Nope, Natural Family Planning isn't just the "rhythm method". It's not based on guess work that assumes all women's cycles are the same. Depending on which method you use (Base Body Temp method, Ovulation method, Sympto-Thermal method) NFP is based on some combination of charting body temperatures and cervical mucus. It's a system based on measurements and data tracking.
In the Gospel, we hear something special from our Lord:
I have called you friends.
Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that he does not call us slaves; he calls us his friends. He doesn't want to force his Word upon us or make us do things against our will. Like a true friend, he wants to work with us and inspire us to strive for holiness while walking with us along the way.
As part of his catechesis on the family at his weekly General Audiences, Pope Francis has spoken about the poor valuing of children in our society. He has decried the commodification of children, saying that they are not "one of many ways to realize oneself in life". He has criticized the view that children are primarily a worry and a burden: "a society...
Today we celebrate Mary's great YES to God at the Annunciation - bringing about the Incarnation of our Lord.
Pope Francis has offered us a lot of advice on how to be better Christians and people. He's also taken a hard look at some practices among the faithful that have long been accepted in different forms, but that are bad for spiritual health.
During Lent, we're called as Christians to practice prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Mostly we understand why we take on these disciplines. The benefits of prayer are obvious, as are the benefits of almsgiving: giving resources of time and money to the poor and to our communities.
the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
- Matthew 20:28
Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the
weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to
reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
At the Opening Mass for the 2015 Naational Prayer Vigil for Life, Cardinal Sean O'Malley spoke eleoquently about the recipe for joy that Jesus offers us in the Gospel, and the way the Commandment to not kill permeates through so many of our societal obligations. Watch his homily here, full text included below.