Human

January 30, 2013 § 5 Comments

Guest Post by Juliana Schmit

Leo!

my little boy, the joy of my life
my ambitious two-year-old son
he can walk, speak, and point out a cow
or run away when he hears me say “come”
Be it impatience or gleeful song,
the span of his emotion is clear:
he croons “poor baby” to his crying sister
compassionately drawing her near

he is warmly and vividly flesh and blood
his being thrives with life
I’ve bandaged his bleeding and iced his bruises
and kept his tiny feet covered at night

I’ve seen his eyes, their melty brown light
look wounded when I snap too loud
and I’ve seen them crinkle and shine in wonder
when I hold him and say that I’m proud

he knows he’s a person, a funny one, too
he entertains and adores the spotlight
he knows he’s captured the heart of his father
who rushes home to him each night

Anyone could see the way he grows
in every aspect, every day
but who would look and make the claim
“Boy, your fertilized egg turned out great!”

I’d probably turn and furrow my brow
but before I could even respond
would another exclaim “yes it was nice of you
to let that unviable tissue inside of your womb live on!”

are we looking at the same child, I wonder
could they purposely be so blind
so eager to accept mainstream euphemisms
and dismiss my child with practiced lines?

because this toddler that I’m looking at
is a human now, he always was
there was never a magical day when he changed
from a blob to human flesh and blood

if he started off as merely tissue
not a child, but something dismissable
was there a period of time when the change
took place that made him less discardable?

did it start at his head and work its way down
from blob to boy, he slowly changed
was a third of him a human at one point
and then half of him human the next day?

and was two-thirds of him then human (just not the feet)
was he almost done being a “parasite”?
or did it happen in an instant
with a tiny sparking poof of light

the day the laws made it illegal
for me to “get rid of” him
is that the day my son earned the right
to finally be called “human”?

Others might’ve asked of my unborn son
“but will he have financial opportunity?
because if he’s just going to be one more poor person
we might put his personhood under scrutiny.”  (he might not get that title back!)

Well, he’ll have food and clothes to wear
but if necessities were at risk
his father who is man enough to be a father
would work three jobs to take the brunt of it.

“But if you didn’t know his father,
the child was forced on you, a hurtful burden
surely you would have consented then
that he was a problem and you were undeserving.”

and then I’d hang my head in grief
for women who bear that scar…
but a human created in cruelty and hate
is still a human when it’s torn apart.

My son in his first month, unborn
was human, science cannot deny
and he had the right to be called “human”
even if I’d wanted him to die.

the line of development he’s followed
has never been broken from conception through now
silent and defenseless then
he has become dramatic and loud!

my little boy is running in circles
and jabbering as I type
he knows nothing of “tissue” and “parasite”
and “blob of cells” or pro-choice hype.

I am the only one who carried him
who felt his body growing week by week
and being his mother gives me the unopposable authority
to declare that he was human while he was the weakest of the weak.

everything of intelligence, of study
everything of science, faith and reason
acknowledges that my son who is is my son who was
and he’s always had the right to be called human.

Let’s Call It What It Is: “Human”  by Juliana Schmit

The March For Life

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

by Genevieve

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.

M4L3

M4L4

M4L2

M4L1

Leo and Lucy:

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Rose and Genevieve:

Rose and Genny

A Beautiful Reflection

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!

Bl. John Paul II’s Prayer for Life

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.

Evangelium Vitae

The Last One Up

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…

…And now I realize that I only have a short matter of time before the baby wakes up and needs me and who knows if my little boy will actually sleep through the night without waking up and crying for a drink of water and my husband has to be up early for work AND WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING OUT HERE ON MY COMPUTER WHEN I COULD BE SLEEPING?!?!?!!!!!!  OH PRECIOUS SLEEP, DON’T WORRY!!!!  I WILL BE FOOLISH NO LONGER– I AM RUNNING TO YOU!!!!

A Comely and Estimable Guest Blogger

January 10, 2013 § 8 Comments

Jul and kidsI 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.

JulianaAfter 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.

weddingI’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.

The Convert

January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Convert

BY G. K. CHESTERTON

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white.
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead
The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

Where Am I?

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