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“MY UNMARRIED FACEBOOK FRIEND ANNOUNCED SHE IS PREGNANT – IS IT OK TO CLICK ‘LIKE'”?

QUESTION: “If an unmarried friend on Facebook announces that she has moved in with her boyfriend I don’t click ‘Like’ because it seems to be a form of approval. But if an unmarried friend announces that she is pregnant, is it hypocritical to congratulate her?

ANSWER: Your raising this question is commendable because it demonstrates an awareness of the responsibility that we have to avoid co-operating in the wrong done by another person. Traditionally theologians have identified nine general ways to co-operate in evil: by counsel, by command, by consent, by provocation, by praise or flattery, by concealment, by being a partner in the sin, by silence and by defending the wrong done.

Although clicking ‘Like’ for a Facebook status is fairly trivial it can be a way of praising something wrong and so I agree with your decision to avoid clicking “Like” when an unmarried couple announce that they have moved in together. It is not always necessary to comment negatively on a person’s status but it might be necessary to say something if others draw an inference from our lack of comment. Even here we do not need to respond if people are simply attempting to draw us into an online fight.

In the case of an unmarried friend announcing a pregnancy, there are other considerations. In many cases an unmarried mother will be asked whether she wishes to continue with the pregnancy – in other words, whether to opt for the killing of the baby through abortion.

For someone who is young and in difficulties, considerable pressure may be brought to bear. In such cases we are right to congratulate a young mother on making the courageous choice of life for her unborn child.

In the case of a mother who is in a long-term cohabiting relationship we can still congratulate her on the conception of a child, though we may be in a position where we should encourage her to marry. Facebook is probably not the place for such a conversation to take place, and simply clicking ‘Like’ does not imply that we approve of all the circumstances of the pregnancy.”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published as part of the feature “Catholic Dilemmas” in the “Catholic Herald” issue March 7 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

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TO A PARENT WHOSE SON OR DAUGHTER HAS DIED

“Death, the sad inheritance of every son of Adam, which no one will escape, is not the end of everything, but rather the beginning of that blessed life which is the only one worthy of being gained. All will pass in this world, from the most humble things to the most grandiose, but eternal life will remain without end, in which there will be no mourning.

MERE WORDS SEEM TO BE OUT OF PLACE IN THIS AGONY

The letter by St Basil the Great: ‘I hesitated to address you due to your dignity, from the idea that, just as to the eye when inflamed even the mildest of remedies causes pain, so to a soul distressed by heavy sorrow, words offered in the moment of agony, even though they do bring much comfort, seem to be somewhat out of place.

But I bethought me that I should be speaking to a Christian woman, who has long ago learned godly lessons, and is not inexperienced in the vicissitudes of human life, and I judged it right not to neglect the duty laid upon me. I know what a mother’s heart is and when I remember how good and gentle you are to all, I can reckon the probable extent of your misery at this present time. You have lost a son whom, while he was alive, all mothers called happy, with prayers that their own might be like him, and on his death bewailed, as though each had hidden her own in the grave.

But our lives are not without Providence, so we have learnt in the Gospel, for not a sparrow falls to the ground without the will of our Father (cfr. Mt 10:29). Whatever has come to pass has come to pass by the will of our Creator. And who can resist God’s will? Let us accept what has befallen us; for if we take it ill we do not mend the past and we work our own ruin. Do not let us arraign the righteous judgment of God. We are all too untaught to assail His ineffable sentences. The Lord is now making trial of your love for Him. Now there is an opportunity for you, through your patience, to take the martyr’s lot. The mother of the Maccabees (cfr. 2 Mac 7) saw the death of seven sons without a sigh, without even shedding one unworthy tear. She gave thanks to God for seeing them freed from the fetters of the flesh by fire and steel and cruel blows, and she won praise from God, and fame among men. The loss is great, as I can say myself; but great too are the rewards laid up by the Lord for the patient.

DO NOT MEASURE YOUR LOSS BY ITSELF, IF YOU DO IT WILL SEEM INTOLERABLE

When first you were made a mother, and saw your boy, and thanked God, you knew all the while that, a mortal yourself, you had given birth to a mortal. What is there astonishing in the death of a mortal? But we are grieved at his dying before his time. Are we sure that this was not his time?

We do not know how to pick and choose what is good for our souls, or how to fix the limits of the life of man. Look around at all the world in which you live; remember that everything you see is mortal, and all subject to corruption.

Look up to Heaven; even it shall be dissolved; look at the sun, not even the sun will last forever. All the stars together, all living things of land and sea, all that is fair on earth, aye, earth itself, all are subject to decay; yet a little while and all shall be no more. Let these considerations be some comfort to you in your trouble. Do not measure your loss by itself; if you do it will seem intolerable; but if you take all human affairs into account you will find that some comfort is to be derived from them.

MERE WORDS I KNOW CANNOT GIVE COMFORT

Mere words I know cannot give comfort. Just now what is wanted is prayer, and I do pray the Lord Himself to touch your heart by His unspeakable power, and through good thoughts to cause light to shine upon your soul, that you may have a source of consolation in yourself.'”
– This letter by St Basil the Great to the wife of Nectarius was published in “De Vita Contemplativa” (Monthly Magazine for Monasteries), issue Number 11, Year VII.

 
 

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“I TOLD HIM THAT I WOULD NOT HAVE AN ABORTION AND TOLD HIM TO GET OUT OF MY LIFE”

“POPE FRANCIS REASSURED ME AND SAID A CHILD WAS A GIFT FROM GOD… HE TOLD ME I HAD BEEN VERY BRAVE AND STRONG FOR MY UNBORN CHILD.”

THE MOBILE PHONE RANG – A MYSTERY NUMBER WAS DISPLAYED ON THE SCREEN

“Pope Francis phoned a woman last week who had written an anguished letter to him to tell her he would baptise her unborn child after she refused to have an abortion. Shop worker Anna Romano, 35, was on holiday when her mobile started to ring with a mystery number on the screen and she was stunned to find herself speaking to the Pope.

Anna, from Arezzo near Florence, had written to Pope Francis earlier this summer to describe her turmoil at having discovered she was pregnant by a man who, unknown to her, was already married with a child and who demanded an abortion.

‘I HAVE NEVER BEEN LUCKY WITH MEN’

In her letter she described to the Pope her dilemma and said: ‘I have never been lucky with men, I married when I was young and then things didn’t work out and I got divorced. I then had a few brief relationships until I met a man who I thought was the man of my dreams.

‘INSTEAD OF BEING HAPPY HE TOLD ME HE WAS ALREADY MARRIED’

In June I discovered I was pregnant through him and when I told him instead of being happy he told me he was already married, already had a child and to have an abortion. ‘I told him that I would not have an abortion and told him to get out of my life,’ she said. Anna added how she was ‘in a desperate and anguished state’ and that she was writing to Pope Francis because she had ‘no one else to turn to, after being left humiliated and betrayed’.

‘HUMILIATED AND BETRAYED’

Speaking from her home she added: ‘I addressed the letter simply to Pope Francis, the Vatican, and put it in the post. I didn’t even sent it recorded delivery. I didn’t really expect a reply.’ When Francis phoned, she said, ‘as soon as he started speaking I recognised the voice as his’.

A CHILD IS A GIFT FROM GOD

‘He said he had read my letter and he wanted to speak to me personally about it and reassure me that someone was worried about me. We were only on the phone for a few minutes but my heart was filled with joy as we spoke and I was rubbing my tummy at the same time. ‘I would never have imagined that the Pope would pick up a telephone and call me and speak to me if I was a dear friend. He reassured me and said a child was a gift from God and that I would never be left alone. He said as Christians we should never be afraid.

‘AS CHRISTIANS WE SHOULD NEVER BE AFRAID’

‘He told me I had been very brave and strong for my unborn child. I told him that I wanted to baptise the baby when it was born, but I was afraid as I was divorced and a single mother, but he said he would be my spiritual father and he would baptise my baby. I’m not sure if he will, I feel as if I am dreaming, but if he did baptise my baby it would be something else, that telephone call has changed my life.

‘I hope my letter will be an example for other women who feel they may be distant from the Church simply because they have chosen the wrong man, they are divorced or they are with men who are not worthy of being fathers. I don’t know the sex of the baby but if the Pope does baptise it and it’s a boy I have no doubt of his name – Francis.’

A Vatican spokesman said he ‘knew nothing’ about the call. ‘The Pope doesn’t tell us when he makes these calls,’ he said. ‘He just does them and then we find out about them later.'”
– This article by Nick Pisa entitled “Mother says her heart is ‘filled with joy’ after Pope call” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue September 13 2013. [Headings in capital letters added afterwards.] For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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“ARE YOU STRUGGLING AFTER AN ABORTION EXPERIENCE?”

“Are you struggling after an abortion experience?

Call us today on our Helpline 0845 603 8501

Between 7pm and 10pm (seven evenings per week).

All calls are charged at local rates.

ARCH – Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline.”

 
 

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PRAYER FOR THE INTERCESSION OF ST GERARD TO CONCEIVE OR TO PREVENT MISCARRIAGE

ST GERARD, PATRON OF MOTHERHOOD

(THIS PRAYER IS TO BE SAID FOR NINE CONSECUTIVE DAYS)

O good St Gerard, powerful patron and protector of mothers and of children yet unborn, to thee do I turn in my hour of anxiety. Of the do I beg the blessings of a happy motherhood. When all human assistance seems to fail, deign to come to my aid by thy powerful intercession at the throne of Almighty God. Beseech the Divine Author of Life to bless me with offspring, that I may raise up children to God in this life who will be heirs to His heavenly Kingdom in the next. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SAY THIS “THANK YOU” PRAYER FOR GRACES RECEIVED EITHER NOW OR LATER ON:

O good St Gerard, wonderful Patron of Mothers, deign to offer to God my heartfelt gratitude for the great blessing of motherhood. In my long hours of anxiety, uncertainty and doubt, thy powerful intercession with Jesus my Lord and Mary my Queen was ever my hope. Obtain for me the grace always to turn to thee in similar trials. Help me to inspire other women with confidence in thy most gracious assistance. Aid all of us, that doing God’s holy Will as mothers here on earth, we may merit eternal life in Heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
 

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SHE SAID SHE FELT REALLY “JUDGED” FOR NOT HAVING THE ABORTION DONE

LIFE IS SACRED.

“YOU SHALL NOT KILL.”

“Doctors told an Irish woman that she should travel to England for an abortion because her baby had a life-threatening congenital heart defect and a rare brain disorder. Jennifer Kehoe and her husband John, a GP, were told the baby would have little chance of surviving outside the womb. But their daughter Louise Kehoe, now three years old, defied all the odds.

DELIGHTFUL LITTLE GIRL

Jennifer and her husband, from Kildare, felt ‘judged’ for not choosing termination, they said. But if they had gone ahead with the abortion they would never have experienced how their ‘delightful little girl’ would ‘blow us away with love,’ Jennifer said. ‘

LOUISE HAS NONE OF THESE PROBLEMS…LOUISE IS COMPLETELY NORMAL.’

Louise was diagnosed in the womb with the life-threatening congenital brain malformation Dandy-Walker Syndrome and a heart defect. They were ‘advised to have an abortion by an Irish obstetrician on the grounds of foetal anomaly’.

‘The very first thing our obstetrician suggested was, ‘Go to England’. We decided against that and to give our daughter a shot at life, however long or short that might be,’ said Jennifer, a mother of six. As Jennifer was 42 at the time of her pregnancy, she had an amniotic fluid test to check for chromosomal abnormalities. ‘I had miscarriages since the last baby – we had five children and the youngest was six,’ said Jennifer.

‘Abortion was never ever what we were thinking of, not even for the single flicker of a second.’ Jennifer said that once the diagnosis was outlined to her, she began to grieve for her unborn child.

I said to John, ‘I hope that the baby dies soon’ so that I could start the grief process.

‘But about a day later I started to hope that the baby would get to 24 weeks, so she could get a birth certificate. ‘

During this time we were handed a card for a bereavement counsellor and quite quickly after that I said, ‘I want this baby to live, no matter what’.

‘If we had made an appointment for England there and then, we wouldn’t have had the chance to come to the third point in the thought process – that we would do anything to save our baby.’

According to the test, there was no chromosome abnormality.

‘It was only then that we got to see a cardiologist,’ Jennifer said. Three-year-old Louise has come through three heart operations, but her cognitive development is normal and she is expected to live a long and normal life.

‘Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, it is about the pressure that doctors put on you to mke a decision,’ she said. ‘The choice isn’t being given.

‘Doctors are pressuring people to go to England if there is a foetal abnormality and then punishing them if they don’t make that decision.

‘I think it was a eugenic attitude, that people who are disabled are a drain on resources.’

Dandy-Walker Syndrome affects one in 2,500 babies. It can severely impact brain development, speech and movement. Symptoms include slow motor development and progressive enlargement of the skull.

However, Louise has none of these problems.

‘If some of the babies have a strange chromosome deletion, there is no way of knowing how the baby will turn out.

‘Louise is completely normal, she has this heart condition and she will be monitored all her life. We would never have known that Louise was about to defy all predictions, that she was about to defy her genes and that she would grow into a delightful little girl who has reached all her milestones with time to share,’ she added.

Jennifer says thhat she is firmly pro-life and doesn’t agree with abortion ‘in any circumstance’.”
– This article was published in “The Catholic Universe” issue Sunday 19th March 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link). The article cites the original source: http://www.irishcentral.com (external link)

 
 

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PRAYER TO ST CATHERINE OF SIENA TO AVOID MISCARRIAGE

Dear St Catherine, humble virgin and Doctor of the Church, in thirty-three years you achieved great perfection and became the counsellor of Popes. You know the temptations of mothers today as well as the dangers that await unborn infants.

Intercede for me that I may avoid miscarriage and bring forth a healthy baby who will become a true child of God. Also pray for all mothers, that they may not resort to abortion but help to bring a new life into the world. Amen.

 

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