Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Instead I felt like I was the one being interviewed. But interviewed is too soft a word, it was really more like an interrogation. She rapid-fired questions at me, like she had a specific agenda that she wanted to run through. And they weren't "easy" questions, they were the big questions... the ones that on a good day take an hour or two to really explain in a convincing way.
I felt like I did back when I was joining the Church and had all those, well meaning, fundamentalists trying to "save my soul" and keep me from losing my faith. Just like them she didn't give me a chance to fully answer one question before she was on to the next in her list of "but what if?" extreme scenarios.
She pushed me to be specific, yet didn't really give me time to.
"But what would you say to someone considering an abortion?"
She wasn't satisfied when I said that that's something we learn in the training, she wanted an answer and she wanted it now. Then she wanted stats.
"How many minds have you changed?"
"What percentage of the women who call are seeking an abortion?"
Unfortunately, we don't keep detailed stats, yet. We're working on it, now that we have a database. But my question is, why would you need to know this sort of thing before you volunteer for a place? Or better, why would you need this information on first contact with a place? Why not wait for the specifics during training? At least the for the first question anyway.
Her other more outrageous questions included:
"What would you say to someone who called and said that she was raped and wanted an abortion?"
"What do you tell the clients about birth control?" - Followed by, "You don't tell them about birth control do you?" And then when I told her the answer, chastity counseling for single woman and NFP for married woman, she shot back a line of NFP questions.
"Do you know anyone who practices that and finds it effective? My cousin used it and had twelve kids..."
"What's the difference between NFP and birth control? I don't see any difference. Do you see a difference?"
I told her about a study done in India which found effectiveness to be 99%. I mentioned this to show that even in places where the participants had less overall education, effectiveness was still high. Even after learning this, and hearing that the Pill can cause an early abortion, she still asked the following question:
"Oh, but what about the poor women in Africa, can you actually say that they shouldn't have the Pill? Those women who are so malnourished that they can't even produce milk for their babies and have to watch their children starve, one after another, shouldn't they have birth control? I'm not trying to argue here, I'm just trying to help you."
Argh. So what do you say to thinking like that? The person has already decided that certain things are true, and will come up with any situation, however extreme, where her view might be justified. And she doesn't really care to hear any explanation that goes against her already decided opinion.
I really do feel badly about it all. Given her age, I imagine that she is in that group of people who was told "the Church is changing the ban on contraceptives..." or "follow your conscience...." Maybe she used birth control herself; maybe she was even told by a priest that it was ok. Or maybe a friend was in one of the unfortunate situations she brought up.
It's harder then, to do the right thing, when you see the suffering that doing the right thing will cause. And it will often cause suffering of one kind or another to do the right thing. Especially when it comes to an crisis pregnancy. This is no easy way out of that situation. There are only moral and immoral choices, and suffering in one form or another.
And that is where we come in. Anyone who works at a crisis pregnancy center knows that our job is mostly just listening while a woman talks out her anger, sadness, fears and heartaches. We do all we can to ease the pain, but we can't ever take it away completely. All the resources we provide can't make the situation go away. And there is fallout for each of the choices that she could make.
Only God can bring good out of these situations, and that's why we encourage the woman we speak with to turn to God for comfort and solace in this trying time. Going against God's laws in an attempt to solve the hardship that these women face, would be doing them a disservice. For there is only more suffering to be had when we choose sin.
As for the questions that the woman asked, I do have answers, but I think most of you don't need to be convinced that abortion in any situation is wrong, and that contraceptives are not only wrong, but they are not the answer to the problems in Africa. However, if anyone wants to hear some explanations of these situations, just ask me. And I'll try to post some answers.
But please, if you ask, take time to listen to the answer.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
If I were in charge of all things road related like PennDOT, I would still NOT leave my large expensive machines in the middle of the road on a holiday weekend. And if I did, I would definitely put several signs and lights warning people that they were there. A few cones just wouldn't suffice for me.
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
COME, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.
(Veni Creator Spiritus found here. Fuzzy Holy Spirit picture my own.)
Saturday, May 26, 2007
This morning we all went to the park, Jim and Maria to the playground, Amelia and I to Baby Boot Camp. I was pretty grumpy, because we were late, and it was HOT and HUMID. I am not a fan of summer weather. Luckily for me, the instructor had pulled a muscle in her back and was very willing to take it easy today, so I did a little cardio while she watched, and then we retreated to the shade for upper body work and abs.
After we were done, poor Amelia looked like she was starting to wilt. She looked up at me with big droopy eyes, as if to say "Why?". Poor thing. But we still had to extract Maria from the playground. I found Jim seated on bench under the half-finished gazebo, staring off into space. He looked wilted. "Maria's over there, with her friends," he said, gesturing in the general direction of the playground.
And there was Maria... running around with about 5 or 6 older kids, probably ages 7-11 or so. She was trying to ride one of their mini-bikes. She seemed completely unaffected by the heat. And she didn't want to leave, of course. We bribed her with one more ride down the slide and then dragged her off to the car.
In the car, I get the brilliant idea that since we're up and out "early" on a Saturday, i.e. before 10, we should drive around and check out the yard sale action. Very good idea. I found a silver plated candy dish for $1.50 that make a nice base for a smallish gift basket. We drove to another sale and found a backpack carrier for $5, so now we've got one for each girl. Great for when we go camping with my family. The best thing of all was the toddler-sized swing set. That's it in the picture above. For $30, it wasn't a bad deal, as it looks brand new. Now we at least have something in the backyard other than the sandbox to keep her occupied while I garden.
Now we're all hiding out inside though, as it's still hot and humid out there. Jim had planned for yardwork, but I think I'll be happiest if he just gets the air conditioner set up in our bedroom.
Monday, May 21, 2007
The first time, was Friday night. I had had a really, really and busy day. We were in bed before I really had a chance to decompress and tell him about my day. So, at his request, I started to run through all that had gone on. I made it to ten o'clock, and then he laughed and said, maybe you'd better stop. But I didn't. I plowed on, for another minute or so, until I realized that he was very quiet. This struck me, as Jim is never quiet, unless he's sleeping. So to test my theory that he had fallen asleep I said, "and then aliens landed in the backyard." No response.
The second time, was just last night. I was chatting with him, just after we got into bed. I said something, I don't remember what and he laughed. "What?," I said. I really wanted to know why he was laughing at me. I got no response at all. Just breathing. Argh.
Twice in one week, I was left awake, and stirred up, unable to sleep. I really wish that I had a voice-activated sleep switch like that....
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Monday, May 7, 2007
* that's avocado in case you're wondering... no rice cereal first here... maybe next week.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
University of Dayton
Blessed Virgin Mary Art Page
Dave Armstrong's Index of Apologetic Posts on Mary
Women for Faith and Family - Mary Page
Fair WARNING, I only briefly scanned most of these pages, so I can't be sure that they all contain orthodox info. If you find anything on any of them that is questionable, let me know, and I'll remove it from the above list. If you find any other sites that may be helpful let me know and I'll add them. Really great sites may be permanently added in the sidebar, so take some time this month and read up on Mary and let me know which sites you'd like to see get a permanent link.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
As it's the little things that make life truly luxurious, here's a list of the little luxuries from my day:
1. a nice hot shower, without anyone crying or whining at me (thank you, Barney)
2. both girls taking a nap at the same time
3. sitting on the deck, nursing Amelia and taking in the beautiful spring air
4. planting those bulbs that I've had around for several weeks
5. the feeling of damp earth, the wind through my hair and sunshine through the trees
6. the sounds of Amelia playing and discovering grass.
7. getting to go to benediction on the final night of the 40 hours devotion at church
8. getting to go ALONE to 40 hours (thank you, Jim)
9. the smell of incense
10. singing in Tantum Ergo
11. finishing the day with cake, ice cream, and glass of good wine, and a little blogging
|Your Scholastic Strength Is Deep Thinking|
You aren't afraid to delve head first into a difficult subject, with mastery as your goal.
You are talented at adapting, motivating others, managing resources, and analyzing risk.
You should major in:
And I nearly died laughing.