A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Posts Tagged ‘abortion

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10*

Once I would have thought it went without saying that life is precious.

So why do I believe it bears repeating?

Lately I’ve been reading far too many news reports that show how easy some people find it to take a life (or lives), as well as articles suggesting society’s attitudes on issues such as euthanasia and abortion tend not to lean toward the pro-life side.

Dr. Donald Low, who was the microbiologist in chief at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and a University of Toronto professor, passed away in September. Before his death, Dr. Low called for the legalization of doctor-assisted suicide. Among the many news items in support of euthanasia in the days that followed, I spotted a letter to the editor in the Ottawa Citizen by Steve Passmore of Hamilton, Ontario. He described his physical health and went on to say this about euthanasia (the emphasis is mine):

Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is an abandonment of me as a person, that society would rather help me die, than help me live….The answer is not legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide but rather improving social supports….Society needs to ensure life with dignity not death with dignity.

Much of the media coverage on euthanasia focusses on whether we have the right to a doctor’s assistance to “die with dignity.” And not enough attention is given to whether we are helping people live out their final days with dignity through palliative care, including hospice programs such as Hospice Care Ottawa.

Similarly, when the mainstream media reports on abortion, the focus tends to be on access to abortion services, with limited coverage of pro-life events. And the pro-life position is sometimes tarred with labels such as “anti-choice” and “anti-woman.” But I wasn’t sad to read in the October issue of Catholic Digest that, since 40 Days for Life began, 38 abortion clinics across the United States have closed, as Carolee McGrath reported in her article “Peaceful, Prayerful, Public Witness Pays Off.” Or to hear that campaigns such as Defund Abortion, Life Chain and 40 Days for Life continue, and that Priests for Life Canada offers a monthly Pro-Life Hour program on pro-life and pro-family issues.

Sometimes it seems people of faith swim against the tide when we take a pro-life stance, especially if we rely on the perspective of mainstream media. But I pray that we would find hope in reading articles from pro-life media such as Action Life’s blog and The Interim newspaper and in learning about and participating in pro-life events such as the ones I’ve mentioned.

Life is precious.

(*Scripture quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

Who takes the child by the hand takes the mother by the heart.

~ Danish proverb

family photo

My mother, grandmother and me

This past Sunday, the priest reminded our congregation that May is a month dedicated to Mary, Jesus’ mother and our spiritual mother, and encouraged us to say the rosary or at least a Hail Mary each day.

He spoke about how Jesus made sure his mother was cared for as he was dying on the cross and how he brought her to heaven to be with him, where she intercedes for all of us and leads us to Jesus. (If you’re new to the Church, sections 963 to 975 of the Catechism talk about Mary’s role as our advocate.)

I’m thankful that Mary said yes when the angel Gabriel told her she would be the mother of Jesus and that she carries our prayers to Jesus.

I’m also thankful for my mother. I’m grateful that she has been there to have marathon phone conversations with, offer advice on everything from making a good cup of coffee to dealing with a high-energy child, celebrate my joys, and comfort me in the tough times. That she has always made it clear how much she loves me, even when I’ve felt less than lovable. And that we are not only mother and daughter, but also friends.

As a mother myself, I’m not looking for a grand gesture on Sunday. No breakfast in bed or bouquet of flowers or jewellery. Just a little quiet time to have some coffee or tea and read the paper at breakfast, and a big hug from my son—which may not seem like much but is sometimes asking a lot of a 13-year-old boy.

On Mother’s Day, let’s give thanks for and honour the mothers in our lives—mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, godmothers, foster mothers, and other women who have cared for us as a mother would. For those of us who fill these roles, may we be a positive influence on the children in our lives.

And on this day of the National March for Life, I pray that we would be thankful for birth mothers who choose to raise their children or allow others to raise them through adoption, and for adoptive mothers who welcome these children into their lives and hearts. And I pray that all those affected by abortion would find healing and compassion in Jesus.

During the 40 Days for Life campaign last fall, our parish took part in a peaceful and prayerful protest across the street from a downtown abortion clinic.

I’d been very moved by a talk a fellow parishioner had given about her involvement in the pro-life movement and by Abby Johnson’s Unplanned book, and so I signed up for a one-hour shift.

Wearing a 40 Days for Life sign, I walked up and down the street praying for a change of heart for the women inside who might be considering an abortion, for the health of their babies, and for the clinic workers to find a way to care for expectant mothers outside the abortion industry.

I’m so glad that I participated but saddened by the knowledge that this won’t be the last pro-life protest we need to have in this diocese.

According to a recent press release by Campaign Life Coalition, 25 years have passed—and at least 2.5 million children have been aborted—since the Supreme Court of Canada struck down our nation’s abortion law in the Morgentaler decision. A fact sheet on abortion on the CLC’s website states that “Abortion is legal throughout all 9 months of pregnancy, for any reason, up to the moment of birth.” And in much of Canada, abortions are paid for by tax dollars. Read the rest of this entry »


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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