Yesterday, in a small town in Virginia, a new child entered the world. His picture came across my phone in the wee hours of the morning appearing fresh, wrapped and swaddled, warm and cozy. His face looked like an elf from Fairyland and I noticed I felt joy merely looking at him. Today, while driving, as Spotify brought me a mix of Bach, I pictured the little lad, again, arriving in our world beneath the loving gazes of his mother and father; four eyes who contemplated him and surrounded him with love. I know the two young parents who vowed themselves several years ago in the sacrament of matrimony in the Roman Catholic Church. They had already welcomed another baby, now nearly two years old. They were building a family in cooperation with God who creates every soul, unique and unrepeatable, destined to live forever. There is something mysterious about the cooperation of man and woman with God in the creation of a human life. We used to respect this mystery by shrouding it to children in stories such as the stork delivering children (vs the child being delivered from the mother’s body). Historically, this topic was almost spoken of in whispers, curtained in a way, from the glare of the uncaring, and the brutality of denigrators and pure rationalists. I understand why this was done, for we are told by the brutal that we are supposed to have children only when the bank account gives the go-ahead; or when our (carefree) lifestyle will be untouched, as in, we will not have to sacrifice anything for a prospective child; or when this or that other self-described “educated” person or government official deems it good to have a child. But, I think it best to let the venerable Gilbert Keith Chesterton speak to this matter, as he did in 1935:
…my contempt boils over into bad behaviour when I hear the common suggestion that a birth is avoided because people want to be “free” to go to the cinema or buy a gramophone or a loud-speaker. What makes me want to walk over such people like doormats is that they use the word “free.” By every act of that sort they chain themselves to the most servile and mechanical system yet tolerated by men. The cinema is a machine for unrolling certain regular patterns called pictures; expressing the most vulgar millionaires’ notion of the taste of the most vulgar millions. The gramophone is a machine for recording such tunes as certain shops and other organisations choose to sell. The wireless is better; but even that is marked by the modern mark of all three; the impotence of the receptive party. The amateur cannot challenge the actor; the householder will find it vain to go and shout into the gramophone; the mob cannot pelt the modern speaker, especially when he is a loud-speaker. It is all a central mechanism giving out to men exactly what their masters think they should have.
Now a child is the very sign and sacrament of personal freedom. He is a fresh free will added to the wills of the world; he is something that his parents have freely chosen to produce and which they freely agree to protect. They can feel that any amusement he gives (which is often considerable) really comes from him and from them, and from nobody else. He has been born without the intervention of any master or lord. He is a creation and a contribution; he is their own creative contribution to creation. He is also a much more beautiful, wonderful, amusing and astonishing thing than any of the stale stories or jingling jazz tunes turned out by the machines. When men no longer feel that he is so, they have lost the appreciation of primary things, and therefore all sense of proportion about the world. People who prefer the mechanical pleasures, to such a miracle, are jaded and enslaved. They are preferring the very dregs of life to the first fountains of life. They are preferring the last, crooked, indirect, borrowed, repeated and exhausted things of our dying Capitalist civilisation, to the reality which is the only rejuvenation of all civilisation. It is they who are hugging the chains of their old slavery; it is the child who is ready for the new world. – from The Wells and the Shallows (1935)
I hope our society will return to the love of such first things as children, the reality(ies) which is(are) the only rejuvenation of all civilization (G.K Chesterton, above).
God has not tired of creating children; rather, it is our society which has grown old in its abandonment to mechanical pleasure (GK Chesterton, above).
May we all become young again, no matter our age; young in union with God who never tires of creating, never tires of children, flowers, all natural beauties; and, this is astonishing: He never tires of us; those who He sent to this world (by a stork?) a number of years ago, but who He stills sees as His children, HIs creation(s).
May you have a good day.