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Archive for December, 2012

In his homily for the opening of the Year of Faith on Oct. 11, 2012, Pope Benedict spoke of the “desertification” of the world, describing society today as a kind of desert or void wherein godlessness runs rampant.

As we have seen in the recent defeat of the marriage amendment, today’s majority has turned away from the will of God, as known through revelation and the natural law, in order to seek lives built on self-desires and self-interests. Into such a secular context, this Year of Faith calls us to bear witness within society to the Kerygma or truth of the Gospel in new ways that are both attractive and persuasive.

I very much appreciate these thoughts from Pope Benedict. I have been feeling very detached lately, and his description of the world being a desert or void captures how I feel, although I don’t think it’s something new. Noah lived in a wicked world and Lot lived right in Sodom; both were so wicked that God completely destroyed them.

I guess I partly feel defeated – I think society has long been heading the wrong direction in areas of families and marriage, morals, and in issues of pro-life such as abortion, euthanasia and war (drones are a very spooky development to me). We have handed away too many of our freedoms that our ancestors fought so hard for – simply handed them away until now we don’t really notice a new law that tells us even what we can or cannot eat.

But it also feels good to be “detached” – I’m tired of worrying and struggling against it – it’s a losing battle. The world is going to do what the world wants to do. The desert is there, I can’t change it; I can only do what I can in my own little world, trying to help people in the ways God leads me.

I feel sad though; I think it is a snowball that’s rolling downhill and growing quickly. Besides the physical cost of immorality and evil in our world (shootings, human trafficking, etc.), there is an even greater spiritual cost. I know my part is to pray. And dear God, I do pray: Forgive us Lord for we know not what we do. Protect us from being deceived; protect us from evil; protect us body, mind and spirit. Please guide our leaders and open the eyes and minds and hearts of people around the world to You, to Your goodness and Light. Help us all to see you, to seek you, to follow you; help us to find Hope in You. In the name of Jesus I pray with the power of the Holy Spirit to our Heavenly Father, amen.

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As I listened to our gospel reading at mass, I smiled.

We heard about “the visitation” … when Mary traveled to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. And I wondered … Mary had believed and she had said “yes” to God.

But did she ever second-guess herself? Did she ever wonder if she had really heard God correctly?

I second-guess all the time, and to a ridiculous extent. I rarely question God, but I sure question myself – whether I heard it right, whether I’m deceiving myself, or if I missed something. God is always oh-so-patient with me, giving me time to work through it and sending little bits of confirmation or encouragement.

So if Mary ever did question herself, how wonderful it must have been to hear Elizabeth’s words! What a confirmation and joy to be with someone who she loved and trusted and who understood … and who didn’t judge or think her story was strange.

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:39-45)

What a wonderful blessing for Mary and also for us today. I pray for us all – this is a difficult world and a difficult time and yet we can be filled with joy that what was spoken by the LORD has been fulfilled, and will be fulfilled.

 

 

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I saw a pro-abortion graphic that has me shaking my head. I honestly don’t know if people are really that ignorant about reproduction, or if they just don’t care about the truth and only want to make their own point.

It essentially was trying to say that a chicken egg is not a chicken, and likewise an unborn child is not a human being.

First, an education in chickens. chicken and egg

An adult female chicken (a hen) will start to lay eggs as soon as her body is mature enough. It doesn’t matter if she’s ever in contact with a male chicken (a rooster); she will lay eggs. If she were to incubate those eggs, they would never hatch – there is no life in them. They are just eggs, unfertilized, and these are the type of eggs that you purchase at the grocery store.

Now introduce a rooster to mate with the hen. If you ever cracked open an egg that had been fertilized, you would know it immediately. At the very least, the yolk would have blood; at the most, you would distinctly see a chick forming within the egg.

Of course the egg is not a chicken! A chicken grows within the egg!

It would be far more accurate to compare an egg to a woman’s uterus. An egg is not a chicken – a chick grows within the egg. A uterus is not a baby – a baby grows within the uterus. The baby is not the uterus, and the baby is not the motherthe baby is a unique human being.

That is what makes the abortion discussion so difficult. We are not talking only about a woman and her life and her choices. We are also talking about another individual with an equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That a human being goes through many stages throughout its life doesn’t change the unique personhood of each individual. You and I had all of our DNA from the moment we were conceived – our gender, eye color, and a myriad of other traits were set. We were a certain individual within the womb and we remained the same individual as as we matured from infant to toddler to our teenage years and then to adults. We are the same person at age 20 as we are at age 70.

A fertilized egg has life within it. A pregnant woman has life within her as well … a unique, human life.

13 You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works! My very self you know.

15 My bones are not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw me unformed;
in your book all are written down;
my days were shaped, before one came to be. (Psalm 139)

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Mass was beautiful tonight, and poignant.

All throughout the church were families with children: an infant in front of me with big dark eyes taking in everything around her; a girl in a polka-dot dress, twirling and smiling; a brother holding his little sister’s hand as they walked to their pew.

I couldn’t help think about another community that is mourning the loss of so many of their children tonight. The gaping holes will remain for years in the town and forever within the families.

The world is groaning. We are in desperate need of our Savior. I’m listening … come Lord Jesus, come.

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Yesterday a shooter walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and 20 children and 6 adults.

As the nation reels and mourns, we’re clearly set to have another round of arguments over gun laws.

Oh, how I wish we would have a different, far more important discussion instead.

When a society values “choice” over “life,” should we really be surprised that this would happen? Yesterday a person killed 20 children he didn’t know. Yesterday over 3,500 women killed their own unborn children, and today over 3,500 more will do the same.

Evil visited in a shocking way yesterday and people noticed. Evil is at work every day and we call it “choice.”

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It wasn’t lost on me in my last post, that I was expressing how hard I’ve tried to fight through this depression through my own power and strength.

Then today, at Adoration, I was reading Exodus 14:14:

“The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”

Of course. What a blessing; the LORD knows what I need to hear, and He also knows how to speak it directly to my heart, so I’m sure not to miss it.

Thank you, Abba Father.

I wonder why I struggle so much … why do I think that if I were just a little stronger, worked a little harder, had a little more patience, I could do it? I suppose it’s pride.

And if that blessing weren’t enough, at morning mass we had this reading. A 1-2 punch … my spirit is stilled and I feel better. I don’t have to fight this depression, and I’m not alone. ever.

Is 41:13-20

I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I will help you.”

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Jesus, I trust in you

I desire God … oh, how I long to be home, to be in His presence, to see Him! I feel truly homesick at the deepest level. But I trust His perfect timing; I am to be about my Father’s business in this world until He calls me home.

I’ve been struggling with another round of depression, and I think I’m learning the difference between “desiring” God, and “needing” Him.

As I’ve turned to Him over and over, asking for His power to overcome this depression, I wonder if I have misunderstood or missed something. I know some of the ways He has definitely guided me and some of the works He has given me to do. I want to do a GOOD job for Him; I try so hard. Oh, I try so hard. I long to hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

But all “my” works and “my” efforts and “my” attempts have left me where I started … struggling with depression and wondering the purpose for it. Do I need to recognize and turn away from something I’ve held onto, as was definitely the case last time? Is this meant to teach me to be long-suffering, to persevere, to develop patience and trust within me?

I don’t know … I don’t have a clear answer yet. Maybe I won’t ever know; this may be a thorn in my side to make me humble and to keep me turning to Him. I just keep coming back to, “Jesus I trust in you.” I really do. Whether I am to overcome this depression or walk through it, I can’t do it on my own, or at all. It’s gotta be Him that lifts me up. I know He will. Truly, Jesus, I trust in you … and oh my goodness, I desperately need you.

jesus-i-trust-in-you

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