Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pro-life angle

Boy, I have been working on this hideous anniversary post for days and just cannot seem to get a good flow going ; one-liners are all I seem to be able to muster up.  Except for this Facebook posting from Friday :

I'm working on a blog post for Monday's Roe vs. Wade anniversary about our own pro-life journey and came across the worst phrasing ever : "After amniocentisis proved positive for cystic fibrosis, the parents interrupted the pregnancy." INTERRUPTED THE PREGNANCY? How about POISONED AND RIPPED THEIR CHILD LIMB FROM LIMB? Because of CF. That degree of ugly selfishness and arrogance is a much worse disability than CF and lessens their quality of life as well as everyone around them.

Oh, and I did visit Planned Parenthood's SinceRoe.com site and left a message :

Since Roe, millions of people will never have the chance to make the world a better place.
Not the kind of quote they were looking for, of course, but Barbara Curtis had the idea to flood their account.  Felt good to hit Submit.  A little something.

Our pro-life angle is the suffering angle.  The angle of parents faced with a prenatal diagnosis and the quality of life question.  As Catholics, we believe that the proper end of marriage is to welcome the children that marriage creates.  For six pregnancies now, we've been viewed askance for having our babies.  "Why would you bring a child into the world only to suffer and die?"  Here are some of those one-liners :

*Every single person is born to a life of joys and sufferings.  And then death. There have been a few examples of saintly folks who did not technically die, but don't plan on that.

*Life can be difficult and messy and complicated.

*I don't have all the answers and guarantees, but I do know that killing children in the womb is not the answer.

*If my child dies, it will not be by my hand.

*Everyone suffers, not only those with health problems.  Here I would like to add a bit about another one of my children.  One with a defiant streak that would curl your toenails.  And lazy.  And who will not work on school lessons.  Tough life.  No CF.  Could be the kind of life that leads to an early grave.  I think I may beg God more for that life than my CFer...

*People today have issues (Loaded word, aye?).  Demands, even.  COMFORT.  ENTITLEMENTS.  PAINLESS.  GUARANTEES.  PERFECTION.  A little one that requires extra work or forces social embarrassment or causes constricted hearts will just not do. 

*Mother Teresa's famous words : "It is a poverty to decide that a child may die so that you may live as you wish."

*Our Catholic belief of redemptive suffering does not wipe away the pain and tears, but it does soften the sharp edges and allow glimmers of goodness.  From the Catechism :

"Moved by so much suffering, Christ not only allows Himself to be touched by the sick, but He makes their miseries His own : "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." (Isaiah 53:4).  But He did not heal all the sick.  His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. . .By His passion and death on the cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering.  It was henceforth to configure us to Him and unite us with His redemptive Passion."  (Section 1505)

"But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of an illness.  Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9) and that "in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church." (Colossians 1:24).  (Section 1508)

"His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that He identifies Himself with them : "I was sick and you visited me." (Matthew 25:36).  His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries."  (Section 1503)

So what would I say to a lady who has received a scary prenatal diagnosis?  Choose life  (Then all this other good stuff.) for we are greater than the sum of our parts ~ 

 "We are a soul ; we have a body." ~ C.S. Lewis
 "Luminous beings we are, not just this crude matter." ~ Return of the Jedi book

What a blessing and a gift it is for Ken and me to be able to point our suffering children to these words of truth.  And ourselves.

Love, love, love,


  1. Amen, Amen, and Amen. Thank you for taking the time to address this. You may not think it "flowed" smoothly, but how does one speak of such an important, and even sacred subject and have it flow perfectly?! Your words are well-spoken, and once again they touch my heart. Truth is like that. xo

  2. Your words really do point out the sad and empty way we're often taught to control our lives, it never works ... and your one-liners are anything but. Very weighty. I have thought about "If my child is going to die it won't be at my hands" for days now. And the suffering angle, what unity your family has. Thanks for writing all of this, AND living it.

  3. Thank you, dear Jessica and Tiffany. This was tough to put together and I think I offended some . . .
    Love you guys,

  4. My whole world stopped, however briefly, when I read what Rick Santorum said about Bella: "She's worth every tear." God Bless the Howells!