As any real conservative knows, the progressive agenda is inimical to foundational elements of society, such as the family. The ongoing destruction of the nuclear family, a critical component of the progressive agenda, is evil for many reasons. But in recent years I have become more aware of one aspect of that destruction, which has to do with its impact on God’s natural blueprint for our lives as expressed in family life, and particularly as expressed in the daily work of a mother and a father.

In our family, Dad is still with us, but Mom died about 4 years ago. She made it to 88, and was bright and alert until she had a serious accident from which she never recovered. After the accident, she was no longer able to communicate effectively, so it was one of those situations where there were so many things that you wish you could have said to her, but it was suddenly too late.

I have discovered since then that Mom meant more to me than I thought she did. It isn’t just that I miss the opportunity to talk to her, ask her opinion on things, or just to give her a hug. I think now that in addition to everything else, Mom meant to me that core sense of belonging that you feel as a child being raised in a family. It is a sense of home, a place of safety and warmth and unconditional love that can be reliably depended upon. And that experience of home is a very important thing. It provides a solid psychological foundation, a safe harbor. By just simply being herself, and doing what comes naturally, Mom cooperated in the design created by God for the nurturing, development, and flourishing of a new generation. And that sense of home that she built along with Dad remains with us, even when we leave home and strike out on our own, and begin our own families, and create that sense of belonging for another generation.

But now Mom is gone, from this life at least, and so is that sense of having a home. She, and the home I once knew, cannot be reached. And so I am all too aware that I am now missing something important in my life. Even though Dad is still here, and I have my own immediate family, and wife and children and now even grandchildren, they cannot replace what has been lost.

What must it be like for those children who have not experienced that solid sense of home? It must be terribly difficult, not having that foundation and that comfort, and having to experience life while lacking the natural love of a mother and a father that God intended for them. While I have only recently experienced that sense of loss, they must face their entire lives knowing something vitally important is missing. Such a fundamental deficiency effected on such a large scale as we have experienced here in the U. S. has to inflict damage, and it is not surprising that as the progressive agenda advances, we see increasing societal disarray.

However, there is some solace that can be gained by understanding that none of us while here on earth have ever been fully at home. The psalms, those ancient words that still today anchor the prayer of the Church, speak to a reality that faces all of us:

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and my supplication: give ear to my tears. Be not silent: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner as all my fathers were.”

Psalms 38:13, Douay-Rheims Bible

We are actually, all of us, nomads in this life, having experienced perhaps a little of what it is like to be truly home, but always bearing an innate desire for that real home that can only be experienced with God Himself. The Apostle Paul felt this yearning, as described by Pope St Gregory the Great:

“For we already long to come into the presence of God, but we are still hindered by the clog of a mortal body. So that we are justly called ‘prisoners,’ in that we have not as yet the advance of our desire to God free before us. Hence Paul, whose heart was set upon the things of eternity, yet who still carried about him the load of his corruption, being in bonds exclaims, Having a desire to be unloosed and to be with Christ. [Phil. 1, 23] For he would not desire to be ‘unloosed,’ unless, assuredly, he saw himself to be in bonds.” [1]

Perhaps that sense of belonging and home that I first knew as a child was simply a reflection, an echo, of the longing for our real home that God has sowed within us. So that sense of loss that I don’t seem to be able to dismiss is supposed to be there. We are made in the image and likeness of God, the scriptures say [Genesis 1:26-27], and therefore we who have been created by Him will only really be at home when we are with Him.