Friday, January 13, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 166

Welcoming a New Life

166.  The family is the setting in which a new life is not only born but also welcomed as a gift of God.  Each new life "allows us to appreciate the utterly gratuitous dimension of love, which never ceases to amaze us.  It is the beauty of being loved first: children are loved even before they arrive".177  Here we see a reflection of the primacy of the love of God, who always takes the initiative, for children "are loved before having done anything to deserve it".178  And yet, "from the first moments of their lives, many children are rejected, abandoned, and robbed of their childhood and future.  there are those who dare to say, as if to justify themselves, that it was a mistake to bring these children into the world.  This is shameful!...  How can we issue solemn declarations on human rights and the rights of children, if we then punish children for the errors of adults?"179  If a child comes into this world in unwanted circumstances, the parents and other members of the family must do everything possible to accept that child as a gift from God and assume the responsibility of accepting him or her with openness and affections.  For "when speaking of children who come into the world, no sacrifice made by adults will be considered too costly or too great, if it means the child never has to feel that he or she is a mistake, or worthless or abandoned to the four winds and the arrogance of man".180  The gift of a new child, entrusted by the Lord to a father and a mother, begins with acceptance, continues with lifelong protection and has as its final goal the joy of eternal life.  By serenely contemplating the ultimate fulfilment of each human person, parents will be even more aware of the precious gift entrusted to them.  For God allows parents to choose the name by which he himself will call their child for all eternity.181

177 Catechesis (11 February 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 12 February 2015, p. 8.
178 Ibid.
179 Catechesis (8 April 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 9 April 2015, p. 8.
180 Ibid.
181 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51: "Let us all be convinced that human life and its transmission are realities whose meaning is not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full meaning can only be understood in reference to our eternal destiny".