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pro-life

Sandy Hook – A Time For Mourning, Not Lecturing!


 

Before I begin this post, I want to make a few things clear. I am 100 percent pro-life and have written about the evils of abortion many times. In addition, I pray the rosary with a group of people each week outside of an abortion clinic. I believe, as the Catholic Church teaches, that abortion is murder. No exceptions…it is ALWAYS murder! I also believe that most people who support abortion are unaware of what takes place as unborn children are pulled from their mothers wombs. I feel that there is a great need to educate the world as to what really takes places under the guise of “the right to choose”. All things considered, however, I think it is WAY too early to compare the murders that happen legally in this country every day with the horrible crime that took place on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Twenty children (between the ages of 6-7) were gunned down at close range, 6 adults unexpectedly lost their lives and faced their judgment (quite possibly unprepared to do so), the lives of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy were shattered at a time of year when peace and joy should be the prevailing message. A community, a country and the entire world is devastated and confused, perplexed as to how God could allow this to happen.

I have been seeing way too many comments on Facebook and other social media sites that are using this tragedy as an argument for many different agendas. In my opinion, this is not the time for Planned Parenthood comparisons, statements about the need for gun control laws or criticism of President Obama for expressing outrage and sorrow for what transpired. Rather, it is a time to pray for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives. It’s a time to mourn along with those who were affected in any way by the tragedy. It’s a time to do what we can to live out our Christian faith every day, which includes loving one another. It’s also a time to remember that there is evil in the world, but that the Prince of Peace, who we are preparing to welcome can and will bring good out of that evil.

There will come a time when we should point out the need to mourn for the many children who are legally murdered every day, but it’s too soon. There will be a time to discuss gun control laws or the need to return God to public schools. However, the victims from the Sandy Hook massacre have not even been buried yet. Let’s first show some respect and compassion for those souls who passed away and for their families, many of whose lives will never be the same.

A Story Of Courage And An Urgent Prayer Request

 

It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord works in my life. I often think that I’m doing something for one reason, only to realize that the Lord was attempting to accomplish something completely different by my actions. As many of you know, I’m a full time Catholic lay evangelist. As you can imagine, it’s not easy to earn a living in this line of work. It requires a great deal of trust in God’s Providence (I’m still working on that!) and a close relationship with the Lord (working on that too!). In order to earn some additional income, I’ve been exploring various affiliate programs, which will allow me to earn a percentage of all sales referred by my website. Yesterday, I signed up with ChristianShirts.net and put their link on my website.

I started browsing their site more closely (in order to make sure nothing conflicted with Catholic teaching) and I was startled to see the following message:

Due to the loss of our baby, orders placed recently, today, and in the near future will be delayed. I appreciate your patience. Please pray for us at this difficult time. -Rachelle

I said a prayer and then I followed a link which explained the entire story of Rachelle’s pregnancy and subsequent loss of her child. You can read the full story here (and I recommend that you do because it’s powerful), but in summary:

Rachelle had chemotherapy in her teens, which put her at risk for heart complications during pregnancy. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened during her pregnancy. She went to a high risk obstetrician, who informed Rachelle that there was a 50 percent chance of her dying if she continued on with the pregnancy. Devastated by the news, this young woman was not prepared for what she heard next. In her words…

She began by holding my hand and asking what religion I was. I replied Catholic, and she said “Let me tell you what I know about God. God is loving and forgiving, and He will understand if you have an abortion.” She added that she had worked in a cardiac clinic and had seen many Catholic women die for the decision to continue with a pregnancy. We had already mentioned that we did not want to terminate, yet she pressed on, even reminding me that I would not want to leave my 18-month-old son without a mother. She made it clear that I would most likely end up in the hospital for several weeks – maybe months – and we had to prepare for that. There was no compassion, no caring about my unborn child that was already loved and very much wanted. When we continued to explain to her that we were not going to have an abortion, she mocked our beliefs and told me that I had better start praying. I left that appointment distraught and beside myself. It was enough to take in that I had a 50% chance of survival, yet to be coerced to try to get me to have an abortion on top of that was just too much.

As if hearing this from her doctor wasn’t bad enough, Rachelle was also encouraged by some family members to abort her child. She refused, stating “I was willing to risk my life for my unborn child. In my eyes, it was no different than risking my life for my born child.” One week later, an ultrasound revealed that her baby had died. Rachelle is currently undergoing further testing on her heart to determine the prognosis for future pregnancies.

In the First Reading from today’s Mass, God used the unaware Assyrians to punish his disobedient people. In a similar way I think he used me as I searched for new funding sources for my work. I thought that I was simply entering into an agreement with a great Catholic company struggling to do the Lord’s work, but more importantly, I experienced a powerful witness of trust in God’s Providence (which I really needed!) and I discovered a woman desperately in need of prayer. I’d ask you to kindly keep Rachelle and her family in your prayers and please consider making a donation for travel and burial expenses. I’ll close with Rachelle’s powerful words…

We think of our business more as a ministry – spreading Pro-life and Christian messages through affordable clothing which will spark conversation – and we make barely enough to pay our bills. It is not about the money. However, we are planning on traveling out of state at some point to bury our baby in the same cemetery where all of our relatives are buried. This will leave us behind in a lot of ways, but we believe it is well worth it for our spiritual and emotional healing. If you find it in your heart to donate for travel and burial expenses, we greatly appreciate it. If you would prefer to donate to a pro-life organization in our baby’s name (which we will announce when we decide on a name), please let us know so we can send a thank you.

More than donations, please keep us in your prayers. I have a long road ahead of me with my heart condition, and we are still praying that testing might reveal that my heart is strong enough to withstand another pregnancy.

Attention, Catholics…Quit Complaining And DO SOMETHING!

 

As Catholics, we’re very good at complaining. We complain about our priests, bishops and deacons being too lax or too strict. We complain about the teachings of the Church being too hard to follow. We complain when we’re asked to contribute to the support of the Church. We also complain about President Obama and his administration’s anti-Catholic policies.

I have to admit that yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court upholding President Obama’s Affordable Health Care plan was painful. However, nothing that this administration does should come as a surprise. President Obama is a supporter of abortion, same sex “marriage” and his HHS mandate makes clear what he thinks about freedom of religion. What boggles my mind is how any Catholic can be surprised by anything this administration does. What’s even more mind-boggling is how any Catholic (and there were many) voted for him, knowing of his support for abortion alone!

While we may feel frustrated and defeated, complaining and belittling Obama and his Catholic “partners in crime” (Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, John Roberts) isn’t really going to do any good. Complaining about your priests, deacons and bishops not speaking out is also not very productive. Rather than simply complaining, let’s look at some PRODUCTIVE steps that every Catholic could and should do:

1. Vote like a Catholic! – Anyone who tries to tell you that faith and politics don’t mix is flat out wrong. If we are not voting based on our Catholic principles, then we are NOT living our Catholic Faith. And that is a BIG problem. Our vote should be an expression of our Faith. Casting the other issues aside for a moment, any Catholic who votes for a candidate who supports the legal MURDER of the unborn could be putting their salvation in serious jeopardy. While I have no right to judge anyone’s motivation, I would not want to appear before the Lord (upon my death) and attempt to justify why I voted for a candidate who supports abortion!

2. Pray – While we do not know how or why prayer works, we know that it does. Turning to the Bible, we see that Our Lord prayed on many occasions. In his letters, St. Paul frequently urged his readers to pray and often did so himself. Prayer is effective! We should pray every day for an end to abortion and for God’s Will to be done on earth. Yes, the world is a dark place…yes, there is much evil taking place every day, but we can’t just sit back and complain. We have to pray!

3. Learn the Teachings of the Church – As Catholics, one of our biggest weaknesses is not knowing the teachings of the Church. Far too many Catholics simply go through the motions and don’t understand their faith. How can we live out our Catholic Faith when we don’t understand it? Furthermore, how can we share the teachings of the Church with others if we’re in the dark? I guarantee that, if you approach it with an open mind, studying why the Church teaches as she does will reveal something shocking…the Church is always right!

4. Speak Out! – When our co-workers speak of the beauty of same sex “marriage” or the “right to choose” to murder the unborn, we shouldn’t remain silent. In addition to knowing why the Church teaches as she does, we MUST defend her teachings. I refuse to believe that most abortion supporters know what the practice involves. One would have to be cold and barbaric to condone the cold blooded murder of a child. As knowledgeable Catholics, it is up to us to share the truth with others. Sure, we have to be charitable, but we need to let people know the truth. There are many abortion and same sex “marriage” supporters in the world who would change their position if they knew exactly what they were supporting. We need to be a light in the darkness and proclaim the “Good News” to the world!

5. Get Involved – There are many ways for us to get involved in combating these threats to our beliefs. Praying outside of abortion clinics, volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, contributing to pro-life charities, circulating petitions in defense of the family are all productive ways to combat the evil in the world. Instead of simply griping about “the world being crazy”, it’s time to get involved!

Above all, remember to stay positive (in spite of what you may be feeling). The Lord knows what He’s doing. While we may not understand why evil exists, we do know that God permits it to happen. One of the reasons is due to the gift of free will. God will never force anyone to follow His Will. Rather, He allows us to choose good or to choose evil. As evidenced by the crucifixion, God can always bring good out of evil. Therefore, don’t become discouraged, keep fighting the good fight, stop complaining and…

DO SOMETHING!

How You Can Help To End Abortion!

Earlier today, my family and I had the pleasure of participating in a Walk-A-Thon to raise funds for Good Counsel Homes.  This organization was founded in 1985 by Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Christopher Bell to provide residential care for homeless, expectant and new mothers and their children.  I have met Chris Bell and consider him to be one of the finest and most caring human beings I’ve ever encountered.  Although I’ve never met Fr. Groeschel, I have the utmost respect for him and would place him in the same category.

What many people don’t understand is the pressure often felt by women to abort their babies.  Once becoming pregnant many women are threatened and deserted by their husbands or boyfriends unless they abort their children.  They are often left homeless, impoverished and have no way support their child.  As a result, many mothers feel that they have no choice but to have an abortion.

As Catholics, we must speak out against the evil of abortion.  We must also support pro-life candidates at the voting booth.  In addition, we need to do our best to support these women financially.  Doing so can literally save a baby’s life and I am not being dramatic…It is THAT important!

I know that these are difficult times, but if at all possible, I strongly encourage you to visit Good Counsel’s web site (link appears below), read about what they do and consider making a donation.  Even if you can only give a dollar, it would be greatly appreciated.  Also, please keep their work in your daily prayers.  By doing these things, YOU will be helping to end abortion!

Thanks in advance for anything you can do!

Visit the Good Counsel website at http://goodcounselhomes.org

Make an online donation at http://goodcounselhomes.org/donate