Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My 'Come to Jesus' Moment.

Did you know today is the beginning of Lent?

Yeah, in the age of social media, it is sort of hard to miss. We've been hit with plenty of Lent posts this season already. I hate to add one more, but I'm going to because that is sort of my thing.

This Lenten season marks the sixth season in a row that I have been pregnant or nursing for the duration. Six years of trying to figure out how to abstain and fast in a way that will unite me with my fellow Catholics in preparing for Christ's death and Resurrection. Six years is a long time. Last year, on Good Friday I thought I was in the clear to fast and abstain. I failed miserably, but also found out the next morning that I was pregnant.

You know what? That didn't make me feel any better. It is really hard to buckle down for a sacrificial season when you can't really participate the way you are used to participating. Some seasons of life (ahem, parenthood for those less inclined to nurture, ahem) are just sacrificial, abstaining, fasting, Lenten seasons and when the liturgical Lenten season rolls your way again, you think, "I am tired."

At least I feel that way this year. And maybe the last several.

I was gearing up to load all four children into the Pilot this week. I was going to take Thor for his first Ash Wednesday Mass. I was going to take more time to talk to the kids about Lent and what it all means. Then this morning hit and the thought of juggling four children that include an infant and Frank the Destroyer made me curl up under a blanket and hide for a few more moments.

I don't know what it is about 2015, but it is making me discard all the things that don't really fit who I am in favor of the things that I can embrace and work with. So, I'm not going to fancy myself Super Catechist Endless Patience Mom. I am the mom that needs to work on her prayer life, needs to get to confession, and needs to improve her relationships with her husband, children, and herself.

So, I am grateful for the Blessed Is She Lenten journal. It will be an important tool for me this Lenten season. I am also grateful for a parish with an adoration chapel, and plenty of confession times, because I owe Jesus a couple hundred hours.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Us Versus Them

I made this. All by myself.

I don't know if you know, but the March For Life just happened. I have never attended. I hear it is fun. Or something. I'm not really sure how a protest is supposed to be fun, but I came across an article that was written by someone that advocates for abortion rights, and the way she described the March was helpful to me. It also made me think about some things. (Click here to read it. I'll wait.)

So. How about those under-inflated balls? Oh. My bad, you can't talk and read.

Finished? Alright then.

What I most liked about this piece is that it made the giant misunderstanding between pro-life and pro-choice majorities evident. Here are a few things worth mentioning:

Marty makes a point to use specific terminology: anti-abortion vs. pro-life. Both are true, but each speak more to what each "side" deems to be the most important part of their cause. I submit that we own it. I absolutely am against abortion, so anti-abortion hits the nail on the head. Sure, it is more negative sounding than 'pro-life' but I'm okay with that. I don't think it does us any good to continue to use the terms 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' to be honest. Sure. The implication is that we are focused on life, but are they the only ones focused on choice? Not by a long shot. The problem with focusing the terminology on 'anti-abortion' and 'pro-abortion' advocacy though, is that it isn't really about just abortion, is it?

Sure, I am against abortion, but I am against it because it ends the life of a person. A person with inherent value and dignity. However, I would wager that the majority of those that support access to abortion are not really just crazy for abortion. Marty reminds us of this by mentioning (more than once) the woman that might be convinced she has no other option. 

Herein lies the biggest misunderstanding between these two movements. Ideally, we fight for the dignity of every person, and they fight for women in tragic situations. 

So... aren't we also?

Marty also sums up the cause in a way that she identifies as being "against safe and legal access to abortion". Not untrue, but not really the main issue as we see it. We absolutely are against legal abortion, but our main goal is to avoid the taking of innocent lives. 

The way I see it, we aren't being very clear on our intentions. We absolutely want to eliminate abortion, and often that is the only truth we show. We hide behind rhetoric and our righteousness at times, but we never take that next step: how will we support the women that find themselves believing they must end the life of their child to survive themselves? 

Marty correctly points out the exact reason that many support abortion rights, no matter how misguided we might believe it to be: they truly want to see women have options and be supported. The problem? Perhaps the cause is a bit more cynical. The way I see it, abortion advocates plan for a woman's support system to drop the ball. They are planning on women being abused, raped. unable to support themselves and a child, forgotten. They plan for all the things that we do not seem to want to admit happens in this world. We don't. We have the truth. We know those lives matter, but often we forget or we don't know how to follow through on eliminating the reasons a woman would feel forced into abortion.

It should not be Us vs. Them. We have far more in common than any of us care to admit. That is the issue that deserves attention right now. Will we ever get there?