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The Church teaches that the sacrament of marriage symbolizes Christ's relationship with His Church. What is this relationship but one of total, faithful, permanent, and fruitful love!
When couples live their vocation according to Church teachings, especially with regard to the transmission of life, many benefits can be reaped. Indeed, married couples who use Natural Family Planning (NFP) report that among these benefits is their mutual growth in holiness and consequent deepening of their respect and awe of God's gifts of human sexuality, marriage and family. These are gifts that call for praise!
Prayer and Liturgy is at the heart of the Catholic faith-filled life. It is important to plan prayer events that reflect on God's plan for married love. In addition, clergy should encourage married couples to pray about God's will for their families. Is it time to welcome another child in the family? Prayerful discernment is a real aide for husband and wife.
The Sunday homily is the primary way most Catholics learn about the faith. The celebration of National NFP Awareness Week provides clergy with an opportunity to catechize the faithful on Natural Family Planning and Catholic teaching which supports its use in marriage.
When preaching on these subjects, it is important for priests and deacons to be mindful of the sensitive nature of the topic. For example, the homily is not the place where details of human fertility, or NFP methodology are provided (have printed resources displayed in the vestibule for that!). Rather, homilies are where Catholic teaching on marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood are covered and NFP information is included in a general and tactful style.
If possible, pastors should try to have NFP teachers at some Masses where they can distribute NFP brochures or booklets and answer questions.
The following homily notes are meant to aid the priest or deacon in planning his homily during NFP Awareness week.
To see Homily Notes from past NFP Awareness Weeks visit our For Clergy page.
The following is a sample of a variety of Prayers of the Faithful that can be inserted into any Mass.
Return to NFP Week Homepage.
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