I had given up posting as part of my Lenten Mortification Plan, but had to respond to the give and take here. (this Sunday is Latere Sunday...so I guess it is ok once) Jay Boyd has produced an interesting book, a blog in print,that covers the world of NFP
I frequently get into discussions with NFP teachers and couples, and some of those stories are on the blog at other place.
Here are the points in fact:
NFP is a great way for people to learn about their reproductive system. It is a way for married couples to see the wonder of God's creation. And it is a way for husbands to begin to understand the intricacies in their soulmate and partner.
The Catholic Church does not proclaim that one must have 10 kids. But, when you were married, there are a couple of places where kids come into it
1. In the beginning interrogatory, the couple is asked:
"Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the
law of Christ and his Church?"
2. In the Nuptual Blessing:
"Bless them with children and help them to be good parents. May they live to see
their children's children."
There are some factors to consider. First, though it seems that it is easy to become pregnant, in fact the best chance a couple has in any month is 1 in 5. That is without making any changes.
Periodic continence is good for many reasons, not the least of which is allowing the marriage to grow in other ways. But......each act of the loving embrace needs to be open to the possibility of life. Now some may say what about when menopause hits or there is some problem....or try to argue that hysterectomy is illicit....but the Church does understand that the reproductive lifespan is not eternal, but that the unitive part of the marital act is still valid.
But I am off point. Truth be told, most NFP writings do not tell stories of using NFP to improve the chances of pregnancy....it touts that NFP is 98-99% effective in preventing pregnancy......just as good as all the artificial means....in fact, better than the pill.
Pope Paul VI
said it best
"These acts, by which husband and wife are united in chaste intimacy, and by
means of which human life is transmitted, are, as the Council recalled, "noble
and worthy,"11 and they do not cease to be lawful if, for causes
independent of the will of husband and wife, they are foreseen to be infecund,
since they always remain ordained towards expressing and consolidating their
union. In fact, as experience bears witness, not every conjugal act is followed
by a new life. God has wisely disposed natural laws and rhythms of fecundity
which, of themselves, cause a separation in the succession of births.
Nonetheless the Church, calling men back to the observance of the norms of the
natural law, as interpreted by their constant doctrine, teaches that each and
every marriage act (quilibet matrimonii usus) must remain open to the
transmission of life"(HV 11)
Saint Gianna, pray for us