Father Raniero Cantalamessa on the Birth of Christ

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We cannot avoid immediately asking: Why are so few children born in Italy and other Western countries? The principal reason for the scarcity does not have to do with economic factors. From an economic point of view, the births should increase as we move up through the levels of society, or as we move from the global South to the global North; but we know that the contrary is true.

The reason is deeper: It is the lack of hope, and the lack of what hope brings with it, namely, confidence in the future, vital drive, creativity, poetry and joie de vivre. If you wed, it is always an act of faith; bringing a child into the world is always an act of hope. Nothing can be done in the world without hope. We need hope like we need oxygen to breathe. When someone is about to faint we say, "Give them something strong to help them breathe." Something similar should be done for a person who is about to let themselves go, to give up on life: "Give them a reason for hope!" When hope is reborn in a human situation, everything looks different, even if nothing in fact has changed. Hope is a primordial force. It literally works miracles.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

Posted December 26, 2007 at 5:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Jeffersonian wrote:

Indeed, why is it that societies (in general) with the most lavish welfare state benefits and highest level of regulation are those with the lowest birth rates?  To the UN, this is a “conundrum”.  I have my ideas.

December 26, 6:41 pm | [comment link]
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