I hope everyone is having a productive Lent. I am bumping along, up and down. I'm off facebook for Lent, because it is a time killer. My intentions to follow the readings, pray more, and read a spiritual book I got are not going well at all. You'd think it would be so easy to do just those things. I fear my heart is cold. I spent a good amount of time last night listening to my favorite Christian songs and hymns. During that time, I felt in touch with Jesus. Could it be that I need to just do more meditating, instead of activities? This is what I need to chew on. I wonder how people would react if I had my iPod with me during Adoration!
I don't know how my criticizer found me, as I had gone about a year since my last post. I suppose some people troll for posts they can bash by using a search engine. Anyway, here's my take on abortion in general. At the moment of conception the 23 pairs of chromosomes from each parent pair with each other and a completely different genetic code is instantly brought forth. The life which has begun to development is both completely human, with 46 chromosomes, and absolutely unique from either parent. If you map the genome of that first cell created by conception, and compare it to a genome from an adult, the genome looks the same. in other words, you can't tell by looking at a genome how old the person was when it was mapped. So, in an abortion, the developing human is summarily executed.
We execute our children based on the method of its conception--if it is by rape or incest, it is not worthy of life, so we kill it.
We execute our children based on the socio-economic status of the parent(s). The baby has not done anything to affect the finances of the parent(s), but we kill it anyway.
We execute our children based on the aspirations of the mother--if she wants to live a particular lifestyle without that baby, then she can just go have it killed.
We execute our children based on their abilities--if a child has a birth defect or other issue, we simply kill it.
We execute our children based on the age of the mother--young girls or teens simply kill the baby, because they are far to young to reproduce.
The bottom line for me is this: a fetus is truly human, just a developing one. There should be some sort of due process for this other life before it is killed. While a woman declares that it is "my body, my choice", the fact of the matter that it is also the body of the fetus. Furthermore, the fetus has no choice.
When we make value judgments about the worth of the developing human, we then turn our attention to other humans. We use the death penalty or euthanasia, or war, to justify taking someone else's life. And that's just plain wrong. We are endowed by our creator with unalienable rights--the first and most important is life. We can have no other rights if we are dead.
Well, my decision is made. I will be voting for Governor Romney. I read a pastoral statement from a Catholic Bishop who reminded Catholics that the issue of life is a non-negotiable item. To support a candidate who espouses abortion on demand is to be complicit in that evil. Even though I'm not certain what Governor Romney will do on the issue of health care, I know that he is not an advocate of abortion on demand, nor will he support taxpayer funding of abortions. Now I just have to wait and see, like every American, who gets elected. If the President is returned to the White House, I take comfort in God's promise that "the king's heart is in the Lord's hand, and, like a river, he turns it wherever He wills."
It's been about 10 months since I posted anything on xanga. Most of my friends moved on to facebook, but I find there really isn't the same chance to dig down deep into issues or what's going on with people's lives on fb.
I came by today because I find myself in a real quandry. I just don't know who to support for President. The HHS mandate on contraception, coupled with a pro-choice agenda on the President's side should make this a slam dunk for me, especially as a Catholic. Life is the main issue. A dead person has no rights. And so, the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia are the ultimate deniers of civil rights.
On the other hand, the whole notion of rugged individualism seems to result in the very poor being marginalized. And, as a Catholic, I am commanded to prefer the poor. I am particularly worried about health care in this nation, and I don't know if repealing "Obamacare" will result in a better plan for the millions of uninsured Americans.
A Presidential candidate who sneers at the idea that people are entitled to food, clothing, and housing makes me very nervous. Those are the very fundamentals of life, and every person deserves those simply because they exist. They are the rights of all people, as defined in our Declaration of Independence. How can the very poor live out their God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if they don't have food, clothing, and housing?
We are all created equal, aren't we, all of us in the image of our Creator, Almighty God? The model Jesus left for us had nothing to do with politics, but in reaching out to those around us. Jesus preferred the poor, the outcast, the downtrodden. We are to imitate Him.
So, what's a good Catholic to do when faced with such stark differences in how we help others? Increasing the number of jobs will allow the poor to lift themselves up. On the other hand, I see no real specifics in how the GOP would approach this. I will probably still be undecided when I enter the polling booth.
My dad cannot use his left leg. He was diagnosed as having had a stroke two days ago.
This morning I got an email from a friend who was suffering from a sudden onset of a rash with severe itching. Many prayers went up on her behalf, and the rash is gone. She still has itching, but the actual rash disappeared.
I hope that my dad will see improvement with his own recovery from his stroke. He initially couldn't move his left arm, either, but now it's just his left leg. Prayer does bring about God's intervention. How my dad's health will be affected as time goes on is a mystery. He is 83 years old, with diabetes and some other health issues, and this might just be his body's natural decline as he ages. Again, time will tell.
No matter the outcome, we pray. God is always good, and we trust in His character when we lift our hearts to Him. He wants what is best for us. Now we wait on Him to let us know what that outcome will be.
My facebook friend told me it wasn't the fact that it was the Rosary that I prayed; she just believes that the decision to pray is an individual one, and further, asked me what I would say to those who prayed for relief from flooding but got flooded out, anyway.
My response was that I would have continued to pray until the water in my house stopped coming in, no matter how long it took, and then God would get the praise due Him for His answer. Had our house collapsed, my response would be like Job's: The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, and blessed be the name of the Lord. God's plan for me is always best even if I don't know the details. His ways are so far above my ways, and His thoughts so above mine, that it is up to me to trust Him and obey Him to the best of my ability. In John Chapter Six, when Jesus asked his disciples if they were going to abandon Him the way others did after Jesus insisted we eat His flesh, they replied: "Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words of life".
My brother replied that he thinks prayer is akin to gasoline. You might have a nice car, but it needs gasoline in order to operate as intended. So we, too, must "gas up" our own lives if they are to be used the way God intends.
My father has been battling health issues for the past several weeks. He was released from the hospital yesterday, then he fell at home, and his original symptoms came back. (He has a systemic rheumatic disorder that affects his muscles, plus he developed sepsis). He is back in the hospital. My dad is experiencing left sided weakness and he is scared and crying. My dad is a devout Protestant Christian, but he is also human. He is a great believer in the power of prayer, and I believe that God will reward my dad for his years of prayer for others by now using the prayers going up on his behalf to bring about his recovery.
If my dad should end up permanently disabled, or even if he should die, would that mean that God didn't answer our prayers? Of course not! Only God knows the outcome, but as we pray, our prayers strengthen our trust in God's goodness. We might enter into a "dark night of the soul", as St John of the Cross described suffering, but we know that "all things work together for those who believe".
Jesus reminds us that we ought to pray "Our Father, Who art in Heaven; hallowed by Thy name; thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven". When we pray thusly, we are praying according to His will, and His answer will be what is best for us. I believe that with all of my heart, and so I choose to pray!
I have a facebook friend who responded to a wall post I made. First, the post. I prayed the Rosary and asked the Blessed Mother specifically to intercede for me about water pouring in right through our basement walls. Within minutes, the water ceased. Thanks be to God!
My friend asked me what I would say to those whose flooding got worse instead of better. She is a very devout Protestant Christian who, I believe, prays regularly. She is anti-Catholic, so I think part of her issue was that it was the Rosary that I prayed.
Her question is an intriguing one. It is true that millions of folks were praying for safety as Hurricane Irene approached, and it did weaken to a Category One hurricane instead of the Cat Three which was originally predicted. Can we know for certain if those prayers had an impact on the strength of the storm? I like to think so. After all, when we receive a blessing like that from God, we are supposed to thank Him. Why pray if we think life is a crap shoot?
I'm reading through the Bible right now, and there have been times when God relented from what He had planned to do, and those when He did not. Who can know the mind of God? Certainly not me! I will continue to pray for God's will in my life, and will be specific in what my heart desires. When and if I get to Heaven, then I'll probably understand better. But for now, prayer is something I believe in!
When Emily was a toddler, I used to listen to Family Radio. It had a program during which the KJV Bible was read, a program of spiritual music, and programs with uplifting presentations by Protestant Christians, who gave practical advice about the Bible and following the Lord Jesus in one's daily life.
I long ago stopped listening. We moved to an area where I couldn't get that broadcast anymore. Those of you who know me are aware that I eventually converted to Roman Catholicism.
Today our priest was talking about the belief shared by many people regarding May 21. I knew there was a man called Camping, and I knew there were people who believe that May 21 will be "the Rapture". The priest was somewhat amused because there is a donation portion of Family Radio, which is the platform by which this belief is spreading. He pointed out that, if May 21 is the end, why solicit donations? There is a person in my city who has a huge billboard proclaiming that the end of the world is May 21--and he is in the middle of renovating his house.
So, I dropped in on Family Radio's site. I was shocked and dismayed to see that the entire site is now dedicated to this notion of the end of the world on May 21. Worse yet, I read Harold Camping's writings about this event, and about salvation, and I was stunned to read that Camping states that the Bible says that faith is NOT how one obtains salvation. He says the act of believing is a work, and since we can't work our way into Heaven, even believing won't save us. Camping believes in the notion of only an elect group of people being saved. Even if you want to be saved, if you aren't one of this elect, you are out of luck. You can know you're saved when you sin less often, and obey God. But, you can't obey God and expect that to count for anything, since doing good works won't save you. He went round and round and round, going back and forth on obedience and faith not counting, but yet proving you are saved.
I thought my head would explode!
Of course, Camping takes all kinds of verses from all over the Bible and strings them together to make his point. When certain verses don't fit in, he says the translation from Hebrew and/or Greek was incorrect. Ever wonder why there are so many Protestant denominations? Because each one has its pet alignments and interpretations of various passages from the Bible.
According to Camping, the Church Age ended in 1988, and all churches no longer have the Holy Spirit in them. He urges people to flee all of the churches. How did an obvious fraudulent message take hold in this nation? I blame it on the "Bible only" type of thinking. In this theology, only the Bible is seen as divine revelation. There is no merit given to the Magesterium of the Church or the role of Sacred Tradition. One's interpretation of the Bible is only as good as the one who interprets it for you. The Holy Spirit, being the Author of Truth, cannot contradict Himself. This is one of the reasons I am a Catholic. I believe that the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, interprets the Bible without error.
I also blame it on the Biblical ignorance of our nation. Not many people bother to read and study the Bible on a regular basis.
How will they explain it when May 21 comes and goes and we are all still here? Or, better yet, if Christ returns on May 20 to judge the living and the dead? I know it shouldn't bother me, but boy oh boy, do these types of people ever give Christianity a bad rap. We look like wackos!
Come what may on the 21st, I am holding to the deposit of faith handed down by the Apostles. I have faith in Jesus Christ, and I trust that God will end the world when He decides it's time, not when some human "figures out" the date.