Monday, August 18, 2008


Mind you, this is [PG-20]

What does that mean to you?

No Fertility Pills
No Fruitful Pregnancies
Not Finding Patience
Never Fixing Privates
Not Forever Pregnant

Or perhaps it is:
Natural Family Planning

We'll go with that one... Most people know that NFP is a method of achieveing or postponing pregnancies through noticing the signs of ovulation and natural infertility.

There certainly has been a lot of discussion on blogs (Testosterhome, Jamie, Christine, and more) lately regarding this method. Some use it with no problems, some hate it but know its God's way so they do it anyways, some have had no classes and think they know what they are doing, and some think its a waste of time. So I wanted to share with you what I have read on the matter, regarding NFP and our moral obligation to be "Open to Life."

For Catholic's, let's start with A Contemporary Adult Guide to Conscience for the Sacrament of Confession by Fr. Richard J Rego.

>>Starting at Page 17 you will find "Sins Against Human Life" as an alternative description to "Thou Shalt Not Kill." There is documentation regarding abortions, direct sterilization, contraception, artificial insemination, and more. All of these are mortal sins that rob your soul of the state of grace. Did you know that? I thought I understood. But I guess I was missing some of the finer details of these subcategories of such a big sin.

>>This book asks "Have I practiced any form of contraception whatsover? Contraception is the use of a condom, IUD, diaphragm, the contraceptive pill, sponges, pre-mature withdrawl by the man, or ANY OTHER MEASURE THAT WOULD IMPEDE THE TRANSMISSION OF HUMAN LIFE." (A side issue is that Homosexuality is a sin for the same reason.)

>>It continues to talk about Contraception being an "intrinsically evil act, is never, under any circumstances whatsoever, morally acceptable!" That's a lot of words meaning really bad. "Natural Family Planning however is essentially different from contraception. Although its purpose it to limit births, it does so by taking into account the natural rhythms of a woman's body, built in by the Creator. The use of NFP for serious or just reasons is a morally acceptable way of limiting births. NFP can be used either temporarily or if justly required, permanently."

>>It does give a description of what these just reasons are. They are categorizes by Physical, Economic, Psychological, and Social hardships. Any other reasons are "purely selfish or less than just motives would constitute a sin against the very meaning of married life."

I took some time to think about this for awhile. Am I being selfish when I make love to my husband based on these guidelines? Yes. I won't talk about which ones, but we were wrong in our ways. So with lots of prayer and research, we have changed our ways. It's been a rough few weeks, but the act itself is more pleasureable, and our respect for each other's bodies and beliefs has grown. We still are able to use NFP to postpone pregnancy because of mental, physical and financial reasons. But when those issues are no longer there - the Church states we must be completely open. And we will be!

The question still remains for so many of you:
Are you using NFP for selfish reasons?
Is your mental and physical self suitibly stable and fertile?
Are your finances stable within reason?

Then according to the Catholic Church (by the Autority of God), you should be using NFP for the purposes of procreation.

Let's check out some more information from the
Catechism of the Catholic Church - which is like a rules and regulations book for Catholics, but speaks so honestly and intelligently I believe other faith lives would feel comfortable taking it to heart. It is gathered from a multitude of documents of the church and it's founding fathers.

>>Quick Reference: #1652, 2258, 2360-2400

CC 1652 "The openness to fertility""By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory."

Children are not owed to us or planned solely by us - they are God's gift to us. So by not allowing moments when God can give us those gifts, what are we really saying to Him? He asks us to purely be open to His gifts, and accept them with love and gratitude. He knows what we need, what we are capable of handling, and He gives us generous Graces!

June 2006 we went to the MN Catholic Home Education Conference, to discern if homeschooling was for us. In the midst of the main talk given by Kimberly Hahn, she not only convinced us that that was the right path, but she opened my mind and I heard God's calling to try for more children. In the summer I miscarried a child (Baby Jo after St. Joseph) just after week 5 - days after I announced to the world I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it, why would God ask me to be open then take them away so quickly. I went into a deep state of depression that lead me to the ER, medication and a series of therapy visits.

The day of my worst breakdown ever, I was comforted by my husband, which lead to another pregnancy. I miscarried her (Baby Mary) at 5 weeks also. I finally decided that that was enough, and we stopped trying and we began charting to postpone pregnancy for the first time.

WELL - God had other plans. That December I got pregnant. I freaked out and anticipated a miscarriage. Nothing happened. So I waited to almost 12 weeks before saying anything to anyone. And happily by the grace of God, we now have our little Sabrina. And life wouldn't be the same without her. Because of the pregnancy, my hormones stabilized and my depression diminished for the entire pregnancy - no drugs. At the end of the 3rd trimester I saw my therapist who helped me through some baby blues. And every time I begin to feel depressed, my children raise my eyes to God in thanks and praise. God has abundant Graces for those things we think we cannot handle. God KNEW what we needed, and when we needed it. It was not our decision. NFP did not fail us, God simply allowed conception to occur despite our actions. Because we were using NFP we were telling God that we are still subjective to HIS WILL and His gifts...

This section has the word "fecundity" many times over. It means:
The power or quality of producing abundantly; fruitfulness or fertility.

"The fecundity of marriage. Fecundity is a gift, and [part] of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside ans something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is on the side of life, teaches that 'each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life.'...Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life... they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator..."

"[2370] Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil. "

"Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by and objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself TOTALLY to the other. This leands not only to a positive refusal to be open to life, but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love..."

In otherwords, if you are using ANY form of contraception, you are not being open to life nor are you totally giving of yourself to your spouse. And in my books, that's just sad and selfish.

For those who are blessed with many children, you may say - okay we are done! We are stretched out financially and emotionally with this many children. Or perhaps you have a medical condition, such as multiple c-sections, that make it difficult to be pregnant. These are valid reasons to use NFP as a permanent solution.

God knows you intimately, so you have to let Him have the final say. You have to still remain in a fertile state. But simply abstain during your fertile times. But you say - well if I am done, why not make it impossible to conceive? Why bother with all that charting. Well, unless you had a hysteretomy due to complications of a c-section or other diseases.... your body parts are not open to maring or mutilation. I read up on this after my third c-secion when determining if tying my tubes is a choice for catholics in medical extremes. I found such relief in the fact that NFP is not only the only choice for Catholics, but it is a natural choice, non-invasive, reversible, and beautiful in the eyes of God. It has truly been a blessing in our family and married life. I pray that it can be for your's too.

I have so much more to write, so I'll submit this much for now and see what comments come...

To conclude, here are some links to help you:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your faith and promotion of natural family planning. Your readers might be interested in downloading for free our 100 page online NFP manual at It covers all the fertility signs and the rules plus God's natural spacing through breastfeeding via The Seven Standards. This website has much, much more in support of Church teaching and a section on "Not Just for Catholics." Sheila, volunteer for NFP International


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