Today celebrates the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, and is the patronal feast day of this blog. In honor of the feast and of Pentecost, I have changed the blog colors to red.
Tradition doesn't tell us who (besides the angels) attended Mary in childbed. I like to think that if they hadn't been in Bethlehem, Elizabeth would have been there to help wrap Jesus in His swaddling cloths and give him to Mary to nurse.
Our culture sadly needs the witness and help of experienced older women to help new moms to better mother their babes (see Titus 2).
May 2004 Archives
Today celebrates the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, and is the patronal feast day of this blog. In honor of the feast and of Pentecost, I have changed the blog colors to red.
For students, a living history lesson
She was also interviewed via phone on a Memphis TN radio station this morning.
First a disclaimer. I am not a professional ethicist, nor a moral theologian. I do not have a degree in theology. I have a BA in literature and an MS in nursing. I have been a Catholic since 1973, a nurse since 1985, and a nurse-midwife since 1995. I have studied ethics formally and informally, and have given presentations on midwifery and ethical dilemmas in several forums.
Most of us go through life without having to personally face serious ethical dilemmas. We are able to make more or less ordinary decisions using the tools of our knowledge, experience, and faith, with occasional consultations with various experts. The formal study of medical ethics is usually only brought into play when there is a dilemma - a difficult choice to be made.
There is a topic that I think we need to discuss, that Eutychus Fell brings up on his blog. Since he doesn't have comments, I have taken the liberty to copy his post on the next page.
I have a lot to say on this, and I intend to write a reasoned response, but I would like to hear what you all have to say on this. Eutychus asks some very good questions here.
I have a few basic concerns, and I wonder if any of you can guide me to some resources for more accurate information about the Galileo issue. I am pretty sure that the public perception that he was violently suppressed is somewhat in error. But I can't lay my hands of the article I thought I read (Crisis, maybe?)Also, I have spent a big chunk of the last 20 years studying medical ethics and coming to the conclusion that Catholic moral theology, based on the natural law, is the only sound basis for deciding these dilemmas. I don't think science is overwhelming our moral language as much as we are succumbing to the lures of false autonomy.
anyhow, go to the rest of this to read the comments from Eutychus Fell.
Just got back from the annual high school pops concert. The orchestra, band, and chorus each performed several pieces. I was looking around and something interesting struck me.
When I was in secondary school, there was a strong sex discrimination in the instruments played in the schools. Girls were banned from the brass, the percussion, and the more bass of stringed instruments. It was rare to see a boy playing the flute, the oboe, or the clarinet.
That has changed. I, for one, am glad that in areas where it doesn't make a difference, both boys and girls can choose. I just wish that there wasn't the pressure to create false choice in areas where sex DOES make a difference.
over at Eutychus Fell: Becoming Catholic (scroll down to May 25th entry, hotlinks all blogspotted up).
I began, tonight, to see some of the deep fissures in even this local church, let alone the global Catholic Church.
The blogmeister over at Eutychus has made the choice not to have comments but I have emailed him on several occasions. I think that he has a lot of insight and I welcome his story of his journey across the Tiber.
Mama T has a new summer reading plan. I wonder if this might be a start for High School home schoolers?
(I've read around 84 - a couple I didn't finish, though)
But go read it anyhow. why we need midwives
and not just for prenatal and birth care.
If you are considering IVF or prenatal genetic testing, you shouldread this.
Some people's blood contains cells from a sibling. Others are two individuals rolled into one. Yet more carry a distinct mutation in only parts of their bodies.
(picture moved to extended entry)
The sixth book written, you're nevertheless the first chronologically. You not only describe the creation of Narnia and tell where the White Witch, the lampost and the wardrobe came from, you get to bounce between worlds with the help of Uncle Andrew's weird magic rings.
Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.
Sorry to have been scarce recently. The other midwife has been out of the office for a week and I scarcely have had breathing time at work. I haven't been sleeping well (listening for the ominous midnight phone call) and we have had a virtual baby boomlet the last few weeks. Today and tomorrow are grand jury days, and Saturday we will be an hour's drive north at the Statewide Ultreya (Cursillo event). Just got home a while ago from Ascension Thursday Mass - I am SOOOO glad to be in a diocese where it hasn't been 'time-shifted' to Sunday!
I see that a few more bloggers have decided to take a break - well I don't intend to be one of them. I still think that this is part of what I am called to do. But it isn't the most important thing in my life.
I strongly suggest that you all consider doing the Novena to the Holy Spirit. I've seen it on a few blogs around the Parish so I am not going to duplicate the bandwidth. But I'll be there!
Got a call last night to say that my sister in law is holding her own. She was trying to breath on her own, she has pain response and her pupils are equal and reactive. There is a lot of damage, how much we won't know for a while. Right now, they are keeping her heavily sedated to allow her brain to heal as much as possible while supporting her other life functions.
We have been told not to expect much more new information until Friday unless there is an unexpected turn either direction.
Thank you all for your continued prayers.
We spend time last night at the Perpetual Adoration chapel in prayer. What a gift that has been to our community!
There has been a bit of discussion over at Mark Shea's place on this. What follows is my contribution to the comments boxes
Speaking here professionally as a midwife.
I have been very frustrated by the incomplete medical information on St Gianna. However, I do think that we need to remember how truly limited we were in 1961.
Adams braved cancer to bear her fifth child
In the community where I work we recently had a mom who also went through pregnancy with her breast cancer rather than abort or use potentially abortifacient dugs. I also remember reading a story 20 some years ago about a woman who went through pregnancy with Hodkin's disease (another form of cancer) against medical advice.
The story above was emailed to me by a reader. If you want to check out his blog, go here
Concurrent Sessions from a conference - some of you might be interested in these. Topics like "Thomas Aquinas, Almsgiving, and the Welfare State".
no news yet today, good or bad. At least none that has made it to us here on the East Coast.
In other news, I just learned that two midwife friends of mine are also facing brain injury issues. One, herself a survivor of an aneurysm, is dealing with a son who was assaulted and hit in the skull with a heavy metal object - please add prayers for Jared.
Another midwife has a dear friend recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The friend's name is John, and I have added him to the list.
Anyone know if there is a patron saint for brain injury?
My sister in law is being taken into surgery right now - the pressure in her brain is so high that they need to drill a hole to take the pressure off. This is being done on an emergency basis. She is being kept in a coma to reduce the overall strain on her body while her brain tries to heal.
Please keep praying, especially for her soul! Pray that the Divine Mercy will somehow make Himself present to her. To the best of my knowledge, she is still unbaptized, though she has helped her husband raise their sons as faithful Catholic young men.
Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you!
Proud2BCatholic.com announces the August 14, 2004 concert. Is anyone planning to be there? Will there be a get-together?
Gender differences in communication.
He starts by talking about his observation that women tend not to comment on the pundit blogs.
Me, I tend not to read most of the pundit blogs. I get enough depressing news just listening to NPR on a daily basis. Here on Fructus Ventris, I have tried to focus on areas in which my background and expertise give me the right to express a public opinion, and only rarely do I get into political issues like the war. My political issues are very different from the majority of the pundits out there, and are focused on the traditional female concerns - home, family, health, food, etc. I would fight in the streets (if needed) for the right of a woman in labor to have her birth attended by the midwife of her choice. I am worried that our children's generation will be less healthy than they should be because governments prefer to spend money foolishly. I think that we are all best served by having stable marriages of one man/one woman be the environment for children to be born into and reared from.
But I am highly unlikely to get into a war of the words in some other blogger's comment box. I have limited resources (time, money, energy) and I prefer to spend those resources where I think that I might actually make a difference.
Just had an encounter with a campaign worker for Kerry. This misguided young woman was going door to door with a list of the names of registered voters.
We had quite a spirited discussion on the doorstep, as I told her that there was no way in Hell that I would support her candidate, based on his hypocritical claims to be both Catholic and pro-abortion. She admitted to being Catholic herself, and to having disagreement with her candidate on that issue, but she said that she believed that the war in Iraq and the death penalty were also important life issues. I tried to point out to her the difference between the state-sanctioned execution of a guilty person as opposed to the murder of an innocent, as well as the difference between a prudential judgement (just war) as opposed to a dogmatic declaration (abortion is a horrible mortal sin and can never be supported or condoned). I also expressed my horror that Kerry takes money from NARAL and that he made a big point about flying back so that he could vote against the Partial Birth Abortion ban. In closing, I also suggested that she bop over to the Catholic Kerry Watch website, just to see what folks like me (former life-long Democrats who are now without a political home) are thinking.
As I have been typing this, I have been listening to the last moments of the Canonization Mass for Gianna and the other saints being proclaimed. Life giving love and sacrificial giving - this is what I expect from those who would claim to represent me politically - not the self-serving and greedy posturing that we are getting. And just now, EWTN quoted St. John Chrysostom on the Eucharist.... would that Senator Kerry and his ilk would hear these words.
I just finished reading Marcus Grodi's book Journeys Home. It made me ponder whether or not (and how, for that matter) I have been living out my call from God to be holy. Lately I have been suffering from fatigue and a kind of spiritual laziness. I have had problems staying focused (ADD kicking in now that the winter depression is leaving). I have found myself not wanting to go to Mass, not because I don't like Mass but because I am tired, lazy, suffering from inertia. I think I need a swift kick of some kind, but I am afraid that I will get one!
I think I need to go to confession. My oil needs changing.
Sorry to be late posting this.
My patients have decided to honor the Mother by becoming mothers themselves! Two sunday, another two early today, one currently in labor and another who will probably start labor within a few days if not later tonight. Forecast - light blogging ahead.
Novena Prayer to Gianna
I guess I can tell how tired I still am by the fact that little things have me on the edge of tears.
Today (thankfully) I have the day off from the office. I got up early anyhow and drove 45 miles to try to meet up with a fellow St. Blog's person who had told me that the family would be at 0830 Mass in a parish in the Lakes Region, and would I like to try to meet up there and maybe go to brunch afterwards? Well, I tried. But I guess that I should have exchanged some more substantial information.
I remembered this particular church as being in the middle of town the last time I was in the area. Turns out, they had moved it to a beautiful site about 4 miles out of town, and between that and the construction traffic near the High school that I had to pass to get there, I was late for Mass. Since the Mass was part of Open House weekend for the school, the church was packed. No problem, I thought that I could maybe wave a sign or something after Mass.
After Mass (which was wonderful btw) a few people left but most of the congregation stayed in their pews to listen to some testimonies. I found Father at the back of the church, asked him if he knew the family for which I was looking, and he did. He went into the church and could not find any members thereof, including the schoolchild who was part of the reason they were there and the church was packed. Father kindly called the school to see if maybe they were there, and I waited until after all the testimonies had been given, but to no avail. So sadly, I returned home.
I was the woman in the back of the church, R of the altar, wearing a straw had and a blue jumper. looking totally lost.
I didn't get much sleep at all - it was a very busy night at the hospital. The two docs and I who were on call together all had babies born to our patients. I was up all night with two moms. A first timer who labored for >24 hours and finally had her 8 lb + baby close to dawn, and a very special friend and patient who had an unexpectedly long (for a 4th baby) labor and finally birthed more than an hour after I was supposed to go home. I probably got a total of 2 hours sleep in the stretch from 0600 Sat to noon Sunday. Finished the birth paperwork and drove the hour homewards, stopped at Mass but ended up leaving early as I was falling asleep in the pew. Got home to find that my husband and daughter had tried to leave flowers on my car (at church) but I had left before they got there. What I get for leaving early!
Slept a couple hours and then we went to the Youth Symphony concert to listen to a wonderful program with my dd as one of the cello section. Had enough sleep and caffeine to get through the program and then home, grilled beefsteak and lamb rib chops, and soon to bed.
Hope that all of you had equally wonderful Mother's Days. Tomorrow, if all goes well, I may get a chance to meet up with another St Blogs' parishioner. If so, will post later.
PS if there are any egregious typos in this, send me a private email. thanks.
(Requested by mama t)
3 to 4 lbs pork meat with bones (ribs, necks, chops, whatever is plentiful and priced right)
season meat with salt, 4 – 6 cloves garlic, 1-2 chopped onions, etc. Place in roasting pan and cook in 375° F oven for 1 – 2 hours or until browned and starting to get crunchy.
While this is cooking, measure out 2 cups of dried posole corn. Pick over and rinse. Put corn into crockpot. Cover with 4 cups of stock or water. Add in 1 cup roasted and peeled green chiles (or one 10 oz can Old El Paso green chile enchilada sauce) and start cooking on low.
When meat is ready, dump it and all its juices into the crockpot with the posole. Deglaze the roasting pan with 2 cups hot water or stock. You could also use some white wine if you want. Get all the crunchy stuff that sticks, this adds lots of flavor.
Cook at least 8 hours on low, until meat is falling apart. Shred the meat and pick out the bones before serving. If needed, add more stock or water while cooking, but not too much. When done, the posole should be chewy but not mushy. The soup should be more of a stew than a broth.
Serve with tortillas if desired. Some will also have lime wedges on the table to squeeze into the soup.
Cheaters version: Mix one can green chile enchilada sauce, one can hominy, cooked shredded pork and canned chicken stock to taste. Season with garlic and onion if needed. Heat through. Not nearly as good as the above recipe!
Beer or Tequila based alcoholic beverages
Limeade and iced tea for designated drivers and pregnant ladies.
Christians are told the truth and they just think it's hell
If you live near DC
Sarah A. Leavitt, Ph.D.
A PRIVATE LITTLE REVOLUTION: A HISTORY OF THE PREGNANCY TEST KIT
Wednesday, May 12, 2:00-3:00 pm
Lister Hill Auditorium, Bldg. 38A, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,
For further information, contact James Cassedy(CassedyJ@mail.nih.gov) at
Women's Jewish Halachic Website
Resource for information about the laws of family purity.
GOD, our Father, you have granted to your church the gift of Gianna Beretta. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to you, involving them, through apostolic and catholic action, in the care of the sick and the aged, to help and comfort them.
We thank you for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committted to you. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our life to your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters.
* Glory Be .....
JESUS, Redeemer of mankind, you called Gianna Beretta to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellowmen and in the little ones, deprived for all support, she saw you. We thank you for having revealed yourself to this your servant as "one who serves" and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christian at the service of our brothers and sister, especially of those with whom you deign to share your cross.
* Glory Be....
God, SANCTIFYING SPIRIT, who love the Church as your Bride, you poured into the heart of Gianna Beretta a share of your love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with you in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love you.
We thank you for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg you to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.
* Glory Be...
O GOD, creator and lover of mankind, you were close to Gianna Beretta when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma to choose between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited.
Trusting you alone, and aware of your commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say "Yes" to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mother to welcome with love the sparkle of a new life. Help us all to have a great respect for human life.
Grant us the grace we want … and the joy to find and inspiration in you Servant Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ , gave up her life for the life of others.
* Hail Mary…
I have had a few prayer requests come in from pregnant families, and I would ask you to include these in your daily prayers.
Cin is dealing with preterm contractions that we pray will not turn into labor nor lead to a premature birth. Pray that she will be able to deal with her situation as God wills.
Liz is dealing with an upcoming labor after having lost her last baby at birth. She asks that we pray that she is able to bond with this baby - she has a lot of fear this time around that she didn't have with her prior births (before the baby she lost).
I have two other moms who are fighting with severe vomiting in early pregnancy. Pray that they find doctors or midwives that take their condition seriously and help them to be able to deal with this difficult situation.
There are other requests as well that I am not posting at present, but if you could find it in your hearts, please pray for all pregnant moms in their special needs. I am going to start a Novena to Blessed (soon to be Saint) Gianna Molina. Feel free to print and carry this with you.
Welcome to Maternity Wise-pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and other maternity care information to help childbearing women make informed decisions about their maternity care.
Breast feeding cuts U.S. infant death 20%
Prayers for the Catholic Family in traditional English. Jeff did a great job, and the illustrations are very fitting too. The language of the Psalms and Canticles is that with which I grew up.
I get irked at the mistranslations of the Psalms, especially one that was in yesterday's Mass. Jubilate Deo (psalm 99 or 100, depending on your numbering). Verse two, the ICEL translates as "Know that the Lord is God, he made us, His we are; his people, the flock he tends". The traditional English is "Be ye sure that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."
In this day of genetic engineering and assisted reproduction, it is important to be mindful of "not we ourselves".
from the current Touchstone (May 2004)
"Better relationship skills" won't enable a man to satisfy his wife and keep her from seeking intimacy elsewhere. Some men become lechers because their wives are prudes; most lechers are lechers because they like lechery. Some women are as insatiable for emotional highs as some men are insatiable for sexual thrills; sometimes it's because they're married to lugs but far more often it's because they are emotional lechers.
I don't believe in "relationships skills" because, first, I don't believe in "relationships" - an ugly word for a dumb idea. My wife and I have a marriage, not a relationship. The ground rules for a halfway decent marriage are really pretty simple: Be kind. Do the dishes. Make lunch. Take out the garbage. Pick out some flowers. Buy a pizza. Get over your stupid and never to be satisfied lusts - bodily lusts or emptional lusts. Grow up.
on the connection between the American reverence for freedom of speech and the F word. (warning, liberal use of the F word).
How is it that the first amendment is so misread?
U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Husband and I went out shopping today - nothing big, mainly groceries, but we stopped by the local Agway to buy milk in the glass bottles. I know, it seems weird to buy milk at the garden center, but I really prefer the taste of local milk from glass bottles. Anyhow, last year I was never able to plant rhubarb and I was really bummed because you can't really harvest it for a couple of years - but none of the local places had the crowns. On a whim, I asked the guy at the counter if they got in any rhubarb this year (having first looked around and seeing none). He looked in his computer and told me that they had 4 plants left, did I want one? Is the Pope Polish? So I am the proud custodian of a McDonald rhubarb plant in a pot. Now I need to dig out two ugly shrubs from the front planter, dig a deep hole and manure it a bit, and plant my beautiful new shrub.
The lilac is sprouting and my garlic chives are back for the third year in a row. We got the bill from the CSA for this summer's supply of fresh organic vegetables. Spring has finally sprung, unless we have another memorial day snowstorm like we did 2 years ago. My daffodils are smiling, and my other bulb plants have poked up past the earth. All but one of my roses survived the winter. Life is good for now.
Barefoot and Pregnant
Valerie - you should also click on the link for St Blog's Parish ring at the bottom of the blogroll, and get in the ring.
Welcome to the parish, my friend!
The Latest Births
Scroll down to the bottom, to the mom with her 12th.
Most people think overpopulation is one of the worst dangers facing the globe. In fact, the opposite is true. As countries get richer, their populations age and their birthrates plummet. And this is not just a problem of rich countries: the developing world is also getting older fast. Falling birthrates might seem beneficial, but the economic and social price is too steep to pay. The right policies could help turn the tide, but only if enacted before it's too late.