You never know what the morning will bring. I just got into a weird little skirmish with a fellow who believes that there is only one kind of generosity, and that is having as many babies as possible. (He can correct me if I’m misrepresenting his point of view.)
It began when someone wrote a nice review of The Sinner’s Guide to NFP, and this fellow — not having read the book, of course — said:
Yeah, I played the grandmultipara pregnancy card. So sue me.
It didn’t stop Mr. NFP Denier, anyway. He let me know that his wife is expecting theireleventh baby (eleven being a higher number than ten, you’ll note), and that his family was fruitful and multiplied just like God commanded, and they were therefore obeying the doctrine of the Church in what was obviously the only possible way, unlike people who use NFP, who are clearly disobeying the doctrine of the Church.
I said that generosity sometimes looks different from having another baby. Generosity can even look like deciding not to have another baby right now, even if you really, really want to. It depends on your circumstances. It’s different for different people, according to what God is asking of their specific lives. The Church teaches that we can use our hearts and our brains while prayerfully discerning intensely individual questions like family size. It’s not a numbers game, where God judges our holiness by using His fingers and toes to tally up our family size.
But maybe my reader-who-doesn’t-need-to-read-my-stupid-book is onto something, with his accusation of relativism. It occurs to me that the scourge of relativism is nothing new. One very early example of a selfish woman trying to excuse her own flaws and call them virtues? Check out this chick:
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So she said, “Truly I say to you, I, a poor widow, have put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God,[a] but I out of my poverty put in all the livelihood that I had.”
See there? Relativism! The nerve of that lady, thinking that the gift of her dumb little pennies made her even more generous than the big bucks those other guys were pouring into the chest! If there’s one thing that Jesus tries to pound into our heads over the course of the Gospel, it’s that holiness is a numbers game, period.
Pff, relativists. I suppose they think they’ll somehow find their way into heaven anyway.
Well, you never know. I’ve heard God is fairly generous, too.