Monday, July 14, 2008

NFP Works

I believe that to be true. My newest edition of the Couple to Couple League International magazine, Family Foundations, featured an interview with an NFP blogger. Jessica Smith writes at Natural Family Planning, and I hope you will check it out. She is the full-time "Family Planning Coordinator" for the Diocese of Madison. Some of her other writing is available here.

While I'm at it, I have a few thoughts on NFP. If possible, learn NFP before you're married. It's harder to come off of contraceptive use, or post-partum periods and learn while 'on the go'. But please don't mistake me as offering an excuse to continue your contraceptive use. I would never do that.

Don't learn planning methods from secular sources. Learning from a mere book, and a secular one at that, cannot compare to the depth of instruction available from Couple to Couple League teachers. Also, these sources tolerate (e.g., Taking Charge of Your Fertility) or even promote the Fertility Awareness Method, which encourages condom use during likely fertile periods (which may be the best way to find out if your condom use is defective).

Finally, most importantly, husbands, learn these things along with your wives. I've learned the hard way that putting the whole process on your wife's shoulders is not a loving act, and is not effective either. If you're going to be a player, be a team player.


Bob said...

Hi Thos,

It's nice to see such strong support for NFP and the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception. This year is the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae. It's amazing to me that the the world ever convinced the rest of Christendom that the separation of procreative function from the act of sexual intimacy could ever be realized without terrible consequences.

Contraception philosophically requires an ontological dualism, the idea that the soul uses the body, in order to allow that two people can use each other during sex.

It has bearing on Christ on the Cross, Who not only gave of Himself bodily, but in entirety as a Person, body and soul. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." A Person was given.

This is the measure of Christian love, agape, the amount that we give in love. In marriage, as Christ on the cross, you give of yourself in entirety, body and soul, as a person. You don't withhold parts of yourself.

That bond of love, in marriage, is the basic building block of the Church and of civilization. As Christ loves the Church, so we are to love our spouses. And our love bears fruit, not only in the instance of the child, but also as a witness to the child. Never is a child a burden, no matter how tough. It is a participation in creation with our Lord, one of the most free acts a man and woman can ever engage in. That's why the marital act is a holy thing, a participation with God.

Thanks for letting me step on my soapbox.

Peace be with you,

Anonymous said...

Thos, blessings on your journey in and to unity! Thanks for the hat tip to me in your July 08 post on NFP. Another great entry would be to research the Catholic vs. Orthodox teachings on contraception. To my knowledge, the Catholic Church is the only one to maintain universal rejection of contraception, while the Orthodox remain morally neutral. Thoughts?