The above title, ‘Who is Missing in Your Family?’ was a billboard message I saw on I-75 just beyond the Florida Turnpike while we were on our way to visit family in Lake City.
You see a lot of these messages and other scriptural quotes along I-75. The reference was to abortion. It made me think. Can’t find anyone who doesn’t claim their children as the great blessing in their lives. Suppose the choice of their children’s birth was the opposite? Whose lives to help and share dreams with were absent? What successes and contributions to others would you not be able to witness and experience as a parent’s pride? Perhaps a doctor, a minister, a teacher, an athlete, a scientist, a nurse in the family is missing. Whose children could you not spoil when the grandchildren arrived? What emptiness would be apparent for the rest of the family? An incomplete life for all it touches.
This is the cross of many, the burden to carry even if it hadn’t reached consciousness. It is there. The source of the monotony in their lives could stem from the absence of family members who aren’t there to enrich their lives. The Christian believes that any sin committed is never as great as His love for us and new beginnings are always possible. And again, the Christian believing in repentance, all things work together unto good. To the Christian, it is God who holds the world together in spite of our sins and it is the cross of Christ which makes it all bearable. So, we cling to the cross to give us strength to persevere in doing good, because His sacrifice now becomes our sacrifice.
Got nothing against it per se, but it seems sex causes so much trouble in our lives, abortion as one such trouble. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the conjugal act is for the mutual self-giving of the married spouses and for procreation. It is not to exist outside of that. On the other hand, modern social ideology promotes otherwise: to separate sex from childbearing, to separate sex and childbearing from marriage, to eliminate differences between men and women. The Church calls that sins against God. Pope Francis calls it demonic.
According to author Jennifer Roback Morse [Morse, 2018], life in the modern world is lonely, tired and long; an age of anxiety. It is these above mentioned sexual ideologies that help create the fatherless child, divorced families, childless families of career-oriented couples, unloved children, pornography, rampant depression and suicide, gender confusion, homosexuality and I could go on and on. Even families who wish to live a Christian life are afraid of losing their children to the claws of these ideologies. “Why have children today?”, they say. The solution requires steadfast repentance and mortification of ourselves and nothing less. Not easy for the non-believer, but that is what it’s going to take. And considering all the damage, a long process it will be.
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:8)
Compendium Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2017. Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Enzler, Clarence. 1970. Everyman’s Way of the Cross. Ave Maria Press.
Morse, Roback, Jennifer. 2018. The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and How the Church was Right All Along. Tan Books.