30 January 2009

The Wisdom of the Cross

Parts of the First Homily of the New Archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron:
There are many ways in which this conflict between the true wisdom of the gift of self and the pseudo-wisdom of self-sovereignty are exemplified in our society. I will mention three of those that seem to me among the most lamentable. First, there is the conflict between those who base their decision about a state in life or their selection of a profession on discerning the will of God and those who make these choices on the basis of gaining wealth or security or the world’s esteem. Second, there is the conflict between those who judge it wise always to protect the right to life of others, even at a cost to themselves, and those who would be willing to violate that right, if that is the price to be paid to keep control of the circumstances and conditions in which they have decided to live. Third, there is frequently in our society a conflict between those who make the well-being of their spouses or children the first priority in their lives and those who are convinced that their families exist to bring them self-gratification.
And those of you who are parents, please teach this wisdom to your children by what you say, and most of all by the way you live. This wisdom of the cross is the greatest gift you can give those whom you love so dearly.

This speaks to me very personally in a strange way. Recently, I have met newly or just-to-be newly married couples that have been asking a bunch of questions about marriage. Specifically, they're asking about how raising kids is going.

My impression (from the myriad of questions and the pattern of questioning) is that they're asking because they're trying to figure out what the pleasure-pain ratio of having children is (is it easy or hard/is it worth it?). In other words, now that marriage has helped my life satisfaction, will children make it even better? Until I'm sure it will, I'll continue to contracept and keep my sweet dogs and cats with the other human sweetness.

When things don't go exactly as planned, when things get out of control, what will happen?

On the other hand, if they have the wisdom of the cross, perhaps they will totally give themselves to the other (and not artificially contracept). If an unexpected blessing (unplanned pregnancy) happens, perhaps they will welcome the preborn human person with open arms.

What is the wisdom of the cross? It's "the true wisdom of the gift of self."
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. John 15:13

Does any one know what I mean? Perhaps I'm sensing something that's not there? God only knows their hearts.

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