Archive for category Prolife

Sin By Participation

I once had a discussion with a woman in her twenties who found more than disagreement with Sidewalk Counselors outside abortion clinics who offer prayer and outreach with hope and help for the abortion-vulnerable parents.  This woman maintained that the Sidewalk Counselors were judgmental and accusatory toward “those in need” of an abortion.

 

I sought to dispel the false notions she had of the Sidewalk Counselors and explained that what she says is nonsensical as likely forty percent of all Sidewalk Counselors, maybe even more, have had or participated in an abortion themselves.   There is enormous sensitivity among Sidewalk Counselors that we are there to help dissuade others from putting themselves at risk of suffering what so many of them already do suffer.

 

The woman quickly countered that she wasn’t relying on hearsay, but instead had experience on the sidewalk when escorting a friend to get the “needed” abortion.

 

Not to give too strong a focus on this aspect of the conversation, I quickly mentioned that if her claim was true then she had objectively sinned herself and sought to return to a discussion of Sidewalk Counselors.

 

She quickly interrupted me and asked how she could have sinned if she didn’t have the abortion.

 

This was a teachable moment for me.  We have fallen to a state that our relationship with Christ and His Church is so intensely legalistic and blind.  Though she had gone to Catholic School for sixteen years, it escaped her that one can sin through the cooperation of another’s sin.  This is a teach of the Church, the teaching of a loving relationship with Christ, with which could refresh my Examination of Conscience.

 

In rereading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 1868 explains that we cooperate with another’s sin when we

approve of their sin;

knowingly benefit from another’s sin;

command the sin of another;

counsel another to sin;

concealing the sin or by not hindering them from sinning when one has the obligation to do;

defending the sin;

praising their sinning behavior; or

by facilitating the sin.

 

The issue is less the legal quest for a loophole and much more the trust we give to Jesus Christ is being our God to whom nothing is impossible.

There Can Be Recovery From Perpetual Adolescence

Part II of II

 

A week or two after a giving a talk on the consequences of abortion and on the resources availab e for healing after an abortion, I was approached by a woman who had an abortion well over a decade ago.  She expressed deep interest in what I described as the halting of one’s maturing process at the point of having an abortion or beginning to rely on contraception.  The phrase that stayed with her was “perpetual adolescence” as a consequence of abortion.

 

She expressed how she felt that perpetual adolescence best expressed how she had lived and that she had recently realized that it was unhealthy for herself to live this way.  She told me wanted to begin to  grow-up with the ability to care for others in an adult and truly caring manner.

 

I explained that I received the teaching on this concept from Dr. Theresa Burke and I still needed to find more resources that addressed recovery from perpetual adolescence.   As I understood the topic, there simply were not many resources then available.

 

I did ask her if she has admitted honestly to herself her responsibility in the abortion.  She said yes.

 

I asked her if she understood that it was wrong for her to have the abortion and why it was wrong.  She explained to me that she did understand it was wrong and why it was wrong.

 

I asked if she had sought to make it right with God and her child.  She told me she had.

 

She was then asked if she was now including her child in her prayers, thoughts and life.   She said yes while telling me that her child is with her always.

 

I then asked if she had begun to see other areas of her life that have been adversely affected by her failure to take responsibilities for her actions and she said she had.

 

I noted that she had also been involved in outreach to help those who are vulnerable to abortion.   I finished with telling her that I didn’t have any professional’s documentation for recovery from perpetual adolescence but that I felt she had returned to that point when she had the abortion.  She had taken responsibility for the abortion where she had not taken responsibilities for her child.  And she had begun to make amends for her lapse that had cost her child’s life.  I didn’t have the professional there to back me up, but I assured her that she had begun to grow the moment she returned to the abortion to take responsibility for her role in it.  It was then that she had already achieved considerable healing and she was on the path of growth that now has her even practicing outreach for others.  She had unwittingly been doing all the right things and was growing into a true adult mother and woman.

 

The same can be done by many others of us who have turned away from responsibility and turned instead to rely on contraception, an addiction, relying on an unhealthy relationship, remaining silent when asked to be accountable for what you did, turning to pornography, or one of countless other ways of dodging  the consequences of our actions.

 

We need to ask for the grace to see in what ways each of us may have lapsed in our accountability for our own actions.  We must then ask for the fortitude to return to the point of our earlier lapse with a renewed determination to make amends for its harmful consequences.  Our salvation and our life depend on our returning to shoulder our true responsibilities.    Perpetual adolescence can be overcome by grace and real growth into adulthood.

Perpetual Adolescence The Most Serious Consequence?

Part I  of II

 

Today, July 25, is the 45th anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae.

 

This may be the document represents the Catholic Teaching that is our present day fault-line.  The practice of artificial contraception has brought the cultural divide between Catholics and others right into the Church itself.

 

Along with widespread dissension in practice has come a serious abuse of the teaching and understanding of following one’s informed and truth-searching conscience.  It has always been true, in part that the Church has taught that you must follow your conscience.  But it is wrong to suggest that this alone represents the Church Teaching on matters of conscience.  The Church and your salvation require you to seek truth always and remain open to the truth when you find it.  Has the truth of Church Teaching on contraceptive been so elusive to those who claim to be following their conscience, or has the truth been rejected in order to pave the way to satisfying an urge that is far less understood than the Teaching?  How many people are controlled by their sexual urges, rather than demonstrating a true mastery over the urges?  Whatever one does not master will only serve to enslave.

 

Relying on artificial contraception is an easy and deceptively flawed alternative to self-mastery.  Giving one’s responsibility over to dangerous and faulty technology is reflective of both human nature and an era where we have been conditioned to question God existence and man’s purpose, but to welcome technology as the savior of life and the quality of life.

 

Artificial Contraception has posed a formidable challenge to responsible sexual relations within marriage alone by giving a false illusion that one can safely and surely evade the consequences associated with a reproductive act, namely reproduction of the human species in the form of a baby.  Such deception leads us to what may be the most serious consequence of artificial contraception, that being the deception of evading consequences of one’s actions.

 

Dr. Theresa Burke, Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard has explained that when one has sought to evade a responsibility, particularly one as serious as matters of reproduction, pregnancy and a new life, the person’s psychology can be affected in relation to all responsibilities.  In further explanation, she spoke of a child being dependent on an adult.  An adult is one who, in addition to taking care of one’s self, can take care of others.  An adolescent is growing from that childhood stage to adulthood, but hasn’t yet attained adulthood.  The adolescent has begun to take on responsibilities for self, but has not yet fully embraced the responsibility of caring for another.  To think one has successfully  evaded the consequences of one’s actions will stop the emotional maturation process until the individual returns to assume the responsibilities of the matter or consequences earlier evaded.

 

The maturation process can be stopped while the person continues to grow chronologically and in knowledge.  It is the maturation of the psycho-emotional aspect of the person that suffers the stagnation.  This is all particularly pronounced when the responsibility is evaded during adolescence.   Thus, we have chronological adults who are emotionally in their adolescence.  If responsibility for one’s actions is never assumed and shouldered, the individual may live a life of perpetual adolescence where responsibility is actually sought to be passed onto others for other matters.  It is a form of dis-integration of the person from one’s actions.

 

Both contraception and abortion can have perpetual adolescence as a consequence.

 

Part II will be made available late on July 26, 2013.

A little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6

A structure of sin or social sin is first described by Blessed John Paul II in #36 of his 1987 Encyclical, “On Social Concern.”   He introduces the concept that an accumulation of personal sin creates social structures and norms that trivialize and depend on continuing this sin in the lives of countless succeeding individuals.  These structures of sin are exceptionally difficult to remove.  Created by individual sin, they can only be removed through personal acts of virtue and these are born from a pursuit of personal holiness.

 

The culture of America, as we now know it, is very dependent on people’s reliance on contraception, sterilization, and surgical abortion.  Fear of over-extending oneself in family size leads many to disregard or reject altogether the notion of God’s Providential care for those who honor and obey His laws.  The consequences of losing sight of God include the malady of a people who have now lost sight of the value of man.  This concept was also first advanced by Blessed John Paul II.

 

The “imperfect” person is not only seen as without value, but is actually not to be tolerated by many in our society.  This attitude, encouraged by our medical, legal and political communities, put a sense of stigma or blame on parents for bringing such “imperfect” people to term and birth.  In the precise cases where the greatness of a people who value all people for whom they are, we now find America failing severely with fatal consequences for truly countless numbers of human persons.  It is common knowledge that 90% of persons diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are surgically aborted in the womb.  Parents who stand-up to these betrayals from those in these professional fields who maintain the structures of sin will soon enough contend with family, friends and strangers who see selfishness in the parents fulfillment of their God given calling and duty in preserving the life of their child.

 

One couple, Lacey and Chritian Buchanan, are among those of us who are “imperfect” and they saw the perfection of God in their child and have grown in their sharing of divine love for him and others.  Children really do teach us and give us the opportunity to practice love for another person.  This couple’s story is shared with us via youtube.com.  We can be grateful for their practice of virtue over fear.  Please take the time to see and read the sub-titles of this video, because it is worth it.  Let’s keep in our prayers all parents with such trust in God’s wisdom and Divine Providence.  And let’s pray there are as many such parents as there are persons conceived because we all know everyone but God is a little bit imperfect.

The Buchanan’s original youtube.com link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWCbkyR0cy0

Their posting and contact information include the following:

Published on Mar  9, 2012

This is my plea to anyone considering abortion. Rethink your decision, no matter the circumstances. I am so glad I chose life!
The Buchanans can be reached via blog (http://christianbuchanan.blogspot.com/) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lacey-a…).
Music: Fernando Ortega “Give Me Jesus”; Chris Tomlin “How Great is Our God”

Breaching the Abyss

For all of the challenges that sidewalk counselors outside an abortion clinic who provide outreach confronts, it is no wonder that they can suffer at times a creeping sense of futility.   Sidewalk Counselors all have an understanding that their presence has a much greater positive impact than is apparent on the surface.   The truth of the living person in the womb is acknowledged and shared with the parent(s) and the community.   Prayer for the immediate concern is offered along with any and all assistance that the mother and child perceive they need is made known and available to the parents.  Among many other accomplishments is the powerful effect of holding back untold evil.  Abortion is a sign of a lawlessness in a crumbling society.  The sidewalk counselor is helping to hold back evil through the good accomplished and by reminding society that there is such a battle of good and evil.  Staking one’s actions to the goodness of preserving life keeps the cause and hope of good alive.  We have no idea what evil hasn’t transpired because there is someone with some grip on the reigns of evil impeding its march to some degree.

 

Pray for the sidewalk counselors in their mission and for their success.  And pray their ranks be blessed with growing numbers of people’s prayerful, bodily presence outside these abortion centers.

A Baseline for Healing

Sidewalk Counseling outside abortion clinics is a tool of outreach to pregnant mothers who are considering or being coerced into aborting their child or are determined to do the same.  In such outreach, the mother is presented with knowledge of just what her options are the comprehensive assistance that is available to support her decision for life, and encouragement for her spirit for life that may be faltering.

 

That maybe articulated reasons for sidewalk counseling and each is true.  Sidewalk Counseling also contributes to hope and healing for the post-abortive person.  Those who go for an abortion, along with those who accompany, drive, pay for, encourage the abortion in any way, or even coerce a mother into having an abortion need both hope and healing that only God can provide.

 

Dr. Theresa Burke, the Founder of the post-abortion ministry Rachel’s Vineyard, has said that those who are offering outreach to the abortion-bound provide for that person a base-line of truth that contributes positively to the admission of truth by the post-abortive of what really happened in the abortion and their recovery from the abortion.  Those sidewalk counselors may be the only person(s) in the life of the post-abortive who acknowledge the life of the preborn child.  They may be the only source in the world of the post-abortive that affirms that there is a problem with the unresolved abortion and can provide direction toward hope, healing and recovery.  One must recognize the problem before a solution can be offered.  But once the problem is identified, the right solution must then be applied.  Sidewalk counselors among the small and growing numbers of people who can help in this regard.

 

An Anniversary to Note

Tomorrow will be the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is worthy of celebration.

 

Tomorrow will also be the anniversary of the first man-made nuclear explosion that occurred at Trinity site in Los Alamos, New Mexico on July 16, 1945 at 5:29 am.[1]

 

In less than one month from that date, two more such nuclear bombs will be detonated over two sites, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The human death toll for each is conservatively set at 150,000 for Hiroshima and 75,000 for Nagasaki.

 

Nagasaki was the Catholic capital of Asia, and the Cathedral of Nagasaki was ground zero for the second bomb.  A Mass began in the Cathedral at 11:00 am, and the bomb would explode at 11:03 am.  The Eucharist was reposed in the tabernacle during the Mass, but also served as ground zero for the bomb, though not designated as such.

 

The dropping of the bombs proved to be with controversy as some have contended that the bombs should not have ever been used, in part due to the impossibility to spare civilians from the effect of this bomb.  It has also been argued that the sacrificial death of many spares the deaths of many more who would otherwise die.  Others have taken from Hiroshima and Nagasaki the lesson that technology saves lives.

 

Can we blindly accept the technological imperative over the human imperative?  Can we make decisions by merely comparing prospective body counts?  What does this make of us and what unseen, unintended consequences follow such abandon?

 

From the shock of the new era in technology, Los Alamos director J. Robert Oppenheimer, stated shortly after the explosion that, while watching the test, he was reminded of a line from the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”[2][3]

 

Lets take note of this anniversary and not just the awe-full power we have in hand, but of the mindset that has been unleashed.

 

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(nuclear_test)

2.  ^ Variants on       this quotation exist, both by Oppenheimer and by others. A more common       translation of the passage, from Arthur W. Ryder (from whom Oppenheimer       studied Sanskrit       at Berkeley in the 1930s),       is:

Death am I, and my present task

Destruction. (11:32)

Since the Gita’s first translation into English in 1785, most experts have translated not “Death” but instead “Time”. A further elaboration of the supposed Oppenheimer quote often cited is taken from Robert Jungk‘s 1958 Brighter than a Thousand Suns:

If the radiance of a thousand suns

were to burst into the sky,

that would be like

the splendor of the Mighty One—

I am become Death, the shatterer of Worlds.

For an extensive discussion of the quote, its various translations, and its various reported forms, see James A. Hijiya, “The Gita of Robert Oppenheimer” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 144:2 (June 2000).

3.^ Richard       Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb       (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1986). Quotes after the test from p.       675–676.

 

 

What is the latest, most important concern?

A priest from Iowa once said during a talk in Medjugorje, “It is a historical fact that Christ died two thousand years ago.  But if you think He is off that cross and no longer suffering, it is you who is ignoring the blood from the aborted babies that runs through the streets of America.”

 

There may be many crisis, threats on our freedom and lives, and even realized attacks on our freedom and lives, but none of these concerns change the fact that tomorrow the bodies of persons in the womb will be destroyed by abortion and many others will suffer these losses for a lifetime.  Jesus has not let any of these persons die alone.  Jesus entered the womb Himself, and it is true when He says, “Whatever you do to the least, you do to me.”  Love is not loved in the abortion centers.

When a spirit that will destroy the most innocent of us and harm so many women and men is unleashed on a country and protected by that country’s government, what can be considered safe from spoilage, harm of destruction?  Nothing.

 

We are each called to enflesh the Spirit of Christ with our bodies.  Many of us are called to bring Christ’s presence to the sidewalk outside abortion centers where we offer prayers and help to these persons of the womb, their parents, and the abortion providers.  .  The invitation is a standing invitation.  Come and meet the suffering Jesus.

Contraceptives: Cancer-Causing Agents

Contraceptives that use the combined steroidal hormones of Estrogen and Progestin cause cancer in humans and the World Health Organization lists them as Group One Carcinogens that causing cancer in humans. These contraceptives that cause cancer in humans include:

• Oral Contraceptives (The Pill);

• Depo-Provera (The Shot);

• Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing);

• The Patch;

• Injectables  (Implanon, Norplant); and

• IUD  (LNg).

 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer is a research arm of the World Health Organization with its primary purpose is to identify causes of cancer. The International Agency for Research on cancer has listed the Combined Hormone Contraceptives listed above as Group One Carcinogenic. Group One is carcinogenic to humans whereas the next group, Group 2a, is probably carcinogenic to humans.

 

The cancer scare is often difficult to understand with so many agents of concern and conflicting studies on the measure of danger.

 

In the case, there is no doubt among the top doctors in the world, that these Contraceptives with Combined Hormones do cause cancer in humans and are dangerous.

 

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IARC_Group_1_carcinogens and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Agency_for_Research_on_Cancer

Perpetual Adolescence

Today we read that the steroid-based so-called contraceptive Plan B/Morning After Pill/Emergency Contraceptive is soon to be available to those who are 15 years and older without a prescription.  We are being assured that these pills are rather harmless to any person conceived or woman ingesting the pills – no pregnancy, no death, no harm done.

It is this very lie of no consequences beyond the “liberation of women” that is so insidious.  There are plenty of harmful consequences including affecting yes the cultural standing of women in society.  According to Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of the post-abortion ministry Rachel’s Ministry, contraception is a person’s attempt to deny the responsibilities of their action on a matter so serious that it will stunt their maturation process.

True adulthood is measured by one’s capacity to be responsible for another, not merely age.  A child is naturally dependent on another, an adult who will care for the child.  An adult is one who can attend to one’s own needs and the needs of another.  An adolescent is one who is growing from the child stage to the adult, but is not yet capable, or at least fully capable, to care for another.  There is often the mistaken notion that when an adolescent successfully cares for oneself, the adolescent has achieved adulthood.  Encouragement for that notion is particularly strong among other adolescents who revel in avoiding the full responsibility of another.

Choosing to use contraception is nearly a metaphor for saying, “I don’t want to grow up.”  Or at least for saying, “I don’t want to grow up yet.”  There is an element of fantasy as there is the sense that one can act without consequences or responsibility after hearing otherwise throughout childhood.  One really can play house.

Unfortunately, this fantasy is not reality and certainly does have real consequences beyond not succeeding in its primary purpose of preventing pregnancy.  More on that later in this nine-part series.  For now, consider the loss of personal boundaries that occurs when one falls asleep to the consequences of one’s actions.  Consider the loss of the sense of the other that occurs when one loses one’s own sense of personal boundaries.  There is a true disintegration of the contracepting individual from others and society in an even greater sense than from a naturally conceived child.

Caryll Houselander, an early 20th century English mystic of the Catholic faith, recalled it said that the first victim of a tyranny are the young.  The tyranny of contraception is most certainly being foisted on the young, both in the womb and outside the womb.  The toothpaste cannot be returned to the tube, but we can respect the danger of what has been loosened to man only after the danger is really known.   Respect for the holiness of purity must be restored.  The Preborn Christ is Christ’s way of demonstrating the dignity of returning to the Original Innocence of dependence – dependence on  God Our Father and Mary our Mother in setting proper boundaries so as to set us free to see and serve the other.

Glory to the Preborn Christ.