Is this midwife typical?
* Mainly for Women
By PAT JONES
RI R1 H p re v n t o
" affects even Catholics —that much any priest will tell you, It affects them even to the
point of lapsing, but so often we are not aware of the astonishing pressures brought to bear upon young couples today. I can do no better than quote a young wife's letter, "My midwife has just called to take particulars for my second confinement, due two years after the first. She spent five minutes on business, and proceeded to spend half an hour lecturing me on birth control. as she considers twenty-two too young to have a second child. "Fortunately I was in a position to challenge her views. and she left knowing a little of our beliefs. However. the experience shook me badly, as many young women are overawed by the advice of these kindly, wellmeaning women: she told me she had convinced other Catholics that birth control is 'sensible' "I wish every Catholic wife would read the Catholic Truth Society booklet addressed to them, in order to have a convincing answer ready for these occasions."
THE pamphlet mentioned was "A Talk to Catholic Wives" by a Catholic woman doctor. In a further letter, this Catholic uife went on to say: "One lapsed friend who admitted it to be her main stumbling block to returning to the Faith listened intently to what I think must have been her Erst exposition of the Catholic teaching, and has since asked to
be introduced to our priest. "Many people, including my midwife, point out that one's
body is not prepared in less than two years to produce another child . . She painted a terrifying picture of me, an old, sick woman of forty, with a dozen or more children, an unfaithful husband, no money for food or clothes, and the prospect of more children, which frightened me in spite of myself.
"I HAVE gone into this subject at length, as I believe well instructed wives could convert this country, providing of course they practised what they preached! 'Although I am only young now, I've found a great deal of interest in our belief, and surprise to find it is based on solid reasoning as well as faith. So many non -Catholics believe large families are due to ignorance, and feel contempt rather than admiration."
I will add, should readers still be in any doubt, that to be the object of such contempt can be a blistering experience, and human respect dies very hard.
Seriously . .
WOMEN are basically
serious creatures. They may buy silly hats, read silly magazines, follow silly diets, or indulge in silly talk, but they do it seriously. Had I no belief in the sterner stuff of which our minds are made. I would have ignored the coming '-week" at the Convent of St. Clotilde. Iseehlade, Gloucestershire (August 22-29), where, in holy surroundings, laymen and lay
women will study and discuss under such titles as "Unto What?". "Empty Bellies", and "The Golden Calf".
They will be under such teachers .as Fr. Edward Phythian, M.S.F.S., Fr. Ronald Besant, M.S.F.S.. "Bob" Walsh (Editor of "The Catholic Worker"). Christopher Hollis, M.A.. and Dr. Gordon Russell, MB., Ch.B.. M. R .C. P.. D.P.M.
If the titles of the discussions seem "non-U", the scriptural references and the quotations accompanying them indicate hard thinking is afoot. Fosinstance, under "Filling the Gap", we have "He that giveth to the poor shall not want." (Proverbs xxviii, 27). and "The contrast between wealth and poverty. intolerable to the Christian conscience, is brought home to you most strongly in present conditions
in the world . . goods, created by God for all men, should flow equally to all" (Pope Pius XII).
THE week of talks and discussions on "Topics of Today" is in response to the late Pope's appeal for a serious effort of formation of lay people. based upon a suitable spiritual life. with the ability to see all problems on a world scale by fostering a true Catholic point of view. The last day is devoted to "Where do we Go From Here?" in which Fr. Phythian will sum up the week. showing how to apply what we have heard in our daily lives.
The organiser is 0. D. Gilmore. Highworth, Swindon, Wiltshire, and the inclusive charge £5 10s.