Generosity, our sexual passions are about generosity. They are the cries of the child wanting to be listened to, of the poor seeking to be attended to, the immigrant looking for assistance, the unwanted looking for acceptance.
Be generous, be fruitful! This is its constant call. The sexual opiate directs us to forget about consequences in order to help us be life giving.
Children are needy, helpless, and even selfish. If it wasn’t for nature’s assistance we would be inclined to treat them like we often to treat anyone else who is helpless, infirm, poor, or annoying. The crying of our sexual passions is the crying of the child seeking to come into the world. It is persistent, manipulative, and our greatest path to maturation.
There are various ways that we can handle the cries to be generous; some are licit and some are illicit. To handle the immigration crisis we could build a wall and throw away the key, or we could go through the hard work of discerning who should be let in and who should not be let in. We could listen to our child's needs and discern whether or not we will give them what they ask; or we can throw them in a closet so that they don't bother us. Both approaches will handle the problem, but the means are opposed to each other.
However, maturely approaching the call to be generous is not the same as always saying yes. The baby is crying, but I don’t necessarily have to give what is wanted; but I cannot simply refuse to be bothered. The same way with the petitions of anyone who is in need. Sometimes saying no is the most charitable thing to do, and I have to uphold boundaries, but I cannot simply cut them out of my life.
This is the fundamental difference between artificial and natural forms of family planning. Artificial forms puts up barriers, physical and chemical, around the call to be generous. It is a means of helping us not to be bothered by such requests. It cut short the hard work of discerning whether or not you should grant the request of the pleading eyes.
Artificial contraceptives (surgical, physical, and chemical) isolates the opiate of the sexual passions for public consumption creating a dependency both inside and outside of marriage. It opens the doors to all sorts of violence, social experimentation, and avoidance behavior.
Natural family planning, on the other hand, is hard work. It involves virtue, communication, listening, discernment, and self-knowledge. Like any means, it too can be used for selfish purposes; but it at least does not cut off the conversation with the call to be life giving. It is a mature means of being a generous and responsible steward.
Natural Family Planning calls us to face the selfish tendencies in ourselves so that we can direct those same tendencies in our children. If we cannot live chastity how will we ever direct our children in that work?
And so here we then see the connection between all these realities in our society: racism, xenophobia, poverty, war, and family planning are all the same issue. It is the call to be hospitable.