There is nothing that builds character and virtue more than inconvenience and challenges. Every sensible parent (even the one’s who have fallen into this downsizing trap) will agree that over-indulgent parenting is dangerous and yet, that is the side-effect limiting the number of children for purely economic reasons will bring; Children who see themselves as the center of the world. It also shows a lack of faith since it tells God that it is WE who are in control of our future. I have often pondered why many priests and religious seem to come from large families. It is probably because in large families, children tend to look outside of themselves more than those raised in small ones.
Bearing a child, as the Holy Family demonstrated, did not end with Mary giving birth. The proper raising of children is a lifetime commitment. While we have the responsibility to see to our children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being, more important than any of those is their spiritual well-being. Every child we bear is another FIAT to life. Continuing to emulate Joseph and Mary, we see that each child is called to be another Christ, and how we raise him/her necessarily becomes reflective of that. Our job as parents is to teach them how to give that wholehearted Fiat as well when their time comes.
After pleading to God, I imagine God saying, “Relax. I am God. You are my child. I permitted your creation. I wanted you to be born. I want you to live. I love you.”
“You are pro-life, right? If that’s the case then I wanted to see you have more than just one kid.”
It’s one of those friendly(?) remarks I was getting from people who are aware of my stand regarding the RH bill. I rarely want to put a tag on myself but yes, I’m adhering to what the pro-life people are believing and following. But it’s not surprising that being pro-life is oftentimes misunderstood by many. We’re being accused of just focusing about people being born safely but not caring for the quality of life that these babies are facing in the future. Pondering on that, it is what exactly meant for us. Being pro-life is a holistic approach of caring for what’s good for a person physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and economically. And I think that’s what I’m trying to practice. Maybe one way of doing that was how my wife and I have waited and planned for some years before marrying and starting a family and having our own kids.
The unborn may not yet be citizens of the Philippines, because citizenship is acquired at birth. But we can speak of potential citizenship. If the government thinks of its citizens as human resources and not as liability, then the unborn is a human resource that needs to be nurtured and protected, so that they would soon be born in the Philippine soil and become active participants in the development of the nation. As Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero, said, “Ang kabataan ang pagasa ng bayan” or “The children are the hope of our nation.” For it is the children who would replace their parents in the workforce as scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, nurses, police, carpenters, drivers, and garbage collectors. Yes there are machines and technology to make jobs easier, so that several hectares of farm can be tilled by one man alone for example, but men and women are still needed to operate the machines, fix them, maintain them, and make them better.