Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cats vs. kids

I happened to come across a pro-abortion blog, written by a woman who has had an abortion and says she does not regret it. After the abortion, even though she is now married, she deliberately chose not to have any children. Instead, she has two cats.

I could not help but feel a little sorry for her. I suppose cats have some advantages. Perhaps the parents out there could comment on how your children have enriched your life. Would you trade your kids for two cats? Cats, not being persons, are not able to have a real relationship with you. Cats cannot say "I love you," or bring you a birthday present or visit you and take care of you when you get old and sick.

But more importantly, having children is a way that we can make of ourselves to another person. The "law of the gift" means that it is only in making a gift of ourselves that we can truly find ourselves. I don't mean to say that everyone is required to have children, since God calls some people to other vocations and some people bear the cross of not being able to have them, though they would want to. But to deliberately block them out when one chooses marriage, whose outcome is normally children, is the problem.


Anonymous said...

Although you were asking for comments from parents, I had to respond to this. I do not have children (by choice) but I have two cats, a dog and a husband. While it's true my pets will not be able to take care of me when I get old (which is sort of a selfish reason to want kids), they also don't use nearly as much natural resources as people do. My pets will never pollute by driving cars; never go through diaper after diaper that will end up in a landfill; never use countless gallons of water for bathing.

We live in a country where almost half of pregnancies are unplanned. At least my animals have been fixed.

Do you know what’s sadder than someone without kids? Read this article: - Report: Humans stripping away planet's resources

David said...

Sr. Lorraine, I too feel sad for someone who considers a pet an adequate substitute for children. I feel even more sorry for the person who commented that human beings are nothing but a drain on natural resources.

These are both utilitarian views of humanity, as if we're some sort of machine whose value is dependent upon whether or not the output is greater than the input. I'm a father of three, and my wife and I made our decision to have children (which, of course, was really God's decision) based on a willing acceptance to bring new life into the world. My children are not an insurance policy against my old age. They are a blessing from God. Through my role as a parent, I have an ever-so-small understanding of God's perfect love for us. My children are each unique. They bring me joy that I never imagined, along with frustration when they don't listen, and sadness when they are hurt. No mater what, however, I love them dearly and would sacrifice anything and everything for them.

Those that choose instead to view children as a burden and a drain on resources are relying upon half-truths and failed logic. They ignore the positive contributions made by each individual, how human intellect overcomes obstacles, as humanity has done for generations. To deny the blessing of the child also potentially denies the world of another Martin Luther King, or Thomas Edison, or Mozart, or Bill Gates. To consider children as a drain on resources belies an utter lack of faith not only in God, but in the ability of humanity to harness the gifts that God uniquely places within each of us.

Two-town said...

Indeed, what is this world coming to? I know pets are lovable as the kind of love that cannot really be communicated in speech, meaningful emotions, etc., etc. Although it may be difficult to bring up children (I have two young children, 6 and 10-years-old), I would never regret having them. We as parents teach them and form them to be good people and moreso good Catholics. They may take care of us when we are unable to, but as long as we have done our duty, showing true love in everything we say and/or do. Life then is selfless, fulfilling, complete.

Let's pray for families! for leaders of nations come from families and hope they are brought up well.

Sr. Lorraine said...

Thanks David and Two-Town for your great comments.
I don't understand the logic of the anonymous commenter. What is the point of preserving the earth's resources if there are no people to continue to live on earth?

TNP said...

As a mother of four children ages 28, 21, 19, and 14, my only regret is that we didn't have more. At every age they have stretched and molded us, teaching us about the world and ourselves. We have enjoyed them immensely at every age.

ANawtyMouser said...

I am a single mother. I was not wed when I had my child. I have never received any child support or help of any kind from her father. I have raised a beautiful young lady and receive many wonderful reports about her from others. I never, NOT EVER EVEN ONCE thought of not having her!
I have found that many times, people that dislike children, or who find them a drain on resources or simple creatures that create disposable products have had terrible childhoods themselves. They never experience a loving family with loving parents and are so bitter they are unable to remove or heal the scars that have grown on their very soul.
I think prayers should be lifted for people that make killing a way of removing the result of their moment of pleasure.

Del said...

Another question comes to mind.....Why should one get married without the intentions of having children? Why get married? It is only logical that with marriage comes children (if God wills it), completing the family unit, formation and educaton of the children, and old age.....

Thank God my parents decided to have me. I exist because they wanted me and God willed it. We pray for all those who chose not to have children and are married, that they will realize that the reason for marriage is procreation which is also the result of their love, being selfless, and sharing their love with their children.

Amy Caroline said...

Sometimes I am overwhelemed with saddness by these kinds of things. Children are such a blessing. I have five and should God bless us with more we would gladly and happliy dance with joy. :)
But then, there are those who should not have children. I think of all those people who abuse thier children... who cannot even recognize the most precious gift of all. The gift of a pure and innocent soul. Perhaps the world would be a better place if some people did only get cats. But that is NO excuse for murdering a child. Abortion is never an answer. That woman may not regret what she has done now, but someday, I am sure she will... At least, I hope she does, for the sake of her own soul.

Anonymous said...

It's a little weird to compare cats to children, but what the hay...children are so much more interesting and funny. Cats are kind of evil, if you ask me. Suuuure, they're cute and cuddly when they're little. On the other hand, they get sneaky, and snobby, and kind of scratchy when they're grown. People who get obsessed with, let's say, having many children usually EVENTUALLY have a house full of children and grandchildren...which is usually kind of fun. Plus, also they will eventually leave and go to their own homes... but people who get obsessed with too many cats...ummm...usually end up with one of those stinky cat houses that end up on "Animal Cops" where the owner holes herself up with all these nasty, matted up cats that are all over her feces, flea infested house. I always wonder if those ladies had had children to look after them, would their lives have turned out differently? Would they seek love from an indifferent animal if they had had children to care for and who cared for them?

Anonymous said...

I don't advocate her abortion but try to understand that maybe she is the type of person that cannot relate to children. Maybe she had no experience with kids and had she actually had one, her life would be different. She chose a different life than the rest of us, but we shouldn't be here to judge her and say what she should do. Of course, abortion isn't the right answer but maybe never having any more pregnancies was.

Anonymous said...

I have been married for nine years. I have three cats, and no kids. I don't feel that my marriage is in any way unnatural or sad because we have delayed childbearing. I am in school getting a Ph.D., and my husband is struggling for work. We want stable lives before we bring a child into the world, so we can support him or her and have the time and resources to provide a stable, safe life.

Like the woman you write about, I had an abortion. I was sixteen, wanted to keep the baby, and my parents gave me only two choices: adoption or abortion. I thought adoption of a child I wanted would break my heart, so I chose abortion.

It's taken me a long time to come to terms with my anger at my parents, and with my own feelings about all this. In the end, I left the Catholic church. I left because I feel that God doesn't love me any less for my experiences, and I don't feel what I did was a sin. I feel like my childbearing decisions so far have been reactions to choices constrained by circumstances, and I feel sure in my heart that God understands that.

How can you be so sure this woman's life is sad, and that her experiences are unnatural and wrong? Maybe God loves her just the way she is. Maybe he has a plan for her.

I miss so many things about the Church, but I will never miss its narrowness and its judgment.

Sr. Lorraine said...

Hello Anonymous,

Thank you for your heartfelt post and honesty in writing about your experiences. I am sorry about your abortion; it sounds like you really didn't want it either. You mentioned being angry at your parents, so I presume it is related to their not allowing you to keep your baby.
You are right that God doesn't love you any less for what you did, just like he doesn't love any of us less for what we do. But that doesn't mean that what we do is always the right thing. God is too loving to tell us that it's OK to do evil, as if we can remain untouched by what we choose.

God doesn't condemn you for the abortion but calls you to repentance for it, like he calls all of us to repentance for our sins (including me--I'm not exempting myself in any way from the call to repentance.) The good news is that Jesus washes away all of our sins in his blood. We only need to acknowledge and repent of them.

God bless you!

David said...

I've been meaning to follow up on my post with a story: be careful what you ask for!

The very night after I posted my comments, my wife told me she thought she may be pregnant. We confirmed this a couple of weeks later.

It has been a struggle to come to terms with this. My wife and I are both in our early 40s. Our three boys are 7, 5, and 2 and we were just beginning what we thought would be our post-infant years. Our lives are stressful and chaotic as it is; 2006 was particularly insane and we were both looking forward to a more peaceful 2007. But now we are starting over again with a 4th. To be honest, neither of us is sure how we will be able to manage this.

But when my wife showed me the positive pregnancy test, she apologized for the "mistake" (she had misread her calendar... I'll leave it at that). I explained that God doesn't make mistakes, that he sent us this baby on purpose. So instead of thinking about how our plans have been impacted by this baby, we are trying to focus on God's plan, and who this baby might be. I don't think either of us has made peace with this change quite yet, but I also know that the only path to peace is acceptance of God's will and a setting aside of our own will. We are placing our hope and trust in God.

So I'm asking for your prayers this Advent, as my family enters its own season of waiting for this new child that will arrive in early August... specifically:

-- for the health of my wife, who just turned 40 and has always had serious morning sickness, that she remain healthy, rested, and strong, and that she not suffer from morning sickness

-- for the health of our baby

-- that the baby is a girl, because my wife so dearly wants a daughter (but would never tell me so)!

-- for our three boys, that they be as supportive and accepting of their new baby brother or sister as they have always been of each other

-- for our family, that we work together in love to take care of this child and each other

-- for my wife and I to focus on the joy of knowing that God has reached out to us and entrusted us with another life, and in 2007 to find peace and serenity that seems to have eluded us in 2006

-- and, finally, for myself, that I overcome my own struggles, so I can lead my family with joy and strength without distraction over the coming year.