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Natural Family Planning and living in union with nature are very Christian and encouraged by the Catholic Church.Grace builds on oil? Naturally! My children have wonderful imaginations. Broom handles become wizard staffs. Legos become bath toys. While this is probably wonderful for some sort of developmental task, it creates problems. When someone goes to sweep, they can’t find the broom head. The plumber is called to retrieve small plastic blocks from the drain.

Natural Family Planning 

Our lives would run a little smoother if our things were used for the purpose for which they were designed. This is also true with the human person. The human person was made by Love and for love. When we act against our true nature, we cause problems.  

As my husband and I have worked with engaged couples over the years, we have found this idea of working together with one’s nature particularly helpful in explaining difficult Church teachings on such topics as premarital sex, cohabitation, and contraception.

The doctor who gives our Natural Family Planning (NFP) presentations speaks very little about the Catholic faith even though she is a very faith-filled woman who loves the Church and Her teachings. She speaks from a purely human perspective since she is speaking to mostly secular-minded people on their own terms.

She spends time talking about how NFP fosters the qualities that non-religious, positive psychologists have determined cause people to be happy. Would you be surprised to learn that these look a lot like the cardinal virtues?

The Virtues of Abstinence

She talks about how periodic abstinence resets the dopamine receptors in the brain so that a couple stays attracted to one another. Lastly, she talks about how hormonal birth control disrupts the normal function of a woman’s body and therefore how it can be linked to a myriad of health conditions in the woman.

Unfortunately, and for many reasons, a large portion of our engaged couples are disconnected from their faith. But I have to tell you that the majority of them leave our NFP nights at least considering the idea. Why? It has been explained to them in a way that makes sense. They can plainly see that taking a healthy body function and disrupting it so that it no longer works properly is a bad idea.

My husband and I decided to use Natural Family Planning simply because that is what the Church taught. Of course, as we learned more about Pope Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, we came to appreciate the Church’s teaching on a much deeper and richer level.

What we had not considered before we began working with the NFP presentations, however, is how much more authentically human we are by choosing not to use contraception. Our choice for NFP allows my body to function as it is designed to function.

Essential Oils

In the past, our family faced some health issues that would have been treated by long-term medication in the standard medical world. Our work with NFP made me step back and wonder if there weren’t ways we might work with the body to restore natural function rather than to introduce something foreign. I figured it was at least worth trying!

Our year was filled with the adventure of allergen-free cooking, chiropractors, nutritional supplements, and exercises designed to make neurological connections. It may have seemed weird, but we were getting results. So when a friend of mine invited me to an essential oils class, I figured it was worth a try.

Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that protect and repair the plants. They have been used for thousands of years (think frankincense for Baby Jesus), and are powerful because they are more easily recognizable to our bodies than synthetic drugs. While they do not specifically treat any disease, they do support the body in amazing ways. We have started using them for all kinds of things like immunity, better sleep, improving mood, head tension, and tummy troubles.

We have also been able to replace some of the chemical cleaners in our home with essential oils. While we have a great respect for traditional Western medicine and do use it when needed, it has been very liberating to be able to work physically in conjunction with our nature.

Grace Builds on Nature

One of the greatest joys for me in discovering essential oils has been the people I have met. My husband and I met while serving as missionaries, so our network of friends is very Catholic.  Through my new work with essential oils, I have met people I would have never known through the regular routine in my life!

There are plenty of suburban moms like me, but also women much different in looks and beliefs: women with dread locks, yoga instructors, organic farmers, and new-age crystal lovers. For the first time in my life, I have common ground with these folks. This common ground has enabled me to get to know a beauty in them I would not have seen before now. All of us are trying to live more according to our nature.

In our work with couples, we have found that the choice to try NFP, even if made for “secular” reasons, opens up space in the heart for those couples to be more open to life and God. One decision to work in accordance with nature leads to more decisions to put their lives back in real order, since grace builds on nature.

We live in a world where the natural order is being ignored, to the detriment of families and society. Natural health, an area so attractive to many secular people, has become for our family, a point of entry. If I can help people live in accordance with nature for their health, there is no telling where God may lead them next!

Libby DuPont works with her husband Brad in the Office of Marriage & Family Life for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. She is also a Wellness Advocate with doTERRA Essential Oils. Libby can be reached at (651) 315-4691 or braddupont@ymail.com. Her website is www.mydoterra.com/littleflowerEO.

+JMJ+

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