This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week 2010! I’ve posted some of these videos before, but they never get old:
This is only one of a seven part series of videos contrasting NFP and contraception. All the videos were directed, written, acted, and edited by Catholic seminarians at the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha. You can see the other six videos here.
The major difference between NFP and contraception, quite obviously, is that infertile intercourse is an act of God, whereas, through contraception, the couple, takes the powers of life into their own hands with the intent of thwarting God’s creative designs. But this does not mean that natural family planning is just a Church approved method of birth control. The Church maintains that the practice of NFP must always be undertaken with a “procreative attitude” and should really only be used to avoid pregnancy for serious reasons:
The right and lawful ordering of birth demands, first of all, that spouses fully recognize and value the true blessings of family life and that they acquire complete mastery over themselves and their emotions (HV, 21)
This is to combat the culture of death that the “contraceptive mentality” has spawned while at the same time allowing couples the freedom to effectively and responsibly space out births in a way that cooperates with God’s creative designs.
It must also be said that, by “NFP”, we’re not talking about your grandma’s old “rhythm method” and that the modern method of charting a woman’s cycle is not just for the purpose of avoiding pregnancy, but also helps identify and effectively treat many female medical problems relating to PMS, infertility and achieving pregnancy, ovarian problems, frequent miscarriage, endometriosis, postpartum depression etc… In many ways, NFP has become much bigger than itself, expanding into a whole area of medicine dedicated to monitoring and maintaining a woman’s reproductive and gynecological health.
And for my take on all things NFP please check out my NFP archive as well.