Dear Friends and Benefactors,
January, month of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. In these times, to write every month in defence of the family could not be too much. Of course the family pivots around the mother, so whenever one defends the true woman one is still defending the family, for instance when one attacks women's t*!*!* - "BiiiiSHOOOP!" - don't worry about that howl, that's dust the butch ghost from the Seminary dungeon - I was going to say, this letter will be written to encourage the young family fathers and mothers.
Young - and not so young - mothers and fathers, yours is not as easy task today of creating a Catholic family. To take a measure of the problem, you need to take a measure of the corruption of Catholicism, which lies centuries deep, and for which you were not responsible. All you are responsible for is resisting the Revolution in your own family when you realize how it works.
Wherever Protestantism prevailed 400 years ago, it dissolved in that part of the world the Catholic Church, or the Mystical Body of Christ, and left man no longer a member of that divine social body, but a lone individual before God; hence modern individualism. Protestantism also "liberated" man's conscience from the authority of the teaching and commanding Church (cf. Mt. XXVIIII 19, 20), leaving him "free"; hence modern liberalism. By the end of the 20th century, even in those parts of the world where Protestantism did not originally prevail, the individualistic liberalism it spawned had deeply penetrated, for instance inside the Catholic Church itself with Vatican II. Hence the entire modern world is soaked in the values of Protestantism, each man free, each man on his own, each man equal in society. But these are profoundly anti-social values. Hence all modern society is breaking down. But the family is a small society. Hence the modern family is breaking down.
For a picture of how, take the spectacle on airports today, or wherever, of one who is obviously a family father with his wife and one or two children, but who dresses, behaves and does his best to look like the Lone Ranger! Poor family! One can watch nature pulling them towards him as his natural dependents, and then his second nature, the individualism he absorbed today from the cradle onwards, pushing them away. However, two can play at the independence game, so one often sees the wife and then the one or two children trying in turn to look as though they do not belong to him, whereupon it is merely a matter of time before each of them goes his or her own way.
Marriage as designed by God is a bond, children are a bind, a family consists of ties, or constraints. But "liberty" means a lack of constraint - "No strings and no connections, no ties and no affections". So "Liberty" destroys the family.
The family as designed by God is a little hierarchical society, with the father as its head, the children under the father and mother, and the servants after them (Eph. V 22 - VI, 9, passage including the Epistle of the Catholic Nuptial Mass; cf. Col. III 18 - VI, 1). But "equality" means the dissolution of any superiority of rank or position. So "equality" destroys the family.
The family as designed by God is a small society or social body in which each limb or member plays its distinct and complementary part, even mongol children! But individualism means the independence, not the interdependence, of single human beings, and so "individualism" destroys the family.
As an old school-teacher of mine used to love quoting, "You pays your money and you takes your choice". Either the modern world continues to glorify liberty, equality, "rugged individualism”, revolt against authority, "standing on your own feet”, "going it on your own", in which case the family is undermined; or it seeks to defend the family, in which case it must stop glamourizing the anti-social values. It cannot have it both ways. It cannot have its cake and eat it. It cannot love liberalism and family. One of them has got to go. At present it is the family which is going. Decent liberals with the best intentions are, despite themselves, destroying it. The way to hell is paved with good intentions -- and bad ideas.
Dear moms and dads! Do you have any sneaking sympathy with the lone rebel who stands up to authority and single-handed makes the true and the good prevail over "them"? Such is the hero of almost every modern film. Beware! Lurking in that values system is the destruction of your family. And the break-down of the family, God's own framework for making human beings, lets loose an avalanche of evils, unmaking human beings: divorce, contraception, pornography, abortion, euthanasia — need one insist?
Young mother that wrote to me, over 15 years ago, you became a Catholic and a Traditionalist, after growing up in the '60's and '70's somewhat indoctrinated, you told me, in the Women's Liberation Movement, going through college, qualifying as an educator, even working on Capitol Hill, becoming "capable of a great deal", finding "excitement and fulfilment" with other adults in the work-place. Then you married, you decided to listen to your priests, you stayed at home with children, a slew of whom arrived, including by now two teenagers, after you had climbed over a mound of diapers and never caught-up laundry and mess that the family makes, on top of which a few years ago the decision to find Catholic schooling for your children drove you into commuting two hours a day for the three of them while home-schooling two more and raising a toddler. "This has been crazy!!" you say.
Not so crazy, mother! What did you dream of on Capitol Hill? Fighting pornography? I tell you, if your mother's warmth and purity is in the hearts of your boys, you will have done more to immunize them against it from within than all those legislators put together will ever do to protect them from without! Or did you perhaps dream of getting into the interesting fight against abortion? I tell you, if you have put the supernatural Faith first, and stayed at home to raise a slew of kids in that Faith, you have done more in the hearts of your girls to fight abortion than if you and they took part in numberless marches and campaigns and demonstrations.
Mother, you may not think so right now, but you have chosen the better part. Just wait to find how empty the nest is when the slew have flown off! Can't wait? Get back to me in twenty years' time! Meanwhile God bless you richly and may you have all the support you need, because the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, because the mother's heart is the children's school-room, because what you alone can put into your children's hearts and souls today will be the making or unmaking of society for all of us tomorrow.
Husbands, get behind the mothers raising your children! Grampa, gramma, shoulder to the wheel, your kids still need you! Fellow-parishioners, lend a hand with that mound of laundry, one little gesture goes a long way! Catholics, let us get together, the whole world depends on us! And young moms, keep producing a slew more of k*!*!*-"BiiiiSHOOOP!” Oh, folks, I must be going!
God love you all through 1992. Live by your Catholic Faith, and you are building on rock, and no wind or rain or floods can harm you (mt. VII, 24, 25).
Sincerely yours in the Holy Family,