Declan is coming!

22 Aug

Just a portion – about one-third – of the Libersat clan. Taken at a family reunion in Louisiana circa 2008.

He doesn’t know me. I’ve never seen him – and he’s never seen me. But he’s coming. Our great grandson. Number – 23, 24? Whatever, he’s coming.

 When I’m asked about my family – sometimes I don’t wait to be asked – I try to humbly, but unashamedly, crow about seven children, 21 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren and two step great grandsons. And, of course, there are the spouses of children and grandchildren – and we consider all of them as family.

 People’s reactions to that proclamation of family size vary from disbelief to downright disgust and from surprise to joy. I guess it depends on how much people are actually open to the gift of new life. It might also depend, in some cases, on how people value the two great purposes of marriage: first, to love another selflessly and to help one another grow in holiness and, second, to bring forth new life into the world.

 I say “in some cases” because there are people who value new life but find it better for some good reason to space the birth of their children. There are couples who do so by natural means, and those who choose artificial contraception.

 Such decisions are a matter of conscience and the Christian conscience must be formed by Scripture and the moral determinations made by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Whatever! Declan is coming! All the way from New York State. He’s coming on a jet plane.

 Why the excitement? When I see Declan I will see my grandson and his wife, my daughter and her husband, and Peg and myself — and all the rest of our family. I will remember my parents, both sets of grandparents and their ancestors before them. I will see family, the continuation of family, the mysterious gift of human life, the promise of continuity, the invitation to eternal life.

 Yes, indeed! Declan is coming – and, his mom, too. His dad, our grandson, can’t come now, but there are promises of all of them being here for Christmas.

May it please the Lord!

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