worth reading over and over again
faith in the desert: December 2005 Archives
Teenage daughter in critical condition - every parent's nightmare. Christmas From the Hospital
I'm calling on St Gianna. Please, you who were a pediatric physician and mother, intercede on her behalf.
I'm assuming that the priest has been by and has anointed her.
May your Christmas be blessed in unexpected ways.
You know, Steven told me that he wishes that he could write the way I do. Well, I wish that I could write about some of this as well as he does.
Isn't it wonderful that we have more than one kind of flower in our gardens? I was recently thinking about the true blessing of diversity (and not the politically correct version) and was reminded of a part in the classic Madeleine L'Engel book "A Wrinkle in Time". Pardon me if I am a little off here, I am working from memory as my copy is not close to hand right now.
The characters are on the planet Camazotz, where the powers that be have decreed that perfection in happiness comes from being totally identical. So at a given time, all the children come out of their houses and 'play' with a ball, all in perfect simultaneous rhythm - except for one little boy. And this little boy is sent for a re-adjustment to make him another 'perfect' and identical member of that soi-disant utopian society.
Some of y'all might remember Mark Windsor - he was a blogger here on St Blogs who has been on hiatus for a while.
I got an email from him yesterday and I just got his permission to post this information and prayer request.
His lovely wife Agnieszka went into early labor last night; 8 weeks premature. They've stopped it with drugs for now. Her water broke. She's stuck in the hospital until the baby comes.
(Excerpt from Mark's email follows:)
The problem is, they haven't figured out when to let that happen. Second dose of steroids was late last night. We saw the Dr. this morning. He said he's not hopeful that it will last a matter of weeks, and seems to be hoping to get through the next 48 hours to let the steroids have an effect. No signs of infection at this point.
Priest visited yesterday. Annointing of the sick, confession, communion. Very nice.
Getting help from my mom. She's in town for the duration.
Mother-in-law is scheduled for early January.
Amelia and Emma are beginning to show signs of stress - tummy problems.
What is sleep...
All three cats are sick. Mark
Saint Gianna, pray for her!
St. Joseph, patron of fathers, support Mark in what he must do.
The following prayer was written by St Gianna.
Jesus, I promise You to submit myself to all that You permit to befall me,make me only know Your will.
My most sweet Jesus, infinitely merciful God, most tender Father of souls,and in a particular way of the most weak, most miserable, most infirm which You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms,
I come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart,
the grace to comprehend and to do always Your holy will,
the grace to confide in You,
the grace to rest securely through time and eternity in Your loving divine arms. Amen
Of course, it wasn't about one of the long posts that I sweated nails over, no, not at all. It was related to a comment that I more or less tossed off over at Flos Carmeli.
"I think that by nature and learning women focus on process and men on outcome/accomplishment - and that is one of the many reasons why God gave us humanity in these two complementary flavors."
Given that I've really been slacking on writing original and thoughtful commentary - or even posting memes and quizzes! I'll take what mentions I can get.
Earlier this week I was listening to the radio and heard a bit about the controversies surrounding torture as part of interrogation. An example cited was the idea that torturing a terrorist is acceptable if the information gained would save the lives of many. Juxtaposed to this item was commentary about the ongoing arguments before the SCOTUS about New Hampshire's parental notification law. As often happens, my mind wandered off to a seemingly unrelated topic - in this case the Inquisition. And I also ruminated a bit on the first chapter to a book I am currently reading about the great influenza pandemic. This book has a mindset that equates scholasticism (which I read as the philosophical underpinnings of Catholicism and/or St. Thomas Aquinas) with being an ignorant idiot. And then the radio segued into an item about AIDs and condoms and the Church, including the seemingly mandatory bishop in opposition to church teaching.
We live in a profoundly utilitarian culture. The ends have come to justify the means. Prenatal (and later in life, for that matter) euthanasia is justified to save resources for the larger population. Torture is justified in the attempt to prevent another 9/11. Condoms are justified to decrease the transmission of the HIV virus because it is easier than changing men's sexual behavior or than freeing women and children from sex slavery.
It is a basic principle of Catholic moral and ethical teaching that it is NEVER ok to do a wrong that a right might come about. If an action is intrinsically evil, there can be no justification.
I studied medical ethics on my own for quite a while. What I have seen is that the culture wars are even deeper than it seems on the surface. It is more than even the tyranny of cultural relativism - it is that we are on some levels not even speaking the same language as those on the other side of so many of these moral and ethical issues. I, as a Catholic Christian, believe that there are indeed some absolute moral and ethical values, and that other actions/behaviours/perceptions must be compared to those baseline and foundational values. There are absolute truths in this world.
And now, I have a phrase from an old hymn running through my mind. "Upon that rock I'll stand, all other grounds are shifting sand".