Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lost Children

The night began as any other, and I began to pray my rosary:

Lord, I offer this rosary tonight for an end to abortion, and for a cure to autism. I pray for Your children, all Your children, that they may live as You intended, be all You created them to be, and enjoy everlasting joy in Your house. All Your children …

Then this night I paused, and remembered all those children I was praying for, and their lives, as He intended …. But we sometimes chose otherwise.

I remembered the mothers, and it’s true, sometimes fathers too, who chose abortion. So wrapped up in their problems, their plans, their dreams, that they thought this little life, this gift, was theirs. They thought its happiness was totally meshed with theirs, and happiness was a thing which they needed, no craved, from each and every moment to the next. Happiness was for now, and plans for future happiness were decided now, and results as they foresaw them at this moment were as unchangeable as the stars in the sky. All depended on them, they believed, and so they were alone in this great decision. While they might be forgiven for believing that the life they created was theirs, and totally meshed with their lives and happiness --- because certainly for some years to come that would be true --- but they forgot (or perhaps we might charitably assume they never knew) that their child’s life was not created by them alone, nor would it EVER be totally dependent on them alone. Oh, they created a body, which they would be responsible for, at least for a while, but God created a soul, which would live forever. They chose to kill what they created, but they also killed what God created. They act much like a construction worker who admits he can’t build a home properly, and so quits, but in doing so he also burns down the entire structure, saying in effect: “If I can’t build this properly, no one can.” How arrogant of him; how dismissive of the work of the Master Architect, Who designed and planned each detail of the house so well --- and planned to live in it Himself. Those who chose abortion tore truly down a house of God. In charity, I remember them and think: “Could they really know what they were doing, what they were doing to God?” And I wonder, what does God feel toward those who so flippantly dismissed His plans, and His child?

But I remember tonight also those who chose life, but the life of their child was most difficult, even painful. (I think of autism in particular, but any lack of perfection in their child hurts them.) They think: “This is not as I planned, this pain for my child (and this pain for me),” and they wonder: “Would God plan for this continuous sorrow, this kind of life for His child?” Some cannot understand, and they rail against the heavens: “Why would You do this; why do You permit this??” And they perceive no answer. And precious few can accept the answer they DO hear. The pains and sorrows of their children are so intimately theirs. No parent wants their child to be less than perfect, less than they planned them to be, or to suffer any pains. Like the ones who chose abortion, they too forgot that they are not the only parent of their child; this is a child of God also, and in all its pains He grieves with them. But in their grief they never consider His plans, because His plans CAN include grief. The earthly parent may accept some sorrow in his child’s life, it is part of growing up, and a part of earthly life itself. The heavenly Father can accept prolonged periods of grief also, because He sees the growing of His child into eternal life. The earthly parent plans, and prays, for some earthly happiness for their child, but the Father plans and KNOWS His child will see the eternal happiness. It’s rare parents who can be at peace with the eternal Father’s plans, which they cannot see, and trust that they will bring happiness for their child, even as they watch him in pain. (Read the beautiful story of love and trust, Blessed and Broken, by Cathy Adamkiewicz) Such parents, although rare, are an inspiration for us all, truly among the walking saints. I remember, and am encouraged by them, even as I pray for a cure for autism, and an end to the pains of God’s children.

And then I remember one thing more: “God’s children,” but there was also one He called as His only Son. And for this one He saw the pains coming, and unlike earthly parents, He had the power to stop them. He could stop the horrible pains, and death of His only Son, and he chose not to. As parents we wonder aloud: “What kind of father would choose to let his son suffer, to watch him die? Wouldn’t any truly loving father choose to die himself, first?” And then I remember: He did; He did it all. For surely God the Father was intimately present as the earthly body of His Son died. God chose to watch, no even plan for, His Son’s painful death, and to die with Him --- something no loving earthly father could ever imagine doing, but He could. He was no earthly father, so He could do this horrible thing, and plan for it and choose it, for us. For the love of us.

I remembered all the lost children, and the pains of their parents, those aborted, those suffering lives of pain, and I remembered how the Father of them all loves them, and assures us, that in the end He will take all their pains away. Because He loves them, and us.

And so I again began to pray the rosary.

Father, whenever I feel lost or in pain, remember that I’m Your child, too.

And if I should see my neighbor, lost, alone, or in pain, let me love him as if he were my child, even as You would.


  1. What a beautiful and touching post, Tom! What you say about God also dying on the cross with his Son-one and the same-makes so much sense!

    I have a great-nephew who is autistic, being raised by his grandparents, my brother and sister-in-law. Yes, it's hard, but Dominic brings so much joy to so many people and I know he brings joy to God as well!

  2. I meant to add my own comment to this post, (but I forgot --- again), and so now I will.

    When I wrote this in the chapel, I forgot Cathy's name, so I wrote "the book Blessed and Broken by -----, meaning to look up her name later. As I typed this post on Sunday, I again noticed the missing name and intended to look it up as soon as I finished typing --- and forgot again. So I posted this and also sent out an email attachment of it to a few friends who "don't do blogs but want to read my stuff". Then I went into my blog to glance at posts of any of the blogs I follow. There, right in front of me, after I had forgotten to look up her name (twice) was Cathy's name -- she had posted to her blog for the first time in three months, and I saw her name ten minutes after I had needed it (and edited my blog post).

    Isn't God kind of funny that way. I wonder what He considers His favorite jokes; I know I'd like them.