Sometimes, before morning mass, I remain still for a few minutes in front of the school doors in front of the church. From this privileged position I observe the life that occurs before my eyes. A mother arrives out of breath, holding both her son’s hand and the hand of her friend’s son; another is worried about the health of a relative; a lady runs away and begins to cry for some unknown reason; a particularly friendly, likeable father greets me and stops a minute to exchange a few words, suggesting his desire to deepen our relationship. This is where I have the chance to meet individuals and enter into their lives. This is where invitations and friendhsips are born that deepen in time. This is where I live my mission with the families and with the youth, such that right away these parents entrust to me that which they hold most dear: their children.
One day, a mother calls me to tell me she would like her child baptized. Usually, before accepting families into the parish course, I desire to meet and get to know them to understand exactly what brought them to this decision to enroll. After a few days, the parents welcome me into their homes. With a cup of tea in hand, they tell me their family’s story which is similar to many here in England: they were not married in the Church and their child was conceived through in vitro fertilization. Nonetheless, it seems like the health difficulties connected to the inability to bear children is a thing of the past. At this point I say: “If you have another child, maybe we can prepare slowly and well a marriage a two baptisms…” Their response leaves me speechless: “We aren’t opposed to the idea, on the contrary; we have an embryo on reserve in a freezer.”
As I reflect upon it, I come to realize just how much confusion has become the reigning power in the world, even within the most normal of families. In the stories of those two parents, I perceived the drama of all their past sufferings, and yet there never arose in them any moral doubt or remorse. The evidence that is most striking and convincing seems today to have collapsed. When I get up to leave, just before saying goodbye to them, I realize that there is one more thing left to say: “Know that you have never left God’s sight. He always knows what is truly good for us, He makes use of everything, even objective evil, to help us grow in maturity. Therefore do not attempt to force your own plan over His; trust His direction.” A few tears well up and we say goodbye.
I wanted them to understand that God was not distracted or neglectful for not giving them children, even if they would have been born into a family who would have loved them dearly. The Creator established the conjugal, sexual relationship between husband and wife to be the method for conceiving and giving birth to children. He chose this precise place according to His will for our good. Thus it is neither necessary nor appropriate to force or try to redraw God’s plan through artificial insemination. I believe those parents understood or at least began to intuit something from our conversation. From that point forward, they decided to regularly attend Sunday mass together even though one of them is not Catholic.
God knows what is good for us and where He wants to lead us. He treats us like a father toward his children. Sometimes children rebel when their parents prohibit something from them. And yet despite their protests, the parents do not waver in their certainty of what is truly good for their children. Just as children must place their trust in their parents, we must trust God and His plan.

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