Tag: motherhood, mothers

Flogged Fathers

Flogged Fathers posted in Eleison Comments on December 8, 2007

Last week Eleison Comments suggested that, as the prime remedy for the scarcity of vocations to the Catholic priesthood (or Brotherhood or Sisterhood), family fathers should set a leading example of true piety in the home. But that was not to say that today’s young fathers are alone to blame. Let me quote again from the non-Catholic friend in England, quoted in EC#12 on “Family Destruction,” commenting this time on today’s workplace:

“The way the world now works has made it harder for the young people in the work-force. Most of them cannot afford to buy their own homes, given the state of the property market. At work they have to cope with the pressure of instant communication, the ignoring of time-zones leading to unbelievably long working hours, the increase in graduate numbers and therefore the competition for worthwhile jobs, the influx of immigrant workers, the short-term contracts offered by employees, the regular “360-degree” appraisals once you have got a job, the number of courses you are required to take to keep yourself up to speed in that job, the Americanization of the work-place, the loss of “paternal” employees and collegiate perspectives because of the influence of the multi-national companies in the labour market, the cocaine culture prevalent both in the work-place and in after-work socializing, the threat of AIDS.

“Against this you can balance advantages like maternity and paternity leave, carefully structured dismissal procedures which offer more protection than our generation had, and better health and safety standards. But all of the young people I know, i.e. my own children and those of my contemporaries who are in good jobs, absolutely flog themselves to death, well-paid though they may be.”

My friend surely speaks from experience, of a steadily increasing daily pressure, surely global rather than just English. And what is that pressure? – Mammon.

Conclusion? A total – and global – way of life is stifling vocations just as it is disabling young men for fatherhood and young women for motherhood. Such a way of life is suicidal. And doomed. Young fathers, think. And act.

Kyrie eleison.

Woman’s Gifts

Woman’s Gifts posted in Eleison Comments on October 27, 2007

Confronted with the proposition that women should not step forth in public in any such way as to suggest that they have authority over men, a reader of these “Comments” of two weeks ago reasonably asked, alongside what women should not do, what should they do?

The prime principle involved is that creatures of God are created to achieve their perfection by acting in accordance with their nature: Now creatures without reason cannot choose to act otherwise, but human beings have reason, and so they must choose to act in accordance with their nature. The key question then becomes, how do the observably different and complementary natures of man and woman essentially differ?

Scripture, the Word of God, tells us that woman was created to be the helpmate of man (Genesis II,10). Commenting upon this text, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ia, 92, 1) says that she was created to help him in the engendering of children, because in any other work man could be better helped by another man. St. Paul (also the Word of God) similarly says that woman will be saved by childbearing (I Tim. II,16).

Here is the key to woman´s nature as woman: she is designed to be a mother. Do we not observe, and does not St. Thomas Aquinas suggest, that in everything involved in motherhood – which is no less than the future of the human race – she is man´s superior, whereas in everything else she is his inferior?

All kinds of conclusions follow, but in answer to the reader´s question, surely whatever a woman may by today´s circumstances be enabled or obliged to do, she must, if she wishes to be happy by living in accordance with her God-given nature, somehow, intelligently, do it in a motherly way. Teaching within a private domestic framework, or true nursing, present in this respect no problem. On the contrary, making herself into a soldier, lawyer, pilot, politician, etc., etc., presents a serious problem.

Mother of God, we beg of you, inspire and protect womanhood!

Kyrie eleison.

Family Destruction

Family Destruction posted in Eleison Comments on September 22, 2007

Anybody today seriously concerned for human beings realizes two things: first, the three-letter word is enough for human beings to happen, but for them to grow up to be truly human, family is absolutely necessary. Secondly, that the so-necessary family is under fierce attack. Why and how?

The deep-down reason why is that God instituted the family (father-mother-children) to launch souls on their way to Heaven, whereas modern man is making war on God, and a major part of that war is to get as many souls as possible into Hell. Therefore the family must be destroyed as God designed it, and modern life must be redirected accordingly. As for the how, here are a few paragraphs (from the letter of a non-Catholic friend) to illustrate that direction being taken in England today, and surely in many other countries as well, unless they have the good fortune to be “under-developed.”

“A decade of Labour government and its policy of ‘absolutely anything goes’ has resulted in what appears to be pretty much the destruction of the family. There is little incentive to marry, following the total loss of tax advantages for married couples and the subsequent State recognition of co-habiting couples and equality of the sexes (a side-effect of feminism).

“Single mothers abound and all mothers are required to work, mainly I think to further fill the nation’s coffers. There seems to be no onus of responsibility on fathers. This has led to the mushrooming of inferior childcare services and nursery schools. Even tiny babies are dropped off into daycare and collected at the end of the working day. Schools run breakfast clubs and after-school child-sitting arrangements. There is a huge loss of hands-on parenting.

“At the bottom end of the social scale the children, with few father figures and exhausted, incapable mothers, resort to a sort of ‘family life’ within the urban gangs now proliferating in the major cities. Children turning into wild animals are a genuine problem. Higher up the social scale, educated parents feel enormous guilt at not spending more time with their children because of their work, relying as they do on nannies and au pair girls. This leads to absurd levels of indulgence, relaxation of discipline, a laissez-faire attitude as to what the kids are up to (benign neglect) and tremendous emphasis on the terribly sad concept of ‘quality time’ – e.g. ‘I might get home in time to spend five minutes getting to know my children better before they go to bed.’

Many of these parents are older career women who in my view have little idea anyway of what being a parent involves – they, after all, were themselves brought up by Sixties parents who frequently rejected ‘old-fashioned’ concepts of child-rearing and set few boundaries of behaviour. I’ve been struck by the lack of self-confidence in dealing with their children shown by many parents these days. Kids aged three still in diapers? Ye gods! You get the awful stock phrase: ‘If I discipline him he won’t love me.’ Pathetic! Smacking in public is illegal; it’s a pity that tantrums aren’t as well.”

Kyrie eleison.