Saturday, July 11, 2015

What happened to me?

Happiness in this life is no guarantee for eternal life.

The other day I wrote a post about pearls before swine and mentioned a mommy blog. I didn't link to the blog because the woman who writes the blog posted such lovely photos of her children - their innocence and beauty made such an impression upon me I didn't want to expose them or the mother to crude comments or anything unworthy.

That blog was a grace to me. I completely reversed my thinking regarding family and the protection of children from the contamination of our decadent culture.

I said that in the com box of another post.

After looking into the eyes of a child.

A little child.

Elizabeth of the Trinity was always a bit mesmerized by little children, especially babies - she called them little tabernacles of the Trinity - because after baptism - that is exactly what they are.  I'm not a theologian, but I know God dwells in each of us - otherwise we wouldn't exist - hence all children are little tabernacles.

My point is that the purity and innocence of children should make us rethink our cultural attitudes, our morality - which fiercely militates against innocence and goodness.  We need to protect children, which means we must protect the family and marriage.  Real marriage, sacramental marriage - between a man and a woman.

Entertainment, sitcoms, films are a form of propaganda intended to shape public opinion.

The other night I watched Modern Family.  Elizabeth Banks plays Sal, a friend of the gay couple, and she had a child.  The episode revolved around her being a mother, Cam and Mitchell are presented as the ideal couple-parents.  When it appears Sal may have abandoned her baby with them, their gay friends want to take the baby home with them, sort of like a little stray dog.  The kids are like pets - or playthings to raise, dress and enter into competition for outstanding achievement - destined to become BFF's for the parents when they finally grow up.

It's a sitcom, I know.  It is also a form of propaganda.

Kids are sexualized at a very young age - often in and through sitcoms - not to mention the bad example of parents.

I highly doubt good parents allow their young children to watch this stuff.  

The broken family today has little control on what kids watch however.  The breakdown of the family leaves broken families in its wake.  It has been like that for decades.  What dominates in media is the broken image of family life - and the traditional family is marginalized, mocked, held in disdain - parents are called bigots and homophobes and prudes.   Broken people perpetuate the disintegrated family model.  Single parents, unwed parents, divorced and dating parents, married and serially -remarried parents are dealing with a variety of 'deficit disorders'.  I'm sure people will find that offensive - but I think this may be another major reason why same sex marriage has become so widely acceptable and legally accommodated.

One cause of tepidity in retarded souls is the refusal to make the sacrifices which the Lord asks. - Garrigou-Lagrange

My point is that I recognize that the most 'abandoned' actors in this Modern Family scenario is the stable, traditional family.  The holy family.  The wife and mother, meticulously caring for her children - in many cases home-schooling - her job is to make a home - we used to call her a 'homemaker'.  Her husband is the head of the household - he provides for his family - the loving husband and father shares his life with his wife and they raise children to know, love and serve God.

The children are not playthings, teddy bears, puppies or kitties, or dolls to collect, dress up and show off - they are persons given into our care - we are responsible for them.  I'm often reminded of the following passage from John of the Cross addressing the problem of vain rejoicing in natural goods, even when it involves the desire for children.
"It is also vain to desire children, as some do in upsetting the whole world with their longing for them. For they do not know whether their children will be good and serve God, or whether the expected happiness will instead be sorrow, or the rest and comfort, trial and grief, or the honor, dishonor. And because of the children they might, as many do, offend God more. Christ says of these people, that they circle the earth and the sea in order to enrich their children, and they make them children of perdition twofold more than they themselves are. [Mt. 23:15] - Ascent, Bk. III, Ch. 17:4

"Those who are full jeer at the honey comb." - Cassian

The kids are not alright.  Kids need a family.  Children need a mom and dad and a stable home.  That is what the upcoming Synod on the Family needs to focus upon.  The traditional family is the model that needs to be salvaged and exalted from a culture collapsing under the weight of immorality and materialism.

Anyway.  That's what happened to me.  I was converted by looking into the face of an innocent child, I was fortunate to look into the bosom of a beautiful, loving family - and I understood how threatened they are.  I understand now they need support and protection.  They are not a joke.

Yet popular culture - entertainment media, derides the traditional family when it portrays the 'new normal' families.  As Garrigou-Lagrange points out, quoting St. Thomas: "to deride or to ridicule someone, is to show that we do not esteem him; and derision, says the saint, may become a mortal sin if it affects persons or things that deserve high esteem."

I'm not trying to denigrate contemporary, splintered families, I'm just saying that traditional families are increasingly marginalized and dismissed, as if they are no longer fashionable enough to merit attention.

Brothers, love is a teacher ...

I repeat this often - but I think it is important to keep in mind:

Every day and every hour, every minute, walk round yourself and
watch yourself, and see that your image is a seemly one. You pass by a
little child, you pass by, spiteful, with ugly words, with wrathful
heart; you may not have noticed the child, but he has seen you, and
your image, unseemly and ignoble, may remain in his defenceless heart.
You don't know it, but you may have sown an evil seed in him and it
may grow, and all because you were not careful before the child,
because you did not foster in yourself a careful, actively
benevolent love. Brothers, love is a teacher; but one must know how to
acquire it, for it is hard to acquire, it is dearly bought, it is
won slowly by long labour. For we must love not only occasionally, for
a moment, but for ever.acquire it, for it is hard to acquire, it is dearly bought, it is
won slowly by long labour. For we must love not only occasionally, for
a moment, but for ever. - Fr. Zosima, Brothers Karamazov

I grew up in a corrupt household - I know the consequences of that.

Song for this post here.


  1. Often we forget the child within and that we have a heavenly Father – and Mother. No wonder Jesus said that unless we become like little children we can never enter the kingdom of heaven... it is natural for a child to want to trust its mother and father... so humbly and naturally trusting in our Father and Blessed Mother is one giant step to entering into heaven.

    Unfortunately, for many of us, our trust is in oneself, our knowledge, our being right and judgemental, our ‘righteousness”, our putting the world to right but never managing to put our own life in good order, seeing all that is bad but being blind in never being able to see that God’s glory FILLS the earth… and so losing our childlike sense of awe and wonder for God’s magnificence that shines in all his creation.

    It’s a challenge for any of us to see the child in a sinner, but God does. So does the Blessed Mother… “Dear children…”

    Love can bring out the child in all of us.

    1. Thank you for having responded to my post.

  2. This is excellent.

    1. Thank you for responding to my post.

  3. I agree-great post. I was thinking along the sam lines the other day when I was reflecting on how support for SSM could increase so dramatically over such a short period of time. It's the media that drove it. And yet we all know that the picture that the media portrays is not the actual one. Terry, I think you know that the gay culture portrayed in mass media does not correspond to actuality. People, especially young people who are the biggest media consumers, have been very effectively propagandized.

    1. I agree - especially the romantic aspect - youth are especially affected by infatuation and romance - do you remember the Michael Jackson song from Of the Wall? "It's the falling in love that's making me high, it's the being in love ..." It's particularly attractive to the romantically inclined idealist. It doesn't last - the thrill goes away and has to be fired with increased stimulus. Oh! Another song - Grace Jones, "Love is a drug". ;)

      It's true though.

      Then same sex divorce will become popular - for the drama!

    2. Should be 'Off the Wall' - missed an f.

  4. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Beautiful post, Terry.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.