The Essence of Love

April 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Today, April 28th, is the feast day of St. Gianna Molla: doctor, wife, mother, skier, and all-around awesome woman.  She’s also my Confirmation saint and one of my biggest heroes.

Read her inspiring story here:

On the morning of April 21, 1962, which was Good Friday that year, her daughter Gianna Emanuela, named for her mother, was born after a hard labor via C-section. She told her doctors, “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child – I insist on it.  Save her.”  Seven days later Gianna died with much suffering on April 28, 1962. She was only 39 years old. Among her last words were,“Jesus, I love you.”

Gianna Beretta Molla was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, during the international Year of the Family. She was canonized a saint on May 16, 2004.  She is the patron saint of physicians, pregnant mothers, unborn children, and against abortion.

I could write on and on about being pro-life, about science and reason and inalienable rights, but I won’t.

I was brought down to the foundation of my life during my time of suffering and silent learning.  All I know now, all I have understood is that we are here to love. And love is sacrifice. We lay down our lives for those we love, and we are called to love all.  Gianna died that her child “might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  She embodied Jesus with her whole heart and soul.  She gave herself up.  That is the essence of love.

As I write this, there are two women especially on my heart: my sister Juliana and my aunt Sue, because they both lost a child within the last year and a half.  Because they weren’t able, or asked, to make the same kind of sacrifice that Gianna was… they were asked to make a much harder one as a mother. To be the one still here, to have to continue, to pick up the cross and walk on.  But though the outward sacrifice is different, the essence of love remains the same.

Saint Gianna, pray for us!

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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

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

Pro-Life Youth Inspirational; Media Laughable

January 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

Media Checklist for Coverage of the March For Life 2012:
1. Completely underestimate the amount of pro-life people there.  In a feat of mathematical wizardry, turn “hundreds of thousands” into “thousands.”
2.  Make it seem as if there were an equal amount of pro-abortion people there.  (There were not.  There were about 7.)
3.  Do NOT take any wide-angle camera shots.
4.  Rationalize away the incredibly strong presence of youth.
5.  Make the March for Life into something that’s about “religious ideologies” rather than the basic fact of human life.
6.  Again, don’t forget the “under”s:  Under-report it.  Underestimate it.  Under-photograph it.  Undermine it.

Well, the checklist is out in full force again this year, as I read the online news about the March For Life, the annual grassroots pro-life march that commemorates the tragic day when the Supreme Court legalized abortion.  It took place yesterday in Washington, DC, and I was able to attend with my church youth group.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to form all my thoughts into a coherent whole, but I wanted to at least jot my observations down before they faded.   Here are my thoughts, as I remember having them:

12:00 PM:  We arrive at the Mall where the annual pro-life rally is being held.  My first thought:  WOW.  There is an INCREDIBLE amount of people here.  And more than three-quarters of them are young adults.  Second thought: Darn it, it’s way colder than I anticipated and the rain has already soaked my gloves!  Fie.  Also, I end up with a “Personhood: No Matter How Small” sign and a “Defend Life” sign.  We are all standing in the muddy lawn of the Mall, listening to the speakers, but we’re a little too far away to hear them clearly.  Kate Walters runs up to me at this point and I am overjoyed to see her!  I am so impressed by the amount of people still filling up the area.  The freezing rain doesn’t deter pro-life activists much!  People are handing out Rick Santorum stickers, and I’ve seen a few Ron Paul signs as well.  I don’t really like the idea of political candidates being touted here at the March, although I understand why it’s happening, since this is an election year.  But being pro-life isn’t about Republicans or Democrats.  It’s about the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death.  The absolute bedrock of our nation’s rights is that of life.       

1:30:   We begin to file into the street for the actual marching part of the day.  There are so many banners from different schools and churches.  St. Cecelia’s Parish.  St. Gregory’s Academy.  St. Anthony of Padua Church.  The Sisters of Life.  Benedictine College.  Ave Maria University.  Their names shine jewel-bright against the gunmetal sky.  I see the Franciscan friars, recognizable in their long gray robes.  There are people holding Papal flags right next to me.  I get excited, because that’s the bumper sticker on the back of my car!  There are a few Methodists for Life signs, and a bunch of Orthodox Jewish signs too.  I see Lutherans for Life a few minutes later.  My favorite sign said: “Mother and child.  Love them both.”

2:15:  Our group decides to say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy as we march.  People join in as they walk with us.  Some groups have their own prayers, others are chanting.  A few are even singing.  I hear drums and trumpets from a group ahead of us.  Though all these sounds might clash, the sense of unity is overwhelming.  We walk past the EWTN cameras.  I wave in the hopes that my family will see me.  No luck, it turns out. 

2:45:  My hands and feet are FREEZING.  Enough to keep me from taking as many pictures as I wanted to.  But we are still marching, moving in a massive line up Constitution Ave.  Near the top of the hill, I turn around and see the March snaking its way behind us.  I can’t see the end.  People just keep coming around the corner of the block, far down the hill from us.  It’s honestly insane how many people are here in the freezing rain and cold.   

3:00:  We are stopped in front of the Supreme Court building.  For the first time, I spot some pro-abortion protestors.  They have a little area right in front of the Court.  There are about 7 of them.  It is not a very comparable showing at all.  We keep on walking. 

3:45:  The March is almost at an end.  My Defend Life sign performed valiantly, but is finally giving up the ghost.  The paper is soggy from the rain and there are muddy smears on the wood.  Clumps of people wander past us as we pause in front of the Library of Congress.  The March is slow to dissipate.  It’s hard to let go of all that energy and emotion in an instant.  I am always left with a feeling of wanting to do a little more.  Take another extra block for the babies who’ve been aborted since Roe V. Wade was passed.  Or pray another Rosary.  Join my voice with the hundreds of thousands of other young adults who’ve spent the day in protest of the killing of our generation.

4:00:  Shannon and I arrive back at the bus, ahead of everyone else because we’re awesome like that.  I sink into my seat with an air of relief as my hands finally start to unthaw.  Was it worth it though?  Yes, it was.

A last reflection:  The kids.  The kids there!  It was insane, inspiring, amazing, moving to tears, the amount of kids there who looked to be in the 14-21 age range.  The pro-life movement is only growing younger, stronger, and bigger, folks.  We aren’t going anywhere any time soon!  🙂         

The crowd going all the way up Constitution Ave ahead of us.

 

The crowd stretching all the way down Constitution Ave behind us.

 
And these are just 2 shoddy pictures taken on my cell phone.  I can’t wait to see some real photography or video footage.  Insane.  But AWESOME.

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