A post in the Something About Mary Every Day in May series.

This week I bought three books by Carrie Gress. Tonight’s post is about her book, The Marian Option (link to the book at the end of this post). I haven’t read it yet (so many books, so little effective time management on my part) but I have watched some of her interviews about it. Below see her appearance on Women of Grace in February 2019.

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Many people claim to not know what truth is. Or they claim to be following their consciences. Or they claim there is no such thing as truth or a conscience either. I run into these people on Twitter and other places and the conversations are always stunning. Not stunningly beautiful but stunning to my mind. They make my brain hurt. So I’m posting this video below by Dr. J. Budziszewski at the Acton Institute, Natural Law and the Revenge of Conscience. J. Bud, as he’s often known (understandably) is the author of The Revenge of Conscience and also What We Can’t Not Know. See links at the end of this post.

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After a day of arguing with people on social media about the humanity of the unborn human child, I thought I’d re-post something I wrote ten years ago. It’s still relevant, it’s still an issue with far too many people, and it still saddens my heart and boggles my mind that anyone doesn’t understand this, or, worse, that they deny it: a separate and distinct human organism with his or her own DNA begins at conception. But I’m not going to re-post what I wrote back then. In this brief post I want to share a 6-minute video showing the development of the human organism from beginning to birth. (Download this video for free, see links at the end of this post.)

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Mother of the Light of the world, pray for us.
Mother of the Light of the world, pray for us.

I have not watched the videos all the way through. You know the videos I’m talking about. Those videos. I have not watched them all the way through because they make me ill. They make me want to throw up and the images haunt me. I go to sleep and I wake up in a cold sweat, still seeing them before my eyes.

Bad enough that I have been researching for the last couple of years the Holocaust and the World Wars. Bad enough that I have been watching the last couple of weeks many documentaries about these subjects and have seen things I wish I had never seen, things I wish had never happened. Bad enough I have been reading about eugenics and “scientific racism” and the incredible and preposterous cruel things man can do to his fellow man in the name of the “greater good” or “science”. Bad enough, all of that.

But something very like the Holocaust is happening now, and has been happening right under our noses since 1973 when we had the audacity to make legal to do to humans what we consider monstrously inhumane to do to wild animals. And do not misunderstand me: I care about wild animals and would not think of trying to harm one unless I had to protect myself or someone else. But I love my fellow man even more and certainly do not want to cause any harm to any man, woman, or child, unless, likewise, in defense of myself or someone else.

I find the chopping up of tiny babies to be sickening, but not less sickening than killing them in the first place. ALL of it must stop. There is no reason to take an innocent human life, ever. To directly and deliberately take an innocent human life is always and everywhere evil. There is no way around it. There is no name you can give it to justify it. There is no way to cover it with ridiculous words and excuses, no way to hide from the truth of what it really is.

There is no way we can pretend that we do not know what we are doing, what we are permitting, what we are approving and condoning, what we are selling, what we are making legal and profitable.

In the end, what does it profit you if you make all the money in the world and drive the fanciest car you can buy and wear the best clothes and drink the best wine, when you have to hack tiny human babies to pieces to do it? How much money do you make for each of the lives you take, to make it worth it to you to take them? How many pieces of silver do you get for selling your own soul?


More:

The Gospel of Life by Pope Saint John Paul II. Here he quotes Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes (easier to read at EWTN), 27:

“The Second Vatican Council, in a passage which retains all its relevance today, forcefully condemned a number of crimes and attacks against human life. Thirty years later, taking up the words of the Council and with the same forcefulness I repeat that condemnation in the name of the whole Church, certain that I am interpreting the genuine sentiment of every upright conscience: ‘Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator’.”


From the Gospel of Life, 40 and 41:

  1. The sacredness of life gives rise to its inviolability, written from the beginning in man’s heart, in his conscience. The question: “What have you done?” (Gen 4:10), which God addresses to Cain after he has killed his brother Abel, interprets the experience of every person: in the depths of his conscience, man is always reminded of the inviolability of life-his own life and that of others-as something which does not belong to him, because it is the property and gift of God the Creator and Father.

The commandment regarding the inviolability of human life reverberates at the heart of the “ten words” in the covenant of Sinai (cf. Ex 34:28). In the first place that commandment prohibits murder: “You shall not kill” (Ex 20:13); “do not slay the innocent and righteous” (Ex 23:7). But, as is brought out in Israel’s later legislation, it also prohibits all personal injury inflicted on another (cf. Ex 21:12-27). Of course we must recognize that in the Old Testament this sense of the value of life, though already quite marked, does not yet reach the refinement found in the Sermon on the Mount. This is apparent in some aspects of the current penal legislation, which provided for severe forms of corporal punishment and even the death penalty. But the overall message, which the New Testament will bring to perfection, is a forceful appeal for respect for the inviolability of physical life and the integrity of the person. It culminates in the positive commandment which obliges us to be responsible for our neighbour as for ourselves: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:18).

  1. The commandment “You shall not kill”, included and more fully expressed in the positive command of love for one’s neighbour, is reaffirmed in all its force by the Lord Jesus. To the rich young man who asks him: “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?”, Jesus replies: “If you would enter life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:16,17). And he quotes, as the first of these: “You shall not kill” (Mt 19:18). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus demands from his disciples a righteousness which surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees, also with regard to respect for life: “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, “You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’. But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment” (Mt 5:21-22).

By his words and actions Jesus further unveils the positive requirements of the commandment regarding the inviolability of life. These requirements were already present in the Old Testament, where legislation dealt with protecting and defending life when it was weak and threatened: in the case of foreigners, widows, orphans, the sick and the poor in general, including children in the womb (cf. Ex 21:22; 22:20-26). With Jesus these positive requirements assume new force and urgency, and are revealed in all their breadth and depth: they range from caring for the life of one’s brother (whether a blood brother, someone belonging to the same people, or a foreigner living in the land of Israel) to showing concern for the stranger, even to the point of loving one’s enemy.

A stranger is no longer a stranger for the person who mustbecome a neighbour to someone in need, to the point of accepting responsibility for his life, as the parable of the Good Samaritan shows so clearly (cf. Lk 10:25-37). Even an enemy ceases to be an enemy for the person who is obliged to love him (cf. Mt 5:38-48; Lk 6:27-35), to “do good” to him (cf. Lk 6:27, 33, 35) and to respond to his immediate needs promptly and with no expectation of repayment (cf. Lk 6:34-35). The height of this love is to pray for one’s enemy. By so doing we achieve harmony with the providential love of God: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mt 5:44-45; cf. Lk 6:28, 35).

Thus the deepest element of God’s commandment to protect human life is the requirement to show reverence and love for every person and the life of every person. This is the teaching which the Apostle Paul, echoing the words of Jesus, address- es to the Christians in Rome: “The commandments, ?You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet’, and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, ?You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:9-10).


When I ran a search in the Gospel of Life for the word “murder”, I got 29 hits. I highly recommend reading it in full. I’ve read it many times, usually once a year or every two years, along with the Splendor of Truth. More than anything else I have ever read, outside of Scripture, these two encyclicals changed my life (and just so you know, John Paul II’s encyclicals are filled with Scripture references). They woke me up. I went from being someone who was nominally pro-life to someone who was pro-life actively, outspokenly, finding out more, sharing what I had found, voting for pro-life laws, supporting pro-life candidates, no longer supporting candidates who are not pro-life. Really, if you do not stand for life, then what in God’s name do you stand for?

Be honest about what the mean choice really meansYou’ve heard it, I’ve heard it. I heard it today in a conversation I had while waiting for tires to be put on my car. To paraphrase: The decision to abort is a difficult one, but it’s better than letting those poor children end up in orphanages. I beg to differ. I am one of those poor children who ended up in an orphanage. Thanks be to God! Who in her right mind would think that death was preferable to having a fighting chance at life? Who in his right mind would think, because something might happen to a child at some point in his or her life, that murdering that child at the outset was the better, the nobler, the Christian choice?!

Boggles my mind. Absolutely boggles my mind. Especially the same person tells me that if something is in the Word of God, then that something is as if written in stone and cannot be changed or ignored. The day of worship cannot be changed. Oh, the calamity if that is changed. But the commandment against killing an innocent (which is what the commandment is actually about in the Hebrew, not just killing, but murder of an innocent)–that is less important than the day of worship?

Seems to me that which day we worship on is a point of discipline and can be changed by the Church which is the Body of Christ and was given authority over such things by Him. But the commandment against murder is not a point of discipline. The blood of Cain’s brother cried out to God from the ground upon which it had been spilled. The blood of so many innocent children who were sacrificed to Moloch caused that land to be cursed. That was the land that was known as the Valley of Gehenna, a place where nothing would grow and no one wanted to live there. The people used it as a trash dump and the fires burned there both day and night.

The blood of our brothers and sisters cries out to God our Father from the abortuaries in our own land now. How can God bless us and our country while we continue to spill the blood of the children He meant to be blessings for us? How can God bless us while we continue to pay millions and millions of dollars to those who shed that innocent blood here and abroad? We even tie our foreign aid to acceptance of our exported genocide! We have slain as many as 55 million children in this country alone since Roe v Wade. About a billion worldwide! How can God bless us when we do such things?

Is it any wonder that the world is in such a mess? Is it any wonder that people treat each other worse and worse every day when they think nothing of killing every day at least as many children as the terrorists killed on 9/11?

Who are the terrorists? We the country who supports and exports the genocide against humanity–we are the terrorists!

Just saw this on EWTN Live: the bishops of the USCCB have called for a simple novena, “Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage” toward a culture of life. The novena will be from January 19-27, 2013. You can sign up for e-mail or text updates and get more information at the USCCB website. I think it’s a great idea. The battle we are in must be waged at the spiritual level and we need to pray together to defeat our common ancient enemy.

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St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

God bless you.

Yes, I know it’s not a new film. Thine Eyes: A Witness to the March for Life was made during the March for Life in 2009 before I got actively involved in the pro-life movement beyond prayer groups, study and blogging, and before I made the trek to D.C. to take part in the March in 2010.* I caught the tail-end of the film on EWTN just now but managed to hit record before it was too late, so I’ll be able to watch the whole thing later. Jennifer O’Neill narrates, the beautiful Irish music is by Kennedy’s Kitchen. And memories of the 2010 March are flooding my mind while I type this. Get two copies of the DVD for free, just pay $2 each for shipping and handling, $4 total. Read an article about the film, pdf format from Celebrate Life magazine.


View Thine Eyes, A Witness to the March for Life, Part 1 of 5 on YouTube.

*I want so much to go to the March again, especially at this historic time. But I’ve been too ill and I’m too worn out to even think about driving up there, much less walking around the city. When I went in 2010, I spent the following two days in bed in the motel, flat on my back exhausted. My dog Abby was not amused, though she had enjoyed having her very own fancy shmancy room at the pet motel while I was giving myself a heart attack trying to keep up with the gigantic crowd at the March. I finally gave up and climbed up on the base of a lamp post, Zaccheus-style, so I could play at taking pictures while I was really waiting for my breathing to calm down and my heart to stop pounding. ;) But I did get some good photos.

After I had semi-recovered, the drive home was leisurely. My little dog Abby and I drove down the coast and took our time (two weeks or so) enjoying the sights. Myrtle Beach became one of my favorite places in the world. Well, I haven’t travelled out of the U.S.–yet–but I’ve travelled all over the lower 48, and Myrtle Beach is up around the top of my list. :)