Pope Benedict made a beautiful address yesterday afternoon at some venue I didn't quite catch -- I watched it on EWTN. A lot of it was high praise for the United States' Christian faithful, but being the Pope, he was wise to start out that way, to tuck the pill into a spoonful of jam. He also deplored our culture of crass materialism, which so often leads to a grasping sort of greed that pushes past community in the great quest for STUFF and also leads to things like married couples choosing to remain childless and a birthrate that is beginning to slowly but surely creep downward, not yet to the frightening point of France, Spain or Italy, but nonetheless worrisome.
He spoke of children being the greatest gift and blessing of a marriage; that children are beings to welcome into hearts and homes.
It was a very moving speech and I couldn't help but contrast it with a telephone call a man made to Dave Ramsey's radio show this morning.
"Dave," the man said, "my wife and I net $6,600 per month, we've been married for a few years and we're out of debt except for our mortgage. Can you tell me at what point in the future we could be ready to start a family?"
I was behind Buddy's wheel and fortunately, I was stopped at a stop light because I might have run right off the road and, I don't know, driven up the side of a building or over a tree or something. This was undoubtedly one of the craziest calls to this program I've ever heard, the craziest one being the guy who didn't see why it was wrong to charge up a bunch of top-of-the-line appliances on his credit cards as gifts for his wife and then file for bankruptcy.
The caller seemed to affect Dave the same way. He was silent for a brief moment and then said incredulously, "Dude. What are you waiting for? Baby time is, like, NOW."
I can't even tell you how much my mindset has changed over things like this -- although my husband and I certainly weren't rolling in money when Meelyn was born fifteen years ago today -- because now I believe with my friend the Pope that the best wedding gift a couple could ever hope to get is a honeymoon baby.
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