Here it is, an average Wednesday. I've decorated a Christmas tree, done laundry, vacuumed, cleaned two bathrooms, fixed a lunch, prepped a dinner, shopped, and had an evening out with a friend. The only oddity was the evening out.
I don't do that sort of thing on a regular basis. My family is still young enough that nights out entail babysitting, children being sniffle, ache, and cough free at any given time, and lots of preparation and planning. They'd better be worth all the effort, anxiety, and bother.
This one was. We went to a restaurant, got a cheap meal and a refillable drink and dove into John Paul II's Letter to the Families. We got as far as section 8. As this is something it would never occur to me to read on my own, I'm glad it was suggested as the first of our studies.
Being a recovering Protestant, I'd naturally tend to a Bible Study. Being a recovering feminist, I might even suggest forming a book club. Having the kind of friends I do, we're reading an important Church document. (What a gal, by the way. She is the "meekest, mildest, easiest to get along with" woman I know.)
I knew right away she was onto something, especially as we got to one section that seemed prophetic in its keen analysis and further predictions of the disintegration of our culture and the normalcy of family. We stopped to catch our breath and reflect on the dismal prospects for the future of Christian life in the West. We stopped again with knowing smiles at the genius of John Paul II and the guidance of the Holy Spirit when the very next section was entitled "Prayer" An unspoken question had been answered, "What now?"
It is too dense a document to give my impressions in one simple, introductory blog post. Indeed this is merely our first of many sessions with this work.
I'll simply leave you with this thought. While the U.N. was declaring the Year of the Family, it was funding the forced abortions and the One Child Policy of China and funding the forced sterilizations in Peru and other Latin American countries. The Church was not only trying to expose such human degradation (it never dwelt on the U.N.'s rank hypocrisy) to the world, but also was preparing the married faithful by educating them, bolstering them with charitable resources, and calling them to greater prayer and sanctity through the vocation of married life with its Year of the Family. Time will tell who managed to do a better job.
I'd place my money on the Church, though I'm not a betting kind of gal.