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, after our firstborn was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, we've been viewed
askance for having our babies instead of aborting them. Why would you bring a child into the world only
to suffer and die? Here are some of my answers:
*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 is difficult and messy and
have all the answers and guarantees, but I do know that killing
children in the womb isnot the answer.
*If my child dies, it will not be by my
suffers, not only those with health problems. Here I would like to add a
bit about anotherone of my children. One with a defiant streak that
would curl your toenails. And a touch of laziness. And who willnot work on school lessons. Tough life. No CF. I believe I may beg God for help more for that
one than my CFer...
*People today havedemands: COMFORT. ENTITLEMENTS. PAINLESS. GUARANTEES. PERFECTION. A
little one that requires extra work or forces social embarrassment or causes
constricted hearts will 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
"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).
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
what would I say to a lady who has received a scary prenatal diagnosis?
Choose life. Visit Be Not Afraid and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep for beauty and dignity and love and to share your tears, 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
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.
So many lives lost. How can I help? How can I love?
For more anniversary posts, see Jill Stanek.