Sunday, January 8, 2012

Upside-Down Marriages

Feast of the Holy Family

A saint like Francis of Assisi would joyfully stand on his head with the intention of delighting the Mother of God. In the process the energetic Italian would observe that he was actually looking at things right-side up: it was the world that had gone topsy-turvy, and by assuming an inverted posture he was finally looking at things from the proper perspective.

In the modern western view the predominant wisdom is that one should follow his heart in matters of marriage (or concubinage), and then having landed a more or less long-term partner he should carefully and in calculated fashion determine how many children he will have. The beginning is essentially romantic, and the end tends to devolve into business-like practicality.

The perspective of the God who fashioned marriage, meanwhile, is that one should carefully and soberly enter into marriage, and then after being permanently bound in the matrimonial state he should be generous and spontaneous and have as many children as the good God sends. The beginning is essentially practical and business-like, and the outcome is an ongoing romantic adventure.

To the moderns who substitute convenience for happiness and who view children as an interruption of their lives, the latter is foolishness and matter for derisive dismissal.

As one who observes the small-family moderns incessantly complaining about the inconveniences endured due to their spouses, children, jobs, in-laws, neighbors, any just about everything under the sun, I'll side with the kindly folks who take the family adventure God sends their way.

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