Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's your right to live

The harvesting of organs for organ transplants has always bothered me- I'm not talking about a person who isn't ill donating a kidney for a loved one, but about doctors arbitrarily proclaiming someone brain dead and effectively killing them by harvesting their vital organs. So many people think that organ donation is a noble thing to do- which it is, done properly, but like so many other good things it has become undermined by evil. Lifesite news has this story about how you can protect yourself:

By Patrick B. Craine

October 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the push for organ harvesting gets increasingly aggressive, and more and more cases of abuse by transplant teams surface, one pro-life leader has developed a card to ensure doctors respect one’s wish to live a natural lifespan.

“The card documents that they want to live as long as God gives them,” said Dr. Paul Byrne of the Life Guardian Foundation, who is a pioneer in the field of neonatology and a leading opponent of the notion of “brain death,” which is often used as the point where doctors can begin harvesting organs from dying patients.

Dr. Byrne argues that brain death is not in fact real death, but rather a set of criteria that were developed in order to be able to harvest healthy organs, including vital organs, thereby causing the patient’s true death.

“The fact of the matter is all organs that are transplanted are healthy organs and they always come from a living person,” he explained. “After they take the organ, the living person is either dead, when it’s a beating heart, or weaker if it’s one of two kidneys.”

Dr. Byrne told LifeSiteNews that it is essential to protect oneself from the presumed consent laws that have already been passed in 40 states, and are being promoted in the other states as well as Canada. Under these laws, a patient is presumed to have consented to organ donation unless he specifically opts out.

“The only way to stop what they do is to have some documentation of refusal,” he said. “This medical card gives the way to document refusal so far as being an organ donor is concerned.”

But even more importantly, he explained that the card gives life support directions. “It documents that they don’t want anybody to shorten their life or hasten their death,” he said.

The card also says that the patient does not consent to an apnea test, which doctors use to declare “brain death.” Dr. Byrne explained that because this test involves removing a person’s ventilator for up to ten minutes - increasing carbon dioxide, and thus causing brain swelling – it actually causes the patient’s condition to worsen.

Further, the card allows the patient to designate someone else to speak for him, who can ensure the person is properly treated. That person can only do what the card says and cannot take away treatment. It also allows the patient to indicate that they want a priest, minister, or rabbi to be contacted in the event of an emergency.

“Carry it with you. Have more than one. Give it to your relatives,” said Dr. Byrne.

Cards can be obtained from the Life Guardian Foundation.


See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Organ donation: The inconvenient truth
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007_docs/Organdonationinconvenienttruth.pdf

The Demise of "Brain Death"
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/sep/08091803.html

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Journey Continued

One of the things I struggle with is Jesus' commandment to "love one another as I have loved you"- now, this sounds like a simple concept, but for me, it is a big stumbling block. I tend to be quick to criticize, and it's something I have been working on for many years to overcome. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but still, I wish I could bite my tongue and take back words that make me end up in the confessional yet again. I found, in my book The Imitation of Mary (Alexander de Rouville) a chapter called Help Your Neighbor Lovingly in which Mary has this to say:

I know your neighbor is often a burden to you because of his moods and silly ideas and strange behavior. But if you are obedient to grace it will teach you to overcome your repugnance and win great merit.
The occasions for practicing heroic virtue did not come every day even to the saints; yet because they patiently put up with the faults of their neighbors, each day added a new luster to their crown.
A Christians life is a life of sacrifices; and a man's neighbor, with his faults, is constantly giving occasion for multiplying such sacrifices.
All man sin many times. They ought therefore make of us the means they have of expiating their sins. One of the most effective of these means is to put up with one's neighbor in a spirit of penance.
In addition, my child, every man has his faults. The most perfect man is simply the one who has fewer defects than anyone else.
You will find defects in your brothers, and they in you. Be not one of those who think they have no defects and by that very fact have the greatest defect of all.
Your brothers put up with you as you are; put up with them as they are.
In bearing with your neighbor, show the patience he needs in bearing with you and with the defects he cannot help but notice in you.
You have long been wearing yourself out trying to improve yourself but your efforts until now have seen little success. How then can you claim to correct those of others as you wish?
All your complaints at the annoyances you must put up with from certain people who displease you are not helpful and certainly will not bring about their correction.
In dealing with such annoyances the only course of action for you to take is to ask Jesus to help you in drawing profit from them, in testing yourself, and in gaining more solid virtues.

I hadn't thought of the possibility of gaining in virtue and grace by being tested by the behavior of others that I find annoying. I have so much to learn, and I am thankful for all the spiritual advice I get in my reading and through other sources, especially I'm thankful for the grace I receive by attending daily Mass.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The cost of original sin

I found something interesting in The City of God, book one, The Conception. Actually I am finding the whole thing interesting, but this particular chapter brought up something I had never thought of before. This revelation concerns God's plan for Christ as Redeemer of the world.

"Those that say that the Word became incarnate in order to redeem the world say well; and those that say, that He would have become incarnate also, if man had not sinned, likewise speak well, only it must be understood in the right way. For if Adam had not sinned, Christ would have descended from heaven in that form, which would be suitable to the state of man's innocence; but as Adam sinned, I resolved by the secondary decree, that He should be made of passable nature; since foreseeing sin, it was proper, that it should be repaired in the way in which He has done it. And as you desire to know, how the mystery of the Incarnation would have taken place, if man had preserved the state of innocence, know, that the human substance would have been essentially the same as now, only it would be clothed with the gifts of impassibility and immortality, such as my Onlybegotten possessed after His Resurrection and before His Ascension. He would live and converse with men; the hidden sacraments and mysteries would all be manifest; and many times would his glory shine forth as it happened once in His mortal life (Mark 17,1). He would, in that state of man's innocence, have become manifest to all men in the same manner as He once showed Himself to the three apostles in His mortal state. All those on the way to heaven would see the great glory of my Onlybegotten; they would be consoled by conversing with Him and they would place no obstacle to His divine workings, for they would be without sin. But all this was impeded and spoiled by the guilt of sin and on that account it was proper that He should come in passable and mortal nature."

O what that first sin has cost us!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

St. Theresa of Avila, pray for me!


October 15 is the feast day of my patron saint, Theresa of Avila. I was very young when I chose her, I think I was only 7 when I was confirmed. My older sister had chosen St. Therese Liseaux, and I wanted to be just like my sister, so mom told me that there was another St Theresa that I could choose- so of course I did! In retrospect, this saint has been a good patron for me. Through her, I have a devotion to St. Joseph, and the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel never leaves me for a moment. I read her biography, but have yet to read The Interior Castle. I love how she would take on rather daunting tasks and trust in God and the intersession of St. Joseph, and be successful. I would like to share with you a little prayer of hers:

A Love Song
Majestic Sovereign, timeless Wisdom,
Your kindness melts my hard, cold soul.
Handsome lover, selfless giver,
Your beauty fills my dull, sad eyes.
I am Yours, You made me.
I am Yours, You called me.
I am Yours, You saved me.
I am Yours, You loved me.

I will never leave Your presence.
Give me death, give me life.
Give me sickness, give me health.
Give me honour, give me shame.
Give me weakness, give me strength.
I will have whatever You give.
Amen.

I am blessed to have such a powerful Saint and Doctor of the Church in my corner!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blessings

I was really pleased to find a new addition to our church library the other day- all 4 volumes of City of God! I've been wanting to read these books, about the life of Mary, written by Mary of Agreda, but could never afford to buy them. What a blessing that someone donated them. They were found by one of the church ladies sitting on the doorstep of the vestibule. Since I've almost finished the Glories of Mary, these books came at the perfect time for me. You'd almost think that our Blessed Mother is guiding my selection of spiritual reading....
Since we had First Saturday Mass, our priest has decided to continue with Saturday morning Masses. Now I can go to Mass every day of the week- another great blessing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

And so it begins....

On the eve of our annual pro life prayer vigil, I come across stories on Life Site News that make my blood run cold.
Like this quote from Amnesty International: Claiming that it is "shameful" that Latin Americans continue to prohibit the killing of unborn children, AI added that "the penalization of abortion denies to pregnant women and children the medical attention they need.
At last they are calling abortion what it is- the killing of unborn children- not "fetal tissue" but THE KILLING OF CHILDREN. To me this means that it is now socially acceptable to call it what it is, they have such strong backing that they are not afraid to throw it in our faces that we are killing CHILDREN with every abortion. And since when did medical attention for children include their murder!
Then there is this story which is sickening: Women who gave birth to live healthy babies, killed them, were convicted of infanticide, and then freed after the pro abortion groups claimed that these women had been imprisoned for "abortion." So it is now legal to murder healthy babies in Mexico?
You know that the next step is legal killing of older babies. And elderly people. And anyone else who is "inconvenient". Chaos is with us now. This is mankind's darkest hour.

October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Please, pray it every day, and include in your intentions an end to abortion and the overthrow of the pro abortion agenda. Pray for women to choose to give life to their children, not to take their life. Pray for men too, to take the responsibility of fatherhood seriously, and not encourage abortion because it might inconvenience them to be a father. Pray for strong families, and pray for our Church who shows us the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Here is the October prayer of St. Joseph, recommended to be prayed after the Rosary throughout October:

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy thrice-holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also.
By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection wherewith thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength.
Most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ. Keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Mercifully assist us from Heaven, most mighty defender,in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God's holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Keep us, one and all under thy continual protection, that, supported by thine example and thine assistance, we may be able to live a holy life, die a happy death, and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in Heaven. Amen.

Our Lady's Saturday and the feast of the Guardian angels


Today I finally get to start the 5 First Saturday devotion to Mary, who promised at Fatima to help at the hour of death with all the graces needed for salvation to those who on the first Saturdays of 5 consecutive months, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite 5 decades of the Rosary, and keep her company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to her.
What a blessing it is to me to be able to start this devotion on the Feast of the Guardian Angels. My angel has been a great help to me in my spiritual life; if you want to read a really good post about their role in our life, head on over to Smiley's blog, Deis Irae -he did a great post on this. I believe my Guardian Angel was instrumental in bringing me back to my Catholic faith and has since helped to provide me with opportunities and inspiration to do the things God requires of me.