Friday, April 1, 2005

Divine Mercy - for Our Holy Father and Terri Schaivo

Dear All, As we pray for the soul of our sister in Christ Terri Schiavo, we now have the weight of the imminent death of our beloved Holy Father. Believing in the Resurrection, we must press on in our grief, never giving evil a foothold. A devotion brought to us from a Polish saint a Mass for our Polish Pope. AN EVENING OF DIVINE MERCY MERCY SUNDAY APRIL 3,2005 AT 6 PM SAINT CECILIA'S CHURCH BEAVERTON,OREGON COME AND FIND OUT WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT--OR JUST COME TO FIND OUT MORE!!! * Father Chester w-ill speak on the Divine Mercy devotion. * A pilgrim to the Basilica in Poland will talk about the area and Saint Faustina *Confessions to be available *Bring your images of Mercy for a blessing * Veneration and Benediction FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: 503-297-2459 ******************************************************** In memory of Terri Schiavo from members of our Oregon Catholic family Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Water, water everywhere but how my skin did shrink. My lips are cracked, my throat is parched, my tongue is dry and hard. My eye lids scratch my withered eyes as they sink into my head. My mucous membranes are no more, they look like dried out bread. My nose could bleed, my innards heave before I'm pronounced dead. The experts say I'll die a painless, peaceful death - I wonder how they know. Would any of them in my footsteps follow and refuse a taste of snow? Before I go you all should know a vegetable I'm not! Like all of you I have a body, mine is bent and broke. But deep inside our souls reside which sets us all apart. From birds and bees and apple trees now and from the start! A word to those so anxious to send me on my way. Some day you'll see the folly, some where along the way. A thanks to all who tried to help me, your efforts aren't in vain. The day won't be forgotten when I'm taken from my pain. I'm not alone in this ignoble death, martyrs there are many. Pray not for me, watch out for thee the slope is steep and steady. My hope resides in my merciful GOD who soon will call me home. Farewell my friends until the end when justice will atone. The Nearly Ancient Mariner - Jim Lessard, Astoria From Redmond In memory of Terri Schiavo, who died from planned negligence on March 31, 2005, we reprint the following commentary. Below the commentary, we also offer an important recommendation for legislation that would guarantee resumption of mouth feeding whenever feeding tube assistance is withdrawn. BE KIND TO "VEGETABLES" By David C. Reardon, Ph.D. Jackie lies motionless, incapable of smiling, or crying, or responding to a gentle touch. She is seemingly dead to all that is around her. Her doctor has diagnosed her as being in an irreversible "persistent vegetative state" (PVS). She is only a "vegetable." Yet she breathes. She sleeps. She can swallow spoon-fed meals of broth and nutrient "shakes." She may live for thirty years like this. Never laughing. Never crying. She is a "vegetable." But she is also a mother. Her children mourn for her. They want her with them, but not like this. Someone suggests that by withholding food and water they would simply be letting nature take its course. Certainly she would not want to live like this. It would be an act of charity to let her die, they say. On the other hand, when is the last time you did something charitable for a carrot? A vegetable cannot suffer. So how can death put a vegetable out of its misery? If she is human enough to suffer, then clearly she is a person, not a "vegetable," and she deserves all the love, care, and respect due all persons. Even like this, she has still been created in the image of God. Are we too blind to recognize anything God-like in her passive silence? Her patient endurance? Her calm acceptance of an undisclosed, divine Will? By withholding food and water, Jackie, like anyone else, will die. But since she is incapable of appreciating the generosity of this refusal to feed her, it is not charity for her sake. At best it is an act of charity toward the family which grows weary at her side. At worst, it is an act of selfishness on the part of a society which does not want to share in the cost and inconvenience of sharing her family's burden of care. When faced with any moral quandary such as this, we must constantly ask ourselves, "What is God's will in this?" Is He somehow shaping her soul, purifying her, preparing her for her day in heaven? Can something be going on behind those sightless eyes, something beyond the knowledge of man? Or is God perhaps using this soul as an instrument of grace for shaping the souls of those around her? Is He using her to call forth compassion, patience, endurance, and love from her family, her caretakers, her society? By causing her to die through our neglect, are we interfering with God's Will for her? Or are we rejecting His Will for us? Are we rejecting an opportunity to practice sacrificial love? What would Jesus do if He were standing at her side? Would he not reach down, take her hand, and call on her to awake? In fact, to those not blind to God's healing hand, this is exactly what Jesus does. According to a recent medical study of 84 PVS patients, over 52% of the patients recovered within one year. After three years, 58% had regained consciousness. After extensive review of the data, researchers were unable to identify any reliable way to predict who might recover and who might not. In other words, every PVS patient has a chance of recovery.1 According to Dr. Keith Andrews, Director of Medical and Research Services at the Royal Hospital and Home, PVS patients "are not being allowed to reach their optimal recovery because they are not offered the opportunity of rehabilitation programs. . . . The experience of our Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit is that nearly all of those patients admitted in PVS are suffering from under nutrition... and have developed deformities which further inhibit recovery." According to Dr. Andrews, "Rehabilitation for these patients has not been tried and found wanting; it is wanted but, too often, not been tried." By starving our PVS patients to death, are we not denying God the opportunity to work miracles? Are we not denying Him the glory and thanksgiving that is His due? Six weeks after Jackie lapsed into a coma, six days after her family followed their physician's advice and asked a court to authorize withholding of food and water, Jackie woke up. Today, she is fully recovered. Anyone who has seen Robert DeNiro in the film "Awakenings" will appreciate how joyful and awe inspiring such awakenings can be. Truly they are instruments for shaping souls. If nothing else, they teach us humility, reminding us that we have only the faintest understanding of the workings of the human mind, much less the Divine mind. Perhaps we need to be like children, for they often see more clearly than "sophisticated" adults. I am thinking especially of the homeless youth who carried his brother into Boy's Town. If this brave lad had instead been seated at the side of his PVS mother, he may have uttered these simple words for the ages: "She's not a vegetable. She's my mother." Originally published in The PostAbortion Review 5(2) Spring 1997. Copyright 1997 Elliot Institute. ***************************************************************** REMEMBER - LIFE LOBBY DAY - next Friday, April 8th. At the Capitol. • Please set this day aside to speak up for those who have no voice. Donations have made it possible for anyone wanting to attend to do so. It's a gift - NO Strings attached. Just email me and you name will be added to the list. • MORE INFO ON MONDAY. This has been an incredible time in history. We are fortunate to be alive to make a difference at such a pivotal time and persevere for the Glory of Christ. May God Bless us all and May God Bless the Soul of His Servant Pope John Paul II Carolyn

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