Simcha Fisher is a fabulous writer. With her straight to the point attitude about all things Catholic, its really refreshing to read her blog. Recently she wrote a post about NFP and how we are always judging others in their spacing of kiddos and why the Catholic Church doesn't have super specific rules for use of NFP. You can find it here.
I know from the short 4 years of being Catholic NFP is a hot topic. For the Catholics that follow it can be refreshing, but it also with it come challenges. Things I never really thought about in the first year of marriage. I mean honestly the science behind NFP is actually quite easy (in most cases, I know some folks have difficulties with cycles), but the practice of it is a little more challenging. Basically its because it 1.) requires you to be on the same page as your spouse about all things sex related 2.) Requires you trust God instead of throwing something between you and God.
Trusting God is hard in general, and when it comes to baby making well of course since its a life changing/making thing its gonna be super hard. I know for my own self, that I have definitely had my prayers that consist of yelling at God because I don't like the circumstances he has put me in when it comes to making a new life. But as Simcha Fisher put it that is one of the great things about NFP, is that it forces to to talk to God about your circumstances. It opens things up and helps to keep a relationship with him, and as for us Catholics, it doesn't make us fully go by the book on what the Church says. Because as she says God wants to hear from us on this, not just go by what the church says. So despite what some folks think about the Catholic church, the members of it do pray to God one on one in words of their own especially about things like this.
For me whether it was a miscarriage, or a semi-stint with infertility, or now not being done with breast feeding but being pregnant among other things (yes, there is a new little one on the way and it was planned), these are things that I have had to go to God one on one and with my spouse too because we want God in our marriage! It doesn't eliminate the hardness of them, it just lets him know that all 4 (God, Keith, me, and baby) are in this together. And we are gonna trust, and what better way to trust than with this very big and personal part of our lives.
And so to end on maybe a not so positive note, I titled part of this post as Judgemental Me. And Simcha touches on our judging of others with their practice of NFP. I know I so find myself doing this, worst of all places in the middle of mass. Why I dunno? But I've started to think more and more about it and I know that God will only give you what you can handle. But at the same time I don't know each individual's heart. And to say you need to have another baby would be rude and maybe not what they need right now. I think something that I always forget about what the Catechism says about NFP use is that we are supposed to be responsible parents. And to sometimes have another baby wouldn't be the responsible thing, or vice versa we could be irresponsible by wanting the latest gadget instead of being open to life. It goes both ways.
So I don't know where you stand on this all, but from just a few years experience under my belt I sure could do a whole lot more praying and learning in this topic. I want to become more compassionate in this area, but also let people know about the amazingness of NFP versus contraception in their marriage. So I guess it comes down to pray, pray, pray and trust, trust, trust.
Have a good Wednesday!