Hope Is Alive

The Obstinate Negation of a Presence
Only a “perfect” child satisfies the desire to be a father. A nurse’s letter with a terrible documentation of a widespread mentality: man as the measure of all things is inevitably violent because he does not accept reality as given

Dear Fr Giussani: I wanted to tell you about a little episode that happened to me at work yesterday.
A colleague of mine is expecting a baby, the first child after many years of marriage, a planned child. We were all happy to congratulate the future mother. Her husband arrived, and I went up to congratulate him, saying, “You must be so happy to be a father!”–a banal sentence to express my happiness for them. He looked at me and answered, “Until we’ve done all the exams, and know whether the baby is healthy, I certainly won’t feel like a father.” I was absolutely floored, both by how calmly he negated the evidence of the presence of that child, and by how he completely lacked the natural emotion elicited by an event of this kind. A discussion ensued in which, notwithstanding how I tried to offer my reasoning about the irreducibility of life, he obstinately continued to affirm that he would feel like a father only once he had a healthy child, and if the child weren’t healthy, he would have it terminated.
I thought then how true it is when you say, “The enemy of Christ is man as the measure of all things,” and it was evident for me that Christ truly coincides with the human. I, too, often look at reality not as a gift, but in terms of the image I’ve constructed for it, and even though this position seems less scandalous, it has the same destructive power.