Saturday, February 09, 2008

Family Life

Since the Fall no organization or way of life whatever has a natural tendency to go right. In the Middle Ages some people thought that if only they entered a religious order they would find themselves automatically becoming holy and happy: the whole native literature of the period echoes with the exposure of that fatal error. In the nineteenth century some people thought that monogamous family life would automatically make them holy and happy; the savage antidomestic literature of modern times - the Samuel Butlers, the Gosses, the Shaws - delivered the answer. In both cases the "debunkers" may have been wrong about principles and may have forgotten the maxim, abusus non tollit usum* but in both cases they were pretty right about matter of fact. Both family life and monastic life were often detestable, and it should be noticed that the serious defenders of both are well aware of the dangers and free of the sentimental illusion. [...] That is the first point on which we must be absolutely clear. The family, like the nation, can be offered to God, can be converted and redeemed, and will then become the channel of particular blessings and graces. But, like everything else that is human, it needs redemption. Unredeemed, it will produce only particular temptations, corruptions, and miseries. Charity begins at home: so does uncharity.
~C.S. Lewis, "The Sermon and the Lunch", The Grand Miracle (1970)

*"The abuse does not abolish the use"

1 Comment(s):

At Sat Feb 09, 08:55:00 PM EST, Blogger Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for this one, too.


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