The Beauty of Natural Family Planning
My wife and I, as all Catholics ought, spurn manufactured methods of pregnancy prevention.
That means no condoms, no pill, no IUD, no etc, etc, etc.
We are very much disturbed by the negative perspective our society has developed towards generating embryonic life. Really - it bothers us a lot.
We have decided to embrace a difficult yet rewarding method of spacing our children (there are no pro-lifers who object to that!). The Church has approved this method, and before you put another word in there, it's not rhythm. What we follow, as the title of this post indicates, is Natural Family Planning.
NFP tracks the physical signs of a woman's fertility to calculate (down to almost the hour) when she is ovulating. That knowledge can be used to conceive or postpone conception. The science of it is taught in classes available around the world, and summarized quite nicely here, so I won't go into those details of it.
My parents (who are not yet Catholic) once told me that they were using birth control when they were first married, but felt a strong urge from the Lord that they weren't being open to his will in so doing. So they stopped. Then, somehow, their to-be first-born was conceived. My parents were stunned when this product of their very Catholic decision (me) decided to embrace the faith whose teachings encouraged his conception. In other words, I see a grand cosmic connection between my parents' decision to trust God's will for their family, and my tremendous sense of home in the Catholic Church.
Polls have shown that there is no discrepancy between Catholics and the general population in use of birth control. Here's my challenge to any Catholic out there who has never heard of this method: try it! It works better, it's better for your marriage, it's better for your soul. It's also quite nice not to have to fiddle with "equipment" when the passion kicks in. And any health nut will tell you how harmful it is to pump your body full of artificial chemicals.
What kind of man wants his wife to render herself infertile? Infertility, up until the last hundred years or so, was considered a curse and a burden. Now, people go through operations to obtain it. That's a sign of progress, I suppose.