Saturday, December 22, 2007

Suffer the little children

At a time of the year when one’s focus is upon children and the importance of family, it is concerning to discover that, for the first time in our history, there were more children born to native Britons last year out of wedlock than within it. That is to say, only by including migrants in the calculation is the link between marriage and the begetting of children sustained. ‘Cultural Christianity’ has set aside the traditional family unit, and governments have conspired perversely to make it more financially lucrative for couples with children to live apart than to share in their upbringing.

Jesus, of course, was conceived out of wedlock, but when one considers the sacrifices made by Mary and Joseph to ensure that he was properly nurtured, one is struck by the undeniable reality that the rearing of children in this day and age is largely devoid of the notion of sacrifice.

There is a culture of the ‘self’ which derives from the obsession with ‘rights’, and thus the interests of the child may no longer adversely affect the careers or ambitions of parents. Of course, in many families both parents work out of economic necessity, but this is by no means a universal truth. Cranmer can’t hear Joseph talking about his ‘work-life balance’, of see Mary trying to find ‘quality time’ with Jesus, and the fact that such jargon has arisen when talking of the most crucial building block of society shows how far we have drifted.

As sure as night follows day, what is being sown today will be reaped tomorrow. When the emotional and educational input of parents is supplanted by the internet, television and computer games, it is the child’s spirit that suffers. Children who are neglected by their parents today will be the deprived, addicted, destitute and criminal of tomorrow. And it is no more their fault than it is the fault of the thousands of babies who are born with HIV to drug-addicted mothers. They are the innocent, corrupted by the sins of their parents.

The only remedy is to instil them with hope, and there is no better time of the year to find this anew, or discover it afresh, as we consider the greatest gift to mankind . As we move towards celebrating the birth of the Saviour, let us reflect on the wonder of God becoming man; omnipotence and omniscience condescending to a crib in Bethlehem, in order that man might be redeemed, and all the vulnerable and needy children of the world might know that they are loved, watched over, cared for by the one who was himself born in a lowly shed, the son of a humble tradesman, and whisked from pillar to post himself fleeing persecution and death.

Donne encapsulated the Christmas mystery when he wrote: ‘Twas much that we were made like God, long before, but that God should be made like us - much more.’ And the question we must ask is do we still have the capacity to be surprised, enthralled, awed by this wonderful story? Do we still have the capacity to see it through the eyes of a child?

Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,
If he's not born in you, your heart is still forlorn.


Blogger Manfarang said...

And Tony Blair finally becomes a Roman Catholic!

22 December 2007 at 12:46  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Your Grace, I do not interpret the events as you do. In Matthew 1:16 and in particular 18 - 20 clearly show Joseph was the Husband of Mary. Granted the Betrothal had not been consummated, but Betrothal made The Blessed Virgin his wife according to the Jewish law therefore Jesus was conceived in wedlock. We also have in Luke 1:27 – Espousal by any definition is to take in marriage or marry, would you not agree?

Matthew 1

18 Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.

19 Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

22 December 2007 at 13:01  
Blogger Manfarang said...

'Almah'(the word used in Isaiah 7:14)simply means a youmg woman.

22 December 2007 at 13:25  
Anonymous Nathan Hale said...

To live with a woman is to make her an unpaid whore. It is very hurtful and worrisome for her because she hasn't the smallest shred of a guarantee that her man will stick around to provide for her and protect her. How shameful and wimpy it all is.

These men need to man up and tie the knot. It is the mark of a man to marry and bear children. Those who have the opportunity to, and yet do not, are no more than little boys in adult bodies.

I thank your Grace for admonishing us on this very important matter.

22 December 2007 at 15:27  
Anonymous Nathan Hale's Editor said...

Please insert the words "who is not your wife" after the word "woman" in the first sentence of the previous post.

22 December 2007 at 15:30  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

nathan hale

What you say may be true in some if not a slight majority of cases. But I know personally of many cases where the man has wanted to get married and the women has not. Most of my mates would have married the first girl they met( the sad bastards ) if their girl friend had wanted them to.

Which century were you born in?

22 December 2007 at 23:42  
Anonymous Nathan Hale said...


I was born in the 18th century. Hey, if the esteemed proprietor is allowed to take an avatar, why can't I?

Come to think of it, yes, I also know of a woman who is cohabiting but refuses to marry: my sister! She has some reservations about her boyfriend (which raises the question, "Why does she continue to engage in "carnal conversation" with him?" I know, I know, it's irrational). The proper thing for him is to summarily propose marriage. If she refuses, he should pack his suitcases. If that doesn't work, he needs to start courting someone else (this time holding off on, ahem, bedroom activities, until after marriage).

I think the situation is quite different when there are children involved and that is actually what I was assuming in my previous post. I apologize for not being more explicit.

Do you know of any situations where children have been born to a couple and it is the woman who is holding up the marriage? I've never seen it.

Very truly yours,
Nathan Hale

23 December 2007 at 04:38  

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