Saturday, December 13, 2014

All Dogs Do Not Go to Heaven: What the Pope Really Said

Did Pope Francis say animals go to heaven? That's the title of another great explanation offered by Jimmy Akin for our oft-misinterpreted pope - the Holy Father Pope Francis. Evidently this isn't the first pope to have been misquoted on the subject. That there are absolutely no records - other than secular media about the claim - is quite the barometer of the truth. 

What did Pope Francis actually say about animals, Heaven, and Eternity at his public audience?

His words were devoted to the subject of creation and the new heaven and earth. This is what he said:

At the same time, Sacred Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this marvelous plan cannot but involve everything that surrounds us and came from the heart and mind of God. 
The Apostle Paul says it explicitly, when he says that “Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8:21). 
Other texts utilize the image of a “new heaven” and a “new earth” (cf. 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1), in the sense that the whole universe will be renewed and will be freed once and for all from every trace of evil and from death itself. 
What lies ahead is the fulfillment of a transformation that in reality is already happening, beginning with the death and resurrection of Christ. 
Hence, it is the new creation; it is not, therefore, the annihilation of the cosmos and of everything around us, but the bringing of all things into the fullness of being, of truth and of beauty. 
This is the design that God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, willed from eternity to realize and is realizing.

It's appalling that there is so much misinformation out there these days. Reporters are actually using opinion blogs as 'sources' when they report on a story. So much for journalistic integrity! This lack of care for the truth is helping the devil undermine the Catholic Church in the eyes of the unwary - after all, if it's on the internet, it's got to be true right?

Hint: no it's not!

So let's just take a breath, pray fervently, and discern the facts before getting all shaky about Holy Mother Church. After all, Jesus and the Church have never let us down before - nor will they. Even humanity, in the form of wolves in sheep's clothing, can't change that!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Salvation Army: Acceptable Reasons for Abortion?

It's Advent and we are anticipating the greatest Birth in history. As were the Wise Men, we are caught up in seeking, giving, and loving. So when we see a scrawny, bell ringing Santa standing next to the door of almost any store, we are moved to drop in a few coins - after all, we are told by Our Lord to love our neighbor, support the poor and widowed, and to share what we have.

Sadly, in today's world, even giving has been compromised. I'm sure you're like me and sometimes wonder how the homeless man I've just given my last $20 is going use the gift. As I continue with my errands, I whisper a quick prayer that he'll use it wisely - maybe feed his children or use it for some other necessity. Then I move on, because I've done what I'm called to do - what he does is on his own conscience.

It's not like that when we donate to organizations or charities, though. They deal in large sums of money, have a structured hierarchy, and are obligated to report their spending. Now we're in a brand new ballgame! We shouldn't simply donate without making sure of what happens to these large bundles of cash, accumulated from a multitude of small offerings.

You might be taken aback, then, by the Salvation Army's stance on important moral issues. Did you know that they support some abortions and contraception, deny the sacraments, and cooperate with Planned Parenthood? That's certainly not a worthy cause for a Catholic's support!

In reading the carefully researched facts in Beware the Red Kettle: The Salvation Army and Abortion you will see that the Salvation Army isn't worthy of Catholic or Christian donation. There are so many more good groups out there - truly doing the Lord's work. One group that is dear to my heart is the Sisters for Life. Their generosity with time, service, and prayer make a true difference without unethical partnerships or positions contrary to Church teaching. Follow the link above to see more morally sound suggestions.

There are so many great organizations available today. No, they're not all standing with their hands out, conveniently at the doors of every retail outlet. But should we really just blindly give out of convenience and not give a care that donations could go toward immoral acts?
All in all, giving money isn't all there is to true and worthy charity. We must care enough to make sure we are cooperating with good, rather than with evil.

God bless and Happy Advent!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Demons Amongst Us And the Ouija Board

An unsavory 'parlor game' is making the rounds - at the top of children's wish lists and flying off of store shelves. Offered by Hasbro, for children 'age 8 and up', the Ouija Board has once again reared its demonic head. In years gone by, this 'toy', also called a spirit board or talking board, was looked upon as harmless fun, but are we so sure?

I can't think of many more abhorrent, mainstream gifts to be given at Christmas. Here's a comment attributed to a priest, shared by a friend, with others on her Facebook feed:

"If someone is seriously trying to contact a spirit for answers, who do they think is answering? It isn't the soul of dead person. They are judged instantly at death and are in heaven, purgatory, or hell. They aren't free to talk to Ouija boards. That leaves angels, and the good Angels aren't going to disobey God's command that humans not contact mediums nor consult ghosts. That only leaves demons."
With the increase of calls for exorcists do we really want to expose kids (or adults for that matter) to the unknown? Deuteronomy 18:10-12: tells us,

"Neither let there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire: or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard,
Nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead.
For the Lord abhorreth all these things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming."
Further we see the Catechism of the Catholic Church speak out on the topic of superstition in the section concerning the Third Commandment.

2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.41
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible.Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.
As Catholic parents and adults, we are called to be in this world and not of this world. Might we add that we should also refrain from being in or of the netherworld, wherein "evil spirits prowl around the world, seeking the ruin of souls"?

Saint Michael the Archangel...

ouija board

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

3 Thoughts About Wearing a Veil - Is Veiling on Your Mind?

The Latin Mass Society of America is once again promoting the wearing of the veil or mantilla on WEAR A VEIL DAY 2014. They have designated this day because it is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother Mary. The optional, yet beautifully feminine devotion of wearing a covering is making a resurgence in both Britain and America.

In celebration of this opportunity for other ladies to join those of us who also wear a veil, I thought I'd share three of my favorite blog posts on this topic. Whether you already wear a veil, are discerning veiling, or want to encourage others to cover, here you will find some interesting thoughts and facts about his resurging devotion.

1. The Insistent Whisper Draws Me to Veil

This was my foray into the serene world of veiling. I had been hearing a quiet whisper in my heart for quite some time. A chance encounter with a friend, who offered to allow me to borrow one of her veils, sealed my determination. You can follow the thought process of my daughter and me in Lifting the Veil...Onto My Head.

2. I'm Veiling and Now Others Have Questions

After we had become accustomed to wearing a veil each time we encountered the Eucharistic Christ, I sought to answer questions that had been presented to me. Although the format is simple, many adults have told me that it helped them understand the devotion more completely. In Veiling and You: 5 Things Catholic Boys and Girls Should Know you will find some answers and quite possibly think of a few more. Please feel free to comment in the combox. If I don't have the answer, I'll be honored to find a legitimately Catholic resource for you. I had quite a few questions myself and did copious amounts of research.

3. Covering Doesn't Mean You Automatically Have the Right Mindset

In discussing the devotion of veiling with others, I began to ponder what veiling represented in my interior life. Was practicing the devotion having the desired effect on my soul? Interior Disposition: Why Fix Your Hair, If You're Wearing a Veil? gives some insight into my personal journey and how it has encouraged me to internal piety. Wearing a veil isn't just a random symbol; it's a commitment of soul.

Whether or not you decide to participate in Wear the Veil Day 2014 or to practice the optional devotion from now on, I hope our journey has been helpful. Choosing to veil is a very personal decision - and one that we can walk away from, should it not be for us. The beauty of the veil comes only with the right mindset, devotion, understanding, and desire on the part of each individual lady. I hope never to make someone who doesn't participate feel badly. We are all sisters in Christ! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Infants, Spilled Milk, and God

I recently had an experience with a nursing newborn that evoked a chilling recognition of our helplessness in life - the fact that we are undeniably tethered to God. Infants, spilled milk, and God - find out what they have in common by reading Remaining Tethered to God.

How foolish are those of us who deny this Eternal fact!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Necktie Onesie for Baby Boy

Who, among proud new mothers of baby boys is not frustrated by the lack of creativity when it comes to garment availability for baby's wardrobe? With baby girls, it's so simple. Glitz it up with over-the-top bows and ruffles - there's no limit to the colors and garments we can use to play 'dress-up' with our little girls.

What are we to do when we want our baby boy to have some fashion fun as well? Here's an idea to nourish the creative side of mamas of baby boys.

The Necktie Onesie

This is so cute and yet so very simple to do. This could even be done without sewing, but edging makes it survive the multiple washings after diaper blowouts and burps gone wrong.

Necktie Onesie Materials:

  • Solid color onesie in baby's current size
  • Small scrap of fabric in a fun print - I used a scrap piece from a Moby Wrap I made of a Monsters Inc. print knit
  • Double-sided fabric fusion
  • Matching thread
Doesn't he look handsome?

Necktie Onesie Construction:

  • Fuse one side of fabric fusion to WRONG side of fabric, according to manufacturer's directions.
  • Using the pattern, cut out the tie and knot pieces. Make adjustments in length to fit baby.
  • Remove paper from other side of fabric fusion.
  • Find center of onesie and lay knot piece in place.
  • Place long, tie piece into desired position - taking care to center lengthwise. 
  • Tuck long tie piece slightly under knot piece. Iron in desired position.
  • Sew along all edges, using either a zigzag or straight stitch.

 Go crazy and make these in different themes - Thanksgiving, Christmas, or birthday. Make sure to create a matching tee for big brother too!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Suffering? Find Solace in God

Who doesn't know someone who is suffering?

Who hasn't felt alone, abandoned, and afraid?

Throughout the Bible, we find those who experience unfathomable pain, illness, grief, and trials. The common thread is that they seek relief by the healing hand of Jesus.

In this vein our daughter, Erika, has opened her heart and poured out her feelings as she experiences yet another migraine day. Her 33 years of life have been filled with both physical and heart-wrenching trials, yet she clings to her faith. I share her words below, in the hope that it will bring solace to others.

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We are being tested and God can fix big things in our favor if we ask Him.

O, Most Gracious and Loving God,

I humbly beseech Thee to turn Thy eyes upon my trials. If it be Thy will, resolve the difficulties in my life. Fill me with your Grace, Peace, and Joy even amid suffering.

Through Thee all things are possible. Through Thee all good things come. Through Thee suffering turns to Joy. Through Thee conflict turns to Peace. Through Thee disharmony turns to Grace.

Harden not my heart if my petitions are not answered according to my will, but let me sing Thy praises in Awe and Thanksgiving for Thy Will be done in all things. Amen

This is a prayer, if you believe in God, drop everything and pass it on to as many friends as you feel need it! Perhaps tomorrow will be the best day of your life!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Don't Be Spooked by Hallowe'en

Once we realize the origins of Hallowe'en, we will find that this is a day to celebrate, not to frighten. In that vein, we Catholic Christians choose to dress as saints or other characters we admire, as well as poking a bit of fun at the devil. After all, his battle has already been lost; Jesus Christ the Savior won that victory when he became man and dwelt among us. He even allowed the devil to tempt him, as an illustration of the power of light over darkness.

Sometimes the eve of October 31st, as well as the days of November 1st and 2nd, are unofficially called the "Days of the Dead" - after all these are the days we pray for or remember those no longer dwelling on this earth. We celebrate all the Saints in Heaven All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows') on the evening of October 31 and November 1st. Then, on the day after All Hallows', we remember the saved souls who are in Purgatory being purged of the temporal effects of the sins committed during their lifetime, before they can enter Heaven.

It might be good to look at these three days of Hallowe'en as follows:

  • October 31 - Hallowe'en (All Hallows Eve) is a time to recall the reality of hell and work through the best ways to avoid it. We remember that there are damned souls and vow not to join them. Many Catholics will attend Mass on the evening of this day as a fulfillment of their All Saints Day obligation. This is also the evening that many children dress up and collects sweet treats from neighbors and friends. 
  • November 1 - All Saints Day is officially a Holy Day of Obligation. We honor the Church Triumphant on this day by recalling our great saints as well as those uncanonized saints not known to us.
  • November 2 - All Souls Day, while not a Holy Day of Obligation, is when we remember to pray for the Church Suffering - those souls who are still in Purgatory. Remembering our deceased loved ones and having a Mass said for them is a Corporal Work of Mercy.

Originally, the earliest form of All Saints Day was celebrated on May 13. As it has been since the 300's, this is still the case in some Eastern Churches. Intitially, only the martyrs were commemorated, but by 741, all of the saints had been included. It wasn't until the year 844 that Pope Gregory III transferred the Feast Day to November 1st. This was the year he consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica to All Saints - this should put to rest the theory that the date of All Saints Day was fixed because of the harvest festival of the Irish pagans.

All Souls Day originated with the Bishop of Cluny, who in A.D. 1048, decreed that the Benedictines of Cluny pray for the souls in Purgatory on this day. The practice further spread until it was recommended for the entire Latin Church by Pope Sylvester II. 

In Irish popular piety, the evening before, Hallowe'en (All Hallows or "Hallows' Eve") became a day of remembering the dead who are damned.These customs spread to many parts of the world, thus initiating the popular focus of Hallowe'en as the reality of Hell. As a result, scary characters, focus on evil and how to avoid it,and the sad fate of damned souls captured the imagination.

Traditional circles find the celebration - even whether or not to celebrate it at all, to be a controversial topic. Often, we hear that Hallowe'en is a pagan holiday" - quite contrary to the meaning and origin of Hallowe'en as explained above. All Hallows' Evening, is a Catholic a holiday with roots in remembering saints, sinners, and the damned. Although some say that the holiday actually stems from Samhain, a pagan Celtic celebration, or is Satanic, this simply isn't true. It's also rather amusing that October 31 is also "Reformation Day" in Protestant circles -  recalling Luther's having nailed his 95 Theses to Wittenberg's cathedral door.

As with many Church celebration, commercialization/secularization of the holiday and popular myths proclaiming the origin is pagan, find some refusing to celebrate Hallowe'en at all, etc. Others celebrate without trepidation while though keeping their celebration Catholic and refraining from  the ugliness that has marred the day in the secular world. Hopefully, whatever your family decides, it's vital to keep the facts straight, and to refrain from judging others who decide to celebrate Hallowe'en differently or not at all. As in all instances of our lives, charity is key.

If your family would like to celebrate Hallowe'en, here's a bit of trivia and some suggestions:

  • The customs of Hallowe'en are a mixture of Catholic popular devotions, and French, Irish, and English customs all mixed together. 
  • The custom of dressing up comes from the French.
  • Carved Jack-o-lanterns, come from the Irish, who originally carved turnips. 
  • English Catholics initiated the custom of begging from door to door, which was a purer form of "trick-or-treating." Children would go door to door begging their neighbors for a "Soul Cake". In turn, they would say a prayer for those neighbors' dead saying, 
"A Soul Cake, a Soul Cake,
have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake!"
  • Customary foods for Hallowe'en include cider, nuts, popcorn, and apples - and are best eaten around a fire.
  •  Bobbing for apples on Hallowe'en is an old Celtic custom.
  • Dressing up as a saint can be a springboard for learning about their lives and their special graces. 
  • Using the opportunity of costumes to teach others about those who loved God so much.
  • Incorporating the wearing of costumes into a visit to a nursing hope - to bring a bit of joy to the elderly and lonely.
Saint Elizabeth, Saint Cecilia, and Snow White
If done with an eye toward faith, Hallowe'en can be an enjoyable holiday for your family. It offers an opportunity to teach children about the reality of evil and hell, the reassurance that evil was conquered by Jesus, and the hope of Heaven for those living holy lives. After all, Satan has no power over those who live in Christ. In balance, we must teach them to protect themselves from all things occult - Ouija boards, casting spells, and calling down spirits must not be attempted or tolerated. These things only invite the devil into our lives. 

Instead, remind them the power of the Holy Name of Jesus, sacramentals, and prayers such as the St. Michael Prayer. And don't forget to pray for the intercession of the saints - that those who don't know Jesus will come to know His love and mercy. This God-Man, who loved us so much that He allowed himself to suffer and die for us!

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Saint Michael the Archangel from last year.
Note: I made the Saint Elizabeth and Snow White costumes. The Saint Cecilia costume was purchased at Cracker Barrel. Saint Elizabeth will carry bread and roses in her cloak, while Saint Cecilia will carry a harp. The girls had a good time learning about the saints and we focused on Snow White's heart of service.

UPDATE: I created the following meme to share a Catholic view of Hallowe'en. Feel free to share it by following this link.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

My daughter, Erika, wrote this poem and created the accompanying graphics in commemoration of the four children she lost through miscarriage. These little saints in heaven, known only by God, are waiting for us!

Millions of women are silently grieving for unknown lives.
These quiet women walk among us averting their eyes
from expectant mothers with proudly rounded bellies
And arms full of healthy happy babies.
For reasons unknown, these women are left alone without recourse,
while 'pro-choice' women claim 'buyer's' remorse.
Their 'choice' rips and tears the life other women mourn.
That is the pain that can not be borne.
With no precious babes or children dear
These women feel adrift and neither there nor here.
Daggers such as these keep tears unshed.
Pain swells and grows and knows no end.
Guilt builds with each arrow and sling
until finally it becomes it's own thing.
Eventually, children may grow unencumbered in the womb,
but the memory of the lost ones remains beyond the tomb.
Long after acceptance creeps in,
the mother finds herself thinking, "I wonder when...
When did I know?
What could I have done?
Who should I have told?
How should I have been?"
Yet in her heart of hearts she knows,
Her child is near her still, beneath God's arms in his rainbows.
God blesses her little saints, she counts them Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier.
Never again, that pain of loss, will she fear.

UPDATE: Since there seems to be a lot of misconception on the topic of where these little ones go after death - not having had the opportunity for baptism - I'll let the Catechism of the Catholic Church give a response. There is not official doctrine or dogma.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus'tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," 64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism. - The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Reflections on my Cancer-versary

It's been 9 years since my younger sister badgered me into resuming my annual mammograms. I had been in fearful denial for several years. It's also been nine years since my diagnosis with hereditary BRCA-1 breast cancer - the worst possible scenario. A look at my family history tells the grim tale.

My great-grandmother died in her 40's, my grandmother at 42, my mother at 58. I was diagnosed the very year my sis urged me - one more time - to get another mammogram. Even my 28 year old daughter joined the 'party' when she was 20 weeks pregnant. Our prognosis as part of the BRCA-1 'club' is not good. Agressive breast cancer, a propensity for ovarian cancer, and a life expectancy that is far from ideal. Yet life goes on.

I was lucky (blessed) to have learned from my dear departed mother's demise. It's foolish not to go to the best possible cancer treatent center - in my case, MD Anderson Cancer Center, where they're working to 'make cancer history'. The forward-thinking doctors there know better than to fool around. They take this monster at face value - it's a killer. They are on the cutting edge of science, spot on for personal care, and wonderfully spiritual in their support.

All of this inside baseball information brings me to a couple of important points for those reading this.

1) Awareness and vigilance is vital. Go have that annual checkup for whatever may ail you. It may just save your life.

2) No one should die so that another can live! Before you get lost in a filmy cloud of PINK awareness, find out how to best serve those who struggle with breast cancer. Susan G Komen and the American Cancer Society are NOT the answer. Their use and advocating for embryonic stem cell research and acceptance of abortion for pregnant cancer victims, disqualifies them. To find out more, check out Six Things to Consider During the Pink Month for the details and ethical alternatives.

So happy 9th Cancer-versary to me! God has blessed me with another year and a loving sister. May I use my remaining time on earth to His Glory!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ProLife Designs by Birgit - How Can We Make a Difference?

My small, ProLife Designs by Birgit, apostolate needs YOU!

March 14, 2006 marks the day I launched a Facebook page called Designs by Birgit. Although I also dabble in cooking, sewing, and gardening my main focus is winning hearts for the unborn. Since that day, I've created over 250 memes (posters) concerning the topic of abortion and the prolife cause.

There have been some measurable successes, such as the Pro-Life Display for Your Church - Approved for Diocesan Use - (created for 40-Days for Life and used in several different states), but for the most part I don't know how much advocacy I've inspired. That's okay! I know from Blessed Mother Teresa that God doesn't require us to succeed, He only requires that we try. So I'll keep prayerfully asking for inspiration and continue to share the products of my imagination, coupled with nudges from the Holy Spirit.

Human nature begs the question though. How are my efforts being received and how can I become more effective? This is where your input comes into play.

I know that prolife advocates come from many different life stories. Some of my friends have lost children though miscarriage or abortion. Some have not. I have friends who haven't quite healed and also those whose passion could be termed as off-putting to some. My personal approach has been toward the more gentle, positive side. The photos I use in my designs come mostly from my own work - using family as subjects. A few come from Facebook friends whose permission has been granted. I try my best to evoke thoughts of the humanity and beauty of our unborn brothers and sisters.

So what stirs you prolife heart?
Is it the quotes? The photos? The stories?
Do you seek only the positive side?
Or are you driven by righteous anger at the outrageous stories that show the inhumanity of those who profess to adhere to choice?

I've been a bit frustrated of late. The new Facebook analytics are doing quite the number on the Designs by Birgit fan page. If my work is only seen by 10% of my followers, how will the prolife message get out? In your charity, please consider 'liking' the Designs by Birgit page and encouraging your friends to do the same. Give a quick comment, share, and/or like when you see something that might inspire love and respect of the unborn.

In the mean time, I'm making an effort to 'brand' my work. Below is the logo I created this morning. Share your thoughts in the combox and share your suggestions with me. We're in this together and the babies are depending on us!

If you'd like to ask your church to display some of the prolife memes I've created, check out the link to Pro-Life Display for Your Church for instructions, links to posters, and a sample bulletin insert. Here's the one we used in our diocese:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Marriage: God First, Spouse Second, Children Third

The world is filled with talk of marriage lately. Around this time next year the Church will take on the topic during the World Meeting of Families, the definition of marriage is being challenged all around us, and the nuclear family is being attacked by the secularized world. The topic of marriage is important enough to warrant participation by Pope Francis himself.

In a recent post, 12 Thoughts On Marriage As We Approach Our 40th Marriage Anniversary, I ponder the things my husband and I have learned about the Sacrament of Matrimony. Yet, to my surprise, I met a bit of conflict concerning my order of priorities.

One of my twelve points reads:

2: Children come third, after God (#1) and spouse (#2).

God’s nature definitely created an unbreakable bond when it came to offspring. The instinct of protection and nurture is a formidable force. This ensures the safety of the little ones and the furthering of the human race. As strong as these impulses are, a worthy spouse will never let children displace the primary earthly spot given to spouse.
According to the instructions my husband and I received before our wedding and Catholic sources to which I've referred, this should be a no-brainer. Imagine my surprise when I receivd quite a bit of push-back on this order of priorities.  After a few spirited exchanges, I further deepened my reasoning. To read the comments of others go to the combox here.

In this post I will share my response to those who advocate for children coming before spouse. After you've read these thoughts, you may want to kindly weigh in as well in the combox. I'd love to know your thoughts. The following are mine:

Children come third, after God (#1) and spouse (#2)

Although the Bible doesn’t specifically lay out an order of relationship priorities, there do appear to be some general principles that might be helpful in understanding what I’m attempting to share. Obviously, there is no disagreement with the fact that God comes first.

In direct relationship to this, however, comes the instruction for a married man to love his wife as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Similarly, the wife is to submit to her husband ‘as to the Lord’. (Ephesians 5:22). This appears to support the perspective that spouses are second only to God. Since they are ‘one flesh’, this should be a two-way street.

Further, under the heading “The marriage bond” the CCC states:

1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself.[141] From their covenant arises "an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society."[142] The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God's covenant with man: "Authentic married love is caught up into divine love."[143]

As a logical conclusion, this places the fruits of this divine love (the children) as the next natural priority. In this context we find the institution of the Domestic Church.

1666 The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.

marriage, matrimonyWhat makes for well adjusted children is that their parents take the covenant to which they have sworn seriously and place it high on their priority list. Without a stable marriage, children suffer from maladjusted lives or even divorce. Further, while Holy Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments, having children is not - it is gift of that sacramental covenant. Marriage is the institution that brings godly children, children aren't the institution that bring a godly marriage.

I must admit that some may be thinking of this in different terms. Naturally, the physical needs of children (whether infant or disabled) must be dealt with on a practical, earthly priority scale. A grown man or woman can certainly deal with their own physical needs – food, shelter, etc. That really isn’t the point I was attempting to make. But even in this instance, care must be taken as to the soundness of the marriage. After all, the natural product of a good marriage is healthy, happy children who are given all they need whether it be spiritual, mental, or physical. Further, when the children mature and go their own way, the covenant that was first established between husband and wife remains.

God bless all marriages and families. As the family goes, so goes society. May we ever preserve our godly relationships!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Mito Family - Stuck Between Obamacare and a Hard Place

I first met Pattie through the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies. She was an inspiration and tireless font of knowledge for us, as Owensboro citizens planned their event - all the way from North Carolina. Since then, I've gotten to know her as a fervent Catholic who advocates for LIFE and as a staunch believer in justice. The superhuman effort necessary to maintain some semblance of a 'normal' life for her family is daunting. A lesser woman might be found, in fetal position, wailing 'why me?!' Instead, Patti's two sons, who suffer from not one, but two, 'orphan' conditions play baseball, soccer, and gather with their many friends to enjoy life as teens. Her life can only be described as inspirational - even though, it makes me tired to just read about everything she manages to squeeze into the same 24 hour days so many of us squander.

In the video, 'A Mito Mother's Plight', we are made privy to some heartbreaking facts - both about what her family is facing, health-wise, but also the terrible scourge that implementation of Obamacare is on families like hers. Life-saving medication, vital to their survival, is being denied this family because of Obamacare. She makes perfectly clear that she isn't seeking pity, she just needs for the citizens of this once great nation to be aware and to "stand up and push back against a government that is overreaching".

We need to be aware, we need to be proactive. Pray, yes! But also stand up and do something!


Please take the time to watch the video below. In an accompanying description we read...

by Nicole Revels - Journalist
This is the story of a North Carolina mother of three sons, two of whom have a rare bone marrow failure syndrome called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome combined with a secondary mitochondrial disease. Pattie says that she has witnessed her family's insurance coverage slip away as premiums, deductibles, and medication co-pays have drastically increased with the implementation of mandates contained within the Affordable Care Act. Pattie has now been notified that her sons' life-saving compounded medications will be dropped from coverage all together as of September 15, though her family's medications and treatments were covered with no denials for years prior to 2011. Pattie fears that her family may soon lose their employer-provided health insurance completely, forcing them onto Obamacare exchanges under which they would be denied access to their current specialists. Having read the Affordable Care Act legislation prior to its passage, Pattie says that it was evident that the mandates would generate exactly the detrimental impacts that she is now experiencing. She asserts that the ultimate goal of the legislators who adopted the Affordable Care Act was the extinction of private health insurance companies, giving rise to a single-payer system of substandard healthcare.
Read the full article, , "Obamacare Has Destroyed My Family" - A Mito Mother's Story,  here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Homosexual Madness - Is It Affecting the Church?

Campaigns supporting the homosexual lifestyle and 'rights' seem to be all the rage these days. In a world gone mad, this biologically and morally repugnant type of 'relationship' is being touted as just another type of loving union. Yet we, of the Catholic faith, have always had an unbroken line of teachings that prompt us to love the sinner but hate the sin. We are encouraged to make judgments, every day, about actions - all the while not judging the souls of others. So what's going on with some prominent figures in the Catholic landscape?

It has just been announced that the LGBT crowd will be allowed to march under a banner, for the first time in the 250 year history of the St. Patrick's Day parade in NYC. Although these groups have never been prevented from marching, the fact that they are now able to further, and ever more obviously, flaunt their deviant lifestyle is abhorrent. It's small comfort that pro-life groups will also be allowed to march under a banner as well. Yet Catholic League's Bill Donohue seems blasé.

"Never in the history of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade have homosexuals been barred from marching, anymore than pro-life Catholics have, but in both cases they were not permitted to have their own unit. I have been assured that the rules have been formally changed to allow both of these groups, as well as others, to march under their own banner. That being the case, there should be no controversy. One would hope that all the new entries will conduct themselves in a manner that honors St. Patrick, lest another round of controversy emerges."
Since when are the LGBT advocates and pro-life champions of equal moral heft?

Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York appears to be unconcerned as well. He will carry out his plans to act as Grand Marshall of the parade.

I found encouragement, however, from the reaction of Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington. He penned quite the post on the diocesan website, concerning both the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner. Sadly, and rather discouraging, his piece was promptly taken down. It was fortunate that he had given LifeSiteNews permission to share his piece as well. Along with a screenshot of the original entry, BuzzFeed also shared his words. And faithful words they were!

Concerning the Al Smith Dinner he lamented, “...we are being asked to raise toasts and to enjoy a night of frivolity with those who think it is acceptable to abort children by the millions each year, with those who think anal sex is to be celebrated as an expression of love …”

He added, ‘...the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.’

His admonition to 'cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner and all the other “Catholic” traditions that have been hijacked by the world’ is sound on the face of what they have become.

Catholics, faithful to the teachings of Holy Mother Church gain sound advice as he added, "Enough now, back to Church! Wear the purple of Lent and if there is going to be a procession, let it be Eucharistic and penitential for the sins of this age."

What we appear to have here, is a failure to communicate Christ's true teachings, on the part of some, and the silencing of those who seek to uphold it. Perhaps I'll wear purple this Lent - especially on Saint Patrick's day. It's only right to offer reparation for the sins of this mad, hypersexualized world.

As Msgr. Pope ended his thoughts, "For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!"

UPDATE: Msgr. Charles Pope addresses the question,  What happened to the St. Patricks Parade Post?

Screenshot and quotes from Msgr. Pope's article.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Cold, Hard Facts About the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

It seems many people still don't realize that the ALS Association (ALSA) condones and uses Embryonic Stem Cell research - and thus negates the ALSA as potential recipients of our charitable efforts.

Last week I authored a piece, Throwing Cold Water on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, over on Catholic Stand. As it was shared in Facebook-land and other social media, it spurred quite the reaction. Some comments were expected, others came as a surprise. All in all the responses have been good.

There are a couple of things that I hope readers will take away from my presentation of the facts surrounding the charitable assistance owed to all of those who suffer from ALS or any other debilitating, life threatening disease - an ethical cure should never come at the expense of the life of another.

Here are the Cold, Hard Facts about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a nutshell: 

  • The ALS Association (ALSA), which initiated the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, supports Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research kills tiny human beings, who were created for experimentation. 
  • This is considered to be one of the intrinsic evils by the Catholic Church.
  • ALS victims deserve our compassion and research to end this horrible disease is a worthy cause.
  • There are ethical alternatives to the ALSA, such as the John Paul II Medical Research Institute.
  • The John Paul II Medical Research Institute does NOT support or use Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
  • If you choose to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, please designate your donation to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute or another moral/ethical organizations.
  • American Life League has a vast list devoted to informing readers about the morality of most large charities. You might be surprised at which ones (and how many) are unethical.
  • Catholic bishops, from dioceses such as the archdiocese of Cincinnati, are accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and publicly spotlighting their support for the ethical research being done by the John Paul II Medical Research Institute. They are alerting their flocks to the moral repugnance of Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
As Catholic Christians, we are morally bound to practice morally discerned charity. It's our duty to know the moral stance of those to whom we donate. A little bit of research or asking a pro-life organization, such as American Life League, will easily give you the answers you need. Whether you choose to give privately or via a public event, always remember to care enough to make sure your giving is morally sound.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cancer While Pregnant? Both Mother and Baby Can (and Should) Live!

Taking a cue from Pope Francis, our family is known to evangelize. His oft repeated message calls us to share the word of God where we are, saying, “The Church must be in the streets”. As a passionate pro-life advocate, my participation in this call often centers on the sanctity of life. As His creatures, God’s first gift to us is our very being. In as much as He is the author of life, we owe Him our utmost effort in preserving it.

Sharing a Personal Story

Our family has had its share of opportunities for ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to the pro-life message. One such story – finding myself to be a pregnant 14-year-old – has been a past topic. Another is the experience our daughter, Erika, lived when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 20 weeks pregnant. Sharing her story has been a valuable tool for reaching out to those in similar circumstances – a surprisingly significant segment of society. That she was given only two options – abortion followed by treatment or waiting until after birth for treatment – is typical of advice most frequently given across the country. Often we see stories of a virtuous, heroic mother who forgoes treatments in deference to the life of the child she is carrying. What isn’t as commonplace is the medically advanced, morally sound option of treatment while pregnant. This is the alternative I feel a spiritual pull to share. After all, both mother and child deserve the best chance of survival!

Knowledge - a Powerful Ally

Unfortunately there’s much misinformation out there. For this reason, our daughter, a molecular biologist, Howard Hughes research scholar, and former forensic biologist did her share of research when presented with two unacceptable options by local doctors. What she found was that chemotherapy during pregnancy does not raise the risk of miscarriage or other problems. In fact, the oncologists who treated her at M.D. Anderson in Houston had been successfully using this method for over 20 years. Although these children continue to be closely monitored, there have been no incidents of detrimental effects to date. This option is as safe for the unborn child as that of no treatment. Even though our daughter was high risk for miscarriage (4 occurrences prior to her second live birth), her doctor assured her the option of chemotherapy treatment would not increase her risk.

According to Erika, “The maternal-fetal doctor I saw in Houston told me that the biggest ‘risk’ of chemo treatments while pregnant was the increased likelihood of early contractions. However, she again assured me that a) any time a pregnant woman is stressed, she’s likely to have contractions and b) those contractions are rarely productive”.

So what causes all of the misconceptions and why isn’t this scientifically proven method more commonly shared? Perhaps doctors poorly explain or fail to acknowledge the truth. It’s also possible that doctors aren’t as familiar with chemotherapy during pregnancy as they could be. Every woman presented with a cancer diagnosis while pregnant is free to choose what she feels is best, but being armed with the facts – all of them – should be a vital part of that decision-making process.

I tell our story via the pro-life memes I create and share.

Life for Both

As is typical, the outcome proved to be win-win when our healthy, full term granddaughter was born on Thanksgiving Day 2009. She joined all of the other ‘chemo babies’ of the past 25+ years, whose mothers had an increased chance of surviving a cancer diagnosis during pregnancy. Today, Rachel is a precocious 4-year-old who ranks in the 90th percentile in height and weight for her age group. She’s a beginning reader who aspires to out run her rambunctious 6-year-old brother. Whenever we are out and about, her disarming smile is sure to garner comments and begin conversations. In true evangelizing style, we never miss an opportunity to express our gratitude to God for this living miracle of ours. Many a stranger has walked away from a checkout line or gathering, knowing that a cancer diagnosis while pregnant doesn’t have to be a death sentence – for the child or the mother.

Celebrating another year of life at the Horses and Hope Event in KY
Visit the Designs by Birgit fan page on Facebook for hundreds of pro-life and faith memes to share!

NOTE: A similar version of this piece first appeared at Catholic Stand.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ridiculously Easy Tomato Paste - Plus 2 Recipes Using It

If you're like me, you either have a flood of ripe tomatoes right now - or your neighbors do. So what to do with this onslaught of 'love apples'? Make tomato paste, of course! My husband and I love making our own pizza, spaghetti sauce, and barbecue sauce - so why not make them using free tomatoes from the garden? This is a recipe I developed about four years ago and, I confess, was created out of pure laziness. I'd gone the route of blanching and peeling the tomatoes, but decided there had to be a simpler way. Boy was I right!

Ridiculously Easy Tomato Paste




Soup Pot and/or Crock Pot
Cutting Board


  • Cut tomatoes into halves or quarters - don't peel or core, just remove stems.
  • Place into soup pot or crock pot and simmer until they fall apart. I cook 12 quarts at a time and it takes 24 hours.
  • Use the soup pot lid until liquid begins to form, then uncover to enhance evaporation.
  • Run stewed tomatoes through a colander or strainer, making sure to leave only the skins behind.
  • Pour tomato meat and juice into crock pot and simmer, uncovered, on 'low' setting until desired consistency. This might take longer than you'd expect - don't hurry the process.
  • Allow to cool.
  • If you want a smoother paste, run through a food processor or Ninja at 'high' speed.
  • Place into containers for freezing. I use 4 oz. plastic baby food containers (for pizza) and Zip-Lock sandwich baggies, containing 2 cups of paste (for barbecue or spaghetti sauce).

While this process may take some time, it couldn't be easier to carry out. I occasionally stir, as I'm walking through the kitchen from time to time. No need to babysit the paste, it will continue to simmer, unattended, quite nicely!

I've been using this process for four years now and am amazed at how fresh the paste remains - even after an entire year in the freezer.

NOTE: to prevent discoloration (which doesn't affect flavor), add a few drops of lemon juice.

RJ's Tangy Barbecue Sauce

2 cups tomato paste
3/4 cups brown sugar or Splenda (for low carb version)
1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
1 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Pour tomato paste into a non-reactive sauce pan (I use stainless), on low/medium heat. Add butter and begin to simmer. 
  • Add all other ingredients and simmer until desired consistency is obtained, stirring frequently. 
Serve immediately or allow to cool and store. I use an old, squeeze ketchup bottle. I'm a MasterPiece Barbecue Sauce lover, and this is just as good. If you use Splenda, this recipe is good for low carb diets. 

Will be good to use for several weeks - but probably won't last that long!

RJ's Artisan Pizza

Your favorite white bread recipe (will make two pizzas)

For each pizza:
1/2 recipe of bread dough, ready to bake
6 oz. tomato paste
Toppings as desired
Seasonings as desired
Mozzarella cheese (we make our own)

Roll out dough and place on pizza stone. Add paste and spread evenly. If you use raw vegetables add them as well. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven. Add other ingredients and layer as desired. Make sure fresh herbs and seasonings are beneath other ingredients, including cheese. Bake for an additional 6-7 minutes and then kick up to high heat broil, until golden brown. Allow to rest, then cut and serve.

This pizza dough is light, tender and thin. If you have a favorite recipe for pizza dough or prefer a thicker dough, use your own recipe. We sometimes bake it in a large cast iron skillet as well.

What type of homemade foods do you make? Ketchup? Cheese? Breads? Share your recipes in the combox!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Novena to Saint Afra - Martyr for Conversion

As the wife of a convert, I have an affinity for the saints tasked with converting souls for the Church Jesus brought to us in His human role. During our lives, we are all in need of conversion from our sinful ways, as well. Two obvious favorites, Saint Monica and Saint Augustine, quickly come to mind. However, there are other, less commonly known saints to petition as well. One example is Saint Afra whose feast day is August 5th. How fitting, then to pray for the intercession of this former pagan for the next nine days.

This former barmaid and prostitute's character was so nefarious that she was instrumental in the corruption of many youths in her city of Augsburg, in Bavaria. Yet Divine Grace triumphed when this most wretched creature was brought, from the very lowest abyss of disrepute, to the glory of martyrdom.

Tradition holds that Saint Afra and her entire family, as well as her three servants, were converted by the holy bishop, Saint Narcissus. It appears that, for the rest of her life, she recollected and was tortured by her past crimes against God. This lead her to liberally give to the poor, who sometimes refused her charity because they considered it the wages of sin. She would then fervently pray to God for remission of her offenses and beseech them to accept her gifts.

Saint Afra was arrested during the persecution of Diocletian, and brought before a judge, named Gaius, who said to her: “Come now, sacrifice to the gods; it is better to live than to die amid torments.”

Saint Afra replied: “The sins which I have committed before I knew the true God are sufficient; wherefore I cannot now do that which thou commandest. I never will do so: it would be adding a new insult to my God.”

When the judge ordered her to repair the temple, she answered, “My temple is Jesus Christ, whom I have continually before mine eyes, and to whom I every day confess my sins. Since I am unworthy to offer him any other sacrifice, I am anxious to sacrifice myself, in order that this body, with which I have offended him, may be purified by torments; this reflection shall make me suffer most willingly.”

Some accounts relate that Saint Afra was martyred by being burned alive, while others say she was beheaded. Her feast day is August 5th. Read more of her story at Catholic Saints and Catholic Answers.  

Feel free to leave your intentions in the combox. Start on Sunday, July 27. Will you join us in praying this prayer as well as an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the next 9 days?

+   +   +

          Prayer to Saint Afra for Conversion - Daily for 9 Days beginning Sunday, July 27

Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Savior of the World, we humbly beseech you, by your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of your fold may one day be converted to You, Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, Who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
Saint Afra, pray for the conversion of souls. Saint Afra, we beseech you to intercede on behalf of [mention your intention]. Saint Afra, pray for us! 
Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

9 Intentions as We Pray the Saint Anne Novena

Glorious St. Ann, filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I recommend to you under your special protection.

St. Ann, please, recommend to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue.
St. Ann cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. (Mention petition now.)

Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and with You and Mary and all the saints, praising and blessing Him through all eternity. Amen.

Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, sweetness, and hope, pray for me. 

Click this link to follow the St. Anne Novena online.  

St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandmother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, was not called by name in the canonical gospels. Instead we find our information about her from apocryphal literature. Anne, derived from Hebrew, is a name meaning 'grace' and is befitting of she who brought forth she who bore our Savior. In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, her name is given in its Arabic form, Hannah. In the capacity of Forbear of God, she is celebrated during two of the Twelve Great Feasts - the Birth of Mary and the Dedication of Mary to the Temple.

Since the feast of St. Anne is celebrated on July 26th in the western calendar and July 25th on the eastern calendar, many of us are now observing the devotion of praying a Novena for her intercession on our behalf. Although we usually personalize our intentions when praying a Novena, St. Anne in known for being the patroness of several causes. Therefore I present the following nine petitions:

1. St. Anne patroness of unmarried women - intercede for those who are seeking a spouse, contemplating marriage, or discerning the religious life as a sister or nun. May their discernment be made with grace and true love, we pray to the Lord.

2. St. Anne, patroness of housewives - intercede on behalf of women who tend to their households, whether they be single, married, mothers, or caretakers. May they pursue this calling with a selfless love of God and others, we pray to the Lord.
3. St. Anne, patroness of women in labor - intercede on behalf of mothers who are currently pregnant, trying to conceive, suffering from health issues related to their feminine role, those in the process of birth, and all mothers who lovingly tend to their children. May they find comfort and peace in the loving bosom of your daughter, Mary, we pray to the Lord.

4. St. Anne, patroness of grandmothers - intercede for those whose motherhood has reached its second generation. May these mothers of mothers and fathers be inspired to gently present a virtuous example for all in their extended families, we pray to the Lord.

5. St. Anne, patroness of horseback riders - intercede for those whose livelihood or recreation involve our equine friends. May they remain gentle and safe in their pursuits as good stewards of Gods creatures, we pray to the Lord.

6. St. Anne, patroness of cabinet-makers - in as much as your son-in-law was a carpenter, may you intercede for others who pursue this noble craft. Protect them from harm and guide their hands in virtuous creation, we pray to the Lord.

7. St. Anne, patroness of the Mi'kmaq people - intercede on behalf of these first inhabitants of Canada, that justice and peace may fill their lives in their indigenous land, we pray to the Lord. 

8. St. Anne, protector from storms - intercede on behalf of those who suffer from natural disasters, such as storms, floods, earthquakes. May they find shelter, comfort, and aid when needed, we pray to the Lord.

9. St. Anne, patroness of miners - inasmuch as Christ is compared to gold and Mary to silver, remember all those whose livelihood depends on the depths of the earth. May miners be protected from danger and harm, while those who employ them take gentle care of their safety, we pray to the Lord.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pro-Life, Pro-Gun Rant - Misrepresentations That Drive Me Crazy

We all have inequities that send us over the edge. Those pesky slants, people put on happenings, that completely distort reality. I have many such peeves but wanted to share one such misrepresentation and the meme it drove me to create.

Misrepresentation - Guns kill people, they kill more people, more of the time and they should be outlawed. Actually, gun violence is significantly lower than in past years. You wouldn't know that if you listen to the media or read what those who want to stomp on the 2nd Amendment have to say. These same people will often say nary a word about the senseless killing of millions of unborn babies - killing that happens because of convenience or fear or misinformation. Here's my meme using a stat that might catch your attention:

According to the article,  Gun violence in US has fallen dramatically over past 20 years, Justice Dept. report finds, in US News/NBC, "the highest number (of gun offenders), 40 percent, said the guns came from a family member or a friend. About 37 percent said the weapons were stolen or obtained from an illegal source". That's almost 80% of guns acquired by gun offenders. So why the push to ban gun ownership for law-abiding citizens?

In case you suspect that I'm cherry-picking my stats, let me share two more links from the main-stream media:

On the other hand, no matter how many times President Obama and other democrats, liberals, and feminists say they care about protecting the lives of innocent children, they never make the transition to respecting the lives of unborn children. Instead, these littlest brothers and sisters of ours are called a 'mistake' and a punishment - even while they are sacrificed at the altar of convenience and fear. Yet a quick look at the comparison of the numbers begs the question, "why the inequity"?

In case you're wondering how many reported abortions there are in the United States, I'll share this link from the Guttmacher Institute (reporting arm of Planned Parenthood). According to their numbers "30% of women will have an abortion by age 45". That's no small number! This doesn't take into account the multitude of other abortions that go unreported - prenatal lives lost due to the abortifacient aspect of the Pill, Plan B (morning after pill), and D & C surgeries performed on women whose babies who still have beating hearts. This last is a moral crime against both the mother and the child, and was offered to a young woman I know, when it appeared she would have a miscarriage. Check out the other stats available from the Guttmacher Institute, by following the link below. Knowing their sentiments, I'd judge their numbers to be as low as possible. The reality is most likely much grimmer. I've also added a pro-life site with their sourced facts.

If this post makes you go 'hmmm', why not share it and let the rest of the world catch up to what we, the people of the pro-life movement already know. ABORTION kills an innocent victim - every time! If you want to stop violence against the innocent, against children - work to stop abortion!