IS NFP “CATHOLIC” CONTRACEPTION?
Dear Fr. Matthew
Greetings! NFP is not "Catholic" contraception. The Church endorses NFP (as seen in Humanae Vitae), and condemns contraception as harmful. Why? Because NFP, when used correctly and for good motives, is a morally good expression of responsible parenthood. NFP is one of God's gifts to us in these times to help us space our children. Everyone knows that there are times when couples must space, or delay, a new pregnancy.
NFP is always open to the gift of life. Contraception turns against our fertility and tries to sterilize it. NFP recognizes God as the Author and Sovereign of all life, and during the woman's fertile period allows Him to decide if a new person shall be conceived. Contraception pushes God out of the picture, and attempts to take complete control over the possible procreation of a new person who will live forever. NFP takes advantage of the natural rhythms of fertility and infertility. Contraception suppresses and manipulates fertility, and refuses to practice periodic abstinence.
NFP couples must practice self-mastery and self-possession for the sake of the other. They understand that real love is always self-sacrificial. They learn to express their love with a full repertoire of acts of tenderness, verbal expression and demonstrate an appreciation for the presence of the other. Contraception ignores most of these, and concentrates upon the genital dimension of spousal love.
There is a world of difference between NFP and contraception.
I suggest that you read section 32 of Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World) by Pope John Paul II.
Read Christopher West's Good News about Sex and Marriage.
Go to this website: www.ccli.org.
Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB