I like to consider myself a Catholic Christian. These are some of my stories and observations.
I like to consider myself a Catholic Christian. These are some of my stories and observations.
“Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry”
-St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcino
When Collin was rather small, washing his hair was a big ordeal. I would tell him to look up so that when I poured the rinse water on his head, the shampoo and water would flow down his back instead of into his eyes. He would look up for a fleeting moment then suddenly in fear he would put his head down forcing all the soapy water to go into his face, eyes and mouth causing him pain and tears. I would even hold his chin in one hand while pouring with the other but it was still a struggle to keep his eyes looking at ceiling. “Look up and trust me,” I would tell him. Yet still he pulled away from me. I had to wonder just why it was such a hard thing for him to do. It was as frustrating for me to wash his hair as it was for him to have his hair washed.
“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26)
I suppose it is an old cliché to tell someone to look up when attempting to make them feel better. But it is so very true. And I am not saying that everything we go through with our children is a lesson for us to learn from our Father God. Although I did write the book, did I not? Still I do the exact same thing to God as Collin did with me. When there are problems, I looked to him ever so fleetingly and then look down at the problems and even at times obsessively work over them in my mind as if somehow, I can change the situation. The very thing that I may fear the most comes down into my senses blinding me with pain and tears. How silly of me to not look up and be unafraid. Yet I struggle with trust. Can this awesome perfect God really care about my problems enough to hold my chin in his hand while he washes away the dirt that I have managed to bring upon my head? I do believe that God is an awesome God of Love and I do believe that He sent his only son to die for me because He loves me. So why do I not believe that He will take care of me? How do I come to accept that his love for me is greater than my unworthy existence?
“For am I convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers in the sky above or in the earth below, indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
I can only imagine how frustrating it has to be for my Father God to keep telling me to look up and not be afraid only to have me pull away and look down. “Someday if only you would trust me,” had to be in his thoughts. What more could I have done for you that I did not already do and you still do not trust me, he would say of the Israelites. He decimated Egypt and put the Egyptians first born to death so they could live as free men and women. He separated the waters of the sea before them. He gave them water from the rock and bread from heaven yet still they grumbled against the Great I am, not looking up to him but down at probably about anything for which they could find fault.
“Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalms 136:13)
If today I decide to trust, if for no other reason than to see what this loving God will do for me, would I be any worse off than looking down at the problems most of which I have created all on my own and filling my soul with fear and anxiety? Of course not. So, at some point even now at this late hour, I have to change my thinking. I have to deliberately put fear away and look up to see God with me, cradling my chin in his hand and wiping my tears away. It is very possible that while I was looking down, He was looking at me, smiling, and telling me softly, “Do not be afraid, I got this one.” I do not want to miss seeing him smile down at me again. I want to look up. I want to be as sure as Paul was sure that nothing can separate me from the Love of Jesus Christ.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
“For those who know your name, put their trust in you, for you, O Lord have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)
“The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.” – Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.
The year was 1976 and I was a young college student working on my degree in Anthropology with emphasis in Archaeology. Our teachers talked up a debate that was to be held on campus between one of our professors and a local minister over Evolution vs Creation. I probably would not have gone if it were not for my friend Paula talking me into going with her. Her feelings were very different from mine. She thought the experience was exhilarating and I thought it was rather silly. For unlike most of people studying Anthropology, I was a Catholic Christian and to me, one side of the debate told how and the other told of who and why. They were two sides of the same story. Yet people felt compelled to take sides as if they could never be one and the same.
Anthropology was making news all of the time with the findings of new human like creatures and timelines for their comings and goings were changing and creating new lines of humanoid development simulating new theories almost yearly. It was and still is an exciting time of discovery. Yet for all the discoveries, evolution is still just a theory not a law. It would be tragic for someone to base their lack of faith in God over a few splinters of ancient bones scattered over the wades of Africa and Asia.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1)
But I think it would be tragic as well to ignore the work of God in the mechanics of his creating. To learn how awesome the work of God in creating us on the earth is another level of appreciation for the greatness of our God. If it is OK for Christians to study how the planets revolve around the sun, why would it be wrong for Christians to study how God created life and transformed it over all the earth? And event though evolution is still a theory, if it were true, I would wonder if it were not a small way to keep us humble in the knowledge that we are not so very different from the animals with whom we share our world.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:4)
If you can just bear with me for a bit while I attempt to remedy the two points of view in my own simplistic and unscientific way.
First of all, the bible does not say how long Adam was in the garden of Eden naming all the animals, God created before he became lonely and God created Eve. And it does not say how long Adam and Eve were in the garden before Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and they were driven out of the garden. Also, we do not know where exactly Eden was located. Somewhere to the east? Part of the Earth, yet hidden from man? We cannot exactly go there to visit today no matter how well Google maps work. Now this is not an exact science, but because we know that one day for God is like 1,000 years on earth, then it is quite possible that Adam and Eve could have been in the garden of Eden for what would be millions of earth’s years.
“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years,” (2 Peter 3:8)
Did God drive out the animals with Adam and Eve or were they being developed by God for earth’s existence? Were these the same animals in Eden? Yet, God does give us a clue. He tells us that there were others, giants, on the earth before Adam and Eve. The Bible infers that Adam and Eve were not alone when they left the garden.
“When men began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of heaven saw how beautiful the daughters of man were, and so they took them for their wives as many of them as they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2)
“At that time the Nephilim appeared on earth (as well as later*), after the sons of heaven had intercourse with the daughters of man, who bore them sons. These were heroes of old, the men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4)
This has to be the most puzzling set of bible quotes of the old testament. Yet it may give us a clue as to whom Adam and Eve’s children married. If not other brothers and sisters then perhaps the children Nephilim. If we consider the sons of Adam and Eve to the be the sons of God and the daughters of the Nephilim to be the daughters of man so that in this way, God supplied the needed spouses. Is it not possible that while Adam walked with God in the garden, God was creating the Nephilim and is it not possible God created the Nephilim through evolution? And for those who may argue the time does not match up we have to ask by what measurements are old testament ages made, God’s or man’s?
How interesting it is to note that a creature on earth existed a mere 30,000 to 50,000 years ago, whom scientists named Neanderthal man classified as Homo sapiens subspecies neanderthalensis and they were close enough as a subspecies of modern man, Homo sapiens subspecies sapiens they could interbreed and there is good evidence they did interbreed during the Middle Paleolithic and early Late Paleolithic. This will explain the presence of Neanderthal DNA in your DNA tests. Scientists have also traced a Mitochondrial Eve through the DNA that only is passed from mother to child coming out of Africa. She is the first female of our species.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” (Genesis 3:15)
Scientists who rely on their knowledge to explain the entirety of the universe are perhaps the most closed minded of all. What they gain for knowledge they lose in wisdom. I cannot fathom how anyone could possibly look at the intricate design of the universe and not see the hand of the Creator. Everything around us points to the infinite mind of Father God. The big bang theory is so Genesis. If mere man wrote the creation of the universe in Genesis, they would never have started with God creating light and darkness first. How strange it would seem to not start with sun since it was the main light that primitive man would know, but the sun does not come on the scene until day four. I can see God holding all the matter and anti-matter of the universe in the palm of his hand and squeezing it together to the point when He opened his hand, the universe exploded onto the scene and has been expanding ever since. He designed every atom and molecule. He set it into motion. To say that the universe began all on it own is simply crazy. We know this for certain, there was a starting point for when the universe began.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)
Even more insane is to believe that life could begin in the primordial soup with the ability to multiply itself without the hand of a creator. Life does not just abide on the earth it flourishes in great abundance and diversity. The entire earth is infested with life.
“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures.’” (Genesis 1:24)
In his conversion from atheism, Dr. Anthony Flew, author of “There is A God”, explained that life on earth could only be explained by an intelligent source. He stated, “The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins’ comical effort to argue in the “The God Delusion”, that the origin of life can be attributed to a ‘lucky chance.’ If that’s the best argument you have, then the game is over.” The burden of proof is placed more on the scientist to prove God does not exist.
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
The design of our world is so intricate and amazing that if anything, I could never stop believing in God no matter what science can prove next because I continually see the hand of God in all things great and small and never tire of learning how our awesome God designed the universe. As Einstein once remarked, ‘There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as everything is a miracle.’ I see the miracles.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)
· “How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind”; Dr. Benjamin Wilker. https://strangenotions/Flew
“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” – Andre Malraux
I am not sure how the conversation came up in the widow/widower support group I belonged to at the time. It may have been due to the impending presidential election and everyone speaking their minds, but one widower in our THEOS group spoke up. “I am pro-abortion,” he said. It seemed that Fred had been a policeman in St Louis and his experiences in finding the dead bodies of aborted babies in the street hardened his heart to wanting abortion to be legal.
“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:5)
I cannot explain how seeing the dead bodies of babies in the street would make legal abortion something to be desired. Was it because it became his job to dispose of the bodies that he wanted abortion clinics to handle the mess? I did not ask. All I remember is his saying, “I felt so sorry for those women having to do that to themselves.” Yet he had no sorrow for the babies that lay dead in the streets of downtown St. Louis. I guess it is easier if you do not have to see the dead bodies and it makes abortion nothing more than blobs of unwanted tissue. But Fred could tell what they were. He could see they were dead babies. And he was sure that legal abortion was the answer to the problem.
“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;” (Zechariah 8:16)
So just what do these safe legal abortion places do with the bodies? In the 70s and 80s, it was common for prolife groups to find the bodies thrown into the dumpsters in the back alleys behind the abortion clinics. Like so much unwanted garbage, they were left there usually in defiance of laws against the indiscriminate dumping of medical waste. Grizzly reminders of what the fruit of abortion truly is. The humble members of the pro-life movement devoted themselves to properly handing and burying the dead. As word of the shocking discoveries were made and an outcry against these practices arose, abortion clinics began to buy large industrial size garbage disposals. According to the various abortionists, even when it became illegal to dispose of the bodies this way, laws were lax and compliance not strictly enforced. Therefore, they continued to use the garbage disposals since it was much cheaper than using the services of a funeral home or crematorium. The aborted infant’s remains would be flushed into the garbage dispose, down into the sewage system where the water was transferred to a waste water treatment center and the water recycled into the city’s water supply. Unfortunately, they still had problem of getting the bigger second and third trimester babies to go down into the garbage disposal. Ultimately, their goal was to find the cheapest and easiest means of getting rid of the bodies.
“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
Renee Chelian, executive director of an abortion clinic in Detroit, Michigan, at the 2014 National Abortion Federation conference in San Francisco, complained about having too many infants remains to dispose of, for which she stated she could have up to five-months-worth of aborted infant remains in her freezer at any one time. She disliked her need to use the garbage disposal and she discussed how the various abortion clinics should unite and buy a parcel of land in Detroit on which to build an incinerator and share the costs of disposing of the bodies. Ironically, she apparently never thought of how much this process would resemble the Nazi death camps and crematoriums. The audience laughed with her when she stated she wanted to drive to some desolated place in the woods, build a bonfire where no one would see her and dispose of all those unwanted bodies.
“Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die. Don’t try to disclaim responsibility by saying you didn’t know about it.” (Proverbs 24:11-12)
How and when exactly someone discovered they could make a profit from the bodies is unclear. They started to harvest the organs and sell them to medical supply companies. The demand for baby parts was huge and the profit even bigger. Like Nazis who found a way to use the skin of dead Jews for lamp shades, abortion clinics found a way to make an even greater killing off the baby’s dead bodies. When the sick nature of the process was exposed by the Center for Medical Progress, the members of the team exposing the crimes by workers at Planned Parenthood were themselves arrested and sued. The obvious videos were declared ‘edited’ in order to discredit the truth provided. And once again the plight of the disposal of the dead went silent.
“The Lord hates hands that shed innocent blood.” (Proverbs 6:16)
In Vietnam, a courageous man named Tong Phuoc Phuc decided it was wrong for the bodies to be simply thrown into the garbage or flushed down the sewage system He asked for and received the bodies of the aborted and then began to give them a proper burial. He has literally buried over 11,000 of little aborted babies, saying, “It is the least I can do.” He then began to speak to women going in for abortions. He takes in up to 35 young pregnant women at a time in his small humble residence where he and his wife help them until after the baby is born. Some have dropped off their children for Tong to raise making it a large orphanage as well. His home has become a pro-life haven.
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
As a result of the pro-life movement and the finding of the babies in the dumpsters, numerous memorials to the unborn child have arisen though out our nation. It is possible for all who desire to honor the babies lost to abortion and miscarriage with simple memorials as a reminder that even the smallest of mankind touches the lives of us all. It is a small act of healing for our hearts and the mission for which we are called, to show compassion to the least of our brothers and sisters in life and in death.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)
Also, I would not drink the water in Detroit if I were you.
I fled Him, down the nights, and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine days
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears;
– From ‘The Hound of Heaven’ by Francis Thompson.
“Who would want him?”
The question took me back a bit. The person speaking to me meant well. He is a good person, but his question showed a lack of understanding.
“Really, Mary, who would want him?”
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
He was speaking about Collin and how I was afraid he might be kidnapped on one of his many escapes. Who would want him? I mentioned how there were so many perverts who steal a child.
He answered, “Oh yeah, I didn’t think of that.”
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
He looked at Collin through the prism of what his ideal of a perfect child should be. Downs is not perfect. In his world view, only healthy perfect children were worthy of being wanted. His children are perfect beautiful people. Collin is not. The sad part is that they no more want to know Collin than they want to see him as God sees him. It is only when we open our hearts to love, that we see what God sees.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” (Ephesians 1:18)
Collin is not the perfect child. Collin has a disability but by the love of God who may allow a child a disability, He also gives him a great strength and that strength is love. No greater power in heaven and on earth exists. It is the essence of God himself. Collin’s innocent capacity to love is greater than any so-called normal child and it makes him more like God than you and I. Who wants him? I want him because he is mine and I love him.
“to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ.” (Acts 26:18)
There are times when Collin tries my very soul. I am pushed the edge of my patience. There are times when I honestly wonder if I can go any further. It is in these times that I must turn to God and ask, “How often have I pushed you to the limit of your patience with me?” “How often did you wonder at the limits of faithlessness as I ran from you?” And I know that these are the moments when I have to get on my knees and thank God for all He has done for me. Collin has become the Lord’s instrument in pulling me back to Himself.
“What are mere mortals that you should be mindful of them, of human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:4)
And just what is it that we see when we look into the mirror? We were lost and in deep pits of despair. Our sins were as red as blood. We were filthy as the blackness that tainted our souls. Just who would want us? We come searching for our savior with scars of pain and abuse. We look for help around us and find none. Where do we finally turn when there is no where else to turn? And why, just why would this perfect creator want us? There is nothing we can do to pay for our sins, far too great a price it is not possible. Yet, the perfect lamb of God steps in and offers himself in our place. Why, because we are his and He loves us. He wants us.
“But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
In India, in one of the poorest areas of the world, the dying laid in the street unwanted and unloved. Who would want these people? Yet when St. Teresa of Calcutta picked up the dying from the streets, cared for their wounds, washed the dirt from their bodies, every act of love she and her sisters accomplished were never looked at as touching the abysses of humanity’s filth but as washing the body of Christ, tending to the wounds of Christ and lovingly caring for Christ himself. They chose to not look upon the imperfect of the world as undesirable but as Jesus in disguise. In inner locutions and visions, Jesus would plead with Mother Teresa, “Come be my light, I cannot go alone.” Apparently, Jesus wanted them.
God makes it so easy for me. I was not called to clean lice out of the wounds of the dying in Calcutta but was given a “forever child”. A child who can show and give more love than any other so-call perfect child. My first husband, Tom, had worked with Downs adults and once when seeing a Downs young man with his parents, he told me, “See that one, the more you love those children, the better they are.” Today I would tell him, ”No, the more we let them love us, the better we are.”
Let our prayer to always be, Lord open the eyes of my heart that I may see what you see and love what you love and hate what you hate.
“Living is easy with eyes closed.” John Lennon
I met Cindy in the mid 1980’s. She was a young woman with small children and I got to know Cindy because she came to my door selling Avon. She was a couple of years younger than I was and managed to convince me that I should sell Avon as well. It was a good lesson for me in that I learned without reservations, I am not a sales person. I was very poor at selling and managed to mess up most of the orders I took. As we sat talking about life and about selling Avon, she was rather upset. It seems that in the news paper that morning, there was a ruling in the state of Minnesota, I believe, that forbid a mother from suing a drunk driver for the death of her unborn child. Cindy was livid. It seems that she had had a miscarriage fairly far along in one of her pregnancies. She spoke of how she and her husband had so longed for this baby. How they had planned for her birth. Then she was devastated when the baby died. “How dare them,” she cried. “My baby was every bit a person as any new born child. What gives them the right to say there was no victim?”
I did not want to get into any argument but I quietly answered, “As long as abortion is legal, then they can’t say the unborn baby is alive and a victim.”
Cindy’s reaction took me by surprise. Her anger took a 180 degree turn as now she was angry with me for saying something negative about abortion. I really did not say something negative though, I only stated the facts. If a mother can choose to kill her baby up until the day that child is born, then how can the state say the unborn baby is a victim in one case but not in another?
“The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.” (Psalm 146:8)
Cindy explained how before she got married, she was working at a mall in the southeast section of Albuquerque. She had been walking to her car after the mall was closed one dark night and heard footsteps behind her. She decided to run to her car just in case someone was behind her and her instincts were dead on and her decision run was a very good one indeed. She no sooner got into her car and locked the door when a man tried to get into her car with her. He was angry that she had gotten away from him so he pounded on the driver’s door shouting obscenities. Then he jumped on the hood of her car and started banging on the front window. Terrified, Cindy gunned the car out of the parking space leaving the man in the lot behind her. There were a series of rather well published accounts in the local newspaper of a serial rapist in this area and Cindy was certain she had met him that night in the mall parking lot.
Now I was confused. She was angry for the courts ruling an unborn child is not a victim. Then she was angry at me because I said it was because of legal abortion. It was like her emotions collided head on. Cindy, I don’t think you can have it both ways. But like so many pro-abortion women before her that I had met, most are victims or as in Cindy’s case, near victims of sexual assault. I understand to a point. No one most certainly wants to be sexually assaulted or raped. It is a horrible crime that should never happen. The desire to control what happens to our body is not an abnormal response or desire – it is paramount to our wellbeing and self-preservation. The good news is that rape rarely results in pregnancy. That sad news is that it does happen and even if rarely the thought of carrying a child because of rape is terrifying.
The very thing that makes rape so horrible is that an innocent helpless person is subjected to a terrible brutal indignity that changes their life forever. Sadly, this is the same thing that happens to the unborn child in abortion. A helpless innocent person is subjected to a terrible, brutal indignity that results in their painful death – a life cut short forever.
“I will bring distress on mankind, so that the they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.” (Zephaniah 1:17)
Even today in some states, do not allow a person to be prosecuted in the death of a preborn baby. Deaths of preborn babies are not even counted in the death toll of mass killings. Drunk drivers in these states cannot be charged with murder if an accident only kills a preborn infant. You can assault a pregnant woman and even if the baby inside of her dies, it is not murder, the charge will only be assault against the woman. If a man feeds his pregnant girlfriend an abortifacient that kills the unborn baby, it is not manslaughter.
“But whoever hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:11)
We thought that we were making progress when the Unborn Victims of Violence Bill was passed and signed by President George W Bush in 2004 that defined a preborn baby as fully human. But federal law does not have jurisdiction over state laws and currently only 38 states have a similar Unborn Victim Laws. The irony is even though the bill states that the child in utero is fully Homo Sapiens – a member of the human race, it makes abortion exempt from prosecution. We are back where we started. I can kill my baby in the womb and call it choice but if you kill my baby in my womb it is murder. The result is the same, one dead baby. If murder is the taking of human life how can the intent of someone’s choice make the result any different?
“to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:18)
I wonder about Cindy today and if she ever able to reconcile her two equally painful emotional experiences that collided that morning. Before that moment, she blinded herself to the truth in order to live with the conundrum that allowed her to form the opinion that life in the womb is only relevant if you want that child, that abortion is a necessary evil and then in the end analysis stay blind and try not think of it at all. It is blindness that creates the conundrum and blindness that allows it us to live with it rather than solve it.
“Then Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgement, so that those who do not see might see and those who do see might become blind.’” (John 9:39)
Curtesy of the National Right to Life Organization: http://www.nrlc.org
On Jan. 7, Ashley Lyons, 18, of Scott County, Ky., was found shot to death in her car. Only hours earlier, she and her mother, Carol, had watched a brand-new ultrasound videotape of Ashley’s unborn son, Landon.
“Nobody can tell me that there were not two victims,” Carol Lyons said. “I placed Landon in his mother’s arms, wrapped in a baby blanket that I had sewn for him, just before I kissed my daughter goodbye for the last time and closed the casket”
See attached picture for second story.
In both of these cases, no murder charges were filed on behalf of the unborn child. Murder? Involuntary manslaughter? Reckless homicide? No. It was not legal to do so.
States that currently do not recognize pre-birth babies as victims of violence:
Colorado, Maine, Wyoming, Delaware, New Mexico, Georgia, Iowa, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii and New Jersey.
States which only have partial coverage for the deaths of unborn babies:
California, Maryland, Montana, Rhode Island, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New York.
“Christ does not force our will, He only takes what we give Him. But He does not give Himself entirely until He sees that we yield ourselves entirely to Him.”
St Teresa of Avila
As a Catholic, when we receive Holy Communion, we come up to the altar and then either kneel or bow before the Presence of Jesus. Then, as we take the Communion the Priest or minister will say, “Body of Christ” and we respond, “Amen”. It is a holy minute in our lives as we take within us, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. When I am going up to Communion, I hear the others saying, “Amen” and depending on whether they pronounce amen with a short a or a long a, it sometimes sounds to me as if they are saying, “I’m in”.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
Either way we say it, it would be true. Amen simply means, “So be it.” Yet, our response to the word of God made flesh is no simple trivial matter. It is a powerful acclamation of faith to our savior, Jesus. Anyone who would approach the altar of God and say, “Amen” should never be Sunday-only believers. This response to God is a declaration to believing all that the word of God teaches us. It is our defining moment in life that surpasses the notion of time and space and delivers us to the authority of Christ. I would pray that all who say, “Amen” would be on fire with love of God.
“Always carrying about in the body of the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4:10-11)
There are a number of people I know who live and breathe their faith. I hope to be like them. For them, it is not a matter of once a week or an occasional thing. It is the ardent desire to be possessed by the Holy Spirit, living with the blood of Christ flowing through us and doing the will of God. That is what the real “Amen” means. To seek the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our minds and all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We have found the pearl of great price and there is no turning back. We have placed our hand to the plow and forward we must go. It must reach a point where we no longer live for ourselves but for Christ in us. Amen, count me in Lord.
“I know your works; that you are neither cold, nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. But because you are lukewarm and are neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Revelations 3:15-16)
Nearly seventy times in the gospel’s, Jesus begins his teaching with “Amen lego humin” or “Truly, I say to you,” as a way to declare his divinity. (In John’s Gospel, the word amen, is always doubled.) In stark contrast to the words of the prophets, “Thus says the Lord”, Jesus will say “Amen, I say to you”, asserting his authority even over the Jewish interpretations of the law. This is why the people were so engaged when He spoke because no one spoke like him. The strength of his Godly authority was in every amen.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one has been reborn anew, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
“Amen I say to you, certainly, until heaven and earth pass away, not one iota, not one dot shall pass away from the law, until all is done.” (Matthew 5:18)
“Again, you have heard it said to the ancients: ‘You shall not swear falsely. For you shall repay your oaths to the Lord.’ But [amen] I say to you, do not swear an oath at all, neither by heaven for it is the throne of God nor by earth, for it is his footstool, nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king.” (Matthew 5:33-35)
We have found our purpose in life and we relish the inner peace and joy that it gives to us. What a great and awesome God we serve who brings us home and calls us his children. Amen, I’m in.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now life in the flesh I live b faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“’The time has come, the walrus said, ‘to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.’” – The Walrus and the Carpenter. By Lewis Carrol.
They call themselves the Ethical Society of St. Louis, MO, which is quite an oxymoron. It’s a group of people who want to appear good without God. In their minds it is a noble desire but in reality, they form their ideas of right and wrong to fit a cultural narrative. If you base what is good and what is evil without the ultimate truth, you can form ideals that may have no basis in goodness and light. Ethical then becomes not so much being good for good sake but kidding yourself into believing you have a moral superiority over others because, well, you thought long and hard about it. Such was the case when the president of the Ethical Society wrote an editorial in the St. Louis Post Dispatch defending abortion as a moral good.
“Woe to those who call evil good and evil good, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
His idea was simply that since an acorn is not an oak tree, then a fetus is not a human. Acorns, he stated were only potential oak trees and as only potential oaks not real oaks. Fetuses were the same, since they were only potential human beings, they should never be accorded the same status as ‘real’ or actual human beings ergo, this makes abortion legally and ethically correct.
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24)
It is a wonder at what point you can delude yourself into thinking a human pre-birth baby is anything like an acorn, much less use such an allegory to base an ethical decision on life or death. He tells us, we are to imagine, that a growing fetus who within nineteen to twenty days of conception has a beating heart, a heart which will beat until that person dies, is not a living human being. And somehow this human, ‘potential’ life is not to be valued or respected. Even though it is estimated that one in 10,000 acorns actual start growing into a tree, according to this person, we are to believe that the acorn’s potential to be a tree is all that it is, potential and not real and human life can be perceived as such.
“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town in Judah, where she entered the home of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child in your womb. Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:39-44)
Mary went in haste to see Elizabeth since the Angel Gabriel told her, Elizabeth was six months with child and the presence of Jesus in Mary’ womb – only seven to ten days after his conception caused great joy to the baby, John the Baptist, in Elizabeth’s womb. Two babies in the womb made a spiritual connection in no way possible if merely seeds.
If we apportion potential to something or someone to decide its value, then it becomes possible to say that babies that are born alive are not adult humans, they only have the potential to be adult humans, like any oak that sprouts in garden where it is not wanted, it may be weeded out since it is not a fully mature oak tree. At what point do you draw the line. Potential can always be the something that someone has not yet achieved making that someone less valuable or even valueless.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
It was not because we had the potential to be his followers but because even as we are, Christ loved us unto his death.
The discussion of life becomes like so much shrubbery, a nice hedge if that is what you want. Did he forget to mention that there is nothing unethical about chopping down a growing oak tree? It nowhere invokes the feelings one has about babies and children. A nice touch if you want to de-humanize a living growing baby in the womb. I could assure them that this growing life is every bit as real as you and me if they would but look at the ultrasounds and study the science. But it is not ‘real’ that they are looking for, it’s the potential they seek.
“Because God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome.” (Wisdom 1:13-14)
An acorn is a beautiful thing especially to squirrels, but even as a most beautiful stately tree, it will never possess the spirit of a human being. It will always be a plant and any resemblance to human life is ridiculous at best and smug and arrogant at the worst. Without the ultimate truth in our lives, we are reduced and deluded into such nutty positions attempting to justify a terrible evil for our own uses or benefits.
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalms 127:3)
“Did not He who made me in the womb make him, and the same one fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:15)
This ‘Acorn Philosophy’ is nuts.