Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Eyes on the Light

In today's readings the Lord God admonished, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomor'rah is great and their sin is very grave", He would go down and see for Himself with an intent to destroy the evil city. We all know what happened next - Abraham incrementally asked for mercy for the sake of fifty righteous citizens, then 40 and so on - all the way down to 10. Due to the persistence of Abraham, God answered that he would reserve punishment, saying "for the sake of ten I will not destroy it".

When we look to the state of affairs in today's society, it's no stretch to see some similarities with Sodom and Gomor'rah and our times. Rampant promiscuity, abortion, same sex 'marriage' - we have it all. And the numbers of faithful appear to be ever dwindling. Yet we all know people who live their lives in Christ-like love and service. We, ourselves try to model ourselves after the saints and live lives pleasing to God. Sometimes it feels lonely to be a part of the few - when the world at large seems to be so contrary to what we believe. It's vital, then, to take our cues from God and not man. If we keep our eyes on the Light and strive for Eternal life, we will find our way to heaven. Hopefully we will also serve as an encouragement to others.

This post is an answer to Jennifer Fulwiler's 7 Posts in 7 Days: An epic blogging challenge - day 7.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 6 of the 7 Day Blogging Challenge - Random

Following the example of my friend over on Journal of a Nobody,  I took up the challenge of blogging for 7 days straight. The idea originated on Conversion Diary.  I was really picking up steam and enjoying myself but today I hit a wall. Life caught up and I'm too pooped to do much pontificating. Soooo...I'll just share a few tidbits with you today - in the style of 7 Quick Takes - except today is Saturday instead of Friday.

- 1 -

Our baby boy is turning 25 today. That's right, this Dennis the Menace last child of ours has turned the corner into adulthood and has grown into quite the man. He's found a career, is continuing his education and is dating a wonderful girl. The level of responsibility this free spirit has developed is what makes a Momma's dreams worth while. Hang in there mommies of precocious offspring, there's hope!

- 2 -

My daughter and I got a haircut today. It's been way too long and we had definitely let ourselves go. Memo to self: it's OK to live life as a plain Jane, no frills kind of gal - just don't overdo it. We both feel that lift that you get when there's been something wrong with the picture but you didn't quite know what - and then you fix what ails you and you're treated to an aha moment. I feel good!

- 3 -

We're meeting our son's girl friend's parents for the first time tomorrow. Since it's his birthday, we are planning one of our signature get-togethers. Lots of kids and adults, lots of food, lots of gemutlichkeit! The weather looks like it will be awesome - especially for late July in Kentucky - and most of the grunt, pre-work is finished. I'm settled in with a glass of Moscato and feeling fine.

- 4 -

Speaking of Moscato, I was sad to be informed that my favorite brand of wine - Barefoot - sponsored a gay pride event. This means that the wine that I have relished for the past few years is on my boycott list. I'm still searching for a suitable substitute and so far have tried Sutter Home and Yellow Tail. Neither one compares to my fav so the search continues. In the meantime, my Margaretaville machine has been putting out some pretty awesome strawberry daiquiris. Prosit! The kids are also loving the shaved ice treats it's been cranking out.

- 5 -

I don't care for Bill O'Reilly and his pseudo Catholicism and sensationalism but when Laura Ingram subs for him I'm cheered by her sincerity. I also relish the fact that she wears her four-way medal every single time she appears in public. Since she's a convert I find this endearing.

- 6 -

Whenever hubby and I have an empty nest evening - and it's Friday (thus no meat) - I like the way we can just comfortably have a very low key evening. No demands - even for dinner - sometimes it's just wine (for me), beer (for him), and a bit of fruit and cheese.

- 7 -

I'm really excited by how many people seem to be enjoying both my blog posts and pro-life memes. There's been quite the uptick in numbers lately, in part thanks to several posts being picked up by Big Pulpit and National Catholic Register. Since the purpose of both is spreading Catholicism and pro-life philosophy, it's gratifying to see results and to hope that I'm helping to change hearts in my own small way.


Day 6 post is in response to Jennifer Fulwiler's 7 Posts in 7 Days: An epic blogging challenge .

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pregnant and Unplanned: Finding Love and Support

My daughter and grandson
A charge often leveled by the pro-abortion crowd, is that pro-life advocates only care about the baby - not the mother. As popular as this 'choice' soundbite is, it's rooted in falsehood. To be truly pro-life is to care about all humans - born and unborn, young and old, healthy and ill. We pro-lifers are not selective about to whom we give support. Instead, we do our best to emulate the unconditional love given to us by God. I think that's why so many different pro-life ministries have sprung up - each of us has our own unique perspective, reflected in our own personal approach.

The gifts that I have chosen to share, in an effort to win hearts for life, revolve around my creative side and in giving my own, intimate pro-life testimony. When I create my pro-life memes and share them on the Designs by Birgit fan page, my aim is to educate by using mostly soft, gentle images that portray mothers and babies in a positive light. The the majority of the photos used in my graphics are taken from personal photo albums or sometimes those of friends. Inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit because it is He who matches the quotation, article or thought with a particular image.

Throughout these 40 years I have also accumulated a varied array of pro-life friends. Some have been victimized by abortion and share their stories through Silent No More. Others keep carefully documented facts and statistics, while others blog, Tweet, or give personal support out in the trenches or at Pregnancy Centers. Praying at abortion mills also comes into play as do the prayers and Masses offered for all those affected by abortion. There are endless ways to lend a hand.

In my pro-life ministry, I recently made an online acquaintance who created a website called Pregnant and Unplanned - stories of enCOURAGEment. With this medium, she aspires to bring comfort and a sense of belonging to women who find themselves faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Her hope is that the testimonies, submitted by women telling their own stories, will let  other women know that they are not the first to experience such a period in their lives. If you know of anyone who has such a story to share, be sure to check her out.

I submitted my own experience to her and it was published about a week ago. To my surprise, when I checked an article from LifeSiteNews, I found that I had been mentioned in their story about her site.. You can read Unplanned and Loved: website strengthens moms with crisis pregnancies with hopeful stories, by going to the LifeSiteNews website. Since word has gotten out about her wonderful ministry, many women (and men) have chosen to share their stories as well. It appears as though she will be winning hearts and giving courage to many women who desperately need it.

All in all, we all have the power to help build a pro-life network with something for every need. As unique as we all are, so are the needs and our stories. The more we work toward changing hearts for life, the more we will win back our society - helping to show the humanity of mother and baby. May the Holy Spirit send us the grace to do all we can to be a part of that change of heart in our world - workers in the vineyard are desperately needed.

This post is an answer to Jennifer Fulwiler's 7 Posts in 7 Days: An epic blogging challenge - day 5

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is Someone You Love Poison for Your Soul?

It's evident that I'm not alone in a struggle with someone intimately linked to my life. I have heard many stories portraying similar, unfortunate circumstances. You know, someone in your family or close circle of friends, who persistently goes out of his way to hurt you. I'm not talking about the occasional butting of heads that many of us encounter in our flawed human interaction with other flawed humans. What I'm contemplating is something far more disturbing and difficult to charitably fathom. This type of animosity makes others take notice, their facial expressions revealing their shock - 'what the heck'!? What do you do in such a situation? How long do you persist in trying to make amends? To whom do you go for advice?

What's Going On Here?

I have had a couple such encounters in my life and, in fact, have been struggling with one for over 20 years. In an effort at full disclosure, I must confess to active participation on my part - initially. It’s a case of those reflexive pushing back types of reactions which sometimes make both participants uncomfortable company for anyone who is not playing their flawed game. Either that or observers feel the need to choose sides or make ineffective (and temporary) attempts to settle the matter. If you’re lucky though, after a while, the snide comments and fleeting, glaring stares give way to a desire to wipe the slate clean - so you do. You and this person come to a detente – after all, why waste precious time on disharmony when there’s so much joy to be had? You go to confession, you commune with one another and all seems right with the world. And then…

This Isn’t Going Away, Is It?

Somehow the fleeting peace fails to last and this time, you’re trapped as an unwilling participant in a battle from which you’ve walked away. You have prayerfully discerned that this is a sinful situation – as in occasion of sin – but the other persists in their vitriolic contact. So what to do? Perhaps going to the person in question and having an in-depth conversation will work wonders. But that doesn’t work in the most difficult of such situations. Conceivably the next step is going to someone who knows you both, who can impartially seek a common peace.

And still, it persists. In an effort to forgive the seventy times seven Jesus asks of us, you might finally find yourself making another appointment with your parish priest or spiritual director. After thoroughly listening to your distress, the resulting advice might be surprising. If all efforts at peace have resulted in an inadequate outcome; if there simply is no hope for a fruitful relationship, you may simply need to walk away. This isn’t easy – especially if you have close ties to the person in question. How do you walk away from someone who is intimately connected? And how realistic is it to expect for the unrest never to cross your mind or interactions with others who know you both?

So What to do?

I once read some sage advice. Every time that the hurts resurfaces – whether they are remembered conflicts
or new transgressions – say an Our Father for the person causing you pain. When you get to the line, ‘forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’, it’s impossible to hold onto the resentment if you truly mean what you’re praying. After all, don’t we recognize that we aren’t worthy of forgiveness in our own transgressions? Forgiveness comes from the gift of Jesus and His dying for us. It’s not something we earn or are entitled to expect. Rather, it’s a gift of love. Remember Jesus telling us to love even our enemies?

Is this any different than Jesus forgiving those who persecuted him? Didn’t He set a really high bar for us when he lived the example of the ultimate forgiveness? Is it any more difficult than Him saying, ‘they know not what they do’? If we expect to follow Jesus – at all costs – how can we justify holding onto a grudge against those who persecute us? In the same way that we, flawed as we are, find that we need to confess the same sins again and again – that is the way that we must resolve to step aside from the hurt feelings and grudges we might feel toward those who persist in hurting us. Didn’t the Sanhedrin give false testimony against Jesus? Didn’t He have to endure the most excruciating pain, betrayal, and slander – even unto death on a cross? Who then, are we, to expect better than the treatment He received? “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

          "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
                                                                                                          Matthew 5:44

Father, please give me a contrite heart. Help me to resolve to never sin against you again. Give me true repentance and forgiveness so that I may give forgiveness too! AMEN!

This post is an answer to Jennifer Fulwiler's 7 Posts in 7 Days: An epic blogging challenge - day 5

Also listed at Catholic Bloggers Network - Catholic Bloggers!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Life on the Pages of Facebook

We are constantly constrained by appearances. As teens in middle and high school, we experience the angst that comes from wanting to be like everyone else. We see the lives of others as seamlessly perfect while we magnify every little pimple and imaginary flaw of our own. In college we often wonder how we could have received that scholarship or extra credits when everyone around us seems so much more deserving. I don’t know about you, but I have spent a great deal of my life feeling like a big fat fraud – so undeserving of any honor or accolade. The defensive mechanism that evolves, then, becomes about only sharing the good aspects of our lives.  Never let them see you sweat. Never admit to failings. Don’t let anyone know that you struggle to be the wife/mother/housekeeper whose image you have created – more for your own benefit defense than for impressing others. To what end do we do this? Is it really productive? Is it real? Of course not! But why do we persist, then? Is it an attempt to hide the perceived inadequacies of our true selves? Or is it more about how we wish we were – what we strive to accomplish in our lives?

This is the type of thought that comes to mind on a regular basis in my love/hate relationship with Facebook, blogging or any other electronic medium. On the one hand, these means of communing with others are a god-send. How else would we be able to reach such a vast audience to share our convictions about being pro-life or Catholic or aspiring mothers/wives/saints? The merits are real and the medium lends itself to reaching many like-minded women and sharing our struggles in our quest to sainthood. But what of the illusion of perfection that can be seen on walls and pages and posts? Do we do anyone a service by not showing the shadowy underbelly – the sordid side of attempts and failures? Our electronic era is a double-edged sword then – both a help and a hindrance. If we truly look with seeing eyes we will consider the losses as well as the wins…the failures as well as the triumphs.

Sometimes I take a look at what I have chosen to share and realize that I.Wish.I.Had.That.Life! Oh wait! That is my life – it’s just not the complete picture. Along with every pristine photo op there is an unseen struggle. Every time the photos show a perfect, pastoral scene there is blood, sweat and tears involved in getting to just that perfect moment. Numerous attempts are made to get it right and the ‘undo’ button just isn’t functioning in real life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for those perfect scenes – as difficult as they are to come by. I’ve earned them with a multitude of failures, redo’s, and backtracks. They are real but they don’t present the entire picture. If I zoom out there will be evidence of failed attempts, wrong turns, and heartbreak. But I need to own it all – the complete photo – not just the edited, sanitized version. Life is messy. Life has ups and downs. Sometimes the best ups come after more than your quota of downs. Own it! Just as Christ died on the cross for our unsavory acts, so too, should we die to self to find the goodly portion of life.

This post is an answer to Jennifer Fulwiler's 7 Posts in 7 Days: An epic blogging challenge - day 3

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All Babies are Royalty in the Eyes of God

With baited breath, the world (well except me) awaited the birth of the Royal child of William and Kate. I have never really understood the American fascination with Royalty watching - especially given that we, in the 'new country', escaped the tyranny of a Monarchical nation. Princess Diana didn't leave me all aflutter either. It's not that I don't admire some others from afar. It's just that I tend to base my admiration on something that someone has done - not who they are. Give me an uncrowned wife and mother of 10 who still manages to help out the neighbors and volunteer at the church bazaar. Or perhaps the elderly priest who rises early every morning - despite the fact that he has long since retired - to say Mass for a handful of parishioners in a little country church.

How fortunate we are, that God doesn't count our silver spoons and accidents of birth. He cares for all of us with an unconditional love. It would do us good to seek out those who do not garner recognition from the world - those who society has thrown away. When I think of these, the least of all, my mind invariably wanders straight to the unborn. Babies are conceived every day without the slightest say in the matter. They have no choice and simply are, because of the actions of others. As such they are often maligned in today's society - as if they are something extra, unnecessary and inconvenient. Thank God, that they are loved unconditionally by a merciful God Who makes the final call!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Veiling Through the Joyful Mysteries

Last year I shared Lifting the Veil…, a post about my decision to begin veiling. More recently, I wrote a post entitled, Veiling Revisited - Is It Mandatory?, which touched on the specifics of Canon Law and some expert advice. Today's post seeks to connect the devotion of veiling to a scriptural inspiration. For example, in reading Ephesians we are given great insight into the aspect of respect as a two-way street. We wives are called to be subject to our husbands even as they are admonished to love us as much as they love their own bodies. Men are also called to honor their wives as God honors the Church. The full message is to “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ”.

As our priest explained in one of his homilies, sacred scripture is not to be taken one line at a time and misused with the intention of taking advantage of someone else. It is to be taken as a mirror of God’s relationship with us. When both man and woman (Jesus and Church), employ their proper and complementary roles, there is equal dignity and harmony for the good of all. Therefore, when I veil, I show respect not just for Jesus present in the Eucharistic Sacrament but also for the dignity of my role as a woman.

Returning to scripture we can call to mind how, when Saint Veronica encountered Jesus carrying His cross, she took off her veil and He wiped His face with it. When He handed it back to her, the image of His face remained and gave a special blessing to the practice of veiling. This event is still honored in most Catholic Churches in the form of the Stations of the Cross. The name Veronica – vera icon (true icon) – comes from this occasion. We can also look to Our Blessed Mother for the symbolism of humility and submission to Christ. Statues of her appear in Catholic Churches as well and we are called to emulate her ‘yes’ to her call from God. This leads me to a meditation on veiling I was inspired to compile and use as I pray the Rosary.

Veiling Through the Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation (Humility) - Mary learns from the Angel Gabriel that God wishes her to be the mother of God and humbly accepts. (Luke 1:26-38)
When I first felt the call to veil, it was a tiny whisper. I didn't know why I wanted to veil or even if my desire was pure. After prayer, discernment, and discussion with my husband, I felt ready to commit and say my own 'yes' to God. Veiling is not as much about the outer sign as it is about the inward resolve to be a better daughter of God, sister of Jesus, living with the Grace granted by the Spirit.
The Visitation (Love of Neighbor) – Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth and is praised by her as "blessed among women."(Luke 1:39-56)
When I wear my veil, I hope to be a comfort to others. I strive to display modesty and the unique feminine qualities that only women and girls possess. In a world that is stark in its lack of respect for the unique gifts of women, I want to be there for my sisters in Christ and give them comfort and solace and maybe the courage to look deeply into their own femininity and thus strive to praise God in stature, dress, and voice.

The Nativity (Poverty of Spirit) – Mary gives birth to Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem.(Luke 2:1-20)
With the dawning of every new day, we are born again to a new opportunity to live as a child of God. All distractions, failings, and fears from yesterday are gone and we are invited to strive for sainthood anew. With the donning of my veil, I say to Jesus, that I am ready to take on the challenge - of being the best me I can be, regardless of history or failures in previous attempts.
The Presentation (Purity of Mind and Body) – Mary and Joseph present Jesus to His Heavenly Father in the Temple of Jerusalem forty days after His birth.(Luke 2:22-39)
We present ourselves to God upon entry into His house. We go there to seek Him out, to ask His blessing, to petition for our most basic needs, and to honor and glorify Him. When I place the veil upon my head, I am signaling to myself and to anyone who cares to take notice, that my intention is to humble myself in His presence.
Finding the Christ child in the Temple (Obedience) – After searching for three days, Mary and Joseph found the twelve-year-old Jesus sitting in the Temple discussing the law with the learned doctors.(Luke 2:42-52).
We find ourselves in the Body of Christ. We did not ask to be brought there but are instead drawn there by answering our Father's call. He wants us for Himself and when I veil, I find it to be a sacramental way to show that I am His.

Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary -

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Veiling Revisited - Is It Mandatory?

Just over a year ago I ventured into the hot topic of veiling. As I quickly found, there was/is quite the cyber skirmish going on concerning this topic as well as the issue of what constitutes modesty. As with many devotions and other disciplines, discussion can get quite contentious. In my post, Lifting the Veil...Onto My Head, I shared with readers over on Catholic Sistas what had precipitated my decision to veil. In my research, I found many differing views expressed by other writers and had to do some digging to answer the first burning question.

Is Veiling Still *Required* of Catholic Women?

The short and long of it was thoroughly addressed by checking out a bit of Canon Law. The requirement that women wear head coverings at Mass was part of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which provided (emphasis mine):

     Canon 1262
1. It is desirable that, consistent with ancient discipline, women be separated from men in church.

2. Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the table of the Lord.

When the 1983 Code of Canon Law was promulgated this canon was not re-issued; indeed, canon 6, 1, abrogated it, along with every other canon of the 1917 Code not intentionally incorporated into the new legislation.

     Canon 61
When this Code goes into effect, the following are abrogated
(1) the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;
(2) other universal or particular laws contrary to the prescriptions of this Code, unless particular laws are otherwise expressly provided for;
(3) any universal or particular penal laws whatsoever issued by the Apostolic See, unless they are contained in this Code;
(4) other universal disciplinary laws dealing with a matter which is regulated ex integro by this Code.

Thus, there was no longer any canonical obligation for women to wear a head-covering, since laws which had been part of the 1917 Code, including canon 1262, had lost their force and their legal requirement was officially ended. You may further notice that veiling in particular was never specified - just a general covering of the head and modest dress.

Is Veiling Still *Desired* for Catholic Women?

So, finally, after searching and reading multiple sources, I concluded that veiling is a discipline (not Dogma) and therefore optional. Something interesting resulted from my searching, however. There seemed to be a trend of admiration and even encouragement for veiling on the part of many in the clergy. I saw this repeated in my own experience as well as anecdotally from others. Take the visiting priest from India who, due to a bit of a language barrier simply pointed to my veil after Mass and gave me a smiling thumbs up. Another favorite comment came from a deacon who had read my original post. He wrote about his thoughts that "in a culture in deep decline, and after having discussed this with a variety of priest friends, I have come to believe that the veil is one of very few symbols that manages to say something good and positive about the dignity of the Christian woman (and girl). It really warms my heart".

To those who fear that veiling is sort of a 'look at me' exhibitionism, let me just share my experience with you. As only one of two women who veil at my small rural parish (my grown daughter being the other), I can assure you that this practice is more humbling than it is a practice of conceit. Further I don't veil for exterior motives - I veil for the interior. For me veiling is about getting my mind focused on unity with Jesus. It's about showing Him that I have come to be His as He is mine. Veiling gives me a curtain, so to speak, allowing a certain amount of intimacy that closes out the busyness surrounding me at the Novus Ordo parish we attend. Along with resting my face in my hands after Holy Communion, it gives me a private place to commune with the Savior Who I have just received. Check out this post for more reasons women veil.

What Do Respected Catholic Sources Say about Veiling?

Of course, there is much differing opinion and even reporting of the meaning of the Canon Law cited above. In order to solidify the topic in my own mind, I went to sources known to be solid in their grasp of Catholicity. In his post, Do Women Need to Wear Head Coverings at Mass, Jimmy Akin pointed out, for example, that "given the natural expectations of many people at Extraordinary Form Masses, one can see a certain appropriateness to wearing them in that context". For emphasis he references a letter written by Cardinal Burke addressing this very topic. Since he is often asked about veiling Fr. Zuhlsdorf commented, "I think this is a good custom. It recommends itself on many levels, some of which are, frankly, obvious". In another post, he continues, "My view is that this custom should be revived. According to the Church’s present law, women are not obliged to cover their heads in church. I would be pleased if they did, but… hey…" In an effort to get out of the lively conversation that ensues after the topic of veiling is raised, Fr. Z promptly linked to a post from Conversion Diary about a woman's first experience with veiling.

So What's the Bottom Line on Veiling?

From what research has shown, and my own discernment, I have come to conclusion that veiling is a beautiful practice for those of us who feel called to it. That veiling is optional should quell any feelings of inadequacy or pressure on those who are not so inclined. I have personally found a peace and deeper ability to quiet my mind for prayer when I veil - but that is my own experience. Others may not have the same inclination or result. All in all, the Lord wants our undivided attention. He wants our respect and love. The manner in which we can best give Him the worship, praise and adoration due Him, will no doubt lead to a more fulfilling faith life. There are many black and white issues concerning Church teaching - Dogma - we are obligated to follow. Veiling, however, is not Dogma but an optional discipline. As our faith evolves we may change these optional practices from time to time. After all, a faith standing still is a faith in decline. So I leave you with this thought: veil if you feel called and don't worry about the perception of others. If you don't feel called to veil, also don't worry about the perception of others. Veiling is a practice that is, at its best, a call that we willingly answer - all with our own reasons and inspiration. To God the glory!

You might be interested in another veiling post I wrote last year - Veil Through the Joyful Mysteries.

Monday, July 15, 2013

9 Heartwarming Pro-life Stories to Soothe Your Heart

(Second in a 2-Part Series)

Last week I wrote a post called 7 Shocking Abortion News Items, giving a synopsis of trending negative news in the battle for Life. As I said then, reporting (and reading) distasteful stories such as these is often dispiriting. Yet it is necessary to realistically face up to the sinister way that abortion has been woven into the very fabric of our society. Only when we are able to knowledgably face our foes, will we be able to successfully witness for Life. As a counterbalance, I also promised to write a companion piece about good news and heartwarming stories. So, without further ado, prepare to be blessed:

1.       Hundreds of Families Call to Adopt and Save Down Syndrome Baby From Abortion
Even as the diabolic activities against passage of SB1 in Austin, TX were reported, there was an amazing story from Virginia. Father Thomas Vander Woude, a parish priest in Gainsville took to his parish Facebook fan page in a plea for the life of an unborn baby with Down Syndrome. The distressed parents had come to him to share their decision to abort, but agreed to carry the baby to term if an adoptive family could be found. The resulting rush of offers was heartwarming and astounding.

2.       UK’s tiniest baby, given 1% chance of survival, turns 10: mom was advised to abort
Five months into Lorraine Hart’s pregnancy, her unborn daughter was given a 1% chance of survival. Her doctors advised that her much-wanted baby was not growing properly and recommended abortion – advice the parents rejected. They decided to continue with the pregnancy despite the dire prediction that she would not live past birth. Born in 2003, at 12oz and 7 inches long, she was a little miracle. The mother described seeing her little daughter right after birth, saying, "I literally just cried and cried. I could not believe that something so small could survive. She was so tiny but she was so active. Her hands were going, she was her own little person and I cried for a long time. She was surviving - that was my main concern”. Today Aaliyah is 10 years old, the same size as her peers, and captain of her football team.

3.       Poll: Abortion Support at Lowest Point in Three Years, Pro-Life at Highest
A Rasmussen poll recently asked, “Generally speaking, on the issue of abortion, do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?”  The national telephone shows a trend toward a pro-life viewpoint . Rasmussen says, that, “the 46% percent on the pro-abortion side is down 7 percent from April — before national coverage of the Kermit Gosnell late-term abortion and infanticide trial”. Check out the rest of the story for more details.

4.       The healing hold of a baby
“I was raped at 16 and had an abortion,” said the student at a college campus pro-life display recently. What followed was truly amazing. An encounter that began as a debate between a pro-life counselor and a pro-choice student soon turned into a wonderful healing experience. The most effective pro-life tool? The opportunity to hold 3-month-old Elizabeth.

5.       My Mother Volunteered at Planned Parenthood, But Regretted Her Abortion
“The pro-abortionist wants the post-aborted woman to continue living a lie, and leave her in emotional bondage. The pro-lifer desires to help acknowledge the truth and set her free.” ~Dave Andrusko, Editor of National Right to Life

Both young women found out about their mother’s abortions after they were in their twenties. How that knowledge affected both their own lives, and those of their mothers is enlightening. All four of these women are activists in the realm of Life – but as polar opposites.

6.       As a Father of Five I’m Now Pro-Life, But My First Child Died in Abortion
“My mom thought it was right for me to tell you,” she said, “that I had an abortion and the kid was yours.” ~ Matt Barber

A father of 5 – three on earth on two in heaven – wrote a letter to the long ago high school girl friend whose child was lost to abortion. The message is poignant and filled with ownership of guilt, yet it reaffirms forgiveness and Life.

7.       Pro-Life Advocates Outnumber Abortion Activists as Texas Debate Continues
They were loud and shouted ‘Hail Satan’ as they rabidly denied the right to life of even babies at 20 weeks. As unbelievable as it is, they fought mightily against regulations that would keep women safer when they visited abortion mills (I just can’t seem to use the word ‘clinic’). What was powerful was that the pro-life advocates outnumbered them, even as the pro-abortion demonstrators were bused in and paid by Planned Parenthood.

8.       She Changed My Life Without Taking a Single Breath
“Because of you, dear girl, I turned from my sin and brokenness and returned to the Saviour of my soul. He rescued me through you.” ~Hannah Rose Allen

As a frightened, pregnant 19 year old she was on track for an abortion. God’s saving grace saved her and her unborn daughter from the pain of abortion. 

9.       I Have No Arms, But I Raised My Hand for Babies at the Texas Legislature
As someone who disliked politics and was uncomfortable with the intensity of the debate, Chet McDoniel nevertheless felt the call to testify on behalf of the Pain Capable Act in Austin, TX. After birth, the attending physician had left him in a corner to die due to concern that he may be “as mangled on the inside” as he “was on the outside.” After arriving and registering, his information was lost and he was dead last in the first come, first served list. Satan had put up a road block…

BONUS STORY – because it’s so much more fun to report something good!

10.   Pro-Lifers Show Massive Support for Raped Teen Who Rejected Abortion and Kept Baby
Thirteen year old Ashley was raped by her brother’s 17 year old friend, who never saw a day in jail. Conversely she was stigmatized and found no support. This story’s silver lining concerns a man who was conceived in rape himself and how he, along with the pro-life community embraced her and her precious son, Aiden

To recap: we have a trend of ever higher pro-life positions in our population, those who were once pro-choice become pro-life, more babies are surviving when science says they won’t, and incredible support (shown in action) by pro-lifers reaps tangible results. What encouraging news! However, our work is far from over. Results like these take years to achieve. There will be no resting on laurels in this life or death battle. Lest we forget what a formidable adversary the Devil is, let’s keep working for a Culture of Life – with a firm resolve and the love of God in our hearts. 

Onward Christian soldiers – pray, learn, and act!

Pro-LIFE Photo Bonus!

Pro-life on the TX legislative floor

Thursday, July 11, 2013

7 Shocking Abortion News Items

(First in a 2-Part Series)

The latest uproar about a sweeping pro-life bill in Texas has abortion in the forefront more ardently than ever.  The chaos caused by the pro-abortion side has been nothing short of frightening and brings to light the very dark underside of the forces who march and rally for death. Sadly, this type of pro-abortion behavior isn’t isolated to Texas. Those who support abortion are rampantly prowling our country spewing a venomous hatred toward defenseless pre-born humans and those who support their right to life. They have moved past trying to prove that the unborn are a lifeless blob of cells or tissue and instead chillingly take their stand that babies’ humanity doesn’t matter in the face of ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’.  So emboldened are they in their sordid pursuit of death, they defy reason.

My body, my choice or this is My Body, given up for you?

7 Pro-Abortion News Stories Not Seen from Mainstream Media

1. Federal Agency Says Aborting Late-Term Babies Saves Money

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), charged with scoring all potential federal bills, has taken the shocking position that aborting babies after 20 weeks will save the country money. In looking at H.R. 1797, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the CBO comes to the morbid conclusion that a human life can be measured against cost to Medicaid. Granted, they use the figures that are presented to them – from sources likely to be hostile toward human life – but even considering this type of analysis should be repugnant to any thinking human being. Conversely, I’m not aware of any similar scoring that analyses the loss of revenue from all of the tax payers and working class employees who have been aborted in the past 40 years. Also totally absent from the equation are studies indicating the unborn actually feel pain at a higher rate than adults.

2. Abortion Activists Arrested at Texas Capitol After Pro-Life Bill Passes

Wednesday, after a prerequisite third vote, the Texas House of Representatives soundly passed a Late-Term Abortion Ban during a second Special Session called by Gov. Rick Perry. This was accomplished, despite Sen. Wendy Davis’ almost 11 hour filibuster against a previous version. As the bitterly fought battle played out, abortion supporters – bused in and paid – ramped up an unbelievable series of assaults on preborn human life. Shouts of Hail Satan and F--- the Church could be heard above the peaceful rallies, prayers, and singing of pro-lifers. The unruly mob was a terrifying sight even if only through live streaming available online. Photos shared by friends also gave a chilling contrast between the supporters of life and the forces of death. In the end, their volatile reaction to passage of the bill in the House culminated in several arrests being made.

3. YMCA Kicks Out Pro-Life Students Attending Texas Abortion Debate

In cowardly acquiescence to pressure by hostile pro-abortion forces, the Austin YMCA rescinded their previous agreement with Students for Life of America (SFLA) for the use of their showers during the #stand4life event held in Austin, TX. Brendan O’Morchoe, Dir. of Field Ops. with SFLA commented, “We had absolutely no problems on Monday night when we used their facilities. The YMCA management was respectful, but some angry pro-abortion activists were being very aggressive with YMCA staff members and the staff said they felt threatened”.  As the group of blue clad pro-life advocates made their way to shower on the second day, they were turned away at the previously agreed upon time. Further updates reveal that the Town Lake Branch YMC unapologetically stands by its decision. The YMCA has a checkered past regarding abortion since they often collaborate with Planned Parenthood and support abortion rights. If you would like to have your voice heard you can contact the Austin YMCA at

4. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC Caught Lying About Ohio Pro-Life Bill

In a shocking episode of media deceit, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has been exposed telling outright lies about a pro-life bill in Ohio. In relating budgeting details of the Informed Consent Bill, Maddow insisted that it included “mandatory vaginal probe at the insistence of the state.” This would add significant cost to implementation of the bill. Instead, the bill requires less costly and external transabdominal ultrasound procedure. Unfortunately, her claim went viral and many viewers of the cable news network will now be misinformed. Such irresponsible claims and lack of oversight of our news media today creates a vastly ill-informed public – making well-versed conversation virtually impossible.

5. MSNBC Panel Fawns Over Writer “Proud” Of Mother’s Abortion

During a panel discussion of the sweeping pro-life bill being debated in Texas, Beth Matusoff Merfish (NY Times writer) found overall approval of some troubling remarks. She declared that she was “proud” her mother had an abortion since “she had the wisdom and the courage to know that her own potential would be cut short by a pregnancy and to terminate that pregnancy and I think many of our mothers have similar stories and it is really important to talk about that.” I have no words!

6. New York Times Writer: More Women Need to Rejoice Over Aborting “Parasitic” Babies

The ever present search for making abortion palatable to the masses, Jessica Grose of the Washington Post-affiliated Slate news site, essentially opined that the left simply needs to make abortion a more joyful and happy experience. What happened to the rhetoric about making abortion safe, legal, and rare? Are we now expected to see the limb from limb slaughter of children as a warm and fuzzy experience?

7. Staybridge Suites, Quality Inn Offer Discounts for Women Getting Abortions

Unfortunately, even corporations are working hard to promote abortion and cater to the pro-abortion culture. Atlanta Center for Women’s Choice, advertises “providing pregnancy termination support for the entire family.” The facility, performing abortions to 24 weeks, has agreements with several hotels offering discount stays for ‘customers’ of the abortion facility. The list included here is disheartening.

Reporting (and reading) distasteful stories such as these is sometimes dispiriting (to reader and writer) but, if we are to fully take on the Armor of God and fight for these little lives, we have to realistically face up to the sinister way that abortion has been woven into the very fabric of our society. Only then will we be able to knowledgably face our foes and take back our country for the good of all God’s people. Viva Cristo Rey!

Stay tuned for 9 heartwarmingpro-life stories, to soothe your soul, in the next installation.