Tuesday, July 8, 2014

quietly aligning forces

When I was going on a big fat rant about all the problems with family life, my friend responded with a rant about why discussions of the Christian life fixate heavily on family life, almost to the detriment of other vocations.
When really, what we ought to be doing is focusing all our attention on following Christ.
This is a refreshing perspective, because it is a lonely voice of unity in a world full of divisive diatribes.
At the same time, the family ought to have a place of privilege in our conversations and dialogues, because family is a school of charity unlike any other.
Because in a family, nature and grace are intimately, indivisibly intertwined.
We understand why a father would drop everything to take care of his small sick daughter; we need no other explanation than: He is a father. She is his daughter
There is no other explanation necessary for why a mother would go to the mat for her children other than: She is a mother. They are her children.
Although we understand why a father or mother would not act in either of these manners--not all mothers and fathers are 100% unselfish 100% of the time. Obvi.
But, here, in the family, we see how the roles that nature has allotted to these humans--a mother and a father, their children--teach us the ways of grace.
Radical self-gift, the self-immolation of offering yourself--your passions, your gifts, your attention, your  mind, your life--for your children is not really natural. It is not something we learn from nature.
There is no evolutionary advantage in self-gift. 
Self gift is not nature, it is grace. 

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