Couples who practice natural family planning may soon have a patron saint. On Thursday, the day of his 79th birthday, Pope Francis signed a decree approving a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Mother Teresa. The date for her canonization is speculated to be September 4 of next year. Mother Teresa was a staunch defender of the culture of life and she and her Sisters of Charity taught the Billings Ovulation Method to the poor in India.
Blessed Mother Teresa did not mince words and it is important that we remember them. Here is what she boldly proclaimed about NFP when addressing the U.S. Congress at the 1994 National Day of Prayer breakfast:
“I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception.”
“In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.”
“I also know that there are great problems in the world – that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning. We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.
“The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: ‘You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other.’ And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.”
— Sarah Drew