“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh" ...
That is why a man leaves
his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one body.
(Genesis 2: 23-24)
Adam's cry of recognition upon seeing Eve that she was made for him, points to the shared vocation of husband and wife in marriage--to mirror God's Trinitarian love.
Married love is total, exclusive, permanent, faithful, and fruitful (see Humanae vitae, 9). In particular, "the Sacrament of Marriage is the specific source and original means of sanctification for Christian married couples and families" (Familiaris consortio, 56). Jesus Himself teaches that the marital union is a profound bond willed by God the Father (see Matthew 19: 4-6). And, St. Paul likens marriage to Christ's love for His Church (see Ephesians 5: 32). Marriage is therefore sacred and in their love for each other, the Christian husband and wife have a gift that is directly located in God who is love. This gift needs to be nurtured!
Among the benefits of practicing Natural Family Planning (NFP) is that it can foster growth in the married couple's spirituality. This is due to the requirement of the daily charting the wife's menstrual cycle. Charting reveals the couple's window of fertility. Each day husband and wife are asked to be mindful about God's plan for their marriage--whether to attempt conception or not. In the experience of many NFP couples, this daily mindfulness fosters deep communication which often opens their hearts to the Lord God. Spirituality, a Christian spirituality, can blossom and grow!
The resources below represent scientific research, academic study, and pastoral writing and presentations (videos). They offer reflections on a spirituality of married love and the practice of NFP. and stand on the doctrinal principles which the Church teaches.
Please be advised that the content below represents the thought of the authors. Links to external websites are provided solely for the user's convenience. Reference to these sites do not imply USCCCB official endorsement.
Please be patient with us as we continue to develop this page. Send your suggestions of articles on the spirituality of NFP to email@example.com.
Emotional Relational, and Spiritual Benefits of NFP
Diocese of Green Bay
This brief article highlights the spiritual benefits of practicing NFP in marriage.
God's Plan for Married Life and the Gift of Children (Video)
Christopher Kaczor, PhD
In this talk presented at the 2018 fiftieth anniversary symposium of Humanae vitae, Dr. Kaczor reflects upon how children contribute to a married couple's spirituality. Specifically, he considers how the gift of children helps parents grow closer to God as grow in humility, patience, and other virtues. Ultimately, they realize that “Children are … the supreme gift of marriage” and help them grow closer to God (see Gaudium et spes, 50).
This pastoral article focuses on how faith in God can foster happiness in marriage and that the methods of NFP can play a supporting role.
Theresa Notare, PhD
This pastoral article links redemption in Christ to the marriage relationship.
Reflections on the Spirituality of Natural Family Planning
Richard Fehring, PhD, RN
In this study Dr. Fehring notes that although the use of NFP can be a struggle for couples, when NFP is used from a spiritual perspective, it enhances both the marital relationship and the relationship with God.
Spiritual Dimensions of Natural Family Planning
In this article, Ronda Chervin suggests six mysteries of sexuality, life, and family planning. She uses the mysterious dimension of God's love to draw people closer to Him through the practice of Natural Family Planning.
Spiritual Well-Being Among NFP Couples
Richard Fehring, PhD, RN
This scientific study shows that couples who use NFP have increased levels of communication, intimacy, and faith in God.
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