For Lent, I'm reading through the Major and Minor Prophets. While reading Hosea, I came across this verse:
Ephraim's glory shall fly away like a bird -- no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! (Hosea 9:11)One of God's curses is the decline of Israel's birthrate. Repeatedly in the prophets and especially in Hosea, God's curse comes in the form of ceasing to give his people, "wheat, wine, and oil." These three substances are allusions to the sacramental economy and thus designate God's favor for His people. But this is the first time that I noticed that God's curse also involves a decline in birthrate.
We know that European and Russian birthrates are either negative or hardly holding at replacement level. Of course this is a self-inflicted scourge upon society. But we must remember, divine scourges are always self-inflicted. God's Sacraments are being defaced by wacky liturgists and private judgment. Church attendance is at all time lows. Our birthrates are in the gutter. Can it be that God has allowed us to our own devices for a season to show us that we cannot live without Him?