SIR,-1 have just come across Mr. MacAlister's letter on "Large Families and Self-Restraint." Whilst recognising that he makes a laudable attempt at tackling the great Catholic problem of today, I submit that he comes nowhere near its solution. Of course he is right if he states that self-restraint bet w e en Catholic couples is the only course in the case of illness, but if his suggestion is that a general solution lies here it strikes mc as highly dangerous.
It imperils the rights of marriage themselves and comes in the end to saying that only the rich or the physically very strong can have a sex life in marriage. It seeks to impose an asceticism on the ordinary frail person far more extreme than any practised in the cloister. It is obvious that only couples very far advanced in the spiritual life should undertake such a course If there are not to be very serious consequences of all kinds:
The only answer is one I tried before to suggest within these pagesthat we literally "bear one another's burdens" and that the lighter-burdened Catholics give in labour (not in money) to their brethren. The last thing we should do is to ask why our neighbour has the number of children he has. We should rejoice with him and help him, trusting that we ourselves shall also be helped in time of need.
(Lady) Joan Penelope Grant Rose Island.