Sunday, October 21, 2012

Life Smiles Sunday - No. 8

Welcome to Life Smiles Sunday. Every week I will share one of my Designs by Birgit pro-life posters with you. They are to be shared freely as long as you give credit where credit is due by leaving my 'signature' intact. I hope you have a blessed Lord's Day!

Last week's Life Smiles Sunday - No. 7

Remember that all of my Life Smiles posters can be found on my Designs by Birgit Facebook page and on the 
Designs by Birgit website.

Monday, October 15, 2012

This Election is So Important - Don't Dismiss Your Faithful Citizenship

As a whole, elections are always contentious - especially in some circles. Emotions run high and things are said - things that perhaps don't fit into polite society. When faced with the political cycles that are inevitable, it's best to keep this in mind. We are also presented with a great opportunity to ponder words before they are spoken, to pray for guidance for what is right instead of fueling the need to be right, and to look deeply into the needs of the most vulnerable instead of our own selfish needs.

2012 is certainly no different. We are at a crossroads - as a nation, as a people, and as children of God. We face what is arguably the most important election of our lifetime - even for those of quite some advanced age. Old loyalties must be laid aside and clear thinking must be fostered. We must do our best to think with the mind of God - with goodness, with grace, and with the weight of heavy responsibility. I noted in a previous post that there is serious deception going on. Our present president and vice-president are not playing in a fair manner. This fact has been brought to light over and over again - even to the point of a reprimand from the USCCB.

As Catholic Christians it behooves us to look at the priorities taught by Holy Mother Church. While there are many important-sounding issues, we are clearly instructed that some issues far outweigh others. As Catholics (or other Christians) we are obligated to process information with a godly mindset. The top priorities deal with intrinsic evils - evils so vile that the actions that carry them cannot be excused under any conditions. At the upper levels of this list lies the Right to Life. Without life, no other right matters - no other issue compares. While there might be legitimate, moral discourse and disagreement concerning other issues such as care of the poor or just war or the death penalty, there can be only one position when it comes to abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning or the godly model of marriage - one man and one woman.

As is persistent in these times, however, there are citizens who are spending much time pontificating about the faults they find with one party (Republican) while totally ignoring the horrific flaws in the other (Democrat). The Democrat party sanctions all of the intrinsic evils listed above while they pander to those who they keep beholden to them from a welfare state. On the other had, the Republican platform is free of any semblance of intrinsic evil - a bishop recently stated just this fact. You might disagree with a Republican candidate about war or poverty, but again, the answers to these issues are morally debatable among the people of God.

I am dismayed to note that there are Catholics out there besmirching others and casting dispersion and confusion. Might I suggest that they peruse the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to establish a foundation of the most basic teachings that they are denying and betraying - thus leading fellow citizens down a path of sin? A Catholic or other Christian, simply cannot vote for the Obama administration. To do so would go against fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ Himself. As bishop Paprocki recently wrote,

 “...a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”  
I've also written a post with extensive references to the CCC. You can find it on the Catholic Sistas blog here. If you're still not convinced, simply begin reading the CCC. The answers are all there! And unlike other sources of information, the content cannot be disputed because the writings contained therein stem from Scripture, Church Fathers, and other Sacred Texts. God bless, and may righteousness win out!

Are you frustrated that some of your brethren seem to have a misunderstanding of what it means to be a Faithful Citizen? Got Questions? Need sources?

Promulgated by Blessed John Paul II, the CCC draws on scripture as well as works of the Church Fathers and other official Church documents to illustrate the Four Pillars of the Catholic Faith. In it you will find the richness of our faith and a faithful guide to Catholic Christian living. It is a great go-to source of education on how to approach our lives and such issues as guiding our vote.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Life Smiles Sunday - No. 7

Welcome to Life Smiles Sunday. Every week I will share one of my Designs by Birgit pro-life posters with you. They are to be shared freely as long as you give credit where credit is due by leaving my 'signature' intact. I hope you have a blessed Lord's Day!

Last week's Life Smiles Sunday - No.6 

Remember that all of my Life Smiles posters can be found on my Designs by Birgit Facebook page and on the 

Friday, October 12, 2012

More Than Passionate Efforts: We Need Divine Intervention

I had anticipated last night's vice-presidential debate with glee. After all, the pressure is certainly less than with the presidential debates and I knew that Joe would just be Joe and that Ryan was strong on the issues at hand. I made all of the customary jokes, 'bring on the pop corn, it's gonna be quite the show'. And then I settled into my favorite, over-sized chair to watch and yell at the TV (with hubby) and pontificate on Facebook with all of my very funny, clever friends. I was not disappointed. It was the circus we all knew it would be. Biden with his buffoonery and enameled, condescending smile was just as inept as I'd anticipated. His many lies elicited a firm response even from the USCCB. The comments on my wall often made me LOL. The massive number of interruptions by both the vice-president and the moderator were more frequent than even I had though possible. There just doesn't seem to be much class any more - manners are a forgotten art.

Then there was Paul Ryan. His smiles were genuine, his math added up, and he maintained a gentlemanly demeanor. The ability to remain unflustered at what was a 2 on 1 debate at times, showcased his style and abilities under pressure. I could see him in the Oval Office some day and surely he would make a great Head of State. While I am high on most of what Ryan said, there was one area that I did not, however, feel complete satisfaction. When he began his reply to the abortion question, he started off as I knew he would - both faith and science confirm his strong pro-life stance from conception on. But then he veered. His statement that a Romney administration would be pro-life with exceptions (rape, incest, life of the mother) dampened by spirits. While I hoped that this was gamesmanship  because he was, after all speaking of the administration (not himself), there's a huge part of me that is so tired of the political slight of hand we are forced to endure. I wonder what Santorum would have said - of course, he wouldn't have made the cut for VP in a Romney administration anyway. I just long for someone who will keep to the straight and narrow...a man willing to be a martyr for his strongly held beliefs.

Having said that, however, I'm still pleased overall. Last night's debate spotlighted huge differences, both in these two men and in the two platforms. Ryan is a prince among men when it comes to today's public servants and I pray that his personal, wholly Catholic beliefs will have a profound influence on a Romney White House. I sincerely doubt that he holds to the exceptions of which he spoke. I say, let them be elected and then groom him for the presidency down the road. Let him influence and pray and sway. My heartfelt prayers go with him as he traverses the winding roads that lead a Dancing With the Stars type of society back to the real world. A world where one day the 'folks' won't worship a leader who shirks his international duties to glad-hand with late night talk show hosts. 

This society is at a cross roads and we are in much more trouble than just the election of the next leader of our dear nation. We are in need of a societal conversion and revolution. This can only be accomplished with the aid of our King of Kings, the Almighty. Without prayer, fasting, and evangelization, our most passionate efforts will be in vain. What are your thoughts? How can we join together and be a part of the conversion of our country?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The PINK Month - a Year in Review

October is, among other things, noted for Respect Life Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you've been following me or my daughter, Erika, you will know that we are intimately familiar with both topics. As a reflection of the past year of blogging, I will share links to some of our more popular posts about Life and Cancer. If you take anything useful from these testimonies of ours, we encourage you to share with others. Thank you!

Pink Betrayal  (Pro-LIFE Alternatives to Komen)

I'm a cancer survivor. It's a point of pride for me - and a badge of honor. All of the scars I bear, both physical and mental, were earned in hand to hand combat with an evil monster of a disease. This monster took my grandmother at 42, my mother at 58 and tried to take both my 28 year old daughter and her unborn child in 2009! Yet I, and many others like me, am not willing to find treatments or a cure at the cost of others' lives.

Bald, Pregnant, and Living 

 "You have breast cancer," the surgeon deadpanned. I glanced at my husband & then my mom, and waited for the punch-line. It never came -- the doctor was deadly serious. He had just performed a biopsy (that amounted to a lumpectomy) with me wide awake and all-too-aware of the hole dug into my left arm-pit/breast area to remove the 2.5 cm tumor. The lack of anesthetic was due to my other condition: I was 20 weeks pregnant with my 6th, but only 2nd live, child (the other 4 pregnancies ended at various stages as miscarriages). I was only 28 years old -- 20 years younger than my mother at her diagnosis.

Lady Ribbon's Entry into our Lives 

How a Catholic Pro-life, Breast Cancer, Rosary image came into being. We are Taking Back the PINK from Komen and other organizations who donate money to Planned Parenthood and support embryonic stem cell research. We ask that you, too, 'Think Before You PINK'!

Abortion Kills Children: the Language of the Pro-life Movement 

What are some of the ways pro-life advocates go about their mission of winning hearts, minds and souls for Life? There is a plethora of tactics from soft sell to graphic. What's your take?

When Pro-Life Except Really Happens 

What happens when a 14 year old rape victim becomes pregnant? Is abortion the answer or is there some sort of saving grace for all involved? This was my intimate, horrific introduction into the world of life.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Life Smiles Sunday - No. 6

Welcome to Life Smiles Sunday. Every week I will share one of my Designs by Birgit pro-life posters with you. They are to be shared freely as long as you give credit where credit is due by leaving my 'signature' intact. I hope you have a blessed Lord's Day!

Last week's Life Smiles Sunday - No. 5

Remember that all of my Life Smiles posters can be found on my Designs by Birgit Facebook page and on the 
Designs by Birgit website.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

PINK Betrayal - Think Before You PINK!

I’m a cancer survivor. It’s a point of pride for me – and a badge of honor. All of the scars I bear, both physical and mental, were earned in hand to hand combat with an evil monster of a disease. This monster took my grandmother at 42, my mother at 58 and tried to take both my 28 year old daughter and her unborn child in 2009! I’ve been to the bowels of hell and back. I have fought the good fight and, for the time being, I have won! My enemy surrounds me, though, and he is never far from me. He lurks in the corners of my subconscious and seeks to destroy me – if not by eating away at my body, then by eating away at my life of calm control over who I am. He honors no boundaries and his hunger for victims is unquenchable. This formidable foe never sleeps.

A small consolation of having cancer, however, is a certain sense of ‘belonging’ to a highly specialized Club. It is truly not a Club one would voluntarily join. It is a Club whose ‘hazing’ is difficult to survive – a life or death struggle. But once you are ‘in’ you are a Star! I truly love my brothers and sisters in cancer with a love that is strong, vibrant and true. We cling together. When one suffers, we all suffer. When one dies, a little piece of us dies with them. And when we battle, we battle hand-in-hand, careless and free, with not a single worry of how we look to the ‘outsiders’…we are a family and our numbers make us strong!

For me, however, there is also a very personal pain associated with membership. This pain is one of seclusion and exclusion. It haunts me and propels me at the same time. I want to share my thoughts but often find myself shunned, even by my fellow Club Members. As much as I seek camaraderie and unity, I simply cannot compromise my principles to join the ‘Inner Circle’ of this crowd. I’ve been blackballed…excluded by none other than the Susan G Komen foundation, and others like her*. She proclaims to care about us – the victims, the survivors, the dead. But she is a Wily Lass and has deceptive ways. She talks the talk of healing and of the ‘cure’ but she lies. Her ways are not my ways. Her god is not my God. She worships at the table of public pride and seeks the monetary reward of donations and status.

She also has ungodly bedfellows. Even as she proclaims to fight for a cure she sashays around, hand-in-hand, with Planned Parenthood. PlannedParenthood receives a large share of her ill-gotten gains. Komen is a traitor! How can she support Planned Parenthood and still claim purity of intention? Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion – a procedure which is known to vastly increase breast cancer – is given donor money even though they do not provide a single mammogram – ANYWHERE in the nation. Planned Parenthood, who cannot and does not help any who are in the clutches of the demon, Cancer!
Pro-lifer people simply can't support Komen until they are morally sound!

Ironically I’ve had the honor of having my name written on a jersey of someone who ‘raced for the cure’. This created an awkward situation for me. The well-meaning friend was chagrined to learn of the Komen/PP connection. I hated to cause her hurt – after all, she was being considerate and ‘honoring’ my daughter and me. But you can’t be squeamish with your principles and so I had to take a stand.

It is heartening that there are more stories exposing this uncomfortable truth out there this year, however, sharing details of this illicit relationship. More people are becoming aware of how blatantly we Cancer Fighters are being used as a commodity. There are now Bishops in the United States who have come through by asking the parishes in their diocese not to promote or donate to Komen. There are stories all around the pro-life community and a medical journal article has recently been published showing the abortion/breast cancer link. This is great news!

One of these days, I will be able to join the Elite Club. I’ll be able to walk or run or race for the cure. That high that one gets from being a participant publicly – a survivor – will be mine! In the mean time, I will continue to cringe reflexively whenever I see the pink bedecked masses. I will feel that feeling of being on the outside looking in. My Membership will be denied and although I will feel the private joy of having come this long seven years with no recurrence, I will not be a part of that particular Pink Parade. I will not sell out, I will not pretend, and I will not foolishly be lead down the Pink Primrose Path when there are evil alliances colluding to take the ‘pink’ money and use it for evil. Until then I will encourage everyone I meet to ‘rethink the PINK’. The wish of myself and others like me is to ‘Take Back the Pink’ for breast cancer research that is morally sound. Won’t you join us in spreading the news?

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* In addition to donating to Planned Parenthood, the American Cancer Society also supports research using Embryonic Stem Cells. These are cell lines derived from aborted babies. The ACS is therefore also on the illicit organizations list.

Pro-life ways to donate to the Breast Cancer Cause:

Directly to a Cancer Victim: At age 28, Erika was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She was also 20 weeks pregnant. On October 28, 2011 she is scheduled for her 5th surgery!

The Polycarp Research Institute (TPRI): TPRI performs high-quality medical research & serves as a resource center. Research areas: Abortion – Breast Cancer, Oral Contraceptive – Breast Cancer, Postfertilization effect of Emergency Contraception, Postfertilization effect of Oral Contraceptive.

Breast Cancer Prevention Institute Home Page: Our website is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date and accurate information to medical professionals and the general public on how to prevent breast cancer. Our on-line publications, as well as our list of other resources, are all designed to provide you with knowledge of practical, risk-reduction strategies.

National Breast Cancer Foundation® Official Site – Information, Awareness & Donations: Breast cancer information, facts, statistics, symptoms and treatments, early detection, mammography screenings, and breast cancer research from the official non-profit source offering charity donations and corporate sponsorship opportunities for breast cancer.

PINK Betrayal first appeared on Catholic Sistas

Monday, October 1, 2012

Faithful Citizen: Vote with a Well Formed Conscience

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen seems to have been a prophet before his time. His quotes appear to resonate even more today than they did during his lifetime. They certainly belie an almost otherworldly understanding of what the citizens of today will be facing when they vote. We would do well to note that Sheen, like the Church herself, had much to share that simply does not go ‘out of style’. As we approach one of the most ominous election cycles I have experienced during my 55 years, it is also good to examine what Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), has to say about our duties of forming a Catholic conscience when it comes to civic responsibility.
The Church teaches us that we, as the people of God, have duties as faithful citizens. Among these is the obligation to vote. This duty is not to be taken lightly, especially since the line in the sand has been so clearly drawn in relation to the five non-negotiable issues presented by our Holy Mother Church, and there have been alarming developments in all five areas during the past several years - especially during the current administration.
Vote according to right or wrong, not majority!
  1. Abortion is being pushed to new and ever deadlier limits – at home and abroad – all the way to infanticide. It was also just announced that 13 schools in New York City will distribute the abortifiaciant Morning After Pill to students without parental knowledge or consent!
  2. Euthanasia: With the dawn of Obamacare, the fears of ‘death panels’ and denial of care loom over the elderly and those with terminal illnesses.
  3. Embryonic Stem Cells: Although there have been no positive outcomes from many years of embryonic stem cell research, this Frankensteinian experimentation is being pushed further and further. Conversely, morally acceptable adult stem cell therapies are curing many illnesses and are a resounding success.
  4. Human Cloning is another form of ‘weird science’ that seems to be a grave temptation for today’s scientific community. As one popular meme states, ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’, yet there are reports of human cloning being eminent if not already occurring.
  5. Gay ‘Marriage’: The homosexual friendly environment of today has also forced its way into our reality. Not only are ‘tolerance’ initiatives making a mockery of the true definition of the word, the explicit lifestyle surrounding sodomy has imposed itself into schoolsGirl Scouts, and even 'Catholic organizations, as well as prime time television shows and movies.
Are we to lose heart in all of this? Heaven forbid. Even surrounded by such perverted justice, let us remember that ‘with God, all things are possible’ and our choices are really quite clear cut when viewed with a well formed conscience. Here’s where the non-negotiable issues make our voting options very clear. These five issues represent areas for which there can be NO COMPROMISE. Unlike other topics such as just war, poverty, the death penalty, and immigration – there is simply no alternative but to completely oppose them!  Under the danger of grave sin - they are to be at the top of our list of issues!
All other issues have two (or more) sides, if you will. Good Catholics can disagree about how to [...]

Faithful Citizen: Vote With a Well-Formed Conscience first appeared on Catholic Sistas