A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Posts Tagged ‘March for LIfe

zebra finch

Syd, my son’s pet finch

My house got a little noisier this weekend. Okay, a lot noisier. My son adopted a bird with special needs.

Our local pet store was giving away a zebra finch with balance problems. For some reason, he can’t fly well and has trouble perching. Still, he enjoys our company, eats his food messily like most pet birds, and sings his little heart out…which he started at 6:45 a.m. today. It was probably more pleasant for my son to wake up to birdsong than to a beeping alarm clock.

I know some people would not have chosen this bird. He’s kind of wobbly and clumsy. But my son enjoys caring for him and the finch, Syd, has decided we’re his flock.

That’s how it is with God and us. Even though, since we’re human, not one of us is perfect, God loves and cares for us and uses us to fulfill his plans, as and where we are.

For example, Abraham was elderly when God made him the father of a great nation (see Genesis 21). Moses was a fugitive who had killed a man, yet God chose him to lead Israel to freedom (see Exodus 2 and 3). David was a young shepherd when God chose him to be king (see 1 Samuel 16). Peter was an uneducated fisherman, yet he was the rock Jesus chose to build his church on (see Matthew 16:18). And reading about the saints tells us that many were poor, unschooled, ill, or simply cantankerous, yet God used them to spread the good news and bring healing and comfort to those in need.

Sadly, our society tends to pigeonhole people, deciding they can’t contribute because of their age, their mental or physical challenges, or their social status. Which can lead to disturbing social changes such as the rising abortion rate for babies with Down syndrome or pushes to enact or expand laws on assisted suicide. But how can we value people so little when everyone has worth in God’s eyes?

On Thursday, for the first time, I walked in the March for Life. People came to Ottawa from all over Ontario and Quebec: families with young children, seniors, busloads of high school students and parishioners, and priests and religious; people from all ethnicities and walks of life; people who walked in the March and those who could not but held up signs and waved to encourage those who did.

march for life

March for Life

How wonderful it would be if we could pull together like this more often on the big issues, and if we could focus each day on one another’s strengths and our common ground so that more of us would use our gifts and sing out like Syd.

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.

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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