I've been thinking about a recent conversation I had with a mom in her mid-twenties. She is pregnant with her 4th child and she asked me if I thought she and her husband were being irresponsible because they have so many children at such a young age. They got married knowing that they wanted a large family but living that out is always different than what one expects. Even their Catholic friends are rethinking the idea of being open to a larger family. She just wasn't sure if they were on the right track anymore. Maybe a big family is irresponsible or maybe it just takes a whole heck of a lot of trust in God and His Providence. (So she asks for wisdom from the crazy lady with 11 kids!)
Notice that she didn't ask if it is "worth it" to have a bunch of kids. She already knows the infinite value of each and every soul that is created for all eternity. Instead, she talked about the incredible responsibility that comes with saying "yes" to Life. We are responsible for these souls and God provides all the graces necessary for us to make good on that responsibility. We just have to be open to His plan. It's a hard thing to say "yes" to God but it get's easier. Time and experience tell me this and it's what I shared with her. Each child teaches us to say "yes" in a new and different way and that's what the vocation of marriage is all about. It probably is irresponsible by today's standards to have a big, huge happy family but hopefully, we aren't shooting for just today. We're keeping our eyes on eternity. When I look at our overflowing home and all those wild and crazy people around our dinner table, I don't feel irresponsible. I feel joy and incredible humility. We didn't get this far on our own. We would have never made it. Only by the grace of God.