NFP vs Providentialism


#1

I am not completely against NFP but I am starting to feel like it is very difficult to practice without a contraceptive mentality and that the default for our marriage should be providentialism.

Most of the people I know believe that the default should be NFP for the sake of "responsible parenthood".

I am curious about other peoples opinions?

Has anyone else stopped using NFP permanently or never used it at all?


#2

NFP vs Providentialism

Aren't they essentially the same thing? ;)


#3

Aren't they essentially the same thing?

Is this a comment about the effectiveness of NFP?


#4

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:223296"]
I am not completely against NFP but I am starting to feel like it is very difficult to practice without a contraceptive mentality and that the default for our marriage should be providentialism.

Most of the people I know believe that the default should be NFP for the sake of "responsible parenthood".

I am curious about other peoples opinions?

Has anyone else stopped using NFP permanently or never used it at all?

[/quote]

Most *of the people I know use ABC - those who *actually *follow church teachings and either use NFP or simply allow God to plan their families are the *minority.

How many people have you talked to about this personally? I'm just wondering where you're getting this personal type of information about the motivation to use NFP (for the sake of "responsible parenthood")...?


#5

I don't have a lot of real life Catholic friends but I do have many friends online who are forthright with their perspectives.

The basic assumption ...from what I have been told... is that God expects us to parent up to a certain standard. If we can't meet that standard then the responsible thing is to practice NFP.

The standards differ per couple, of course. Some might believe in separate bedrooms and top notch schools while others have lower standards but the general theme seems to be that parents need to carefully consider if they are capable of giving their kids a good life.


#6

[quote="violet81, post:5, topic:223296"]
I don't have a lot of real life Catholic friends but I do have many friends online who are forthright with their perspectives.

The basic assumption ...from what I have been told... is that God expects us to parent up to a certain standard. If we can't meet that standard then the responsible thing is to practice NFP.

The standards differ per couple, of course. Some might believe in separate bedrooms and top notch schools while others have lower standards but the general theme seems to be that parents need to carefully consider if they are capable of giving their kids a good life.

[/quote]

It's VERY easy to misjudge those we know in real life - let alone the ones we meet online.
I'm not sure it's possible to get a full perspective judging ANYONE from an outside view.


#7

It’s VERY easy to misjudge those we know in real life - let alone the ones we meet online.
I’m not sure it’s possible to get a full perspective judging ANYONE from an outside view.

So what is your opinion? Is there sometimes a moral responsibility to use NFP instead of letting God plan ones family?


#8

[quote="violet81, post:7, topic:223296"]
So what is your opinion? Is there sometimes a moral responsibility to use NFP instead of letting God plan ones family?

[/quote]

I trust in the Church's teachings:

2368
A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

    When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts, criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.156

2369
"By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood."157

2370
Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:159

    Thus the innate LANGUAGE that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory LANGUAGE, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.160

#9

It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood.

The million dollar question that seems to be up for interpretation is the definition of “responsible parenthood”


#10

[quote="violet81, post:9, topic:223296"]
The million dollar question that seems to be up for interpretation is the definition of "responsible parenthood"

[/quote]

Absolutely!

So... what's the question?...

Are there moral uses of NFP? SURE - that's what the church teaches!

Is it impossible to use correctly? Nope - there are certainly moral reasons for using NFP.

Are we supposed to PRAYERFULLY approach NFP and ask God to help guide us as a family in all aspects? - YES!!!

Can we judge someone's motives on the outside? Absolutely not.


#11

I guess your responses feel a little bit like a dismissal. Like you are saying that there is no point in discussing “responsible parenthood” because it will just lead to judgment of others.


#12

[quote="violet81, post:7, topic:223296"]
So what is your opinion? Is there sometimes a moral responsibility to use NFP instead of letting God plan ones family?

[/quote]

NFP is the exception not the rule.

NFP can be an acceptable alternative to abstinence if certain conditions are met. Particularly if true abstinence might leave one of the spouses in danger of mortal sin.

  1. God's Providence is ideal for married couples, 2. then abstinence if there is grave reason to avoid pregnancy, 3. then NFP if abstinence is not an option. Full-filling the marriage debt trumps both abstinence and NFP, except in very grave cases where death of the mother (or child if pregnant) is near certain and imminent.

As someone else said, It is not for us to decide what reasons are good enough for NFP (or abstinence for that matter). Prior to the 1960's or so the restriction guidelines (to discern usage) were worded much stronger than what you read today (if guidelines are mentioned at all).

"Abstinence for the sake of the kingdom" (like Mary and Joseph) is very rare these days and might require special permission. It is therefore outside of the analysis above (but would be 1 or 2)


#13

[quote="violet81, post:11, topic:223296"]
I guess your responses feel a little bit like a dismissal. Like you are saying that there is no point in discussing "responsible parenthood" because it will just lead to judgment of others.

[/quote]

I'm not dismissing it in the least!
(hence my "absolutely" in my last post..???)

I'm saying your original post suggested judging situations where you probably weren't privy to all the details.

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:223296"]
I am not completely against NFP but I am starting to feel like it is very difficult to practice without a contraceptive mentality and that the default for our marriage should be providentialism.

Most of the people I know believe that the default should be NFP for the sake of "responsible parenthood".

I am curious about other peoples opinions?

Has anyone else stopped using NFP permanently or never used it at all?

[/quote]

I understand YOU are now considering trusting God for YOUR marriage - that's a WONDERFUL *gift *that suggests you probably don't have any "just reasons" that are troubling you.

But it's just that... a GIFT. You've been BLESSED to not have the same troubles that others may have.
Suggesting that others are all as "blessed" as you, in this aspect, is a little presumptive.


#14

I wouldn't say there is a moral responsibility to use NFP. There certainly is a moral responsibility to not use ABC. There might be a moral responsibility for some not to have more children in case of poverty or likely birth defects etc, but if that is the case I would say the abstinence is the virtuous thing to do, NFP is taking some big risks in those cases.


#15

I wouldn't say there is a moral responsibility to use NFP. There certainly is a moral responsibility to not use ABC. There might be a moral responsibility for some not to have more children in case of poverty or likely birth defects etc, but if that is the case I would say the abstinence is the virtuous thing to do, NFP is taking some big risks in those cases.

The question is- Are their risks God doesn't want us to take?

I am not positive on that anymore. Lets take the extreme case of a woman who has AIDS and is in the depths of poverty. Would God rather she not have children because they might starve or die of AIDS?


#16

Right! There’s not moral responsibility to use NFP at all! It’s simply there to use when the situation is just/dire/serious enough to warrant it.


#17

[quote="violet81, post:15, topic:223296"]
The question is- Are their risks God doesn't want us to take?

I am not positive on that anymore. Lets take the extreme case of a woman who has AIDS and is in the depths of poverty. Would God rather she not have children because they might starve or die of AIDS?

[/quote]

I think this would certainly be something that would require prayer as to whether or not it's "responsible" to become a parent under those conditions.


#18

I understand YOU are now considering trusting God for YOUR marriage - that's a WONDERFUL gift that suggests you probably don't have any "just reasons" that are troubling you.

The reason I am considering it is for purely religious/philosophical reasons. I am quite certain that I have serious reasons... This is why I am wrestling with the idea of "responsible parenthood"


#19

[quote="violet81, post:18, topic:223296"]
The reason I am considering it is for purely religious/philosophical reasons. I am quite certain that I have serious reasons... This is why I am wrestling with the idea of "responsible parenthood"

[/quote]

Your personal reasons should be addressed with a Spiritual Director. Consider talking to a good and holy priest.


#20

I don’t speak for God. The moral thing to do would be not to risk transmitting a deadly virus to your spouse or your child.


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