Arielle (ariellejuliana) wrote in humanae_vitae,

Lectures by Professor Janet E Smith

Hi everyone. I'm not sure if I've ever posted here other than my intro, but I've been reading for a long time. I got married exactly a month ago, and we just moved to Philadelphia. We are Eastern Orthodox, but believe all the same things as the Catholic Church in regards to contraception, abortion, Humanae Vitae, etc. I wanted to recommend a GREAT series of lectures that we listened to on our LONG drive from Seattle to Philadelphia a week after our wedding - Sexual Common Sense by Professor Janet E. Smith. Most of you are probably familiar with her lecture "Contraception: Why Not," which is often given out at Catholic churches or at Catholic marriage prep classes and has sold over a million copies. This series includes that lecture and eleven more. They are:

I. Contraception: Why Not
II. Homosexuality: Why Not
III. Theology of the Body
IV. Reproductive Technology: Why Not
V. NFP: Is it Moral?
VI. Hormones R Us
VII. Overpopulation: The Facts
VIII. The Culture of Life vs. The Culture of Death
IX. "Just Follow Your Conscience"
X. The Family as a Path to Holiness
XI. Contraception: The History of the Church's Teaching
XII. Contraception: Dissent from the Church's Teaching

It looks like you can download the mp3s from here (incidentally, this site is the ministry of my recent boss - I was the nanny for their six kids. He gave us the CDs for an early wedding present) for cheaper than buying the actual CDs. We really enjoyed listening to all of them, and while we already knew what we believed about most of these things (it was a little bit of "preaching to the choir"), it is very helpful to have someone so well-spoken and knowledgable lay it all out with a very strong, logical argument. My husband is a scholar who studies philosophy, theology, and literature, and he can spot a poorly reasoned or illogical argument a mile away, and he really enjoyed her talks. My favorites were "NFP: Is it Moral?", which was very helpful to me because I was struggling with what constituted the moral use of NFP and whether my husband and I in particular should ever actively avoid conceiving children using NFP, and "The Family as a Path to Holiness," which is a great talk on the many blessings of children and of large families in particular, should God give you the vocation and blessing of following that particular path. I think she is very humane and balanced in her presentations, balancing the call to be generous and unselfish in our childbearing and recognizing children as a gift and a blessing, but also presenting the Church's teaching on responsibility and duty in ALL facets of life. It was nice to hear all of this from someone we trusted to really present historic Church teaching and not her own personal opinion.

I've also started reading some of the two books she's written or edited - Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader and Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later (it's so much fun to combine libraries when you get married - I'm finding all kinds of great stuff in his book boxes!) and so far, I think they're fantastic as well.

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