Heaven is hard, but amply worth the trouble,
Even if my efforts I shall needs redouble!
EC 553 (“Parenting – I” Feb 17) has been hitting a nerve. It is not surprising. The Devil has virtually the whole of society in his grasp. The battleground has moved to those families which are not yet in his grasp. Parents, do not despair of God (which is what the Devil wants you to do), but take the measure of the gravity of the situation, and see the logic of the two counter-measures proposed by God through His Mother for this situation. Then do the best you can, and leave your children in Our Lady’s hands.
Several readers have reacted so far to “Parenting – I,” and there are sure to be more. A first reader laments that Fr Delagneau’s analysis fits exactly his own family. On the day after Christmas last year their eldest daughter, just turned 20, turned her back on the family, left the family’s Traditional Catholic way of life “once and for all,” and turned herself over to the world with an imminent marriage into the bargain, for which she is not ready. However, a spark of hope is that the young man in question has no religion, which means that he may find his way with her to God more easily than if he had some religion! Another spark of hope is always that motherhood may bring her back to reality, as it did Marya Shatova in the novel “The Devils” of Dostoevsky (who saw the modern world coming).
A second reader, given the accuracy of Fr Delagneau’s portrait of today’s youngsters, wonders why these “Comments” ever recommend young men today in general to get married. She writes that there are hardly any half-way genuine young men or women left, because “the basic material has changed.” Might it not be time, she asks, to consider the possibility that God wants more men and women to stay single and to suffer from the loneliness, but by the freedom from family engagements to have more time for celibate struggle and sacrifice? In the workplace she says that the rising generation of workers want money, power and time off, that they have no idea even in theory of any work ethos, and almost all are living in sin, with “partners” or second spouses or some perversion or other. “Jesus, have mercy,” she concludes.
A third reader suggests that it is all very well for Fr Delagneau to turn to the parents, but what is the Church now doing to defend families? Whereas the reader himself is old enough to be able to look back fondly to the 1960’s when his own mother was always at home to look after the children, now he says few families can make ends meet without the mother having to go outside of the home to work, and the children have to be turned over to the State to be looked after, because the official Church is on the ropes and Catholic Tradition is stretched far apart. Living conditions for families are determined by the State which does not favour families and has none of the Church’s skill to be able to help with a famil y’s human problems. This reader concludes that we are enslaved, like the Jews in Egypt. But he does also say that since God has left families in today’s situation, there must be something they can do about it.
Indeed. “Where there is a will, there is a way,” says the proverb. And the Council of Trent quotes St Augustine to the effect that God cannot abandon a soul that has not first abandoned Him. As Solzhenitsyn said, Russia would never have fallen into the Communist Hell if it had not turned its back on God. Almighty God allowed that Hell in order to bring “Holy Russia” back to Him. It took several years, but that return to God is now taking place all over Russia, even if the conversion is not yet Catholic. Patience. The Consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart will see to that. “In suffering is learning.” And now families all over the consumerist West are suffering intensely. Patience.
Parents need above all to grasp the urgency of the need to resort to Our Lady’s two remedies, the Rosary and the Devotion of the First Saturdays to make reparation to her Immaculate Heart. For who can say that either of these remedies is absolutely impossible? Let parents make a real effort with both – five Mysteries with the children, another ten individually if at all possible, and as long a drive as may be necessary for the First Saturdays, and then how could Our lady abandon them? Not possible!