Day 7 of the 9 Days For Life Novena

Today’s intention is below.  Click the image and you will be taken to Day 7 on the USCCB website.
9 Days For Life Novena Day 7

Below is an article from the USCCB web site.

Seven Considerations While Navigating Infertility

We often assume parenthood happens easily after “I do,” but for many married couples, it does not. For some, the joy of conception never happens. Others suffer repeated miscarriages. Still others experience secondary infertility: after giving birth to one or more children, they are unable to have another.
The pain can become overwhelming. Social media posts of pregnancies, baby announcements, or pictures of newborns may intensify feelings of being alone in the ache for a child. Attending baby showers and being around children or pregnant women can be excruciating.

If you experience difficulty bringing a child into your family, know that you are not alone. God is with you, and his Church desires to walk with you. The following suggestions may be helpful to you on this journey.  Continue with this article at the USCCB site here.

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Day 6 of the 9 Days For LIfe Novena

Today’s intention is below.  Click the image and you will be taken to Day 6 on the USCCB website.
9 Days For Life Novena Day 6

This is the beginning of an article I found at Integrity Starts Here.

Pornography and the Catholic Church by Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D.

If you are reading this page, you may be aware that the Church warns against the use of pornography, but not know why. If you’re wondering what the church has to say about pornography and why, read on.
The church has much to say about pornography.  This is because porn injures the dignity of everyone involved – producers and consumers.  Sexuality is a wonderful gift from God!  It is meant to be shared by a husband and wife as an expression of their love which is unitive and can lead to procreation.  
Pornography reduces sex to nothing more than a recreational activity where people are simply used for personal pleasure. With pornography, there is no relationship, love, intimacy, responsibility, unity or openness to new life.  People are simply treated as objects.  It is a disordered use of sexuality, which can hurt people physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.  Use of pornography is a grave sin.  It wounds our relationship with God, which can threaten our eternal salvation.
For married people, pornography use is a form of adultery.  For single people, pornography use is a form of fornication. Both of these are serious sins.  Pornography offends against chastity, and there are no reasons to justify its use.
It’s important to remember that the Church’s sanction against pornography is not meant to be a way of controlling people or preventing them from enjoying life.  Quite to the contrary, it is meant to protect people so they can enjoy a healthy life and live it to the fullest! 
Click here to continue reading this article.  There is a lot of information at this site.  Share the link if you know someone who would benefit from it. 

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Thank you for praying with me.

Day 5 of the 9 Days For Life Novena

Today is day five in the 9 Days For Life Novena.  Today’s intention is below.  Click the image and you will be taken to Day 5 on the USCCB website.
9 Days For Life Novena Day 5

Below is an article about domestic violence.  I found it on the USCCB website.

Life Matters: Domestic Violence by Frank J. Moncher, PhD  
Domestic violence is a hidden scourge on our families and communities. Those who are victimized often keep it a private matter for various reasons: fear, shame, well-intended efforts to preserve the family. Aggressors, if they even recognize their problem, are not likely to have it addressed. Yet it touches many, and knows no boundaries of race, social class, ethnicity, creed or age (most victims are first abused as teens). Statistics suggest one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and three in four Americans are reported to know a victim, though most episodes are not reported to the authorities. Although the majority of victims are female, an estimated 15% are males.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are typically used together in a relationship to control the victim. Persons may be married, living together, or dating. Examples of emotional abuse include name-calling, putdowns, restricting contact with family or friends, withholding money, preventing a partner from working, actual or threatened physical harm (hitting, pushing, shoving), sexual assault, stalking, and intimidation. In The Gospel of Life Blessed John Paul II highlighted the gravity of the issue: “At the root of every act of violence against one’s neighbor there is a concession to the ‘thinking’ of the evil one, the one who ‘was a murderer from the beginning’ (Jn 8:44).” He also outlined the importance of the family as the primary community of life and love in which children are nurtured. How vital it is, then, to understand how to keep family members safe from violence in their homes, and how to heal and reunite families where violence has occurred, when possible.
Click here to continue reading this article on the USCCB website.

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Day 4 Of The 9 Days For Life Novena

Today is Day four of the 9 Days For Life Novena.  Today’s intention is below.  Click the image and you will be taken to Day 4 on the USCCB website.

9 Days For Life Novena Day 4

I hope that you are praying this novena along with me.  When we pray together, our prayers are more powerful.  Below is the beginning of an article I found on the USCCB website which is addresses this issue.

Life Matters: To The End Of Our Days

Some of our most challenging moral decisions come in the final months and even hours of life, as we navigate the complex issues of nurturing life and respecting the dignity of the human person.
“True ‘compassion’ leads to sharing another’s pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear.” – The Gospel of Life, no. 65

Advances in medical science have made it possible to extend life, even for those with incurable illnesses. In times past, many of these conditions would have resulted in death much sooner.

How we deal with persons in the last stages of life, when they may be completely dependent on others, says a great deal about the kind of society we live in and the kind of persons we are.

We owe to those who are dying or severely impaired the same respect and love we give to anyone else, regardless of condition. And as a Church we must be particularly committed to defending the rights of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, just as we are for the unborn and for those challenged by disabilities.

Click here to go to the USCCB website to finish reading this article.

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Thank you for praying with me.

Day 3 of the 9 Days For Life Novena

Today is day three of the 9 Days For Life Novena.  Today’s intention is below.  Click the image and you will be taken to Day 3 on the USCCB website.
9 Days For Life Novena Day 3

Below is an article I found at desiringGod written on September 13, 2011 by John Knight a guest contributor.  I thought that it was especially pertinent today.

Children Are a Blessing from God — All Children by John Knight

Burdensome. Sad. Relentless. Hopeless.

These words are attached to disability. And often they are used to “justify” aborting babies with disabilities.

The perceived low quality of life of the child and the unknown-but-assumed hardships that would be placed on the rest of the family are frequently written and talked about. For example:

Many studies show the vast majority of patients abort fetuses after prenatal tests reveal genetic conditions like Down syndrome that are not life-threatening. What drives that decision is not just concern over the quality of life for the future child but also the emotional, financial or social difficulty for parents of having a child with extra needs.  (Ruth Padawer, The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy, The New York Times Magazine, August 10, 2011)

A High Privilege

Yet, when I read statements like that to my wife, she responds very differently: “It is the highest privilege of my life to be the mother of our disabled son.”

She carries the greater weight of care for our son, and after 16 years she has no romantic notions about what living with disability is like. Nor is she putting on a show — she really loves and enjoys our boy (as do I).

Yes, there is joy involved in parenting a severely disabled child. But we also don’t want to reduce the value of his life to mere sentiment. It is possible for people to affirm that he is a joy to our family, but personally not want to take the risk.

Children Are a Blessing from God

Our culture’s strange ‘ownership’ of the unborn child grants parents the ability to rid themselves of the burden (which seems all too real and overwhelming) even if they underestimate the potential for joy (which doesn’t seem possible in that moment). So the answer is not merely in pointing out the joy, but reminding everyone that children — all children — are a blessing from God.

Because God is both sovereign and good, we can rest in the full confidence of his character and promises as we parent our children, no matter how they come. Disability is frequently hard, but God does not abandon us. And not only are we not alone, but God has promised to supply every need (Philippians 4:19). His plan is to benefit us (Jeremiah 29:11). He will comfort us (Psalm 71:20-21). Jesus himself has sent the Helper (John 14:16-17). The Church will encourage us (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

So, ‘as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing’ (2 Corinthians 6:10), my wife can authentically say with tens of thousands of others in similar circumstances that God has granted and sustains the honor and joy of mothering this boy God has placed in our family.

Let us make sure that side of the story gets told as well.