The Journey Continues

“But take care, as you value your lives! Do not forget the things which you yourselves have seen, or let them slip from your heart as long as you live; teach them, rather, to your children and to your children’s children.” Deuteronomy 4:9

On February 27 of this year, our Christian Life Seminar was finally over. The “travelling angels” from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and from San Diego in California, USA noted that it was the longest CLS in the history of CFC-FFL.

Tito Cris and his wife, Tita Poochie began with the first talk in March 2014. They went home to the Philippines in summer. Thereafter, they encountered difficulties in securing visas to enter Bahrain. So that it was only in early November that we were able to meet again. In February of this year, we were introduced to Tito Froy who was temporarily assigned to Bahrain. And before our dedication, came his wife, Tita Belle. During the Feb Fridays that we gather in Jesus’ name, Guadalupe, a two month old baby girl, together her parents Bro Seneth and Sis Joy, joined our family, Bhoy, Megan, Miguel, and Mac in our praise and thanksgiving to God. And so our CFC-FFL family was complete, just as the CLS was completed.

That was the chronology of the CLS events as I recalled- one year summed up in one paragraph. Yet the substance of each single moment that we have shared together in the love of God is so profound that it will take a lifetime for me to share. It is pure joy to know God and love God. It is divine to share His love.

As the purpose of the CLS is evangelisation and spiritual renewal, it is now our life’s purpose to fulfill the will of God.

We will be forever grateful to our “travelling angels”, Tito Cris, Tita Poochie, Tito Froy and Tita Belle, for their valuable time, perseverance and effort to enable us know God and love God better. May the Lord continue to shower his blessings upon them.

Our CLS may have come to an end, but the journey continues. We, who are called, together with Bro Seneth and Sis Joy, have a lot to do. May we not be weakened by the world’s distractions. But rather, call upon the Holy Spirit day by day for the constant renewal of our faith, while we carry our own crosses together with our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the path towards the eternal kingdom of God.

 

 

 


Bloom Where You Are Re-planted

“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them…” 1 Corinthians 7:17

I just celebrated my 48th birthday a few weeks back. As part of my annual sentimental “look-back” at what have been, I realized that there is one constant that dominates the story of my life- and that is MOVING.

Before I finished my studies, I lived at 5 different houses and went to 8 different schools. from the time i got married until now, I lived at 9 houses and worked in a commercial establishment, a government agency, a bank, 2 schools and a hospital. That does not include where I live and work now.

Sometimes I wonder what my life could have been if there wasn’t too much action. How stress-free it could have been if i work at the same office table until i retire. And how comforting to live in just one house until my last breath. But who really knows?

So S also wondered how it could have been if I was stuck in only one corner of the same office and worked consistently on the same assignment everyday. by now I would have probably mastered the grooves and accomplish all without batting my short lashes, but how bored to death I would be now.

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I also wondered how many places I would not have the privilege to visit if it was my destiny to normally age within the four corners of the same house i was born to. How I would have missed the rapid beating of my heart whenever i experience the rising of the sun and its setting from different perspectives, the changing of the seasons under a different view of the sky, the genuine tastes and sounds of various societies.

And yes, I wondered how many people I would not have met… and known… and loved, if I was just bounded by the walls of my immediate family. I would not have known people from other nations who are as diverse in our culture and tradition, yet so similar in our humanity.

Moving is actually a joyful adventure for me rather than a futile exercise; like a flowering plant that is constantly being pulled from where it has grown its roots and re-planted to a new and strange spot. It may be a new pot or a beautiful garden. It doesn’t matter where, only its purpose is to bloom.

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I believe I am God’s little flower. And I am repeatedly being uprooted and re-planted to serve my purpose. I am in the here and now because God planned this from the beginning.

When it is time for that little flower in me to move again, I will no longer wonder. because all I need to do is bloom.

Never Empty

Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” Acts 3:6

It was a great disappointment  that i gave in to my weakness on Good Friday.  Fasting was totally deleted as i hesitantly (with guilt that almost choked me), downloaded that salmon carpaccio and tonno. thanks to vapiano.  being in an Islamic country is not an excuse.  In fact, there are no excuses at all. The Muslims fast for forty days during Ramadan and I cannot, even for just one day.  Shame  on me!  God forgive me.

Yes I know if I prayed  hard enough, He will.  And maybe i can forgive myself too.  But not before I could sincerely ask for His forgiveness, do penance and make up for the grave sin that I committed.

So how do i do that?  I need the Helper, the Holy Spirit to get me through this.  Grace to sincerely ask for forgiveness.  Humility to do penance.  And charity to make up.  All these three, I need. Big time.

The first two is between my God and me. The third, I had to reach out to my brothers and sisters.  Be generous and kind.

There is a grave misconception about the word charity for me, that charity is an exclusive exercise for the rich.  So that it becomes synonymous with letting go of material  wealth or possessions.  Until I took into heart what Peter said.

I was waiting to get rich to be charitable and generous.  But i realized that even if I am not, I will never ran out of opportunities to be kind and giving.

My cup of blessings are full and overflowing.  And so does yours.  It  may not be quantified with monetary value.  But our cups are never empty.

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In the same way, that the recipients of charity should be restricted only to those who need money or things.  There is another class of poor in our midst.  There are those who may have all the riches in the world, but think they have no more reason to live for.

Even those who  are in dire need of someone who will listen in times of distress. Who will lend a hand in moments of weakness. Who will offer a smile when the whole world frowns upon him.  Rich or not, we need others to fill in a void in our lives.

God sends us to fill in that void.  Let us be that angel.  Let us be that someone.  Let us be that friend.  Because if there is anything that we will not be short of, it is ourselves.  we will always have something  to give.  Because the Lord fills up our cup.  And refills it each time we pour ourselves to others.

tears of the candle

“Make known to me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.  Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation; for Thee I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:4-5

it’s Christmas time once again.  and even far away from the Philippines, the spirit of the season will always remain in our hearts; even in a country where Christmas is just another ordinary working day, and those lights blink whole year round not to remind everyone of the birth of Jesus, but to make their establishments easier to find.

as early as september, we already have our simple Christmas tree in place.  we thought that would counter last year’s sad memories because of my daddy’s passing, and because i knew i had to undergo surgery before the holidays.  we also have advent candles on the mini-altar on my bedside.

there was always a candle lit up for the daily bible readings and prayers.  but today, there were three because it was already the third week of advent.  as i prayed the rosary, i got to stare as the wicks swayed in a synchronized fashion.  as expected, the melted wax trickled down, like tears flowing down one’s cheeks.  this time however, instead of them running to the base of the candle, they jumped off from the tip of the glass to the tabletop where violet drops lay, waiting to be scraped off when i’m done with my prayers.

however, even before i was through, i decided to let them stay. for one, these teenie-weenie candle droplets taught me a lesson as my eyes remained glued to them long after the prayers were over.

we bought these new candles: three violets, one pink and one white, and placed them on used glass containers within which, melted candle laid.  using a small kitchen knife, i carefully scraped a cylinder in the middle of each glass, just enough for the new candles to fit and stand firm, and saved a space around them where the melted wax would eventually flow and gather.  the bottom end of each new candle was heated over a lighter flame so it would stick to the base where the candle would then stand.  after the preparations, the advent candles majestically stood there, all five of them, and i am certain they would serve their purpose all throughout the season.

but why these droplets on the side table? i was careful to make enough space and depth to catch each of them.  so where did i go wrong? i kept wondering why, until i realized i see life much like the tears of the candle.  no matter how meticulously you plan so that your future would be solid as a rock, there really is no guarantee it would be.  we can stand securely in our glass containers and firmly stick to our base, but we will never know when the table would be shaken or if the wind would suddenly blow our flames away.  you may think life sucks when that happens.  but then that’s one truth that we have to accept.  we may have power as the candle when it lights up,  but we can never have control over what lies beyond.  only God does.

 when we were born into this world, God lit our lives to shine, so that others may see the glory of his power in us.  life is not about us, it is all about God.  when things get out of hand and we messed up with the life that he gave, so that the light that we have seem to fade away, all we have to do is to surrender. let Him take over.  only He decides if He would scrape the violet droplets… or let them stay to teach a lesson to others, so that we may glorify Him in our own tears.

happy feet

“And how can men preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”  Romans 10:15

my birth month is almost over.  as i contemplate on all the blessings the Lord showers me with day by day, the Bible passage above, prompted me to stare at my own two feet.  they are relatively small and dainty, which definitely don’t match my short and fat limbs, nor my chubby yet huggable torso.  but they apparently do the work.  and as i ponder on the value of these feet which i always look down to, i’m amazed how far they already have taken me; from baby steps to short walks to school and church, to long walks to the park, malls, work, airports even.

these same feet which i took for granted, enables me to attend birthday parties, weddings, funeral processions; join campings, hikings, engage in sports or simply climb flights of stairs.  who knows what else my feet can do for me? run for my life maybe.

i remember during high school, there were these branded clogs which were in fashion called happy feet.  they were so cool, probably because they were the classy version of the local bakya.  back then, it was some sort of status symbol.  but since my parents could only afford bantex and spartan, i didn’t get the privilege to wear one. twenty-five years later, as we stroll around the mall and bhoy saw the child-like delight on my face when i saw racks and racks of happy feet, he couldn’t help but finally buy me the bakya of my youthful dreams. but then again, other than slip my feet on them, or to some other pair of sleek, thin-strapped sandals to showcase how pretty they are, i haven’t given much thought how hard my poor, little feet have served me thus far.

until now.

days before my birthday, i had to stop working and undergo total abdominal hysterectomy.  the procedure rendered me totally incapable to do just about anything.  and when finally, i’m able to walk again, that’s more or less what my ob gyn, nurses and internet researches advised me to do. just walk. from baby steps – again, i struggled to move forward without the bend and crouch and the twitch on my face .  you can just imagine how happy i was when last week, i was finally able to walk 1km along the corniche; breath in the fresh scent of the sea and bask in the early morning winter sunshine.

as my birth month ends, life goes on.  and as i walk on through the rest of my journey, i want to share the lessons of joy and hope from my humble, little feet.  at times when we may be looked down or stepped upon; at times when we slip or stumble; at times when the burden of the world weighs us down – stare at the same feet.  they never give up no matter how heavy we are literally.  they won’t really care how sad and frustrated we can become, they are always on standyby, ready to take us wherever we want to be, regardless of the danger and how rough the road ahead maybe.

they serve… and they endure.  because that’s what the happy feet are here for.  and so are we.

the naked truth

“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”  Job 1:21

funny how the word “naked” always evokes that extra interest.  basic instinct maybe?  but come to think of it.  our nakedness is basic in our humanity.  we were born naked.  and would pass on the same way too.  no matter how we would eventually be clothed in the end.

i remember when my cousin khan passed away.  she was in her early 20s.  initially, she wore our aunt’s conservative barong terno especially made for a wedding ceremony.  everyone noticed how khan’s face looked so unhappy.  you see, khan was a fashionista.  it was really awkward to see her that young and dead.  but wear that terno and that short hair? eeewww!  like she was forced by death to look 30 years older.  and we could almost hear her scream, “get me out of here!!!”  in reference to her outfit. not her coffin.

so my sister and younger cousins decided to buy her a more suitable lavender spaghetti strapped dress with a matching see-through  shawl to cover her shoulder.  the ensemble showed how pretty and young she was, yet still retained that statuesque dignity only khan could get away with.  we can always argue about this.  but believe it or not, from then on, her face glowed in serene approval and it was like she smiled all the way to her grave.

the truth is, we didn’t really care how we were dressed up when we were born.  likewise, it wouldn’t matter too when we pass on.  our life is a personal relationship with our Creator.  it will always be between ourselves and Him.  nothing more. nothing less.  whatever we had after we were born – family, clothing, shelter, riches – these are just add ons to our journey that we are trusted to enrich our lives with.  we don’t take them beyond our destination.  because in the end, our accountability is what have we done with our life.  with or without the add-ons. 

remember the story of Job.  he was an upright man who feared God and shunned evil.  he was prosperous and God blessed him with seven sons and three daughters.  but Satan was allowed to test his faith. everything he had was taken away.  even his family.  his whole body was smitten by Satan with dreadful boils.  still he persevered in his faith.  when his wife prompted him to curse God and die, Job replied “You speak as the one of the foolish speaks.  Moreover, shall we receive good from God and not receive evil?”

in the end, Job got well again, regain his possessions and had ten more children living to see the fourth generation and died in peace at the old age of 140. 

when we lose someone or something we hold dear – loved ones, job, home, money, health etc. –  let us remember that all are God’s blessings to us.  He has the power to give, yet take away in His time.  we must be resigned to all sufferings, as much as we delight in all the blessings.  not because He is God and we are just His creations.  but because we trust that God knows what is best for us.  though His mysterious ways leave us often confused and puzzled; so that we tend to ask why, and expect the answer right away.

“there is nothing permanent in this world.  not even our troubles.”  Charlie Chaplin once said.  today may be your bad day.  but from my experience,  from these bad days, the best of mine always follow. 

we may be stripped of anything and everything, but in all our humble nakedness, our Creator clothes us with the assurance that he would take care of everything.  and if we sincerely believe, we could actually feel that warmth of his love.

that’s the naked truth.

learn to appreciate… and keep the love alive

 

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”  Hebrews 3:13

fortunate is a man who loves and is loved in return.  still a man is lucky to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.  but then again, man is most blessed to be loved… and appreciated at the same time.

young love – sweet, carefree, simple. MJ once sang: they try to tell us we’re too young… and yet, we’re not too young to know, this love would last though years may go.  old standard as it may sound, it still happens. young love blossoms in a burst of colors and such sweet scent that nothing around it matters.  not even the worms underneath, nor the bees and butterflies that hover above.  only the flower exists.  a lot like love.  and it is all that the eyes can see.

but after a while, people get easily distracted and turn out of  focus.  not only with lovers.  even parents with their kids;  grown children with their aged parents;  busy bosses with their subordinates. a friend with a friend.  we forget they exist, so we fail to express how important they are.  simply because we look past them.  therefore, we don’t appreciate.

in all instances, i realize that what is worse than the absence of love, is the absence of appreciation. 

we often hear declarations of undying love and praise during a wake or a funeral.  how much the dead will be missed. how much he was loved.  but you’ll be surprised how many of them appreciated his presence when he was still alive.  perhaps it is only after death that he is given the attention he might have yearned for all his life. only then, it is too late.

so while our hearts are still beating, let’s try to express our appreciation however we think possible.

hug…kiss…send flowers…text…call…watch movies together…spend the day off together…post something on the wall…write a poem…sing a song…drive around…watch the sunset together…cook that favorite dish…smell the roses…together.  there are zillions of ways.  but what matters is to let them know…

just say it.

for love is but a word, until we give it away.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

how i survived my wedding: love story of a june bride

“But at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’.  So they are no longer two, but one.” Mark 10:6-8 

the month of June was named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.  for this reason, it is believed that couples who tie the knot during the month of June would enjoy a happy married life.  this explains why most women preferred to be june brides.  aside from harvest time and that flowers are still abloom, this perception about the wedding month of june influenced our choice of a wedding day. 

our wedding preparations began in March right after the “pamanhikan“.  a “pamanhikan” is a Filipino tradition when the parents of the groom meet the parents of the bride and discuss over a sumptuous meal the details of the wedding.  before the meeting, bhoy and i had our wedding plans already written down from the most important such as the church and the venue for the reception, to the most trivial like which ribbon to use for the wedding souvenirs.  but it turned out that both our parents had a different agenda so we considered it was best to let them have their way.

though major changes were made in our wedding plans, one remained constant.  we decided it had to be perfect.  so we did all we could to follow our revised list to the letter, even minus a wedding coordinator or event organizer, which was non-existent that time.

the wedding was to be held in our parish church to be decorated with exquisite flower arrangements ; so must be the reception in our house.  the motif was light yellow, sky blue and baby pink (we call it rainbow though none was even in it).  my off-white gown was similar to Princess Diana’s  (if i had known that i’d grow this ‘bulky’, i would have worn the strapless, body-hugging type.  sigh!) as wedding souvenirs, we bought tiny heart -shaped scented candles which we personally wrapped in tulle in hues that conform of course with our motif.  again, light yellow, sky blue and baby pink.  our invitations were printed especially for us by the printing press of my daddy’s friend as his wedding gift.  everything was right on schedule, and things seemed to work out as planned.  or so we thought… 

the much awaited day finally came – June 15, 1991… the wedding mass was to commence at 9:00 am.  but when we woke up at 5:00 am, it was raining cats and dogs and whatever furry house pet you could ever think of!  a gatecrasher named typhoon Diding came uninvited… and early. we had offered not only three eggs at the altar in honor of St. Clare the day before, but a dozen to ensure good weather on our special day. and yes! miracles of miracles! the rain stopped and the sun shone just in time for the wedding ceremony.

after the wedding march, i can hardly remember anything that followed. and i discovered only later, that bhoy had almost the same experience.  it was like we were both in a trance.  what we were sure of was there were lots of people and that something very special was unfolding.  it’s just that we didn’t see faces or recall how the wedding exactly took place; like a jigsaw puzzle, only bits and pieces of what Fr. Bitoon said during the homily, which now also seem too vague and difficult to connect all together. during the reception, we were still dazed.  we were mentally blank at most, and yet we were absolutely sure our emotions were overflowing with joy and excitement.

but at 2:00 pm, we were suddenly jolted out of our state of euphoria.  the sky turned really dark that most of our guests who came all the way from as far as Pangasinan and Tarlac, suddenly bade goodbye and left hurriedly.  still bhoy and i were still on cloud 9.99, so what looked like a freak weather condition no longer mattered.  in no time, all the guests and relatives had gone home.  wedding day ended abruptly.   it turned out that the same time that our love affair was being written in the stars, a volcano began to shoot up sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere which would affect the earth’s atmosphere over the next few years .  June 15, 1991 mt. pinatubo in zambales erupted.  and the rest is history.

nineteen years had passed since bhoy and i solemnly vowed to God and our families, to take each other as husband/wife, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from that day forward, till death do we part.

the wedding didn’t turn out perfect as we planned.  at some point, i even thought maybe nature was working against us.  even life didn’t happen as we wanted it to be.  but we thank the Lord for each other, for the children that we have and for all the other blessings we have received in our marriage and beyond.

bhoy and i now realize that it really doesn’t matter what season of the year is the best time to get married.  what is essential to a happy marriage is love that endures regardless of what the weather is. ours was nineteen years of laughter, sweet smiles, butterfly kisses, warm hugs and corny jokes.  there were some tears too from time to time, but only to strengthen the episodes of vulnerability that falling in love usually caused.

and it is amazing how, everyday as we wake up in the morning, we fall in love with each other all over again.

do you know what our secret is?  we have a third party between us.  and that is the Lord who bonded and painted our marriage with hues more than that of our wedding motif, and even more than the colors of the rainbow.  that rainbow that will forever hold the promise,  as God made this promise to Noah:
“Never again will I destroy the world with a flood.
I make this covenant with you and with all creatures.
From this day on,
there will always come a time for planting,
and a time for gathering up what was planted.

Day will always follow night,
the warm days of summer
will always follow
the cold and snow of winter,
as long as the earth shall be.”

so too shall our love, we pray in Jesus’ name…

Weep, Rachel! Baby Boy Aborted Alive and Left to Die

This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15

  • By Jennifer Hartline
  • 4/30/2010
  • reposted from Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
  • The manner of this child’s death is horrifying beyond belief, but it’s not the location of his death that makes it a homicide!  He was the very same 22 week-old infant hours earlier when he was kicking and growing inside his mother’s womb!  He was the very same human being the moment he died as the moment before he was aborted.  That he died slowly, nearly two days after the abortion, only means he was clumsily murdered.

    A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping: Rachel Weeping for Her Children Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)

    A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping: Rachel Weeping for Her Children Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)

    WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) –  I would have taken him in a heartbeat and loved him.  You probably would have as well.  I know there are countless couples out there who would have given anything for the gift of him.  I know when you read about what happened to him, you will be as angry as I am at this moment.  Then you will, hopefully, weep as I am at this moment.  He deserves every tear we can shed and then some.

    The story of this horrible evil deserves righteous anger.  It is entirely appropriate to scream and wail.  There doesn’t seem to be nearly enough wailing – that may be what is beginning to bother me most.  I am enraged by the overriding hush.

    The UK Telegraph reported April 28 that in the town of Rossano, Italy, a 22 week-old baby boy was  aborted alive, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached and left alone to die.  20 hours later, he was discovered by a priest who went to pray beside his body and noticed that the baby was moving and breathing.  Doctors then had the baby taken to a neighboring hospital to be cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit, where he ultimately died, nearly two days after being ripped from his mother’s womb and discarded like trash.

    His mother decided to end his life because prenatal scans suggested he was disabled.  Suggested.  Possibly disabled; declared unworthy to live.  He was murdered by heartless animals wearing lab coats, who have medical degrees hung in frames on their office walls.  He was handed over to death by the one who was entrusted by God with his care, and he was killed and thrown away by those who take an oath to “first do no harm.”

    It’s time to stop tip-toeing around, sugar-coating our language for fear of sounding offensive.  What’s offensive is what was done to this child.  What’s offensive is the barbaric execution of babies in the womb in the name of “reproductive freedom.”  What’s offensive is that societies at large turn their eyes away, pretend not to notice, and justify the evil being masqueraded as a “right.”

    How I long to hear Rachel weeping!  How I long to see her wail at the top of her lungs, cover her head with ashes and mourn for her children!  “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”  Jeremiah 31:15

    Instead, it is the anti-Rachel who presently exerts her influence and power over us.  The anti-Rachel is heard in the voice of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, Emily’s List, Catholics for Choice, Catholics United, the judges and politicians who protect abortion “rights” and yes, our President.  The anti-Rachel sits in the seat of power in our country and around the world, and weeping for our children has been eschewed; now we declare victory and “freedom” won by their calculated deaths.

    The anti-Rachel said just today that abortion must be kept safe and legal and whether or not it is rare is beside the point:

    “If those 1.21 million abortions represent only the women who could access abortion financially, geographically or otherwise, then that number is too low.  Yes, too low….Do we dare admit that increasing the number of abortions might be not only good for women’s health, but also moral and just?”  RHReality Check, “Keep Abortion Safe and Legal? Yes. Make it Rare? Not the Point.” by Aimée Thorne-Thomsen

    I would love to hear Ms. Thorne-Thomsen defend what was done to that baby boy in Italy this week, and defend it she must if she insists abortion is just and moral! 

    Where is the statement from Planned Parenthood extolling the courageous service of this doctor in providing the mother the “reproductive health services” she needed?  It should not make one iota of difference to them how this baby died.  All that matters is that his mother wanted him killed and the doctor tore him out of the womb.  As long as he ultimately died, the details are irrelevant.  After all, abortion is abortion is abortion.  What difference does it make how it’s accomplished?  So what if the insentient blob of tissue, the little parasite, the disabled fetus, the unplanned and unwanted intruder doesn’t die right away?  Whether in the womb, halfway out of the womb, or delivered and laying on an instrument table, who cares?  So what if it dies hours or days later, having been thrown in the corner with the dirty laundry?

    No, the voices of anti-Rachel cannot be sad for the death of this baby boy. Death is the necessary fruit of their labors. The most they can do is plead for the cause of better-trained doctors who are responsible and skilled enough to make sure they get the job done right on the first try. The tragedy for them here is that yet another doctor has failed to provide women the care they deserve. The manner of this child’s death is horrifying beyond belief, but it’s not the location of his death that makes it a homicide! He was the very same 22 week-old infant hours earlier when he was kicking and growing inside his mother’s womb! He was the very same human being the moment he died as the moment before he was aborted. That he died slowly, nearly two days after the abortion, only means he was clumsily murdered. I know there will be many people in many countries who will be outraged over this child’s death. They may weep and feel furiously angry. But will it matter? When the next opportunity comes to usher Rachel into the seat of power, that laws of life may be written in place of the current laws of death, will the millions remember this little boy and their anger over his murder? In our own nation, will the millions who say they recognize the humanity of the child in the womb remember this precious child and finally denounce the mythical “right” of abortion? Will they take their anger to the ballot box in defense of the sanctity of human life? Will Catholics in America finally live the undeniable truth of the faith they claim to believe? Human life is sacred and created by God. Abortion kills a child. No one has the right to kill a child. Abortion is intrinsically evil. This is what the Church teaches, yet scores of self-described Catholics either brush aside or flat-out reject this truth and carry the banner of “choice” instead. Why? Why would this child’s death have been legal, moral, just, and acceptable if only he had died immediately? How long will we choose the curse over the blessing? Why isn’t Rachel’s weeping a deafening roar? Rachel absolutely must refuse to be comforted over the brutal death of this child and every child who is killed in the name of “choice.”

    (This boy was killed in Italy, but it happens here in the U.S. more than anyone will admit, despite our Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Read more at Jill Stanek.)
    —– Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven). She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. She is also a serious chocoholic. Visit her at My Chocolate Heart. – – –
     
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    roobee doo bee doo

    “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” John 16:22

    over dinner last night, bhoy and i wondered if people would still know each other in heaven.  we  also wondered how we would look like. if the same as when we were younger, or when older. though we may have preferences, it would make no difference because apparently no one will care about appearances anymore.  everything is beautiful.  and heavenly to be more precise.

    there are stories of near-death experiences where heaven was a tunnel of light where choirs of angels sing. bhoy said souls would probably look like baby angels there.  and  i pointed out that there are depictions of angels as grown ups too. like the archangels.  well, we wouldn’t really know until we get there, would we?

    it’s been a year now since roobee passed away.  there’s no way of knowing how she looks as an angel (i believe she is!).  and there is absolutely no way that we can track where in heaven she is.  even if there is GPS, it would be out of range, unless someone invents an HPS (heaven positioning system), which is a remote possibility. not ever. at least not in this lifetime.  or lifetimes ahead.

    but after that initial shock when one gets to learn that someone dear is gone,  the difficulty to process grief into profound sorrow,  (four times in a span of one year for me), there seemed no choice but to get it over with and move on. question is do we?

    by God’s grace and mercy, i have learned to dwell instead on the precious blessing of our friendship rather than the void she left. and boy i tell you! it’s huge!

    as we watched clash of the titans last night, i can’t help but smile as i recall watching the 1981 version with her when we were still in high school.  one by one, random memories of the amazing 80s come to mind.  my sharona, esavy, we are the champions, straa, campings, retreats, jewa, balut, bagets… i could go on and on.

    now as i listen to Apo Hiking Society, i can almost hear roobee singing doo bidoo bidoo.  with the choir of angels singing with her.