My homily notes from today. Transcribed from my Palm.
Radical choice costs something.
Leave behind - go forward.
Leave the comfort and step out in faith.
Don't be like the squid, who having found a rock of security then consumes his own brain.
Let God challenge us.
Let us follow where he leads.
Take the chance if it is time to move on.
What tangles up our lives?
4500 abortions daily in the USA alone! Not only women are affected. Men are hurt by Fatherhood Aborted.
We are called to be agents of mercy.
We all struggle with our personal sin(s).
We take our self (selves) out of communion (excommunicate our selves) by our sins.
We lose when we proclaim I not we.
Father actually did an excellent job tying together the message of the readings with the pro-life message. Jonah was sent to proclaim the Lord's message to Ninevah - he fought it but eventually obeyed the Lord and the people of Ninevah repented. Are we listening to the Lord's commandment to carry His message to His people? Are we letting our fear keep us from proclaiming the Gospel - especially the Gospel of life, the message of repentance and forgiveness? Have we listened to God's call in our life? Are we willing to leave behind our present life to become "Fishers of men"?
Tonight in confirmation prep we also discussed life issues. The first hour was a presentation from the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. She brought in models of fetal development and showed the kids just what the unborn look like at various stages of development. She talked about the 3-fold mission of the CPC to protect the innocent unborn:
prevention through chastity (abstinence based teaching);
intervention through providing counselling, referral to prenatal care, ultrasound to show moms their baby, financial and social support;
and rehabilitation - after abortion counselling, healing, and referrals.
Then we broke into the small groups for the second hour. My small group has several kids from the local Catholic High school. My co-teacher is an attorney and I am in health care so we decided to break the subject up between us. He talked about Law and Morality and how being a practicing Catholic is counter cultural because we believe in Absolute Truth and firm moral laws (and that the laws of God are more important than the laws of man). I talked about the realities of abortion and taught the specifics of what the Church says about life issues. You know, the non-negotiable issues. Like the right to life begins at conception and ends at natural death. And that direct abortion is always morally wrong. And that euthanasia and destructive embryonic stem cell research are morally evil. And we talked about how best to prevent abortion (chastity). And how the sin of abortion often is the consequence of other sins like adultery, fornication, or contraception (that last one perked up a few eyebrows but we didn't have time to get fully into it).
I'm not quite sure how we got into it, but the morality (or lack thereof) of in vitro fertilization got into the conversation. Many of the kids were quite unconvinced that IVF was morally wrong - and believing that IVF was OK they were then arguing that embryonic stem cell research was perfectly OK because "You might as well get some use because they're going to die anyhow. I mean, what if they could save thousands of lives?" To which I pointed out that I'm going to die anyhow and maybe I should let them cut me up and use my organs to save the lives of a dozen other people?
We had a good discussion going and I wish that we would have had another hour or so.......
I love teaching these kids. My biggest frustration is that the sequence of teaching is somewhat erratic so that there isn't always a good foundation for the designated subject matter. My other frustration is that there is so little time. We get 2 hours every other week over - that's it. It isn't much time compared to sports, TV, and the family's social lives. But we do what we can. pray for us?