Order or chaos? A perspective on the unborn

“If you were in charge of a nature preserve and you noticed that the pregnant female mammals were trying to miscarry their pregnancies, eating poisonous plants or injuring themselves, what would you do? Would you think of it as a battle between the pregnant female and her unborn and find ways to help those pregnant animals miscarry? No, of course not. You would immediately think, “Something must be really wrong in this environment.” Something is creating intolerable stress, so much so that animals would rather destroy their own offspring than bring them into the world. You would strive to identify and correct whatever factors were causing this stress in the animals.”

-Frederica Matthewes-Green, ‘When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense’




On the breadth of motherhood

“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

– G.K Chesterton ‘What’s Wrong with the World’

Less is more: embracing the rhythms of family life

‘There is a tendency sometimes in our preaching, planning, and parish programs to relativise the value of the family and make its justification reside solely in what the family members accomplish in the parish. Fathers and mothers, already burdened by the demands of work and family, not to mention their own sins, can sometimes come to [church] or read the weekly bulletin only to hear the message that they are not doing enough as far as all the parish programs go, while the simplest duties of their calling – prayer together and with their children, regular use of the sacraments, faithful service in their workplaces, generosity in their monetary offerings, frugality in living, provision for their ageing parents – all these are often left unmentioned. Yet… just by being itself, just by spouses and children fulfilling the ecclesial and sacramental reality that their communion constitutes, they are thereby ‘doing the work’ of evangelising the world and building up a culture of love.’

– Adam G. Cooper ‘From Nazareth to Now: The Mission of the Family’ (2011)

Forgiveness and fathers

How do we forgive our Fathers?
Maybe in a dream
Do we forgive our Fathers for leaving us too often or forever
when we were little?

Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.

Do we forgive our Fathers for marrying or not marrying our Mothers?
For Divorcing or not divorcing our Mothers?

And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning
for shutting doors
for speaking through walls
or never speaking
or never being silent?

Do we forgive our Fathers in our age or in theirs
or their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it?

If we forgive our Fathers what is left?

– D. Lourie

Food for thought on adoption and family

‘But Christians, at any rate, are called to recognize as kin, as their own flesh and blood, those with whom they do not share traceable genetic material. A history of relationship, commitment sustained over time, is what forms and sustains the bond of father and mother with their children.’

Gilbert C. Meilaender, Not by Nature but by Grace: Forming Families Through Adoption, p 11