Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF

Yesterday, we reflected on the hard work and beauty of a marital union worth preserving for ever. Today, we are invited to reflect on such union’s principal fruit: children.

Last month, there was a curious news item on the BBC: (You can read about it here: www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-47154287 ). A 27-year old man, Raphael Samuel, plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent. His argument is that parents create children without the latter’s permission and solely for the former’s  pleasure; and hence, it is their responsibility to provide for the entire life span of their children!

Well, it is clear that, if he goes on to sue his parents, his argument will not hold water in the court, given that it is impossible to get one’s consent before one is born, nor is it anywhere evident in creation that there is any species that provides for its progeny until the death of the latter. However, what saddens me is the lack of a transcendental dimension of his thought, far more than the inherent logical fallacy of his challenge. Seemingly for him, life has no dimension of depth or spark of divinity or mystery that beckons us to the surprising joy of transcendental beauty. 

Perhaps he should sue God? For it is God who first conceived him, much before his mother did (cf. Jer. 1:5).
It is worth recalling the lines from Kahlil Gibran’s Prophet:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite.
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hands be for happiness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable. 

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