Saturday, March 16, 2013


Practicing what we preach is not something that comes easily to us.  When the necessity of standing firm on crucial issues faces us, we are sometimes left wanting.  And when it comes to personal issues, we sometimes fail miserably.

Some say that the "third rail" issue that no one wishes to touch in Catholicism is contraception.  I would argue that it is more true to say that the real untouchable issue is Natural Family Planning, or NFP. Sensitivity and empathy are requirements if one attempts to engage in a discussion of this delicate topic.  It takes intelligence and courage to speak honestly about this, to face it squarely and to explain why NFP can be and often is a very serious mistake for young couples to make.  After all we are speaking of God and souls.  Dr Jay Boyd, whose excellent blog Philothea on Phire frequently delves into this touchy matter, has written a book which takes that honest look at NFP which is so much needed.  In writing this book Dr Boyd has done noble work.  In writing this book she answers the call of so many children waiting to be born.

Perusing her blog we perceive that Dr Boyd writes with real compassion and real understanding of these things.  It is from these many vital postings on her blog that she has fashioned her book.  She does not condemn.  Her writing style is engaging, often witty and full of warmth.  It is not "preachy" or impatient.  She understands.

She does not attack this method because she, like many of us, realize that a great number of Catholics practice it in all good faith.  Her concerns have more to do with motivations rather than methods.  She invites a charitable discussion of the two sides, no more, no less.  All people of good will owe it to themselves to examine this carefully.  Good will is important for both opposing views.

The two operative words in NFP are "Family Planning". No, it is not a contraceptive act.  Contraception involves two serious problems.  One, it is most often abortifacient and, two, it is telling God Himself that it is we who will decide how many children to accept, not He.  NFP does not involve the first of these two problematical concepts, but it very much involves the second one.

We Catholics are often asked what we can do to help put the brakes on the obscene cultural rot that is gnawing away at every idea and every institution on earth.   There is one simple thing we could do.  We could have more children.

Buy this book.  The much-delayed discussion on "Natural Family Planning" needs to begin. 


Jay said...

Wow! Thank you SO MUCH for your endorsement!

Aged parent said...

Thank you, Dr Boyd, for writing this book.

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