I recall the remark by Chesterton that “birth control” meant really no birth and no control. Of course, in the West since at least the 1920’s artificial birth control has become the norm. I remember a young couple I knew almost broke up because the young man said he believed (he was Polish) that all birth control within the sacrament of marriage was wrong. As an older man I gave him my counsel . I asked him if his girlfriend wanted to have children. He said she did but she wanted to finish her MA before she had children. He said he wanted to get married right away. I told him he need to decide what was the most important to him. He could choose not to marry her right away and wait or choose not to marry her at all. I told him if they practiced non-chemical non abortifacient birth control they would be doing what the majority of American Catholics do who de facto ignore the Catholic Church’s teachings on this issue. He decided to compromise. They got married immediately. They did not have children for a few years. She wanted children and they eventually had two. Neither made much money but as teachers the two could work and thus could have a middle class lifestyle. As for myself the most important value my wife and I had in common is that we wanted to start a family as soon as possible. We married relatively late in life. I was 26 and she was 27. But we were blessed with three children. Two of our children are married and within a few years of marriage each has one so we have two grandchildren. All are gainfully employed and wish to have more children. If one gives children a happy childhood and if one teaches them to have a reverence for life one hopes they will choose well. Today that is the best one can hope for. The reality is one’s children could decide to be childless. For me that would be very sad. I did not exhort my children to have children. I just encouraged them and prayed. All my children love children and our grandchildren seem very happy and healthy. One cannot un-invent artificial birth control. One must, it seems to me, peacefully coexist with it knowing it could wipe out -if uncontrolled- your family tree.