Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Parental Love

Our long holiday from democratic debate over one of the most contentious issues of our time appears to be ending. In the theme of this year, a return to reality is upon us. What’s so devastating is that we have to have this debate in the first place.

Society has become desensitized to the violence of abortion and anesthetized to reality. The process of performing an abortion, whether by depriving the child of a healthy environment or through the physical act of ending their life, is inherently violent and always wrong. Juries punish harshly those who perpetrate similar acts against children in their care, so why the rage over applying the same standard to children at the earliest stages of development?

Selfishness is a central element of the argument, along with a distortion of love. Like so many cornerstone components of the human experience, love is anything and nothing at all. Love is not a feeling. Love is not love. Love is complete surrender, total sacrifice for the other.

Accepting the gift and responsibility for the care of a child is the highest calling of humanity. That acceptance requires the fullest measure of devotion from the parents, and a life-long commitment to the child. To observe the beauty of that relationship unfold is one of the most beautiful things in the universe. The child enters into existence wholly dependent on their parents. Then, as they reach the mid-point in their lives, the dependence begins to reverse. Decades of parental self-sacrifice are repaid through decades of child self-sacrifice through elder care.

Parenthood is a journey of weighty responsibility. But it’s a journey that is necessarily rooted in the total gift of self, a complete surrender of the parent’s priorities for the child. That is true love.