The child is the beauty and joy of God present in the world – that greatest gift to a family. — Bl. Teresa of Calcutta
Yesterday I happened on this picture of our children from eight years ago, when life was simpler and my hair was darker.
It is in children that marriage blossoms: they crown that total partnership of life which makes husband and wife “one flesh”; this is true both of the children born from the natural relationship of the spouses and those desired through adoption. Children are not an “accessory” to the project of married life. They are not an “option,” but a “supreme gift,” inscribed in the very structure of the conjugal union. — St. John Paul II
Along with our six children who died in miscarriage, these four “shoots of the olive” (Psalm 128:3) are what perfect our marital joy and purify our marital love.
Do not children themselves in a way continually “examine” their parents? They do so not only with their frequent “whys?”, but with their very faces, sometimes smiling, sometimes misty with sadness. It is as if a question were inscribed in their whole existence, a question which is expressed in the most varied ways, even in their whims, and which we could put into questions like these: Mama, papa, do you love me? Am I really a gift to you? Do you accept me for what I am? Do you always try to do what is really best for me? — St. John Paul II