Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Outlook from a Chair on Wheels

As humbling as it is to admit, I fell a couple of days ago. Not just any fall, oh no! I managed to tumble down the church steps as we all exited after Mass on Sunday. Of course, I was in full view of most of the parishioners of Saint Agnes Catholic Church – a parish we had never visited and probably won’t for a while.

As the priest and one of the standers by helped me to our van – which my dear husband drove up to the steps, onto the sidewalk – I was feeling both pain and humiliation. How quickly we can go from planning the perfect photo of all 7 grandchildren in front of a statue of the Immaculate Conception and total failure. That’s true of our faith life as well.

Saint Teresa of Avila famously said, “It is impossible for a person who prays regularly to remain in serious sin; because the two are incompatible, one or the other will have to be given up.” And so it is. In order to remain on our feet, spiritually speaking, we must find a way to roll with the punches meted out by life.

I saw a meme on Facebook this morning and it exemplified what I’m trying to live – both now and as a lesson learned for future reference.

“What defines us is how well we rise after falling.”

Yes, I physically fell down and am injured enough to be unable to walk right now. Yet, I’m adapting. My computer chair on wheels has become my new best friend. I can sit in it and roll, hither and yon, on my daily activities. I pray there, read there, and have even managed to use it to take care of our one-and-a-half year old grandson for the past two days.

As the old adage goes, “where there’s a will there’s a way”, and so it is with our faith life. In order to maintain our spiritual well being we must continue to find a way to practice it. Don’t have time for a daily Rosary? Think again. We have time for anything for which we make time. How about saying a decade at a time – while driving, doing laundry, lying in bed, or cooking? Can’t pick up a book for spiritual reading? What if you only read a couple of pages at a time? Books have even been written for just that purpose. Think of “33 Days to Morning Glory” or some of the Matthew Kelly books. Even “Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat” can be read this way.

As I journey on in hopes of a speedy recovery the outlook from a chair on wheels doesn’t seem so bad after all. At least not for a time. I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this perch: patience, humor, and humility. Although there have been a few tears, I’ve found it better just to laugh at my predicament and I find ways to creatively continue in my life – both earthly and spiritually.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Quandry of Trump's Abortion Exceptions

At an open-air town hall of sorts, broadcast by the Today Show, Donald Trump came out strongly in favor of abortion exceptions – rape, incest, and life of the mother. That he did this so publicly, yet many are unaware, strikes me as odd – until I remember that the Trump machine is ‘yuge’. Even previously (somewhat) conservative information outlets are running defense on anything that would show their ‘savior’ in his true light. Fox News, the Drudge Report, and even Breitbart are in the tank, as the adage goes.

The irrefutable proof of his pro-life weakness, however, is in Donald Trump the candidate’s own words and prior positions. Give a listen to the video included in this article (at the ten minute mark). If that isn’t enough, give a read to Brent Bozell: An Open Letter to Conservative Friends Supporting Donald Trump. Those who are still in denial after that are on their own and don’t want to know the truth.

Elsewhere I have written about how Trump, ‘absolutely’ wants the Republican Party Platform to include rape, incest, and life of the mother exceptions. When compelled to confirm his abortion exceptions, Trump responded, “Absolutely, for the three exceptions.” 

A Danger to Those Conceived In Rape

As true pro-life advocates have always maintained, this line of thinking is dangerous for the personhood of people conceived in rape. That someone in the public eye would voice such an opinion is problematic but especially when the person is running for President of the United States.

A Questionable ‘Savior’

I’ve been in a quandary, trying to understand how otherwise orthodox, believing Christians can be so enamored by someone whose beliefs are in such conflict with their own professed ones. When I finally found someone to answer this question the response left me speechless. “He’s the savior of the United States, sent from God.”

What the what??

Yes, you read that correctly. Upon further questioning and a reminder that we already have a Savior and He’s coming back, the second response further floored me. “God uses sinners to do great deeds all the time.” 

Divergent Party Platforms

I give up! That type of spiritual blindness cannot be argued against. But just in case some of those who are still discerning have an open mind, I’d like to reiterate a few points. For example, take a look at the divergent directions of both parties concerning human life:

National Democratic Committee Platform

· Strongly and unequivocally support Roe v. Wade
· Invest in stem cell and other medical research
· Pursue embryonic stem cell research
· Support right to choose even if mother cannot pay
· Choice is a fundamental, constitutional right

· Support human life amendment; oppose abortion funding
· Promote adoption & abstinence, not abortion clinic referrals
· Human Life Amendment to the Constitution
· Ban abortion with Constitutional amendment
· Alternatives like adoption, instead of punitive action

There is a vast difference in the approach to the sanctity of life between the two parties. The solidification of these opposing positions, one a Culture of Death the other a Culture of Life, have been hard fought. It is up to pro-life citizens to defend the progress made. 

Hard Won Ground, Worth Defending

The Republican Party developed the platform it now has by winning many hard-fought battles against the Culture of Death. People like Rebecca Kiessling, a lawyer and pro-life advocate, are still manning the battle stations – one person, one politician at a time. She has a personal story that demands her public actions. Kiessling, herself, is one of the 1% - those conceived in rape.

Those innocent victims, who along with their victim moms are struggling to deal with the violent hand that has been dealt, seem out of sight and out of mind. But when you stand and look such a person in the eye, it’s much more difficult to tell them that they should have been aborted.

Weak Representation Equals Weak Laws

Weak representation of the unborn begets weak laws. When politicians, or society, indicate that an entire class of people is less worthy of life the Culture of Death wins. With a foot in the door, they can further claim that the value of life is relative – dependent on certain criteria. In essence, we are then admitting that there may just be some instances where abortion is justified. Yet, if we choose that position, we are also saying that someone other than God can decide human value. Who is equipped to make that decision? What will the criteria be? What if someone else doesn’t agree?

The Pandora’s Box this opens, weakens the pro-life stance and allows other qualifications in. We already see how some measure the worth of human life. Commodification of embryos, aborted baby parts, and even human eggs is a thriving ‘business’. Others abort according to gender, genetic deviations, and budgetary concerns. How cheap we’ve allowed life to become!

Electing politicians who don’t stand solidly in the ranks of those who are 100% pro-life only endangers more lives. It undermines hard-fought boundaries and feeds into a relativism that is morally bankrupt. Don’t fall for the deception. Having a’ pro-life except’ outlook isn’t pro-life at all. It’s pro-choice with fewer choices. When you fool yourself into this line of thinking, you are administering the death penalty on humans who have a God-given right to life - as do we all.

"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" ~Mark 8:36

Friday, April 29, 2016

This Too Shall Pass

When the world crowds in around you and you feel the weight of a thousand stones on your chest. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When your heart feels as if it will be broken into a million pieces, and those you love are unkind to you. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When illness rears its ugly head and your life feels threatened and the unknown is more frightening than the reality you eventually find. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When your nerves jangle with a thousand nails across a chalkboard and you want to run screaming into the sunset. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When your children are young and a thousand sloppy kisses smother your face and you glow with love. Remember, they were given to you by God, and this too shall pass.

When your love is fresh and new and your heart feels like it will burst with it all. Remember, it’s a gift from God and it will continue to grow until you pass from this life to the next. This life, too, shall pass.

When all is right with the world – birds chirping in the springtime dew, flowers inquisitively poking fresh new blooms through the brown, rich earth. Cherish the moment. It too will pass.

When you are surrounded by generations of love. Cling tight to the riches with which you are endowed. Know that God is there but this life, too, will pass.

All that we have, all that we are given, all that we feel, all that we do, see, hear, feel, and touch. This, too shall pass. But what awaits us in Eternity – that will never pass. Know that God is at your side. He loves you enough to give you all that you have and only asks your love in return. Give it to God and pass Eternity with Him. Eternity is forever.

(Time Up)


Here we are again, joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday #fmf  - a fun way to participate in timed free writing with other bloggers.

Today's #fmf prompt is 'pass'. Follow the link to check out some truly inspirational entries.