Monday, January 18, 2010

March for Life 2010

A few mornings ago, I found that my 8-year-old and her younger brother had been busy  making signs. One read “Abortion is wrong!” and the other read “Do not kill babies!”  I was very proud that they were inspired to do this on their own. We had planned on bringing them with us, but unfortunately, we left them at home.
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It was a beautiful day for the march. The temperature reached the 60s today, and the sun shone brightly.
1-17-10 March for Life 11-17-10 March for Life 9 
I was happy to see some of the doctors I’ve worked with walking with us this year.
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At the end of our walk up to the capitol, we heard the testimonies of women who had undergone abortions. God bless them for speaking to such a large crowd about such a personal and painful experience. It was sad to listen to, but even sadder to me was how similar their stories were to the stories that I’ve heard from some of my own friends who have had abortions. 
Abortion is not what it is made out to be by Planned Parenthood. Do you think you can just walk in, get an abortion, problem solved, and go on with your life as before? There are serious physical risks with abortion. Women die from “safe” legal abortions. Women are deformed and disabled by legal abortions. Women suffer infertility and repeated miscarriages after legal abortions. There are serious psychological risks with abortion. Women suffer from Post-Abortion Syndrome. Women commit suicide after abortions. Women live with grief, guilt, and regret, even many years later. These women need our love and support. The reason that organizations such as Project Rachel exist is because SO many women need healing from the physical, emotional, and spiritual effects of abortion. If you are one of these women, please know that love, support, hope, and healing are available for you. Please know that someone cares about what you are going through!
1-17-10 March for Life 4 I also saw many young women carrying signs that read "Women DO regret abortion" and many young men carried signs that read "Men regret lost fatherhood." 

And I couldn’t pass up getting a picture of this beautiful little life…1-17-10 March for Life 8 This is the face of what is destroyed by abortion. This is the heart that would have stopped beating had his birth mother made another “choice”. This is the family that would have missed out on his smiling presence. 

You see, the abortion crowd is no longer trying to convince us that “it is just a clump of cells”, as they did when the horrible “choice” was made legal. That lie has been revealed by technology. We can see into the womb. We know that a baby’s heart is already beating by the time a woman realizes she has missed her period. We can see that babies react in the womb to outside noises, lights, tastes, and painful stimuli. We have good evidence that pain is felt as early as 8 weeks gestation (can you imagine how painful it would feel to be ripped apart in a vacuum?) NICU doctors and nurses work diligently and lovingly to save even the tiniest premature babies who can possibly be saved. That is, if their parents want them.
But that’s the thing. We’ve determined that they are human lives. It’s just that their value is determined by whether or not they are wanted by those who created them.

Now the pro-abortion crowd’s argument is MY MY MY. MY body, MY choice! I should be able to enjoy what pleasure I can without being inconvenienced by the consequence of it. I shouldn’t have to be pregnant/take care of a baby if I don’t want to. These are the ideas behind the lame arguments that my teen daughter hears frequently from some of her friends at school. They are the same ideas behind the same lame arguments that I hear from some of my adult friends.
MY wants, MY needs, MY desires first. Even if it means painfully ripping apart another innocent body. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta hit the nail on the head when she said “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you can live as you wish.” 
And what argument can we make against this mentality? How can you convince a person that that it’s really not all about THEM?

I’m teaching my five children, maybe even more if we are so blessed, about selfless love, about sacrifice, about placing others first, about right and wrong, about doing the right thing even when it’s hard, and about abortion ending an innocent life. My message is sinking in. My sixteen-year-old is proud that our family stands so firmly for life. She has said that she will teach her future children the same (and she's also hoping for a large family). ;-)
If the pro-abortionists choose to abort their children, and if they teach what children they do have that it's OK--even admirable--for them to avoid the burden and inconvenience of children if they wish...well, I’m pretty hopeful about where this debate will be in another thirty years.1-17-10 March for Life 18 

1-17-10 Mrs. Catherine(My lovely friend Catherine, who is also diligently teaching her children.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Feast of the Epiphany

In our diocese, the Feast of the Epiphany is moved to Sunday, so we celebrated yesterday. On the Epiphany, we remember the manifestations of Jesus’ divinity: at His finding by the magi, at His baptism, and at the wedding feast at Cana.DSCF0290 Fr. Harvey gave a good homily at Mass yesterday, where he mentioned that the magi who searched for the newborn king were pagan. They were pagan when they presented Him with gifts and paid Him homage. They were pagan when they returned home. There is no record of them converting, either to Judaism or Christianity after the event. Yet, God revealed Himself to them, guided them with a star, and spoke to them in a dream.
Something to ponder.

At home, the children made and decorated crowns and the Christmas star. After having a feast fit for royalty, we had a cake with a gold coin (a dollar!) baked in it. The children choose a piece of cake, youngest first and oldest last, and the one finding the coin in their piece gets to be the High King/Queen and lead our procession through the house carrying the Christmas star. This year, Mojo got the coin, but she gave it to her little sister and let her little brother carry the star. (No, they don’t share like that all the time…but it warms my heart when they do! And the reason she shared is because little brother cried and little sister threw a royal fit when they didn’t find the coin.)
 DSCF0288 After dinner, we each wrote down gifts that we will present to Jesus this coming year. These include things like making more of an effort to share, praying a daily rosary, praying a weekly Chaplet of Divine Mercy, etc. We put the “gifts” into a pretty box, and also had a censer filled with frankincense and a box of gold jewelry for our “magi” to carry. We processed through the house, following the High King, singing “We Three Kings”. We stopped at each of our outside doorways, where Daddy Bear blessed the doors with holy water, and marked the doorways with chalk--“20+C+M+B+10”. The numbers are for the current year, and C+M+B stands for“Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “May Christ bless this house.” Tradition also tells us that the names of the magi were Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. 
After blessing our doorways, we process to our Nativity scene and present our gifts before the Baby Jesus.

So concludes our celebration of Christmas for this year. Sometime this week, I’ll put away the decorations, when I get around to it. For today, we’re going to blow off work and school work so that the kids can enjoy playing in the snow. Where we live, we have snow maybe a couple days out of the year.