Thursday, March 20, 2008

Respecting the Beginning, the End, AND the Middle

“If we are careless about the beginning of life and condone abortion, or insensitive about the end of life and justify euthanasia, we have no reason to believe that there will be any respect for life in between” -- Joseph Cardinal Bernadin

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Holy, Head Start to Christmas Shopping

Why not get a head start on Christmas shopping and support pro-life, adult stem cell research at the same time? Check out BOGO Wines at It's wine with a holy mission. According to the website, "Other brands and products help save the whales, save the trees, save the polar bears, save the snowy owls, etc., but only BOGO Wines gives back to support Adult Stem Cell Research - All Life Giving Research and Therapy, and Saves the People - Born and Unborn!" For the month of October, an anonymous individual is matching all donations made by the company, and so your purchase gets an extra "bang" for the buck!

Adam and Eve ….all over again

We all know the story of Adam and Eve. Theology degree not required, my 5 year old daughter could tell the story and explain the moral. God places Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden…provides them with everything they could possibly want or need. He makes one demand…do not eat from “that” tree. The snake pays Eve a visit and entices her to eat from “that” tree. Despite God’s one and only demand she eats the forbidden fruit, shares it with Adam and original sin manifests itself in the once unblemished utopia.

Where am I going with this extremely, brief synopsis of the story of Genesis. I’m leaping ahead to the current debate on stem cell research. Let’s start with some of the most basic facts about stem cell research. Our scientists have brilliantly discovered that stem cells from the human body can reproduce themselves. This amazing phenomenon allows damaged cells the ability to repair and or regenerate into healthy cells, resulting in a cure of many of today’s diseases. Treatments are already occurring in people suffering from leukemia, aplastic anemia and a variety of other diseases.

When looking at stem cell research, it is important to note the three types of stem cell research that are currently on the debate table. Adult stem cells, umbilical cord stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells are the only two that have shown any progress in treating and or curing an illness. Embryonic stem cells have neither cured nor treated any illness yet to date. May I repeat that again…embryonic stem cells have neither cured nor treated any illness yet to date. Scientists have not been able to control the regeneration of the embryonic stem cells without leading to rapid tumor growth.

What do we hear about in the variety of media that we are all bombarded with on a daily basis? Embryonic stem cell research. Most people don’t even know about adult stem cells, even fewer know about umbilical cord stem cells. The media floods the headlines and airwaves with possible, far reaching medical possibilities that embryonic stem cell research might one day provide the diseased or ailing patient.

Have any of you heard about the boy cured of aplastic anemia through the implantation of his sibling’s umbilical cord stem cells? Have any of you heard about the treatment of a 3 year old leukemia patient, who with the stem cells donated from her sister’s umbilical cord, has gained back her life? “Why?” is the question I want to scream at our media. Are they not supposed to report news? The medical breakthrough of a cure with adult stem cells or umbilical cord stems cells…is not news worthy but some possible future cure is news worthy? It’s quite a simple: ADULT STEM CELL CURES –YES, UMBILICAL STEM CELL CURES – YES, EMBRYONIC STEM CELL CURES – NO/NONE/NADA.

Where does the debate lie, or might I say, become clouded? Is it by the media that only reports hype and so often is irresponsible in their responsibility to convey a balanced perspective. Is it by a medical/scientific community that will use anything as a guinea pig, including the life of an embryo.

Back to Genesis. Hey guys, we talk about God providing for us as He did in the Garden of Eden. We constantly talk about and strive to trust in the provisions that He places in our lives. Well guess what…. He has again provided for us with these stem cells right in our own body. He has blessed the physical union of a mother and her child through the umbilical cord, in which he placed stem cell with the ability to cure or treat that child and or a sibling of that child. Why then do we pursue the one that is off limits, just like in the garden? Why does our world pursue the controversial one, the only one that involves taking a life? Did you ever wonder what our world would be like if Adam and Eve didn’t eat from “that” forbidden tree? We always say hindsight is 20/20. Now’s our chance… the snake is back to pay our society yet another visit, tempting our world with another apple from “that” forbidden tree, this time…let’s stomp him out. Do whatever you can to pass this information or anything like it along to anyone who will listen. Speak up and vote NO to any platform that includes embryonic stem cell research. We can never be wrong when speaking an absolute truth.

---the tirade of a stay at home mom---

Note: This was written by a Sister in Christ with a well-developed conscience. Thank you, Kathy, for so thoughtfully putting to paper God's Truth and inviting us all to live and vote reponsibly.

Monday, October 1, 2007

On my Soapbox

Excerpts from "Wrong Twin Aborted," an article from the the September 30 - October 6 edition of the National Catholic Register :

In June, a doctor in a Milan hospital mistakenly aborted a healthy baby instead of a twin sister with Down Syndrome. After discovering that the abortionist had killed the “wrong” child — the doctor was unaware the fetuses had switched position in their mother’s womb — the mother returned to the hospital to have her remaining twin aborted, as well...

Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Commission for Life, told Vatican Radio Aug. 27 that the case should prompt a renewed commitment to respect all human life from conception, including unborn children with disabilities. “And in the case that they have some sort of sickness, that means that they have more reason to be helped.”

One question raised by the double abortion is why the mistaken killing of a healthy child is considered a 'tragedy' while that of a disabled one is not. A major reason, according to moral theologians, is a consumerist and materialist mentality that exalts human perfection." There is a "culture of perfection that imposes the exclusion of all that does not appear beautiful, glowing, positive, captivating.” “The value of human life does not come from its flawlessness, but from its singularity,” said Legionary Father Thomas Williams, dean of theology at Rome’s Regina Apostolorum University. “When we start assigning different values to different persons — based on abilities, health, intelligence or any other qualities — we reduce them to their utility.” This utilitarian outlook leads to a rejection of the intrinsic dignity of the human person, Father Williams said. “If children’s lives matter only insofar as they matter to us, then they don’t really matter at all,” he said. "Do we set the price on their lives, or is every life priceless in itself?"

In an interview Aug. 31 with Corriere della Sera, Bishop Giuseppe Betori, secretary of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, said the idea that only the 'perfect' person is valuable generates indifference when it comes to the killing of innocent, disabled children. That attitude also fosters a sense among parents of being unable to cope with the burden of raising a disabled child, Bishop Betori said. “More love would help us overcome this great timidity that our society, which strives for perfection, sows in our hearts,” he said. “We aspire to a physical and moral perfection that doesn’t exist."

Bishop Betori also commented that it is contradictory to single out the killing of the “wrong” innocent child as exceptionally tragic. "Isn’t it “more tragic still,” he said, that many more unborn children are killed “intentionally, legally and with no remorse whatsoever?”

Said Father Williams, “Choosing who will live and who will die is always an exercise in devilry.”

Thank you, Almighty God, for these holy priests who are boldly proclaiming the Truth in the Culture of Death. Continue to pour Your grace upon them. Surround them with a legion of angels and protect them as they battle the evil one and his lies. Thank you for the NCR and it's dissemination of authentic news and current events.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Christ, Our Help

"Christ had to become like his brothers in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested."
Hebrews 2:17-18

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Jesus' Kisses

The meditation in the Magnificat ( yesterday (9/5) by Bl. Mother Teresa knocked my socks off, and I'd like to share it with you so that the Holy Spirit can knock your socks off, too!

Christ's Compassion for the Suffering

Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross, he has got his head bending down - he wants to kiss you - and he has both hands open wide - he wants to embrace you. He has his heart opened wide to receive you. Then when you feel miserable inside, look at the cross and you will know what is happening. Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that he can kiss you. Do you understand, brothers, sisters, or whoever you may be? Suffering, pain, humiliation - this is the kiss of Jesus. At times you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you. I once told this to a lady who was suffering very much. She answered, "Tell Jesus not to kiss me - to stop kissing me." That suffering has to come that came in the life of Our Lady, that came in the life of Jesus - it has to come in our life also. Only never put on a long face. Suffering is a gift from God. It is between you and Jesus alone inside... Our total surrender will come today by surrendering even our sins so that we will be poor. "Unless you become a child you cannot come to me." You are too big, too heavy; you cannot be lifted up. We need humility to acknowledge our sin. The knowledge of our sin helps us to rise. "I will get up and go to my Father."

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hugs from Heaven

On August 28 I woke without realizing the significance of the date. Propelled by a strong inspiration to read The Magnificat, I opened the book to the day's Morning Prayers. Under the date I read, "The Feast of St. Augustine." HUG #1! I whispered with a grin on my lips, "Hi, Austin."

The Psalm for the morning was #139. This passage is so near and dear to my heart, and to Jim's as well. He has written chords for verses 13-16: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." This is "Austin's Song." HUG #2!

My heart swelled with prayers of thanksgiving for these hugs! While I strive to "believe without seeing," I have to be honest that my heart leaps with Joy each time the Lord blesses me with a sign that Christ, Mary, and the Saints are in communion with me in the present. What affirmation these hugs were that St. Augustine is a special friend of my son, St. Austin. And that Austin's life was indeed a witness for mankind that all life, regardless of age or ability, is sacred and dignified.

Concluding my prayers, I went about the Mommy-business of the day. After packing all boys into the van, out-of-the-blue Caleb called out,

"You know, Mom, who my favorite Saint is?"
"No. Who?"
"St. Austin."
HUG #3!

Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Thank you!