Tag Archives: News

Pray for Peace in Syria

Many of you will by now have heard of the call to prayer and fasting for peace in Syria and throughout that world that Pope Francis announced on Sunday. (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-announces-global-prayer-vigil-for-peace-sept-7/)

The Pope urged all Catholics, Christians, and people of all faiths to join together as one people in prayer to the Lord.

As I wrote before, I am not certain the proper action to be taken but I know that peace is better than war.  I pray, therefore, that a peaceful resolution might be in order that will protect innocent civilians from violence and danger.

Prayer is so powerful that we cannot even begin to comprehend what it can do.

“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”  (Matthew 17:20)

We do not know what will happen in Syria.  But with faith even the size of a mustard seed we can all join together to pray for peace!  Let us all join together and pray with all our hearts and souls and with the faith that God can do anything!

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Together in Christ we pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our world leaders so that the peace that can be found only in Christ will come to those suffering violence and destruction in Syria and throughout the world.

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

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Pray for Life!

Today the House is voting on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” (Read about it here http://news.yahoo.com/house-takes-far-reaching-anti-150711972.html This would ban all abortions after 20 weeks. It is not a full reversal of Roe v. Wade but it would be such a big step in the right direction. Of course many democrats have already vowed to vote it down but if nothing else at least the issue is being brought to light again, and this time using scientific evidence to prove that these babies can feel pain at 20 weeks. Knowing that…how could anyone consider going through with an abortion? My heart breaks thinking of all these women who feel they have no other option or who don’t even consider the wonderful things this unborn child could accomplish in our world.

 With the advancement of genetic technology and knowledge, many people are against this bill because they claim you may not know about certain “defects” until after 20 weeks and that breaks my heart! This past weekend I was attending a party for a child I am working with through Make A Wish. This precious child was not supposed to live past one day. And although this little one has many struggles and the parents have had many obstacles, the joy brought to the whole family by this child is amazing. The party was a combination of a Bon Voyage party as the family prepared for their dream vacation, courtesy of Make A Wish, and the child’s 6th birthday party. Six years for a child expected to live less than a day is truly a miracle. Those who feel that a child would be better off not knowing the pain or suffering of a particular disability or health struggle will never be able to know the immense joy, love, and happiness that can come from any circumstance. This little one is truly an angel among us. And the truth is, no matter what the doctors say will become of a baby, they cannot see the future. Miracles do happen! How tragic to take the life of a precious, innocent child because of the word of a doctor who is only human, rather than leaving it in the hands of our loving Savior who has the power to do the most wondrous things with the least expected among us.

 The article I linked for this story calls it “far-reaching.” I know that is the case as so called “women’s rights” advocates will insist that it is better for a woman to abuse her own body and take the life of another simply to avoid dealing with a pregnancy.  The media like to sway the public into believing that all women feel this way. That this is modern society, this is who women are, and this will not change. Well, as a 25 year old proud Catholic American woman, I can say that they are wrong. There are women out there who feel as I do. And men too! Let’s not forget that these babies have fathers too! I hope and pray with all my heart that something will change in our country to promote a culture of life! I pray that this bill might pass, or at the very least bring the issue once again into the spotlight. I pray that these women who are faced with this choice realize what a gift the life they have inside them is and how many women, myself included, are praying and hoping for the very life they are choosing to kill! Please pass the word about this bill to friends and family so that we may all pray for its success in taking steps towards life.

Unable to Un-Read

The human mind is a tricky thing. There are things I learned and read in junior high and high school that I have almost completely forgotten. Things learned in classes like biology or chemistry or even history. There dates and quotes I memorized for exams throughout college that, if you asked me now, I might only have a faint recollection of what they referred to and may have completely forgotten. At the same time, there are some things you just cannot forget. Certain events, movies, and images stick with you. Some of these things we want to remember! Childhood events, birthday parties, family gatherings, weddings, and so on. But there are some things you cannot erase from your mind, even if you want to.

The recent trials of Gosnell are in that latter category. I began to read the news on him awhile back and had to stop halfway through the article. I just couldn’t bear it anymore. I know abortions happen. I know this is not an isolated incident. But the graphic nature of these trials tore at my heart. What boggles my mind is that there are people who will sit disgusted at what this man did, and yet will still say abortion is fine and we should provide safer and more easily accessible options for it. Somehow since the baby was out of the womb, it was horrendous. But when this happens within the womb in a “proper” facility, these people seem to find no wrong.

I want so badly to be a mother and am praying for God’s peace as I wait for Him to decide it is (finally) the right time for my husband and I to have a child. And as I hope and pray month after month that God might give us a baby, the Gosnell trial accounts were just too horrific to read. The funny thing is though, some things cannot be un-read. Even though I stopped reading the descriptions of the trial, and despite the fact that after stopping part-way through one article I merely skimmed the details of any remaining news on the matter, the parts I did read will not leave my brain. I am unable to un-read what I already read. I can pretend I didn’t read about it. I can ignore the news about it completely, but I still find that it is in my mind somewhere, tugging at my heart.

All I can do is pray. Pray for the mothers, for the doctors, for the babies. Pray that perhaps one day our nation will open its eyes and stop abortion. I pray and I pray alongside so many others and I know that the Lord hears our prayers. I may not be able to un-read what I read. But I am comforted knowing that God is listening to us and that those precious babies are with Him and filled with happiness and joy and the peace of the Lord.

In the World, Not of the World

There are many issues facing us today that seem to question our faith. Hot topic issues that seem to constantly be in the news: abortion, gay marriage, and healthcare are a few that come to mind. Secular media and popular opinion among many in our society today are telling us how we should feel about these issues. They tell us that women can do whatever they want with their bodies. They tell us a baby is not really a baby while in the womb. They tell us that anyone can be married and to think otherwise is prejudice. They tell us that healthcare for everyone means providing everyone with ways to prevent life instead of protect us. They tell us different things almost daily on what we should or should not eat for a long and healthy life. The media tells us how we should look, how much time we should spend in the gym, what clothing we should wear, how we should behave. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that perhaps our values are wrong. Perhaps as times are changing, we should alter our beliefs as well. As state after state legalizes gay marriage, as even in the wake of the Gosnel trial people still insist that the tragedy should be prevented by better access to abortion rather than by eliminating abortion, as the media tells us sex is everything, beauty is everything, money is everything. When we are bombarded daily with these popular opinions it can be easy to doubt.

As followers of Christ, we are not called to give in to worldly views and temptations. Jesus came to earth to teach us the truth, and even He was hated for it. Just because what we believe is not popular opinion, does not make it wrong.

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:14-17

These words from today’s Gospel spoken in prayer by Jesus Christ to Our Heavenly Father serve as a reminder to us of who we truly are. As Jesus says, we are not of this world. We are not made for the materialistic society we live in. We are not made to conform to popular public opinion. We are created in God’s own image for a world beyond our own. We are created to spread His love and His Word to those we come in contact with here on earth before spending eternity with God in heaven.

But notice that Jesus says He is not asking the Father to take us away from the world, but to protect us from evil. We may not be of this world, but we are in it. We cannot run away from the trials that face us in this life. We cannot avoid the issues that plague our society today. They are a part of the world and we are in this world. Instead, we need to focus on God and take care to spread His love to everyone in this world so that they might see Christ in us. Even as the world might say that what we believe is wrong, we need to stand firm in our beliefs while still being loving to everyone. That is a tough call! We cannot claim to be opposed to gay marriage because of our faith and then in the same breath condemn and judge those who are in disagreement with us. We cannot condemn abortion and then judge women who find themselves in that position. We cannot call for a greater protection of life while calling for the death penalty on those who have abused it. There is a fine line between standing up for our beliefs, and judging another person. While we are certainly called to stand up for what is right, we must always remember that although we may judge the action, we are never to judge the person. Not one of us is without sin and only Our Father is to pass judgment on any one of us. When things gets tough, we need only to look to the Father who will protect us from the evil one in whatever form he might take.

Romans 12:2 tells us more about living in this world

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I love how this verse tells us to renew our minds so we may prove the will of God to be perfect! God’s will, while beyond our comprehension, is perfect. And while we are not of the world, we are called to be open to the Spirit, to renew our minds and allow God’s love to transform us so that we might show the world we live in how great, how perfect, our God is.

OTC Plan B Pill Now Available to 15 Year Olds

I just read a news article regarding the FDA lowering the age requirement to buy the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill to 15. More than that, it will no longer be behind counters but instead sold in drugstores aisles with everything else. You can read about it here:  http://news.yahoo.com/fda-morning-pill-ok-ages-15-232957915.html

I read this article and it saddened me. Fifteen years old. I am the oldest of three sisters. I picture my youngest sister, at age 17, and think this pill is going to be sold to girls even younger than her?  I can’t imagine my little sister, much less anyone younger, facing such a thing and being able to make such a drastic decision as the morning-after pill without my parents or anyone else knowing and being able to help. These poor girls at age 15 might not recognize what they are doing. Needing no parental consent to purchase this and having it so readily available in the store aisles makes it seem harmless. And these young 15 year old girls who find themselves in a position where they think they may be with child, they don’t know any better.

How is this helping our nation? Our youth? Our women? When we have people who cannot find enough food to eat in day, people who have been out of work for lengthy periods of time, people who are facing diseases such as cancer and are in debt up to their eyeballs to pay medical bills, with all the troubles we have how in the world did this become a priority?

Regardless of your position on abortion or contraceptives, how could someone think this is an appropriate response? These young girls need someone to talk to. Someone to explain everything. Someone to tell them that sex is not the answer to teenage woes. Someone to tell them it is ok to wait, ok to be a virgin, ok to say no to having sex. And if or when they do, they need someone there to accept it, show understanding and assistance for whatever might happen next. They do not need a magic pill to erase what they have done. Life is not like that. You cannot take a magical pill to erase things you wish hadn’t happened. And if you do, there are surely complications that go along with it. Making this pill so readily available makes it seem like you can have sex whenever you want and should you forgo protection, this will do the trick and you can move on as though nothing ever happened.

I hope and pray that young women will realize this is not a fix all. That they have someone in their lives to guide them and lead them to a better path of handling what may come from the choices they have made. I pray that they have someone in their lives, be it a teacher, a friend, a parent or other relative, to show them what it means to truly respect life and to respect your own body. I pray that these young women and indeed all women have someone to trust, to turn to, to lean on. And should anyone feel so alone or as though there is nowhere to turn, I pray that they will know in their hearts that God is always there. That He is there with all the angels at his side to love, protect, and guide us all through anything.

To Value Life

Today President Obama announced his plans for tighter gun control in America. Among the changes he wishes to see are things such as requiring background checks on all guns sales, banning the military style assault weapons, limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, and increasing the penalties for illegal gun sales. While these measures will need to pass through Congress and will likely face quite a bit of opposition, the President showed his determination to fight for this in his decision to make 23 executive orders on smaller matters such as ordering the CCD to do more research on gun violence and the correlation between media and such violence.

 While I have my own opinions about the President’s views on many issues, I strongly support his efforts to fight gun violence in America. The 2nd Amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms, yes. But nothing that he is proposing will keep Americans from owning a gun for hunting or sport. The assault weapons that Obama is seeking to ban are certainly not for either of those things, they are meant to kill. And you certainly don’t need to be able to fire off more than ten rounds at a time to hunt either!
People will argue and say, “It is our right.” What right are we fighting for? We were given the right to bear arms, and that is still a possibility. But when our forefathers wrote that, how could they have known we would possess such dangerous weapons? What right do we truly need to fight for? How about life? God commands us all, “Thou shalt not kill.” It’s as plain and simple as that. So fighting for the right to allow weapons made to kill to be readily available is not only counterproductive to the greater moral responsibility of protecting lives, it is in direct opposition to God’s law.

 It is impossible to talk about the right to life without mentioning abortion. And seeing as we are coming upon the 40 years since Roe vs. Wade, it certainly should be discussed. Most of my readers will know by now that I am 100% pro-life and I oppose abortion in any circumstance. While I know that our current President does not share my views in this area, and while I strongly oppose measures he has taken to increase birth control and other so-called-rights of women, I have to believe that God has a plan. Any change in our nation has got to start somewhere. In his speech, Obama said, “While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try it.” I read those words and think perhaps this will be the start of change. God is able to work in any situation we can fathom. He can do all things. And although I do not realistically see Obama suddenly reversing his opinion on abortion, I can’t help but hear his words from this morning’s speech and pray that one day those words will ring true for all lives, including the lives of precious unborn babies.

 In no way do I mean to push aside the issue of abortion. But I feel that as we fight for life, we need to be true to our obligation to protect and preserve life in all stages and in whatever way we can. And I believe the gun control measures are one small step in that direction. Certainly it is not guns alone which are the cause for such tragedies as the recent Sandy Hook shooting. Other factors are in play including mental illness and a culture of violence. In my opinion, this culture is what needs to change to truly fight violence. We need to again become a country that protects its children, that honors God, that prays, that teaches our children right from wrong with no gray area in between. Killing is wrong. Whether by gun, by abortion, by euthanasia, by death penalty, and so on. Killing is wrong. God can do wondrous things even in the most unlikely circumstances. I pray that through the measures the President is working to take and through God’s never-ending grace, we may begin to create a culture where all life truly is valued.