Thank you to all the mothers who brought their children along today and kept everyone happy. With 31 youngsters squeezed in here for the Family Catechism Day, we clearly need a church hall! A hall would make the world of difference for Sundays too, for socialising after Holy Mass. Something to pray for.
Today's catechism sessions involved a talk by seminarian Thomas on Tolkien, connecting the Lord of the Rings with the Resurrection; a talk by Fr Mawdsley on the Oneness of God; and a wonderful session led by one of the mothers present, filling in a 'Jesse Tree', with ancestors of Jesus and ending with seven symbols for the seven O Antiphons. (Click here for the slides from a presentation on these beautiful Advent Antiphons which was given here yesterday evening; audio files of the chants here; a similar presentation will be given at the Young Adults Group this Saturday 17th--all 18 to 35 year-olds welcome).
After the classes there was time for some fresh air. As the elder children shepherded the younger, and none got hurt, one mother commented that the older ones from large families would be quite used to playing games with the younger ones while being sure to "keep the little ones alive". It worked! Big families provide good training then for society at large.
If some hearing of big families complain that there are too many people on the planet already, then these complainants could hardly do better than encourage and pray for many vocations to religious and clerical life and to consecrated virginity. In any case, the world does not suffer from having too many people, but insufficient following of Our Lord's examples of simplicity and charity. If we live like Him, none will go without; if we do not live like Him, disaster is inevitable. Cain demonstrates that the world murders his brother even when there are only few. Put simply: the solution to our problems is not less life, but more love. In Christ these two are one.