Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our Forgotten Allies

Maybe I'm not seeing the full picture, but it seems to be that one area we should be actively cultivating to help swell the ranks in the pro-life movement is young men. Here's why I think this could be key to gaining additional momentum.

Note: I am not implying that men are under-involved in pro-life issues and am thankful for every man who actively supports pro-life causes. I just have this feeling that even more participation among young men could be key.

Proborts have tried for too long to sway our youth to a free sex, contraceptives for all, abortion on demand agenda. Many of their claims stem from their definition of women's rights. In drawing a circle around pregnancy as something that only involves a woman, they have denied a basic fact of nature, let alone the theological truth that all life belongs to God.

Young men, men who are in the prime of life and most likely to father children, need to reclaim their rights to participating in decisions concerning the children they conceive. A father's rights begin at conception. Consider the tragedy of a man whose child is aborted without his consent. What will his lifelong psychological wounds be? How will that haunt him and follow him through the years? I recall reading a story years ago about a young man who was adopted into a loving family. When his girlfriend aborted against his wishes, he explained that he had just lost the first person in his family who would really be related to him as a blood relative, and he struggled with the pain of that.

Furthermore, our efforts to raise pro-life youth need to concentrate on our young men. We have quite an uphill battle ahead of us on this front, given our culture. How early can we educate them on the theology of the body, on the divine gift of fatherhood? How early can we emphatically tell them that abortion is as much a man's issue as a women's issue? I'd love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Finding Grace at the End of Life

It seems that most of the Catholic women bloggers I read are younger women, doing a wonderful job of raising (and often educating via homeschooling) large families. They are an inspiration, and they make me wish I had been a little more like them when my children were small.

Right now, my children are lurching forward into adulthood and (hopefully) self-sufficiency, making a few mistakes along the way. Let's just say that I have taken one child's needs often to good St. Monica. Thankfully, that child is beginning to straighten out, and I have every hope that he will make it the rest of the way.

I am worrying at a distance (approximately 2.5 hours driving) over my aging parents. It would be more accurate to say both worrying over and being inspired by my parents at the same time. My dad has dementia, and it's been accelerating over the last few months. As I see him drift further and further into confusion week by week, I often feel like a child standing on a shore, watching my father drift away into a dark, cloudy sea. I remind myself that for every loss that takes him further from us, he is moving toward a bright eternal future that is the hope of all who believe in Christ. I would like to believe that this disease is some sort of purgatory while he is yet alive, because truly, he is becoming like a little child. Perhaps in this state, he will be able to enter the kingdom more directly when God calls him home.

Without faith, losing a beloved parent to dementia must be a horrible thing. Because of faith, I still see much to be thankful for here. Two months ago, he did not know me, after surgery to repair a fractured hip. When he once again greeted me by name, I cried like a child. He may never walk again, or even stand without significant support. My mother remains hopeful and steadfast. She has rarely left his side. Pre-Cana couples should be required to apprentice themselves to my parents.

I have been living like a ping-pong ball, bouncing from my parents back to my own home, a few days here, a few days there. Sandwich generation, a time of enormous trials, but also of immense blessings found in seemingly small things: the touch of my father's hand, the heroic strength of my mother as she cares for him, the sound of young people laughing in my home as I turn the key in the lock at the end of a long drive. I don't know where this post is heading. I don't think it said anything profound. It's just my way of of getting a few things out of my head and heart where they have been rolling around. It's my way of telling you a little more than I can provide in the profile space. Thank you for listening.

Odd name for a blog

Maybe yes, maybe no.

A mysterious woman, this Lydia. Note that she is called by her Latin name, Lydia Purpuraria in the Vulgate, where she shows up in Acts 16:14. This is Clue #1. I'll decode it for you. This blogger is one of those Latin Mass loving Roman Catholics.

Why, of all the women in the Bible, of all the many saints names, would I choose this one?

I'm a businesswoman. Like Lydia, I spend much of my time in the world of commerce. I would have to imagine that she was respected by her trading partners, who were without a doubt, mostly male. All of my working life, I've been one of the few women working in male professions.

Like Lydia, I also have an affinity for fabric. Things made of fiber, wool and cotton, form the basis of my hobbies. You may see a photo from time to time, but it's not my intent to make this a craft blog.

Like Lydia, I am a Christian. I open this little blog to you as Lydia opened her house. I ask you to stay, to read, to respond. At the end of the passage wherein she appears in Scripture, it says:

she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.

I close this, my opening post with a prayer to St. Lydia, that she may help me to hear the words of Paul in this Pauline year, and that she may help me grow in faith and hospitality.

And if she could motivate me to finish a few of my quilts, that would be a great thing as well.