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Open Letter To A Tearful Grandmother

Christina Robertson. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna with Her Children.
(Christina Robertson. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna with Her Children. [Source])

1) Introduction

Dear tearful grandmother,

You asked me for resources to convince young persons to be pro-life, and to help them properly discern the will of God, especially for marriage.

I'm sorry to have taken so much time to answer, especially since this letter is almost to say that I don't have an answer. Firstly, I'm not used to thinking about marriage and children: most of the young couples I know live in unmarried cohabitation, a more or less sterile cohabitation, and a cohabitation with a more or less high turnover rate. And I don't even dare think about what happened when some of those young persons had "unwanted pregnancies", to use the fashionable Nazi expression when talking about babies.

Secondly, I tried several times to imagine an article I could write to answer your question, maybe called: "A reading list for future newlyweds", or "The ten most important pieces of advice to give to your children, for the sake of your grandchildren", etc. But each time I tried, I failed.

2) The shortest beginning of an answer to your question

I'm under the impression that the shortest article I could write to answer your question, would be longer than my whole web site.

Let's take abortion for example. How can we convince young persons to be pro-life? If I knew, I'd go tell the Pope! The best I can do is a very imperfect Reading List for Pro-Choicers. But this list doesn't even itself fit on a few pages. Indeed, it "points" to other texts, which themselves "point" toward other texts, and so on.

Why be pro-life, unless we know the nature of the human soul? And how can we know the nature of the human soul, without studying the soul, Nature, and Philosophy? And how can we study Philosophy in a society where the very ideas of truth, good and evil, manners and wisdom are rejected? How can we even have the desire to study Philosophy if everything is mere belief, if each one of us has his or her values, if our conscience invents Ethics as we go along, if constructive debates are impossible, and if all we can do is follow intellectual fashions?

But it gets worse. How can we stay pro-life, if we're not equipped to answer pro-choice objections? And how can we answer pro-choice objections, if we're in a Church where many members of the clergy underhandedly encourage the acceptance of abortion? And how can we defend ourselves againt many Priests and Bishops in our Church without falling into hatred of that very Church, or excessive criticism, either to the left or to the right, or even sink into an apparently Catholic religious cult?

It seems to be just as complicated for marriage. How can we convince young persons of the importance of marriage, and of marrying well? There are so many things to do and to learn, and so many enemies to fight, and so many pitfalls to avoid!

First of all, these young persons must live their period of engagement in chastity, which is extraordinarily difficult in a society where young persons are encouraged, by all means possible, to spoil their virginity as soon as possible, while teaching them a morbid fear of children, and a boundless love for the condom, and the pill.

Even the Sacrament of Marriage as such is hard to obtain, since most of the Parishes in the Dioceses of the Province of Quebec only offer pretend-marriages, preceeded by "Marriage Preparation Courses" where they teach everything except what is love, what is Faith, what is true feminity or true virility, etc.

Even once they are married, the problems for these young persons have only started. Our Country has sunk into intellectual and moral darkness. Many Canadians refuse to even look at Christian memorabilia, while at the same time adoring idols, and justifying all abominations, as long as they occur in private.

3) A few resources

In my opinion, no young couple should be left to drift off by itself, without help, without coaching. That's why I always recommend to build up a good bookshelf, and to keep handy a list of good web sites.

But at some point of time, you need flesh and blood companions, unimpeachable in their knowledge of the Faith.

4) Conclusion

As Jesus used to say, while he was typing away on his laptop after a hard day's work in his Dad's woodworking shop: "Fortunately I had good Saint Anne to keep me honest!"

That's actually my experience too. I'm a Catholic mostly because of my two grandmothers, who kept the Faith despite the general stampede to Atheism. Don't underestimate yourself! A head full of gray hair and hands full of Rosary beads can even convert the most apparently hopeless grandchildren!

Be therefore the second most important resource for your children and grandchildren: a good grandmother that keeps pointing her finger toward the most important resource, Jesus!

Everybody with and under the authority of Peter, to Jesus, by Mary

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