Church needs generous mothers and fathers

In the lead quote of “In their own words”(In Focus, May 20), Simcha Fisher stated the following: “The Church does not demand that women bear as many children as possible.” On balance, her overall quote regarding the gift of motherhood is full of wisdom. She is also certainly correct that the Church does not require more than what the Divine Master demands of each of his followers. Nevertheless, shouldn’t we exhort women to love heroically? Indeed, heroic love seems to be of the very nature of authentic femininity. Don’t we marvel at stories of women who have defied the odds and born children out of total charity? 

Just as we do not undercut the virtue of fraternal charity by telling people that “the Church does not demand that you love your neighbor as much as possible.” So also, let’s not undercut the virtue of generous parenthood by not holding it up as a virtue for which to strive. And generous parenthood fulfills not only the love of neighbor, but also the love of God, whom we are to love with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind.  

Let’s encourage Catholic parents to be more generous in welcoming children. We truly need heroic mothers, much like Fisher — and generous fathers, too! 

Father William M. Gardner, Peru, Ill.

Blessings for stillborn

Re: “New U.S. blessing for expectant mothers, unborn children” (Openers, May 27). 

While I appreciated reading about the blessing for expectant mothers (and fathers) and agree with the wondrous joy this mystery brings to families and parishes, it also made me wonder whether there are blessings that also accompany the same expectant assemblies when the outcome is something else: stillbirths or early infant deaths due to complications. 

Such moments bring into stark relief the very real message of God’s sovereignty and plan, and act in their own way as “sign of our rebirth one day into the eternal rejoicing of heaven.” 

For example, in Virginia, death certificates are not issued for stillborn babies. Will the Church extend its blessings from a God who is not short on blessings, to shine the light of the Risen One on the least of these? 

Jay Cuasay, Sterling, Va.

Good teaching tool

Kudos to you and staff for your May 20 issue of Our Sunday Visitor. I thought it was so good that I sent it the whole paper to a writer at our local newspaper who writes opinion articles addressing controversies within the Catholic Church (most recently the contraception/abortion mandate, and the Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious). Her perspective is enough to boil any orthodox Catholic’s blood. I thought you should know how much your readers value OSV. 

Christine T. Anderson, Portage, Mich.

Well-crafted explanation

Re: “Why we are suing the government” (Editorial, June 3). 

My compliments to the OSV Editorial Board. It is very well written, documented and explained.  

The editorial has given me “phrases” to use in discussions with others. 

Thank you for your careful consideration of how to present your position. 

Jeff Bishop, via email

Ecumenical support

I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian and I encourage all Christians to stand with you. If we do not take a stand for religious freedom, it won’t be long before we no longer have it! 

Jean Jordan, via online comment

More home library tips

Re: “How to build your home library” (In Focus, May 27). 

When you start your library, start cataloging it! A little at a time is easy. 

A list on your mobile device will prevent duplicates and insure your cash is spent on books that are not already on shelves. This will happen. 

I like LibraryThing

Do a good job logging in the new book before you start reading. 

L. Masl, via online comment

Catholic reads

Re: “10 hot reads for the season” (In Focus, May 27). 

This is an interesting list. I’ve read “Between Heaven and Mirth” and “Adam and Eve After the Pill,” but don’t know the rest of the books. 

I’ve started the following: “He Leadeth Me,” by Jesuit Father Walter Ciszek and “Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: The Place of Zen in Christian Life,” by Jesuit Father Robert E. Kennedy. 

The rest of my Catholic books summer list includes “Why Humanae Vitae was Right: A Reader”; “In Defense of Human Dignity”; “The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Right, Human Life, and the Question of Justice”; and “Dead Man Walking.” 

That should round out the summer before it is back to reading for work. 

Roberta Lavin, via online comment

Summer reading list

I’m just starting “Be A Man!” by Father Larry Richards, and then I’ll finally take on “Rediscover Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly.  

I also just ordered “Brave Fish” by Vincent Chough. I went to high school with Vince, and I’m interested in learning about his faith journey. 

Dr. Marc Tinsley, via online comment