The papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) made headlines worldwide. Many talked about the encyclical when it was issued in 1968, but few actually read it. Why is it perhaps the most controversial document in modern Church history?
On Human Life combines Humanae Vitae with commentary by popular and respected Catholic authors Mary Eberstadt, James Hitchcock, and Jennifer Fulwiler in order to address this question and shed light on the document’s enduring wisdom.
Humanae Vitae is Pope Paul VI’s explanation of why the Catholic Church rejects contraception. The pope referred to two aspects, or meanings, of human sexuality: the unitive and the procreative. He also warned of the consequences if contraception became widely practiced—consequences that have since come to pass: greater infidelity in marriage, confusion regarding the nature of human sexuality and its role in society, the objectification of women for sexual pleasure, compulsory government birth control policies, and the reduction of the human body to an instrument of human manipulation. The separation of sexuality from its dual purpose has also resulted in artificial reproduction technologies, including cloning, that threaten the dignity of the human person.
Although greeted by controversy and opposition, Humanae Vitae has continued to influence Catholic moral teaching. St. John Paul II’s popular “theology of the body” drew deeply on the insights of Paul VI. Pope Benedict and now Pope Francis have upheld the long-standing teaching, and a new generation of Catholics, as well as non-Catholics, is embracing the truths of the encyclical.
Foreward by Mary Eberstadt
Afterward by James Hitchcock
Postscript by Jennifer Fulwiler
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This book is a most helpful and careful guide to anyone who desires to make an Ignatian retreat but is unable to make the Spiritual Exercises in a normal retreat. It is designed for those who want sincerely to place themselves “face to face” with God so as to order their lives along his loving designs. Fr. Ravier was an expert retreat master who gave Ignatian retreats for over 30 years.
Book size: 5.25" x 8"
Published year: 2018
“A superb book that provides excellent guidance for making the Spiritual Exercises on one’s own. Ravier’s clear and practical book answers a long felt need for a one volume guide to finding the will of God in the disposition of our life!”
–Fr. John Hardon, SJ, Author of The Catholic Catechism
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“Fr. Ravier’s book will be most helpful for anyone who wants to attempt the richness of a retreat with the Spiritual Exercises by following his guidance. It will also be of great use to retreat masters themselves.”
–Fr. James Schall, SJ, Georgetown University
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Book size: 5.25" x 8"
Published year: 2018
“Remade for Happiness is a book that succeeds in universally drawing in all readers. There's nobody better than the Venerable Archbishop Sheen in communicating the most important element of life. If you want to have the light of happiness in this life and in the next, then you need to read this book!”
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Book size: 5.25" x 8"
Published year: 2017
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