Pope Francis has praised large families as a “true gift from God” after saying Catholics don’t have to “be like rabbits”. “I have heard it said that families with many children and the birth of many children are among the causes of poverty. It seems to me a simplistic opinion,” he said. . Now he apologised, Pope Francis has said he is ‘truly sorry’ for offending large Catholic families by saying that there was no need to breed ‘like rabbits’.
Children are gift of god
There is no need of a hot debate if God loves children or not and whether He love children than an adult. The first command God gave to mankind was to “be fruitful and multiply”. And it is the God who gives the ability to conceive, In Genesis 33:5, Jacob refers to his children as “the children whom God has graciously given your servant.”
In a Christian point of view fruit of the womb, the children, are rewards from God. ‘Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward’. Psalm 127:3. Obviously the question arises, the reward for what? And that may partially the answer the question, why some couples left without children?
If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: Your children and your crops will be blessed. The LORD will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 4, and 11
Thus Gods condition is a bit hard to preserve by anybody, keeping all his commands. Everyone sins, ‘Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins’. Ecclesiastes 7:20. Obviously the Christ is there to purify us from our sins, the only condition for his salvation is our faith in Him. ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death’. Romans 8:1.
Now a long waiting before we receive a gift from God is not that much bad. Story of Abraham (Genesis 18) and Zechariah (Luke 1) prove it. A couple, if they believe in God, can trust that the God will bless them with children until they are too old or extremely, until they die. But we don’t have that faith, the faith needed to change the mountain (Mathew 21:21). If we have that faith the faith by itself will answer the question why we don’t have children. The attitude about an earthly life will be distinctive for these people and definitely the answer to this question will revolve around their trust in God. So endless waiting for a Gift from God wont change the basic trust in God.
A decision on how many children we need is to be taken by keeping our trust in God. Being humans are intelligent we can foretell the environments and can plan our future with the Grace from God.
‘The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family’. CCC2363.
So a transmission of life from physical intimacy with spiritual communion sanctified by a sacrament will be always a gift from God, whatever be the environment, in different political or financial scenarios. Hence there is no question about a child, a gift from God, will be accepted. If child is a gift from God, He will provide the amenities and if the parents struggle their life for that child, that child will be a blessing for them and the society. Joseph’s Story is a good example. ( Genesis 36-45).
Are always gift of god?
A disabled child may raise a question about the Gift of God. If an artist decides his perfection, and others may think his perfection is an imperfection. For God earth is only a part of canvas, and while the perfection in his creation is decided entirely by God, our stance on this is in accepting His gift with the imperfection which will be helpful to grow our trust in Him and ultimately beneficial for our salvation. The questioning nature will change to a blessing state.
The truth of the words of Charles M. Dickenson come to mind:
They are idols of hearts and households; They are angels of God in disguise;
The sunlight still sleeps in their tresses, His glory still gleams in their eyes,
These truants from home and from Heaven, They have made me more manly and mild;
And I know now how Jesus could liken ,The Kingdom of God to a child.