January 30, 2013 § 5 Comments
January 27, 2013 § 7 Comments
Rose’s Note: You may be familiar with my 11 year old sister Genevieve, who has written a number of guest posts for me. She recently attended the March For Life in Washington, DC, and added her voice to half a million others to protest abortion. Here are her (completely unedited by me) thoughts on the March and on the babies for whom she walked.
The March For Life
Again and again I get the urge to march for the murdered children, even if I’m not on the March for Life. This year, though, I was. I think our point has been made each time our feet drum against the ground during the cold day. Now I’m sure there have been many sunny days that the March for Life has seen, but I hear stories of the cold rain, cloudy sky, the cold air choking you as you walked. I believe God does that for a reason. I am most likely wrong, but I think that God makes it snow, rain and makes the clouds cover the sky for a motive: He wants to make us see how sad it is that we are murdering the voiceless babies! In politics, many speak out against something that affects them, but the babies can’t have a say, so it is our duty to make sure they have a full life ahead of them.
My nephew and niece, Leo and Lucy, have impacted my life more than I could have ever imagined. What would happen if I didn’t have them? I would be bored, boreder than usual, and there would be no spice in my life :). So, marching for the small children that grow up to be the next future doesn’t seem so bad, even if it is in the cold snow and your feet feel like they’re going to fall off. I hope President Obama’s heart was touched today, and if it wasn’t, we’ll keep marching no matter what the weather is like, no matter what the world is like, there will be at least ten people in the world who want whats right.
Leo and Lucy:
Rose and Genevieve:
January 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
From the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer, Penance, and Pilgrimage Novena, this is today’s reflection:
“On this feast of St. Francis de Sales, let us consider these words of the great saint: “All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey.” St. Francis reminds us that all of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love, and that we find our freedom in living the truth. As we defend the dignity of human life, let us ask St. Francis to pray for us so that everything we say and do for unborn children and their grieving parents is imbued with both compassion and truth.”
What a beautiful reflection. The one line in this really jumped out at me. “All of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love.” I am not ashamed to admit that this is very hard for me sometimes. Danny always tells me I get angry or upset too easily, and he’s right. When I’m discussing abortion, or same-sex marriage, or any number of hot-button issues with people, it is so, so easy for me to grow angry, especially when I feel like people write me off or are condescending to me because of my religion. But that kind of anger is never the answer, especially not where religion is concerned, because it’s just my pride being hurt. A very wise priest once said to me during a Confession: “The emotions are morally neutral. It is what you do with them that makes them wrong or right.” And he’s right. Anger in itself is not wrong. It is not wrong for me to feel angry when I see the outrageous, egregious, horrifying numbers of babies aborted in the United States. But to grow angry at someone because they don’t treat me with the dignity that I think I deserve, because they call me names and falsely represent my beliefs, to let that anger affect my mood, my day, the way I act towards other people… that is pure pride. I struggle with that a LOT. The internet makes it even worse. People write very mean things on the ever anonymous internet. To let myself get angry because someone who doesn’t know me, who doesn’t care about me, has judged me and my beliefs on the internet, is just plain silly. Typing that out just now makes it seem even sillier. But it happens.
You would think that the two attributes they mention in this reflection would go hand-in-hand, and maybe for some people they do. But for me, having a “spirit of love” and finding “freedom in living the truth” do not always appear together. As the Act of Faith says, I believe “all the truths which the Catholic Church teaches”, and I really do. I try to live these truths and I have found freedom in that. I know that the Love I believe in is true, and good, and wise, and the freedom in knowing that is incredible. But then comes that other phrase again, that “all of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love”. Just in time to make me step back and realize: I am not a saint, heck no. Not yet. Love is a sacrifice, a giving up of yourself, and I struggle to do that with those closest to me. How hard it is to do it with someone I’ve never met before! But that’s what I am called to do. Love them, all those faceless internet strangers: the people who think I’m a bigot, the people who think I hate women, the people who call my beloved Papa Benedict vile names, the people who misrepresent my beliefs, all those unknown masses. Sacrifice my pride for them. Give up my anger for them. Love them.
“…a spirit of love…”
I think that’s what I’ll try to work on during Lent this year. (I always give something up as a penance and choose something to improve on.) Although cultivating a spirit of love sounds really basic and simple and something I should be doing every day anyway, it’s just not that easy. To me, that’s what Lenten sacrifices are for: to help us be more Christ-like in everyday situations. I’ll try to stop getting angry so easily, and move towards a spirit of compassion and truth, towards a spirit of love.
Say a prayer for me, ’cause it ain’t gonna be easy!
January 22, 2013 § 1 Comment
I thought it would be fitting, on this 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade law, to post the prayer written by Pope John Paul II, at the end of his Evangelium Vitae encyclical. This prayer has been hanging on a wall in my family’s home for as long as I can remember. I think I have it memorized without ever taking the time to actually memorize it. Let’s all pray it together and end abortion in our time.
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth of John Paul II’s Pontificate.
January 11, 2013 § 5 Comments
(Guest Post by Juliana Schmit)
I am sitting on the couch in my living room, looking at the glowing screen of my laptop. It is 1 o’clock in the morning. I just made sure the dishwasher was started, the doors were locked, the heat was turned up by two degrees, and the lights were off. Sounds very ordinary, right? But only a few feet away, there are two rooms containing my most precious treasures.
From my own hunched perch on the couch, I can see down the hall through the doorway into my (practically) two-year-old son’s room, and I can even see his little blond head resting on his Buzz Lightyear pillow. His chest is gently rising and falling with slow breaths beneath his white-ish, slightly graying, much loved silky blanket. Yeah, he should be zonked… he only went to bed half an hour ago. In the bordering room, my wonderful husband is snoring away, exhausted, I’m sure, from a long day of working to make money for his family. He’s my best friend. He even wakes up in the middle of the night to save me from falling out of bed when I’m not even falling out of bed. Beside our bed is the little crib the holds my beautiful infant daughter, wrapped up in her white fleecy swaddle blanket and sleeping like an angel. She is breathtaking with every perfect baby feature on her face. It’s funny how I can love her so much yet beg God to keep her sleeping at any slight movement I hear from her.
Once again, I am utterly humbled in my gratefulness for my beloved little family. I take a moment to offer up my gratefulness to God…
January 10, 2013 § 8 Comments
I am proud to introduce my latest guest blogger: Juliana Schmit! Most of you will already know that Juliana is my younger sister, and the only one of 8 siblings who has managed to take the long walk down a church center aisle. She lives in Michigan with her beloved husband Daniel, and the two most beautiful, cutest, smartest, happiest, darlingest little children ever, Leo and Lucy. I’m not quite sure where she finds the time to write guest posts for my blog but I’m glad she did because her writing voice is witty, charming, and more than a little eccentric.
After recovering from the devastating loss of her beloved Blanky while on a family trip to Niagara Falls in second grade, she adopted a stuffed whale named Bubbles, who became her dearest friend for many years. Juliana went on to overcome ‘(Pretending to be a) Middle Child’ syndrome, ‘Classic Overachiever’ syndrome, ‘Worst Driver in the Family’ syndrome (Greg now holds that title), and ‘Longest Stay in the Educational System by a Babetski’ syndrome. Her faith and character were honed through these various trials and I’m proud to say she is one of the most talented people I know, especially in the areas of imitating weird accents and eating large amounts of food incredibly slowly. Nicknamed Jul by her family (pronounced “Juul” NOT “Jewel”, and yes the difference matters), she is always available with a listening ear and a loving heart when I need fashion advice, romantic advice, or really any kind of advice or opinion. She’s really good at giving her opinion. Really good. She gives it a lot. Sometimes before I even ask for it. I always wonder how she knows that I want her opinion. It must be the college education. Regardless, I am digressing. Several other things spring to mind when I think of Jul’s attributes: her artistic creativity, her ability to ad-lib song lyrics and make them rhyme on the fly, her wonderful mothering skills, and her deep and evident love for Christ.
I’m sure that Jul will be a great addition to the ranks of amazing writers here at my blog. She once wrote a story about me and my favorite hockey player (at the time) falling in love. It was called “Back To The Ice” and I think she’s probably still mad at me that I lost it several years ago. I’m mad too. In the story, I helped him learn how to skate again after a tragic accident. It was deeply, deeply moving. At any rate, Juliana’s first post will be up tomorrow. Come back then to read what she’s got to say! Trust me, it’s worth it.
January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
BY G. K. CHESTERTON