“Called to the Joy of Love, Natural Family Planning, Supporting God’s gifts of love and life in marriage” is the theme of this year’s national Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, July 24–30.
There is a profound and basic truth proclaimed repeatedly in Sacred Scripture. It is a very simple truth: God loves us. In love, God created the world. In love, God breathed life into Adam and Eve as he created them in his image. In love, God the Father sent his son as our Savior. His gift of love became visible in the flesh of Jesus Christ. Through his love, we are forgiven. In imitation of the love that we have received, we are called to embody God’s love. This is the cause of our great joy!
All are called to love
Every person is called to the joy of love—just as God has loved us! As St. John proclaims, "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.... Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us." (1 John 4: 7–12)
This beautiful proclamation expresses the vocation of all people, which is to be open to God’s love and to embody God’s love in return. As Christians, it is our universal call to give love and to receive love.
The ability to know, give and receive love is a gift from God—it is a sharing in His divine nature. Since God is love itself, we were created by love, in love, to love. This fundamental truth should guide all relationships between people, not least of those between people called to share their lives in the covenant of marriage.
To read more about this year’s Natural Family Planning Week theme, “Called to the Joy of Love,” visit the Diocese of Raleigh's NFP Resources page.
Where to learn an NFP method in the Diocese of Raleigh