Giving a talk on NFP tonight - suggestions?

Tonight my DW (mamacita on CAF) and I are giving a talk to a RCIA class. The topic of the evening is Married Love and our portion of the night is a talk on NFP.

Now DW is not much for public speaking so the torch has been passed to me to talk on this subject. I have prepared a speech that includes some facts from Humanae Vitae regarding contraception and NFP as well as a personal testimony.

I am looking for any other suggestions as to what may be important to say to them. We feel that this is a very important topic and could have a profound affect on someone’s life and we want to be sure that we include/say the right things. Any thoughts?

It would also be beneficial if you could maybe share with us your experience with deciding to practice NFP vs. using any ABC.

I guess by that I mean what is it that convinced you to use NFP? Was it simply because the Church teaches it or was there some other “defining moment” that you can point to that says :newidea: this really makes sense?

Thank you in advance and please pray for us as we give this talk tonight, pray that the Holy Spirit will speak through us to touch someone’s heart.

I think the number one thing that people object to when they hear the church’s teaching is the periodic abstinence. My wife and I have come to the conclusion that people just don’t want to be told what to do, and people seem to think that married people have a right to have sex all the time, whenever they want.

So, I would be prepared to talk about

  1. The discipline of self denial. It’s not a bad thing.
  2. The arguments about ABC being the same as NFP because the end is the same.
  3. The whole “what’s a serious/grave/just reason” discussion.
  4. The fact the 100 years ago all Christian churches were against artificial birth control.

Testimonial - my wife and I have practiced NFP for 17 or 18 years. We are still married. It didn’t kill us. We are growing closer to the Lord and each other all of the time. It’s the right thing to do.

You will definitely be in my prayers for your talk tonight! God bless you for reaching out and teaching in this way!

This wasn’t even a subject of contention for my husband and I… we just simply agreed, going into marriage, that sexual intimacy within marriage is sacramental, required, and the greatest gift of matrimony. Each and every life resulting from that sacramental love was precious. God co-creates with us, as married couples… this is a tremendous responsibility and also a gift!

However, there are very prudent reasons that couples may decide to delay or avoid pregnancy… and God has created us in a precise way that allows those decisions to be made in a prayerful and moral manner. God did not design women to get pregnant each and every time she was sexually intimate with her husband! He designed women’s bodies to only be fertile for a short window each month/cycle! (Wow, smart guy! :wink: )

Biologically, these cycle variations are relatively easy to track!.. (it’s just as “scientific” as trusting chemicals to alter that cycle).

NFP ain’t your Momma’s “rhythm method” any more! :smiley: There are loads of doctors and midwives that embrace this wonderful technology…

God created… God designed… perfectly moral… doctor/science approved! How can you go wrong!?! :thumbsup:

God bless you on your talk tonight! :slight_smile:

Hi MM;

You’re more than welcome to take the marital embrace thread I started in this section, and use some of it to your liking. That might help? :slight_smile: Good luck to you both!

Hi MM,
One of the aspects of NFP that people really responded to when DH and I used to give these talks was how NFP could be used to identify issues with a woman’s health that otherwise could go undetected. In my case, Creighton method helped identify issues affecting my fertility and health which have since been treated or resolved. This was after 12 years of me complaining to other well-meaning physicians about symptoms which were causing me pain and other unpleasant side effects. I’m an open book (as you well know) so if you have any other questions drop me a PM.

Being a purgatorian and trying to propagate the society has taught me one thing, human beings have a selfish side and to get to them, let them know that what you are trying to convince them to do is for their own good not just about making them feel guilty of doing a wrong. What I mean is this, hold nothing back in bringing out the defects of artificial contraception but psychological, physical and otherwise and believe me there are so many, the blotting (for those looking for the perfect shape) heavy bleeding some months, the fact that some of these are actually abortive not preventive.

Then reveal the ability to abstinence as strength as against spontaneity being actually giving into weakness at all times. One thing I have noticed is that when the eight days or so of break and DH and I get intimate, the experience is always refreshing, new and sweeter and very bonding.

Also I remember not too long ago one time when I was ovulating and really wanted to get intimate with DH(so did he), I was unbearable kind off. I told myself that tomorrow was Sunday I could not afford to miss communion, I also was to get on plane on Tuesday and did not want to get this weight of sin hovering around me cause of something so short last but then I will still desiring so I did what I learnt in my formative years at Opus Dei, I said a hail Mary. At that moment, my little daughter woke up from sleep and refused to go back to bed unless I carried her. If I lay her down, she would cry. She was so restless that nite that DH sleep off and so did I later. I woke up the next morning happy that I was going to receive communion after all. After that day, I became resolute in my decision as to NFP.

During my quite times a voice tells me that families that practice NFP incur a special kind of grace for themselves and I should always trust in the power of God to see me through.

End of my epistle before I get too preachy or boring.:yawn:

Personally, I don’t think you should frame any portion of your talk around how someone may have “decided” to use NFP rather than contraception.

The starting point is that contraception is intrinsically disordered-- never a moral choice. God’s plan for marriage includes a total self-giving in the marital act.

If one has a just reason to avoid a pregnancy for a time then NFP is an alternative to complete abstinence.

NFP is **not **an alternative to contraception.

I think it’s really important to state it in those terms.

How much you get into different types of NFP and how it works depends on how much time you are given.

Using Humanae Vitae and the Catechism are good starting points to discuss how God designed our sexuality, what its purpose is, and how NFP fits in.

I completely agree with 1ke! EXACTLY what he said.

Contraception is not an option because it’s wrong and it’s not healthy.

Encourage them to at least consider that they do not need to medicate or “fix” a working system.

**thank you 1ke for pointing out what is very often completely missed and is very important to the understanding of the marital embrace.:thumbsup: **

we are supposed to be giving a testimonial. I am not under the impression that we are supposed to describe the different methods, etc.

I was told from the lady on the phone that it is supposed to be a testimonial of how it affects our marriage in a positive way. Right MM??

Since it’s more of a testimonial, I would definitely touch on the fact that it brings the couple closer together because they are acting out of love (rather than selfishness) - after all the purpose of marriage is to will the good of the beloved for the beloved’s sake :).

You will both be in my prayers tonight! Next week, it’s our turn for RCIA marriage talk! DH and I are preparing to talk about the Sacrament itself and beginning of married life. We have 2 other women - one who’s been married for 20 yrs and one who’s been married for over 40 yrs talk about other aspects :).

If there are young adults in the class, why not summarize some points on ABC before introducing NFP.

I remember the people in my engaged encounter, particularly the young ones, were really arrogant and uninformed about birth control, so they took the entire NFP talk with a grain of salt, rolling their eyes, humming and sighing and generally being stupid about it.

I’ve stopped being surprised at how uninformed young people are about the serious choices they make daily. Heck, I even turned one conversation into my siggy…my coworker was convinced that she could feel herself ovulating even though she is on Yasmin. :rolleyes:

Anyways, if someone feels comfortable with their current choice, it will be very difficult for you to convince them to change their lifestyle.

Did you find out if your parish is givng them TGNAS&M? If not strongly recommend that they read it together.

And the concept that lead me to my conversion… Are you having sex or making love? Ask them this question and have them discuss it between themselves.

There is a really tacky joke I wouldn’t know how to post here about this concept but I found it SO true.

Something that I wish more people would focus on is that NFP is GOD’s way of planning your family. It is your responsibility, but ultimately, you can pray to HIM each month to decide if your marital embrace should occur during the fertile time or during the infertile time.

Personally, also it would be nice if you could touch on the fact that sometimes ABC cannot be avoided. I am a perfect example: I have not spontaneously ovulated in several years, despite being only 32. I do not produce any inherant estrogen and so I must take some form of artificial estrogen. I take this so that the uterine lining doesn’t get too thick (lining hyperplasia) and this would put me at high risk of uterine cancer. This “supplemental” estrogen is the only guarantee that I’ll ever have a “normal” cycle. We still do practice NFP though, although the hormones mess up most of my symptoms. But we practice NFP because we are STILL open to life. I know that there are many kids out there who were conceived when ABC failed. I know that when God chooses, he will send us another baby. We may get lucky next time and avoid the need for fertility drugs! Because I do have a medical condition, my priest says that this is all appropriate. So maybe mention that there are always an exception to every rule. good luck!

This is obviously too late for your talk, but perhaps there needs to be an evaluation of the value of the witness talk. Too many witness talks can be interpreted as “Look at us. We contracepted for years and now we are using NFP.” That can come across as “You too can contracept for years and then ‘convert’ as we did.” The couple who accepted and lived by Catholic teaching from their wedding day are sort of left out of the witness picture.

Perhaps it might be helpful that two of the most important questions in life are these. !) What does Jesus want me to do? 2) What does Jesus want me NOT to do? The obvious answer to the first question is that he wants us to believe and to love as He loves us, that is, with a self-sacrificing love. The obvious answer to the second question is that He wants us NOT to violate any and all of the commandments. So how do we know about things that are not spelled out specifically in the Decalog? That is one of the great reasons why He gave us the Church, not a book of instructions.
With a little thought, a presenter should be able to answer the question posed by one of the previous respondents. Are you having sex or making love? Or to put it other words, “When is ‘having sex’ the act of ‘making love’?” Since 1967 my reply has been, “When your sexual act is a renewal of your marriage covenant, for better and for worse, even the imagined worse of possible pregnancy.”

You can find additional information such as “Understanding Humanae Vitae” at the website in my signature.

John F. Kippley
"Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality" (Ignatius)

I wanted to say thanks to everyone that posted comments and suggestions, they really came in handy.

Just a quick update on how the evening went. I think that it went well, but I was talking, mamacita can give her evaluation. I know for sure that I was nervous at first since there were about 32 or so people there with a mix of age ranges. There were 2 sisters (nuns) there and our associate pastor was there. It was a wide range of people from those that were married 50+ years to (what looked like) high school aged kids.

I mainly stuck with my original layout talking about Humanae Vitae and contrasted NFP to contraception, talked about the true meaning of the marital embrace and shared a personal testimony. All in all, I talked anywhere from 30-40 mins. I was pressed for time and I said “um” a lot as I had a hard time losing my place on my notes.

Oh well :shrug: if one person was touched by it, then it was worth it. One of the sisters told me “I could feel the Spirit moving through you up there.” Lots of people said it was great, but would they tell me if it was bad? Our associate pastor said that it is a message that needs to get out there and praised me for talking about it saying “you had my attention the whole time.”

With more practice, it could have been a lot better, but all in all, I feel that it was good. I hope that (again) atleast one person was touched in some way.

BTW, thanks for the suggestions and for the prayers. I really did feel them last night as I was calm when I was talking, just kept losing my place.

I started a thread for you and mamacita–to update us. But, this is just fine too! :smiley: I’m glad it went well!

Hey–you and mamacita could do this at the high school level–Catholic schools, no? I see something emerging here…!!!:slight_smile:

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