The family is the original cell of society. So says Pope John Paul II, and the Catechism. And we all know what happens when cells break down – the body falls apart, which is why the same Pope declared that as the family goes, so goes society. They stand or fall – live or die – together.
A family is defined in the Catechism, just in case anyone gets it wrong and tries to, say, re-define such an ancient, traditional and common sense union, as a husband (male) and a wife (female) together with their children. A childless couple is not, strictly speaking, a family, but one in potentia, and only becomes so when their love bears biological fruit. Certainly, those childless not of their own choosing may bear such fruit in other ways: Adoption, fostering, prayer and good works. There are as many specific ways to live the Catholic life as there are Catholics. Children are a gift, and not something owed.
We need not look far, therefore, for the roots of our modern malaise. The proliferation of divorce, extra-marital affairs, adultery, abuse, all break down the family, and tear apart the very fabric of society. Then there are the increasing numbers who don’t even bother with family life at all, who, for various reasons, prefer to spend their days unattached, and unencumbered, wandering in a hedonistic fog of self-affirmative ‘growth’ experiences, until they wake up on the cusp of old age, and realize – what have I done?
Now we have the option to have children via the various artificial technologies on offer, paid for by the state here in Canada. Besides being intrinsically immoral, and with any number of other evils attached thereto, this treats children like the products of technology, replacing the marital union, the only way for babies to come into existence. It’s bad enough for a married couple to use such technology; worse when the couple is not even a real couple, but two negative charges trying to attract.
Well, well, so here we are, facing the wreckage, with waves of child anxiety, depression, behavioural problems, confusion, chaos and attempted suicides.
All is not lost. Families are meant to be beacons to the world, lights shining the darkness, signs of hope. They are the ecclesia domestica – the domestic Church – a source of holiness, for themselves and all whom they touch in some way.
So keep up the good fight, all you families out there! Yes, there is dysfunction and disagreements, but stick together as much as you might. Resist the world, the flesh and the devil, and the siren call of the modern media. Stay true to the Faith. Deus providebit, and will not let you down. Nazareth is our school, and its daily round of domestic duties, offered to God as a sacrifice of praise, will help save society, and the world. +