Natural Family Planning NFP
Marital Love God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply” (Genesis 1:27-28)
The creation story is a call to love. When we read the story of Adam and Eve before the fall, we understand God’s original call to us-a call not only of love, but also of beauty, a call in which we give ourselves completely to one another.
After the fall, Adam and Eve realized they were naked and tried to cover themselves. The sinful act here is not that they discovered their nakedness. The problem here was that they did not obey God and did something that was told “NOT TO DO IT”. They did not listen to God and fell into sin.
Exactly the same is happening today in most couples they do not like to be told what is wrong and what is right and end in chosen evil instead of good that comes from God. God never told us that SEX is bad, ugly or sinful. For the contrary, the Catholic Church invites couples to enjoy their sexual acts according to the natural way. Married Couples can freely explore their sexuality that is what God wants for them.
In the passage of the Book of Genesis, man and woman are created for unity. They become one flesh. This love is first of all fully human; that is, it involves both the body and the spirit. The man and woman join their hearts and souls as well as their bodies (Humanae Vitae 9).
Marriage between baptized persons represents the union of Christ and the Church. Marital love is to be total, faithful, exclusive, and indissoluble. The sacrament of marriage is the original means of holiness for Christian married couples and families (Familiaris Consortio 56). The grace of the sacrament helps the couple live with each other, to follow Christ, to know joy, to endure sorrow and hardships, to forgive each other, and to nurture one another and their mutual love. The joy of their love and family is a preview of heaven (Catechism of Catholic Church, 1641-1642).
THE MEANING OF THE BODY
God uses our bodies to reveal the truth of himself. Jesus teaches us that the meaning of life is in loving one another:”Love one another as I love you” (John 15:12). God’s love for us is made flesh in Jesus Christ. Christ’s love is a reality of the body. Thus, in the gift of our bodies to one another, we act on our love as Christ loved us. The body alone is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and divine. The body reveals God’s invisible mystery.
Unfortunately, today the human body is a symbol of sexual object to be exhibited like any object is exposed in a store. Most couples do not perceive that their bodies are holy and should be used with respect. It is why everyday most marriages are not working and the rate for divorce increase. The stage of discovering or dating time starts in bed and if it works or like they can be together. All other human aspects of the person are not part of that dating time. Marriage is a call that exalts the body that God created. The body is the special instrument that God uses to continue the beauty of creation. It does not matter if the spouse gained weight, or is aging or is loosing that special chemistry that the spouse had when they met for the first time. The meaning of the body is that is sacred and must be treated with respect, love and dignity as God treats us.
CHILDREN ARE GIFTS FROM GOD
Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one’s youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate (Psalm 127:3-5).
In general, those who argue for contraception start with the result, the fruit of marital union, a view in which children are seen as a negative. In our culture;s ideal image, most families are pictured with two children, preferably one boy and one girl. Unplanned pregnancy occurs in 50 percent of couples who use contraceptives, and the solution always includes more contraceptives. Abortion is offered as the solution when contraception fails (Casey vs Planned Parenthood, 1992).
The problem with approaching this issue from the direction of the result is that it leaves out discussion of causes and the decision-making or behaviors that led to the fruit. The Church approaches the matter from the opposite direction, starting with the holiness of the marital act itself-what it means and what it was intended for. These two meanings, life-giving and love-giving, cannot willfully be separated any more than Christ’s sacrifice can be separated from our redemption.
The culture of death calls pregnancy and children “contraceptives failures.” Generating new life and the beauty if God’s creation should never be thought of as a “failure.”
Contact: Jean & Gary Jeffas – 201-864-1213