Birth Control


#1

Thought my title would attract attention! Did it?
I am a practicing Catholic and my wife and I are not using birth control. Not because the CC says not to, but because we believe what the CC teaches us why not to. We are open to lfe and to what God has in store for us.
We were however introduced to NFP. After going to some classes and starting to chart, I began to, well, not feel right about it.
No its not a pill or a condom but it is still a form of birth control. By avoiding sex, we are controling the fertilization process. Is this right? If God doesn’t give us more than we can handle (number of kids) and we are open to life, then should we be using ANY form of control over birth?
We WANT to be pregnant! We want kids! But can someone make me feel better about NFP. God may not give us more than we can handle but we don’t want 12 kids!!!


#2

[quote=JGravel]Thought my title would attract attention! Did it?
I am a practicing Catholic and my wife and I are not using birth control. Not because the CC says not to, but because we believe what the CC teaches us why not to. We are open to lfe and to what God has in store for us.
We were however introduced to NFP. After going to some classes and starting to chart, I began to, well, not feel right about it.
No its not a pill or a condom but it is still a form of birth control. By avoiding sex, we are controling the fertilization process. Is this right? If God doesn’t give us more than we can handle (number of kids) and we are open to life, then should we be using ANY form of control over birth?
We WANT to be pregnant! We want kids! But can someone make me feel better about NFP. God may not give us more than we can handle but we don’t want 12 kids!!!
[/quote]

Well, birth control is not evil, but contraception is evil. The difference is crucial. Spacing births may be morally licit, for serious reasons, it is how we space them that is important.

It helps if we understand that the martial embrace has two components that may never be separated. NFP never separates those two components, contraception always separates them.

With NFP we never intentionally frustrate the fertility aspect of the act. That does not mean conception must always happen, it means we have taken no steps to block it during the act. With contraception the fertility aspect of the act is intentionally blocked.

I know others will explain it much better.


#3

This is a very difficult concept and one I think all of us with good intentions continually work on! Praise God that you are eschewing artificial birth control and seeking God’s will.

One thing that helped me is knowing that God designed the woman’s body. He designed it so there are fertile times when we may have relations and there are infertile times when we may have relations. If we have relations during fertile times, we are inviting God in and he might just choose to allow us to cooperate in His creation of a new soul. If we have relations during infertile times, there is nothing we can possibly do to force God to allow us to cooperate in His creation! Yet God has not forbidden us from having relations during the majority of the month when the wife is not fertile. He has given us that time as a gift to use in a godly way. If God had wanted every marital act to be fertile, he would have designed the woman’s body to be fertile all month long.

All that said, NFP should not be used with a contraceptive mentality. It should not be used to have one child only because the couple really likes to drive nice cars and go on vacations. The beauty of NFP is that the couple is always discussing, “Does God want us to have another child now?” This helps the couple continue walking next to God throughout their marriage instead of veering off into selfishness.

If you are having these hesitations about NFP, God might be calling you and your wife to be providential, now or always in the future. Perhaps you are a couple who is not called to practice NFP, but are called to be providential. You have no idea what you could handle and, deo Gratias, God usually gives us only one child at a time with one to two years to get used to those responsibilities before giving us another child!

Following are some resources my husband and I read during marital preparation:

  1. “The Parable of the Fig Trees,” LEAVES, Sept./Oct. 1953.
  2. The Art of Natural Family Planning by John F. Kippley and Sheila K. Kippley, Fourth Edition, p. 236, Couple to Couple League, Inc., 1996.
  3. “Abusing NFP” by Kathleen van Schaijik, The University Concourse, vol. VII, issue 1, April 20, 2002.
  4. “Divine Providence,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Classic 1914 Edition CD by New Advent, copyright 2003.
  5. “Substituting the Exception for the Rule,” by Peter W. Miller

#4

[quote=JGravel] We were however introduced to NFP. After going to some classes and starting to chart, I began to, well, not feel right about it.No its not a pill or a condom but it is still a form of birth control.
[/quote]

Of course it is birth control-- the spacing and planning of a family. The Catholic Church does not teach that birth control is immoral. The Church teaches that contraception is immoral.

[quote=JGravel] By avoiding sex, we are controling the fertilization process. Is this right?
[/quote]

Abstinence can be practiced for many reasons. Minimizing the chance of conception is one of them. You are not “controlling” the fertilization process. You are refraining from intercourse on days most likely to result in conception.

[quote=JGravel] If God doesn’t give us more than we can handle (number of kids) and we are open to life, then should we be using ANY form of control over birth?
[/quote]

If you have a just reason to avoid at that time, yes. The Church does NOT teach Providentialism.

The Church doesn’t teach that we must actively seek to have or actively seek to avoid children. The Church teaches responsible stewardship through prayer and mutual decision making of the spouses.

[quote=JGravel] We WANT to be pregnant! We want kids! But can someone make me feel better about NFP. God may not give us more than we can handle but we don’t want 12 kids!!!
[/quote]

NFP is information only. You decide what to do with that. NFP is not merely for avoiding, but also to help time intercourse to increase the possibility of conception-- important for those persons with subfertility.

Read the Catechism on responsible parenthood-- the section on the Sacrament of Marriage. Also read Humanae Vitae and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (and/or Christopher West’s study materials on Theology of the Body).

NFP can be misused if spouses without just reasons use it to avoid. Just reasons can only be determined by the couple, through prayer and discernment.

If you want children, and feel that you are able to welcome a child right now-- great, then use NFP to conceive.


#5

What’s so great about NFP is that it’s not all about delaying pregnancy. It can actually be used to achieve pregnancy, especially for couples who are having difficulty.

Maybe God is calling you to have a child now! Maybe he’s calling you to have a couple more in the next few years. But maybe you’ll discern at some point in the future that you do have a serious reason to delay pregnancy. The Church does encourage responsible parenthood as well as having little bundles of joy.


#6

The View can be long term and short term.

NFP allows you to ask…

" Right now, are we called to have a child; be pregnant this month and a child in 9 months from now? "

Then, whatever the answer is look at your chart and decide if you want to abstain or embrace.

At different times in your marriage and for different valid reasons you may have different answers to that question.

NFP gives you the knowledge to make an informed choice about your family planning.

NFP also teaches about ecological breast feeding that helps space children.

God Bless


#7

[quote=TridentineFan]This is a very difficult concept and one I think all of us with good intentions continually work on! Praise God that you are eschewing artificial birth control and seeking God’s will.

One thing that helped me is knowing that God designed the woman’s body. He designed it so there are fertile times when we may have relations and there are infertile times when we may have relations. If we have relations during fertile times, we are inviting God in and he might just choose to allow us to cooperate in His creation of a new soul. If we have relations during infertile times, there is nothing we can possibly do to force God to allow us to cooperate in His creation! Yet God has not forbidden us from having relations during the majority of the month when the wife is not fertile. He has given us that time as a gift to use in a godly way. If God had wanted every marital act to be fertile, he would have designed the woman’s body to be fertile all month long.

All that said, NFP should not be used with a contraceptive mentality. It should not be used to have one child only because the couple really likes to drive nice cars and go on vacations. The beauty of NFP is that the couple is always discussing, “Does God want us to have another child now?” This helps the couple continue walking next to God throughout their marriage instead of veering off into selfishness.

If you are having these hesitations about NFP, God might be calling you and your wife to be providential, now or always in the future. Perhaps you are a couple who is not called to practice NFP, but are called to be providential. You have no idea what you could handle and, deo Gratias, God usually gives us only one child at a time with one to two years to get used to those responsibilities before giving us another child!

Following are some resources my husband and I read during marital preparation:

  1. “The Parable of the Fig Trees,” LEAVES, Sept./Oct. 1953.
  2. The Art of Natural Family Planning by John F. Kippley and Sheila K. Kippley, Fourth Edition, p. 236, Couple to Couple League, Inc., 1996.
  3. “Abusing NFP” by Kathleen van Schaijik, The University Concourse, vol. VII, issue 1, April 20, 2002.
  4. “Divine Providence,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Classic 1914 Edition CD by New Advent, copyright 2003.
  5. “Substituting the Exception for the Rule,” by Peter W. Miller
    [/quote]

Thank you so much! Thank you to all!


#8

At our parish I have heard it said “you know what you call a couple who practices NFP?..Parents”.
And my son and his wife are a testament to that. They were just about ready to go see a fertility specialist when NFP entered their lives. Baby is on the way!! :thumbsup:


#9

Don’t you just Love this forum stuff!
I get educated everyday!
Thank you to all, I apreciate your help on this subject. It’s great to have the support of Catholic brothers and sisters out there.
God bless you all!


#10

[quote=JGravel]Don’t you just Love this forum stuff!
I get educated everyday!
Thank you to all, I apreciate your help on this subject. It’s great to have the support of Catholic brothers and sisters out there.
God bless you all!
[/quote]

And God bless YOU for being generous towards new life entering your family!

Good luck!


#11

#12

Well, I had my kids one at a time. We have six.

Remember that if you use ecological breastfeeding, you must likely will have a year or more of infertility between pregnancies. I think ecological breastfeeding is one of God’s ways to space children.

However, I am not currently breastfeeding. And, we are using NFP. We had a miscarriage last month that has plunged me into a depression. Sigh. So, this is not a good time to be pregnant.

I’m so grateful for the Church that calls us to generousity, but gives us the means to discern and space births.


#13

JGavel…you are struggling with similar issues I have. I’m not really sure what the Lord is calling me to do. I sometimes just want to forgo determining when I’m fertile and just trust God. To be relieved of the responsibility of charting and just BE FREE to let God determine the outcome can be very empowering. It sounds to me that you really don’t have a valid reason for avoiding a pregnancy. If that is true, then by all means throw your charts away and just trust God. :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=JGravel]Thought my title would attract attention! Did it?
I am a practicing Catholic and my wife and I are not using birth control. Not because the CC says not to, but because we believe what the CC teaches us why not to. We are open to lfe and to what God has in store for us.
We were however introduced to NFP. After going to some classes and starting to chart, I began to, well, not feel right about it.
No its not a pill or a condom but it is still a form of birth control. By avoiding sex, we are controling the fertilization process. Is this right? If God doesn’t give us more than we can handle (number of kids) and we are open to life, then should we be using ANY form of control over birth?
We WANT to be pregnant! We want kids! But can someone make me feel better about NFP. God may not give us more than we can handle but we don’t want 12 kids!!!
[/quote]

Read "the good news about sex and marriage and “the theology of the body” by Christopher West, he really covers all of your questions excellently.


#15

Thats exactly what we plan to do dvin cks. (For now) Actually my wife will still chart for the sake of learning more about her body and cycle.
We give it up to God. In about a year though, if we are not pregnant, we will use NFP to get there.


#16

One other question on the subject of Birth Control. I have a Catholic friend who said they made a personal choice to use birth control because she has incredible pain from endomitriosis. Is she sinning?


#17

[quote=JGravel]One other question on the subject of Birth Control. I have a Catholic friend who said they made a personal choice to use birth control because she has incredible pain from endomitriosis. Is she sinning?
[/quote]

If a person uses a contraceptive method with the intent to prevent conception, that is objectively gravely sinful.

If a person uses a medicine, whose primary purpose is to treat a medical condition, and whose secondary effect is temporary or permanent sterility, then this is not contraception and the sterilizing side effect is tolerated because it is unintended. This comes under the Principle of Double Effect.

If a person uses the hormonal birth control pill as a medicine, then the secondary effect can be abortifacient not merely sterilizing. Therefore, many moral theologians concur that the criteria for the Principle of Double Effect are not met in this case (due to the severe gravity of the abortifacient potential of the hormonal pill) and the person should abstain from intercourse until such time as the medical treatment is discontinued or seek an alternate treatment. Some people consider this gray area, morally.

This has been debated here quite a bit, you can look up this topic here and on various pro-life websites.

The best advice is for any woman who is put on “the pill” for female problems to consult the doctors at Pope Paul VI Institute. Many doctors put women on the “pill” unnecessarily and recklessly without ever really treating the problem.


#18

[quote=JGravel]One other question on the subject of Birth Control. I have a Catholic friend who said they made a personal choice to use birth control because she has incredible pain from endomitriosis. Is she sinning?
[/quote]

Well…I don’t want to read too much into your post, but…

If the woman in question is using hormone therapy to treat endometriosis, and infertility is an unintended (and possibly unwanted) side effect of that treatment, it could be OK. I would hope that the hormone therapy in use is one that impacts only ovulation, though, and not implantation.

If hormone therapy is one option among many more-or-less equivalent treatment options, and she opted for hormone therapy because the side effects were “convenient,” then she’s obviously being disobedient to Church teaching.

As with all potentially grave sin, intent and understanding of what is right and wrong are important considerations.


#19

[quote=1ke]If a person uses a contraceptive method with the intent to prevent conception, that is objectively gravely sinful.

If a person uses a medicine, whose primary purpose is to treat a medical condition, and whose secondary effect is temporary or permanent sterility, then this is not contraception and the sterilizing side effect is tolerated because it is unintended. This comes under the Principle of Double Effect.

If a person uses the hormonal birth control pill as a medicine, then the secondary effect can be abortifacient not merely sterilizing. Therefore, many moral theologians concur that the criteria for the Principle of Double Effect are not met in this case (due to the severe gravity of the abortifacient potential of the hormonal pill) and the person should abstain from intercourse until such time as the medical treatment is discontinued or seek an alternate treatment. Some people consider this gray area, morally.

This has been debated here quite a bit, you can look up this topic here and on various pro-life websites.

The best advice is for any woman who is put on “the pill” for female problems to consult the doctors at Pope Paul VI Institute. Many doctors put women on the “pill” unnecessarily and recklessly without ever really treating the problem.
[/quote]

thanks :thumbsup:


#20

Well…, weren’t you fortunate! Neither the term nor concept of NFP were ever brought up to us during our marriage preparation. Once we both stated we were “open to having children,” the discussion ended–without any guidance, discussion or formation in how many children, if and/or how to space them, managing fertility, medical complications, the dual purposes of sexual intimacy, the reasons for practising abstinence within marriage, etc…


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