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.

9 Reasons to Join 9 Days for Life

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. 

9 Reasons to Join 9 Days for Life

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.

9 Reasons to Join 9 Days for Life

Thank you for praying with me.

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.

9 Reasons to Join 9 Days for Life

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.

Day 2 of the 9 Days For Life Novena

Today is day two in our 9 Days For Life Novena.  Today’s intention is below.  Click the image and you will be taken to Day 2 on the USCCB website.
9 Days For Life Novena Day 2
The Planned Parenthood party line says that there’s nothing to having an abortion.  That it is over quickly and then you just move one.  This is a list of the symptoms from Post-Abortion Trauma from the Rachel’s Vineyard website.  This is what really happens to you when you have an abortion.  
Symptoms of Post-Abortion Trauma
Bouts of crying
Depression
Guilt
Inability to forgive yourself
Intense grief / sadness
Anger / rage
Emotional numbness
Sexual problems or promiscuity
Eating disorders
Lowered self esteem
Drug and alcohol abuse
Nightmares and sleep disturbances
Suicidal urges
Difficulty with relationships
Anxiety and panic attacks
Flashbacks
Multiple abortions
Pattern of repeat crisis pregnancy
Discomfort around babies or pregnant women
Fear / ambivalence of pregnancy
It doesn’t seem to me that you just move on.  Men also develop emotional issues post abortion.  In case you didn’t know, Rachel’s Vineyard is the world’s largest ministry for healing after abortion.  
Thank you for praying with me.

9 Days For Life Begins Today

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  Abortion was made legal on January 22, 1973 in this country.  Since that time, there have been millions of innocent unborn babies murdered, and many women emotionally and even physically destroyed by abortion.  
9 Days For Life is a digital pilgrimage by the USCCB, (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), which brings people from all over our country to prayer for an end to abortion and for respect for life.  There are many resources on the USCCB website to help you understand what this is about and to use to assist you if you choose to join in.  
Beginning today, we who participate in 9 Days For Life, begin a Novena to end abortion.  A novena is simply a period of prayer lasting nine consecutive days.  Novena comes from the Latin novem which means nine.  Novenas are an ancient Christian tradition.  Specific prayers are said on nine consecutive days to obtain intercessions from our Lord and are often dedicated to a specific angel, saint, a specific Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or it invokes one of the personages of the Holy Trinity.  It is important to mention that when a prayer is said to a saint, or angel or the Blessed Mother, we are asking them to also pray to God for us for the intercession we are in need of.  Only the Holy Trinity has the power to grant us anything.  These novenas are prayed with faith, devotion and humility.  We ask the angels and saints to pray for us because they have already attained heaven and are therefore much holier than we are.  During a novena, we also pray for all those who are participating in the novena.  
Go to 9 Days For Life and obtain  the novena prayers each day, or download them all right away. You can even sign up to receive a text or an email to participate or download the app.  Below are some links to the USCCB site that you may find helpful. 
Today’s intention is below.  Click the image and you will be taken to Day 1 on the USCCB website.
9 Days For Life Novena Day 1
Matt. 18:1-6,10-14  At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?’ So he called a little child to him whom he set among them.  Then he said, ‘In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.  And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.  ‘Anyone who welcomes one little child like this in my name welcomes me.  But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea with a great millstone round his neck.
‘See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.  ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray?  In truth I tell you, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all.   Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
Thank you for praying with me.

Almost Christmas

 I cannot believe that it’s almost Christmas and I have not posted here since July.  To say things have been interesting in my life is an understatement.  We visited my son in August.  Three days after we arrived I proceeded to fall on the wet kitchen floor and broke my shoulder.  OUCH!!!  I wound up being stuck in Florida for five weeks.  We tried to come home after three, but the pain was too much so we headed over to our friends home near Orlando.  We spent the rest of the time there.  I was truly blessed I didn’t need surgery.  It was quite a significant fracture, but non displaced.

 When we got back to North Carolina, I began six weeks of physical therapy.  Again OUCH!!!  But no pain no gain right?  I have regained all of my range of motion, but am still exercising to gain strength.

 Needless to say this has put me wayyyyyy behind for the holidays.

 We will be going to see our grandchildren on Christmas Day.  My daughter doesn’t take them visiting on Christmas so that they can enjoy being at home.  She normally has open house for family and close friends.  That’s what we did for our children.  We always went to Midnight Mass and on Christmas our parents visited us.  It was a nice tradition and my children have adopted it.

 I am participating in the Christmas Novena that is being provided by Pray More Novenas.  This is a site that sends you reminder notices so that you don’t forget to pray on each of the 9 days.  It is a wonderful ministry John-Paul and Annie provide.  Sign up for reminders is easy and once you have signed up you don’t have to do it again.  I highly recommend Pray More Novenas