Selfishness. We have all been selfish and we have all been in the presence of someone being selfish. As a 21-year-old woman, I often get painted with the wide brush associating millennials and selfishness (among other things). But our faith tells us that one way to combat this selfishness is love.
Two days ago we celebrated the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher and theologian who contributed a great deal to the Catholic Church. While he is widely known for his vast teaching and written works, he also wrote a beautiful definition for love: “to love is to will the good of another.”
Wow! What a simple but profound message of what it means to love someone! This definition is foundational to the Church’s teaching on the theology of marriage and family. St. Thomas, along with St. Bonaventure, also contributed to the developing theology of marriage by teaching that the marital act did not solely have to be for procreation, but could also be for conjugal fidelity. While that seems to be a given for us today, this teaching opened the door for strengthening and affirming love in marriage and that spouses can become closer even when they are either unable to procreate or not ready to procreate, which is where NFP comes in.
When using artificial means to prevent pregnancy, like condoms or hormonal birth control, married couples are not giving their full selves to each other and thus not truly “willing the good of them.” At CCL we hear from husbands who appreciate experiencing truly total self-giving love when they change their minds about birth control and no longer believe their wives should be putting unnecessary chemicals in their bodies. We also hear about the overall change to the relationship when love is finally expressed as God designed it to be, and couples tell us the practice of NFP strengthens their marriages by improving communication and truly working as a team, rather than one spouse carrying more of the family planning burden.
CCL is grateful to be an organization that helps couples find true joy in their love and their marriages through practicing natural family planning. If you allow it, NFP can truly open your eyes into what love really means. Combat selfishness and “will the good” of your spouse by trying NFP!
— Megan Imwalle
Sign up for NFP classes today at www.ccli.org.