Barely Saved

What would it be like to go to a doctor’s office for a check-up only to be told, “Sorry, the chances that you will overcome your current diagnosis are slim. I highly suggest you euthanize yourself.”

Foolish to think this way? Yes.

Would you get another opinion? Of course.

And yet, one mother experienced a similar situation when she was pregnant with her sixth child. She had German Measles (Rubella) and the doctor’s diagnosis wasn’t pretty. The child was to be born mentally challenged, with a cleft pallet, respiratory problems, blind and deaf. He suggested it would be better if she terminate her pregnancy. 

“Think about your other children and the burden this child would cause (both in time and money),”  he counselled. 

Foolish to think this way? Our society says, “No. It’s very reasonable. After all, she can have other children, right? She had five other children at home to think about.”

Should she get a second opinion? Or a third? Our society would ask, “What for? You’ve heard the outcome. The child has no hope for a normal life.”

The woman is confronted with a serious decision that threatens her conscience. She was taught that life is sacred. Could she simply choose to end the life that had begun in her by God’s grace? Isn’t God aware of the circumstances in His omniscience? 

Many women today are the battle ground between their conscience and public opinion. For 40 years, public opinion has won out, with the conscience numbed by the decision of Roe versus Wade, and the legalization of abortion in the United States. And, over the last 40 years, we have seen 59,477,972 (and counting by the minute) children’s lives terminated in the United States. This severance of life has flowed over the borders of America to the death of how many more children around the world in countries that followed suit in their policies, under the guise of ‘women’s health’? 

Is our society better off since then? The words of Pope Paul VI come back to us as a haunting prophecy. After mentioning how abortion is an illegal (by laws of the Church and man’s conscience) means of regulating children, he lists other unacceptable forms, including sterilization and contraception, and goes on to list the consequences if society does not heed this ‘warning’:

“Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.”

Humanae Vitae, Number 17, 1968

I ask again, Has our society become a better place since January 22, 1973? Are we better off with the absence of such a large percentage of the generations under 40 who lost their lives due to legally being slain in the womb of their mothers? 

No, our society is not better. Mother Teresa of Calcutta understood this well in her defense of the unborn:

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of hatred…If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?”

Have we as a society lost all disregard for life that it is only valued if it doesn’t create burden to us? Where ‘mercy’ is re-defined as putting one to death because their prognosis suggests they cannot have a ‘full life’?  Who will judge? Who determines the fullness of another’s life? Who will protect the smallest, most vulnerable of our society?

And what about the woman in the story above? She did get a second opinion and was told the same. She would be better off aborting her child. She chose, rather, to listen to her conscience and to preserve her trust in God.

That woman is my mother. My life was saved because she didn’t follow the voice of ‘professionals’, but rather to the voice of her motherly heart.

Thank you Mom! 

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What can we do to overturn the tide of the closed heart?

1.  Pray and Fast for the end of abortion, and for the change of mentality about life in all its stages, that it is worth protecting. Some suggestions by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

2.  Use science to understand the truth of the development of the life in the womb. Here are some amazing pictures that may inspire you.

3. Show your support for life by joining one of the many ‘Walks for Life’ around the country. 

4. Know what the battle is about. Read this story about New York Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make late-term abortions unlimited and on demand. Yes, it’s come to this.

5. Pray some more, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

God bless you. 

Look at the Happy People!

As thousands take to the streets in Washington D.C. for the 39th annual March for Life, in protest to the the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that allowed for 54 million abortions, President Obama released the following statement:

“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

Steven Ertelt and Elizabeth Scalia have some good insights on their posts regarding the president’s remarks.

On my post, Walk for Life West Coast 2012 in pictures, it is encouraging to see a so many people – especially a lot of young people – who too are seeking to ‘fulfill their dreams’ by coming out to stand by what they believe. And a comment hits home as to why the March for Life movement has been so effective:

“I have been at every west coast walk for life. Since I cannot walk the walk any more, I sat and watched those who did as they passed by on Larkin and turned down Market St.. A happier group of people I have never seen. Laughing, singing, praying, pushing strollers, wheelchairs. We are family. I wanted to call to negative passers-by, “hey! look at the happy people! Maybe you should check them out!” You are wonderful! A model of Goodness, Kindness, of Christ and His Blessed Mother.. God bless you all and Mary love you.”

Which brings up the stark contrast between the pro-life camp showing up in the thousands:

credit: Karl Mondon of Bay City News

and the pro-abortion camp that is, well, not in the thousands:

Justin Herman Plaza, SF, 11:19am || credit: Walk for Life West Coast Blog

But beyond the numbers the stark contrast comes with what the scriptures refer to the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Walking shoulder to shoulder down Market Street, despite the early morning chill still in the air, my heart was warm, to be in the presence of a joy and peacefulness that filled the air. It was almost intoxicating, to the point the small bands of protesters we passed by were hardly noticed.

The evidence of these ‘fruits’ in one’s life, points to the presence of the Holy Spirit working in him.  Where we see the fruits manifested, God’s presence is there.

May the Lord bless each person who took a stand for life in all its stages, from the San Francisco Bay to the Washington Mall. May their voice continue to resound through the whole world, and may God be with them, that they will continue to reflect joy to the world.

Walking for Life is Fun!!!

This past Saturday was the day of the Northern California Pro-Life Walk-a-thon. I drove down to Elk Grove Park with Our Lady of Lourdes Parishioners, Soraya and her mother Ana, to lend our support (and stretch our legs) in the 3.6 mile walk. All the proceeds for the day went to help fund five crisis pregnancy centers in the Sacramento Diocese. One of my favorite parts of the walk were the very awesome and enthusiastic junior high schoolers from St Joseph’s Parish in Elk Grove, who made us feel like hero-marathoners every time we passed the water and cup-cake table!

THANKS SO MUCH for the smiles and joy you brought to all of us!

And of course, all of the smiles and walking and encouragement was for one purpose; so that little ones will have a chance to take hold of life and run with it, like this little walker does!.

A little walker and her family :-)

A Big THANK YOU also goes out to all of my sponsors for the walk-a-thon. There are a few donations still coming in, and I think we (you and I) will just break $1,000 to help out those CPC’s! Put that together with the numerous priests of the diocese who also hit the trail, we can rejoice!

Next year, it will be even better, I am sure. May our Lord bless each of you, as we continue to work to defend life in all its stages.

Next Event: Walk for Life West Coast, in San Francisco on Saturday, January 21st, 2012. For more information, check out the website. I’ve already reserved my space on one of the many buses coming from Sacramento, CA for the event. Are you coming? Let me know! I’d love to meet you!

Walking for Life – Update

I posted a while back that I would be walking, to raise money for five crisis pregnancy centers in Sacramento Diocese. That walk is just two weeks away!

Today, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Bob Dunning, the host of the Bishop’s Hour on Immaculate Heart Radio to talk about the walk-a-thon. It was my first time on radio, so I didn’t know what to expect.

So, come listen and let me know what you think:

Bob and I, talking about the walk and prolife issues.

Here’s how you can help us to help women who find themselves in crisis pregnancy:
 
  1. Pray for the women in need of assistance.
  2. Pray for success of the Walk.
  3. Ask the Lord how you can contribute.
  4. Go to this site.
    • On the pull-down menu, select “I want to sponsor a walker in the walkathon.” Click to proceed.
    • Scroll down, fill in the necessary information.
    • Choose which of the five crisis pregnancy centers you wish your donation to support (you can learn about the centers at below links).
    • Choose the ‘name of the person you wish to sponsor’ (I am listed as ‘Sister Doty, Lisa Marie – Sacramento’) [Hint, hint :-) ]
    • List amount you plan on sponsoring me for.
    • Click proceed, and follow the rest of the steps (you will be referred to the corresponding donation page for the CPC you chose, to complete your transaction), OR
    • If you would rather sponsor a walker by check, make your pledge at the site above, and instead of continuing when you are referred for payment, please make it payable to: Catholics for Life. Include a note containing the name of the walker you wish to sponsor and the name of the CPC to which you wish to donate the funds.  Mail it to: Catholics for Life, P. O. Box 156, Carmichael, Ca. 95608.

If each visitor donates one dollar, that’ll be a tremendous help!

For more information about the walk, go to the Walk-a-thon website. Or, read the flyer here.

God bless you!