Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby Faith Dies at 93 Days

The story of Faith and her mother Myah is a story of unconditional love, even in the face of great suffering; it is a beautiful story of the triumph of life over death, of the culture of love over the culture of abortion. When Myah, a 23 year-old woman, was 19 weeks pregnant, doctors found out that her baby had no brain, a condition called anencephaly. She was told the baby would not survive, or would have serious seeing and hearing problems and die soon after birth. Needless to say, doctors pushed Myah for pregnancy termination from the very moment this problem was discovered. And pressures did not come only the first day, but every day of her pregnancy until she gave birth. Faith was born in good health conditions and lived for 93 days. She passed away Saturday, in the arms of her mother. You can see pictures of Faith and read about her difficult but always filled with love journey on Myah's blog:

As a mother who has lost a baby soon after birth due to pregnancy complications I know exactly what Myah went through. I was in the hospital for two months and not a day went by when doctors tried to convince me and my husband that termination was our best option. We were told at week 18 that we had no hope of carrying on the pregnancy. We made it to week 25! We were told that our baby, if born alive, would have serious malformations and seeing or hearing problems among others. We were told it would have been better to kill our baby than to bring her into the world with all these complications. After all, these would have complicated our lives, why doing that? Our baby, Elizabeth Ann, was born alive and was perfect. She came into the world only for a short time, but enough to touch the hearts of some of those people who saw us fighting day after day after day.

God had the same plan for baby Faith: bring her into the world so we could all be reminded of the sanctity of life of EVERY human being, witness the power of love, and recognize the absurdity and horror of abortion. I hope the story of Faith, like the story of many other babies around the world, will truly help us defeat the culture of death and spread a culture of life.

Bernanos on Imbeciles

“Experience has long since shown me that imbeciles are never simple and only rarely ignorant. Should the intellectual, then, by definition be suspect? For sure! When I say ‘intellectual’, I mean the person who gives himself this title by virtue of his accumulated knowledge and degrees. I am obviously not speaking of the scientist, the artist, or the writer, whose vocation it is to create and for whom intelligence is not a profession but a vocation. … The intellectual is so frequently an imbecile that we should always take him to be such until he has proved to us the contrary.”
La France contre les robots pg 181-182

“To be informed about everything and hence condemned to understand nothing: such is the fate of the imbeciles.”
La France contre les robots pg 205

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Faith Forms Culture

“'The West has to decide what weight faith should have in the public life of its citizens. It can’t remove the problem.' These sharp words, expressed by a Middle Eastern bishop at the OASIS International Scientific Committee gathering in Amman, have come to mind recently because of the lively debate in the media about the action of Christians in civil society, the dialogue between secular and Catholic exponents (a dialogue that according to some has reached the end of the line), the supposed defeat of Christianity, and the interference of churchmen in public vicissitudes–in a word, a debate about the style with which Catholics should intervene or not in delicate issues of our common life, such as those of bioethics. It seems to me that this debate often loses sight of the heart of the question: every faith is always subject to a public cultural interpretation. On the one hand, as John Paul II wrote, 'a faith that doesn’t become culture has not been fully embraced, has not been fully thought through, has not been faithfully lived.'"-Cardinal Angelo Scola, Patriarch of Venice (Traces March 2009 emphasis added).

These words of our beloved Pope John Paul II, as quoted by Cardinal Scola, remind us that the faith IS culture, or, that Christ is His own culture. If the faith does not become culture then it is not the real thing. So how does the faith become culture? By seeking Him who is above all things:

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth" (Col 3:1-2).

The transformation of culture takes place when the faithful sets their minds on the things above. It is only by this eschatological vision that the day to day is renewed. You have heard it said that one can be, "so heavenly minded they are no earthly good" but the Apostle says it is only by being heavenly minded that we are any earthly good. Does not our Lord say the same thing? "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

Let us look to the things above and in so doing the things below will be remade and the culture of Life will be formed, as the Psalmist says, "When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth" (104:30).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pro-life Spot For American Idol Finale

The Super Bowl is the most watched TV show in the U.S. each year. This past January, Catholic attempted to purchase, at regular commercial rates, sixty seconds for a very tasteful spot to be played during the Super Bowl. They were turned down by NBC.

The second most watched TV show each year, however, is the finale to American Idol. Fox TV has agreed to run the following Catholic spot on the finale show next week (Wednesday, May 20).

Are You a Halfway Christian?

Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, challenges Catholics and indeed all Christians, to live a new life in Christ. Powerful stuff.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Simone Weil

We live in a world of unreality and dreams. To give up our imaginary position at the center, to renounce it, not only intellectually but in the imaginative part of our soul, that means to awaken to what is real and eternal, to see the true light and hear the true silence. A transformation then takes place at the very roots of our sensibility, in our immediate reception of sense impressions and psychological impressions. It is a transformation analogous to that which takes place in the dusk of evening on a road, where we suddenly discern as a tree what we had first seen as a stooping man; or where we suddenly recognize as a rustling of leaves what we thought at first was whispering voices. We see the same colors; we hear the same sounds, but not in the same way. To empty ourselves of our false divinity, to deny ourselves, to give up being the center of the world in imagination, to discern that all points in the world are equally centers and that the true center is outside the world, this is to consent to the rule of mechanical necessity in matter and of free choice at the center of each soul. Such consent is love.

When we have learned to look at perfect purity, the shortness of human life is the only thing to prevent us from being sure that unless we play false we can attain perfection here on earth. For we are finite beings and the evil that is within us is finite too. The purity that is offered to our eyes is infinite. However little evil we were to destroy at each look, we could be certain, if our time were unlimited, that by looking often enough, one day we should destroy it all. . . . It is however then that the act of looking is almost impossible. All the mediocre part of the soul, fearing death with a more violent fear than that caused by the approach of death of the body, revolts and suggests lies to protect itself.

There are people who try to raise their souls like a man continually taking standing jumps in the hopes that, if he jumps higher every day, a time may come when he will no longer fall back but will go right up to the sky. Thus occupied he cannot look at the sky. We cannot take a single step toward heaven. It is not in our power to travel in a vertical direction. If however we look heavenward for a long time, God comes and takes us up. He raises us up easily. As Aeschylus says, “There is no effort in what is divine.” There is an easiness in salvation which is more difficult to us than all our efforts.

From Waiting for God

Monday, May 4, 2009

Flannery Quote

“My cousin’s husband who also teaches at Auburn came into the Church last week. He had been going to Mass with them but never showed any interest. We asked how he got interested and his answer was that the sermons were so horrible, he knew there must be something else there to make people come…” Habit of Being, pg 348

Useful Tools for Those Praying the Offices

Two websites, Cyberhymnal, and Oremus Hymnal, contain hundreds of the tunes that are used in the Liturgy of the Hours as hymns for the various offices. Check them out.

Father James Dean to Enter Postulancy with the Benedictine Monks of Atchison, Kansas

A nice article from the Montgomery Advertiser. Be sure to click on the photos link to see pictures of the abbey.