pro-create according to:

  • Humanae Vitae
  • the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Catholic Church, and
  • the Church's other teachings.

  • Am I condemned to Hell for eternity?

Only God will make that judgement but I am tortured with by daily thoughts, no matter what I do to honor Jesus, my Maker and Taker.

Pax,

Michael

  { Am I condemned to Hell forever for not pro-creating according to the teachings of the Church? }

Paul replied:

Dear Michael,

First, whenever we think there a sin or sins that are too great for God to forgive, we disrespect what He did for us on the Cross. Your deep regret is normal. We should have a feeling of remorse for offending God and violating our own nature however after repentance and sacramental Confession we are truly washed clean of all guilt. Jesus took the hit for us, so to speak, and all our sincerely confessed sins die on the cross when He died. Know that God's love is infinitely greater than our sins, no matter how grievous they may be.

As for choosing to no longer have intimate marital relations, this would not be necessary.

Although it is theological opinion, for those who cannot surgically reverse their sterility, some good theologians suggest these couples practice the same type of periodic continence each month couples utilize while practicing Natural Family Planning. That is, to abstain for a few days per cycle when the wife would have been fertile. This is one way of atoning. Perhaps my colleagues will give their two cents on other ideas.

The one thing God wants is our hearts. With your repentance and remorse, it seems Jesus has yours. Jesus said to His disciples, as He says to all of us repentant sinners, Peace be with you.

Now, with the help of His Grace, you can do much good with your life.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi, Michael —

In Paul's reply, he said:
As for choosing to no longer have intimate marital relations, this would not be necessary.

and I would agree.

In a previous answer I said:

Hi, Anonymous —

Just to add to what Paul and Eric have said, within the marital covenant, sexual intercourse is always greatly encouraged for two reasons:

  1. babies, and
  2. the bonding of spouses

(I would suggest you read the whole posting.)

Also, when you confess any sin in sacramental Confession with a contrite heart, your sins are always forgiven, so there is no need to mention any sin more than once in multiple Confessions. Jesus is forgiving you through the priest/Confessor.

Also keep in mind that Jesus, Himself, told us the struggle with the sins of the flesh would always be a struggle when He said:

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Mark 14:38)

So do the best you can and with the appropriate counsel of your pastor or Confessor, figure out how frequent you should be going to Confession. The Catholic bishops of the United States have recommended that all Catholic families receive the sacrament of Confession at least once a month.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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