Saturday, July 25, 2015
NFP Awareness Week Conclusion: Heroic Parenthood
I want to recommend once again an excellent article entitled “Heroic Parenthood”, by Christopher Gawley, which can be read here in Christian Order magazine.
I’m closing out my “NFP Awareness Week” posts with an excerpt from that article:
The Solution Stated: Heroic Parenthood and the Cult of Embracing Large Families
Simply stated, the idea of "responsible parenthood" sells the faith short and is pregnant (pardon the pun) with concepts that are inconsistent with Catholic heroism. We should not settle for "responsible parenthood" but aspire for "heroic parenthood." Our Lord did not come so that we may have a dispensation or a life centered around infertility; he came for us to have an abundant life.
…More than any other visible social institution, large Catholic families contradict all of the ill-conceived assumptions of modernity. They are, as it were, a collective middle finger to an anti-culture that would tell us that God is dead, that man and life are worthless, and that it would be better if we were never born. The shining radiance and exuberance of large families is a living, breathing rejoinder to the dour and childless chorus. But large families are more than a counter-cultural expression, they epitomize Catholicism in practice because the parents are blessed by living out their married vocation in the fullest sense. God's blessing of children and fecundity itself seems to be a forgotten part of this debate
…. We have an answer to those who would maintain that life should be little more than a titillated distraction before rotting into nothingness: they are a death people that want to organize society around preventing babies, killing babies, killing disabled people, and killing old people. Their world is a more than a social malaise: it is gripped by despair and thirsting for living waters. We have to offer the living waters of the Gospel; we are a life people and nothing communicates our trust in God, our love of life, our belief in each other than our unconditional embrace of children. The world will be re-converted by such families.
Mr. Gawley ends with this Postscript:
While it would be virtually unthinkable that a diocesan marriage preparation program might say something as follows, we can still dream:
For you young Catholic people who are marrying in your twenties, you can expect, God willing and absent a physical impairment or grave reason, to have a home filled with many children. You should mentally, physically and spiritually prepare for seven, eight, nine or more children given your ages. You should be prepared to accept the hardships that come with having a large family for two important reasons; children please our Lord and your cooperation with the Lord in bringing forth new souls will in turn please our God, which will bring you many graces. Second, having a large family will help you be saved, it will re-focus your attention from the material attachments that are both rampant today and hazardous to your eternal destination. Your many children will help you to become better and holier people and will stand as a contradiction to a world that has forgot how to live the abundant life. You, and your large faithful families, will turn the tide against the scoffers and misanthropes who would revile God's creation and man's place in it. We cannot promise you it will be easy because it won't, but if you persevere in prayer and virtue, you will overcome with God's grace. And should you live to see your children's children, you will praise God all the more that he saw fit to give you the gift of faith.
Have life and have it abundantly — have children.