Amoris Laetitia 170: Acceptance and Respect

amoris laetitia memeAdvancements in genetics give human beings access to information about an unborn child. However, the deepest intimate part of a person is known by God alone.

170. Scientific advances today allow us to know beforehand what colour a child’s hair will be or what illnesses they may one day suffer, because all the somatic traits of the person are written in his or her genetic code already in the embryonic stage. Yet only the Father, the Creator, fully knows the child; he alone knows his or her deepest identity and worth.

Respect for life is not just the absence of abortion or infanticide. It involves a respect for every child as a person. If believers are unable to provide acceptance, then a petition for healing is needed:

Expectant mothers need to ask God for the wisdom fully to know their children and to accept them as they are. Some parents feel that their child is not coming at the best time. They should ask the Lord to heal and strengthen them to accept their child fully and wholeheartedly. It is important for that child to feel wanted.

Something important:

He or she is not an accessory or a solution to some personal need. A child is a human being of immense worth and may never be used for one’s own benefit. So it matters little whether this new life is convenient for you, whether it has features that please you, or whether it fits into your plans and aspirations.

Likewise, children are not possessions. Parents have no “right” to a child. They have no “rights” as such where children are concerned; only responsibilities.

For “children are a gift. Each one is unique and irreplaceable… We love our children because they are children, not because they are beautiful, or look or think as we do, or embody our dreams. We love them because they are children. A child is a child”.(Catechesis (11 February 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 12 February 2015, p. 8) The love of parents is the means by which God our Father shows his own love. He awaits the birth of each child, accepts that child unconditionally, and welcomes him or her freely.

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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