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Monday, December 22, 2014

EUTHANASIA: Rejecting the Comfort of Christ

by Lawrence Fox 

Thirty-year-old Brittany Maynard seemingly chose to end her life on Nov. 1, 2014, although she said truthfully just days before, “It doesn’t seem like the right time now.” 

The Comfort of Christ
Given months to live with terminal brain cancer, the young woman moved to Oregan so she could take advantage of the state’s assisted suicide law.

Even though many pro-life people, who were dying naturally, tried to share their witness with Brittany, what she was never offered by her family or friends was the promise of hope. For our society has rejected the comfort Christ offered in his Passion, Death and Resurrection.

The Catholic Church reflecting upon the life of Christ recognized that with Baptism the whole person (body and soul) entered into the life, death and resurrection of Christ (not something symbolically but substantially rooted in a promise). Jesus said to his disciples, “Unless you pick up your cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” (Matthew 16:24) That is a promise. 

Soren Kierkegaard (Danish Philosopher 1813-1855) wrote a pamphlet titled: “Sickness unto Death.” It is an excellent read especially given the post-modern rush to re-canonize “suicide” as an expression of pagan virtue. 

Kierkegaard said that for the pagan, suicide represented the mingling of courage with despair as an expression of virtue. What the pagan wanted was courage rooted in the virtue of hope.“Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his second encyclical, “Saved in Hope.”

While the pagan honored suicide as virtue, he yet waited for the Church to preach the virtue of true hope. Hope is a virtue rooted in a promise -- a promise founded upon Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life. There is a part of the prayer at the end of the Rosary which goes:
“Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy (able) to receive the promises of Christ.”

JESUS’ PROMISES CUT BOTH WAYS

“If you obey my commands, then you will be my disciples, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” Jesus promised. (John 8:31, 32) So many of us miss the first part, “If you obey my commands…” We want freedom but we live like slaves. That is because true freedom is the ability to say, “Yes” to God and His commands and “No” to ourselves and our commands.

The City of God is in principle populated by men capable of saying “Yes” to God and to a
loss of self, wrote St. Augustine in his work, “The City of God.” The city of men is in principle populated by men who say “Yes” to self and to a loss of God.

God builds His city by teaching and enabling men to live as God. Man builds his city by teaching and demanding men to live as men. To commit suicide is tragically man living like well, merely a man.

Post-modern man no longer lives the virtue of hope, since he has rejected the commands and promises of Christ. As such, the post-modern man has re-embraced “suicide” in order to act out the pagan mingling of courage and despair. Soren Kierkegaard states that modern man in the mid-1800s was in a much worse condition than that of the pagans prior to their hearing of the Good News. 

The pagans at least were waiting for a message of hope. Post-modern man has rejected the Good News or replaced it with something unnatural. In essence, peoples which were once Christian are now living the negative promise: “Then it (the demon) goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there (in the previously possessed person). And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation." (Matthew 12:45)

The Christian lives God’s Plan for his life, and the virtue of hope shines, according to Kierkegaard. This Danish philopher helped me to better understand the source and power of hope by looking at the opposite condition which he identified as “despair” or “sickness unto death.”

Sometimes apophatic knowledge comes by looking at the negative of that thing. Kierkegaard pointed out that Satan exists in absolute despair. His judgment, intellect, will, actions and all his conversations are rooted in despair. Satan was created with great intelligence, beauty, and glory. He was asked to do something and he refused, “I will not obey!”

There is only one God, but Satan chose the lie and shared it with Adam and Eve: “There is NOT only one God.” They accepted the lie, which resulted in their spiritual deaths and that of their children -- namely us. Who was it that said, “Adam burped and we all starve?” 

While reading Soren’s words, I thought about the words of Jesus to his disciples, “Satan was a liar and murderer from the beginning.” Despair expresses itself by lying and murdering the innocent. Think of all the evil perpetrated with a lie which leads to greater violence and murder.

The pagan deeply longed for hope. Christianity brought this hope to the pagans. Soon the pagans stopped slaughtering their own children, stopped performing human sacrifice, suicide was diminished, and monogamy increased, and for a time neighboring lands developed a code of conduct even for war. Now their rejected evils have come back in spades -- even within the Church.

Something happened in Europe, truth and freedom somehow became separated from obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ.

It began with Luther’s doctrine, Justification by Faith Alone. This doctrine certainly has diminished charity in the Mystical Body of Christ. The evidence of this lack of charity is the perpetual multiplications of schisms and separations within the body of Christ. You shall know the tree by its fruits.

Today, St. Paul’s concern that every effort be made to maintain communion and not grieve the Holy Spirit is meaningless outside the confines of the immediate or particular congregation. This is an expression of nominalism – the denial of universal truth. Paul writes:
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:3-6)

Luther taught the opinion of “imputed justice.” A person makes a claim of belief in Christ Jesus and justice is imputed to that person. That person by “faith alone” becomes clothed cosmetically in Jesus’ righteousness while dung and dirty rags remain underneath. Luther’s opinion of imputed justice - properly understood – ends up arguing against Jesus’ total victory over sin and death. 

Imputed justice argues that the power of sin remains intact within the Mystical Body both on earth and in heaven. Underneath, sin clings like dung. That does not sound like heaven. It sounds like something out of the mouth of Mohammed and not the mouth of Jesus. And yet, I have heard Christians explain to me time and time again Luther’s theory of imputed justice using the same example. I explain to them – when I can – “You have not truly thought through that analogy.”

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (Romans 6:1-7)

Through the grace of faith in baptism, the initiate become members of Jesus' mystical body, a new creation in Him. Jesus’ suffering and death was death to man's sin.  Participating in the sufferings of Christ brings about a death to sin, a purging and death to self. "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:13) 

Jesus offered to the Father that which man could not give on his own: “perfect love and thanksgiving.” Because of Adam’s sin, man ought to provide recompense but cannot. God is able to provide satisfaction, but justice demands that humanity provide satisfaction. A conundrum exists. 

God became man so that in the human flesh satisfaction for sin could be made. Jesus was like us in all things but sin. Therefore he could freely offer to the Father that which was not required of himself; a free complete giving of Himself at the hands of humanity. The Father received such recompence gladly, and in response gave to the Son all authority in heaven and on earth.

Pope Benedict offering Christ and all the faithful
back to the Father
The ultimate expression of hope is Jesus with all authority offering us back to the Father -- not as dung cosmetically prettied up as Luther taught -- but as people who through suffering have learned to no longer live for ourselves but for God through the power and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The 4th Eucharistic Canon of the Roman Catholic Mass says these words:
“And that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him, he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father, as his first gift to those who believe, to complete his work on earth and bring us the fullness of grace.”

COMFORT IN SUFFERING?

For those attracted to the healing ministry, please be of sound mind for St. Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians is very insightful in this manner: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 3:7)

SHARING IN THE CHRIST’S SUFFERING AND COMFORT

Years ago, I understood why Jesus left the Holy Eucharist with His Church: the Eucharist enables the Christian to share in His comfort
The Comfort of Christ 
which flows forth from His suffering. I later heard this confirmed in a film about Medieval Franciscan philosopher John Duns Scotus. In the film, Scotus states: “Jesus left us the Eucharist so that He could comfort us.”
 

An excerpt from the 4th Eucharistic Canon of the Mass reads as follows: “We now celebrate this memorial of our redemption. We recall Christ's death, his descent among the dead, his resurrection, and his ascension to your right hand; and, looking forward to his coming in glory, we offer you his body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world. Lord, look upon this sacrifice which you have given to your Church; and by your Holy Spirit, gather all who share this one bread and one cup into the one body of Christ, a living sacrifice of praise.”

In other words by participating in the Holy Eucharist, the recipient shares in Christ’s suffering and comfort. Both flow from the Sacrament of the Altar into the faithful recipient’s heart, mind, and body. In this way, the Christian is clothed with Jesus’ righteousness both inside and out.

Sadly, no one informed Brittany Maynard of the comfort Christ offers before she got involved with the advocacy group, the so-called “Compassion” & Choices. 

In a video released just before her death, she said, ““I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time right now (to end her life).” 

But the next day, she was dead.

“Human life is a journey,” Pope Benedict
Mary, Star of the Sea,
Guide us on life's journey
concluded his encyclical on hope.
“Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way.”






Wednesday, December 17, 2014

St. John the Baptist: He testified to the Light!

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
Third Sunday of Advent, Dec. 14, 2014
Saints Peter & Paul Parish, Tucson, AZ

St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness by
Bartolome Esteban Murillo
He came to testify to the Light!

"I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie." (John 1:26-27)


You may recall that last week we heard about St. John the Baptist preparing the way of the Lord from the Gospel of Mark. Today on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, which is also called Gaudete Sunday, we hear a similar message from the Gospel of John 1:6-8, 19-28. However, today’s Gospel gives us different insights into John’s mission. I would like to focus on a particular word that is used to emphasize the role of John and all Christians. This word is “testimony.”

"A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light." (John 1:6-7) 

What does it mean to testify? The words "testimony" and "testify" both have a root in the Latin word, “testis.” In civil law, testimony is defined as something that someone says especially in a court of law while formally promising to tell the truth. So it is a “statement or declaration of a witness under oath.”


Christians in general use the term "testify" or "to give one's testimony" to mean "the story of how one became a Christian or how God has worked in [our] lives.” A Christian may testify to a specific event in which they believe God has done something significant that is worth sharing.

The two Johns in Jesus Life:
St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist,
who also testified to the Light
Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1: 32-34)

So Christians witness to our encounter with God, which is so profound we publicly testify to this reality. Every time we recite the Creed on Sunday, we are testifying to our belief in the Catholic faith. We are publicly declaring our desire to live and follow the teachings of the Church.

And we testify to our personal conversion. To testify means that our lives have changed. People testify of how God helped them get over a struggle or an addiction. Other testimonies relate God’s radical manifestation in our lives. This is what we see in the lives of many saints such as Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, Saint Teresa of Avila, and many, many others! It is the apostles, saints and all holy people throughout the history of Christianity who give us testimony of the living God! John the Baptist obviously had a life changing experience which led him into the desert to pray in solitude, eat weird food, and proclaim a message of baptism and repentance.

My brothers and sisters, most of us are probably not called to
Fr. John Paul Shea
go out into the desert and live on locusts and honey. And while we are not likely to get up in a congregation like the Protestants do and proclaim that we have been saved, God wants us to live our lives in testimony to Him! He wants us to experience His grace in our lives so that we can testify to His love! He wants us to experience His healing and testify to the power of His mercy!


Yet, we are also reminded that authentic testimony always witnesses to the truth! This is difficult for Christians today, because speaking the truth leads to rejection and persecution. This is why the prophets of the Old Testament did not want to be a prophet. They did not want to go through the agony that comes with proclaiming God’s word. Yet, they did not back down. The prophet Jeremiah declared that he would no longer speak for God because of the derision and reproach he faced. But he could't refuse because the Word of God burned like a fire in his heart (Jeremiah 20:8-9). Even Jonah, who ran away from God, could not escape his mission to go to the people of Nineveh and share God’s prophecy with them.

The prophets, the early Church fathers,  the saints, the martyrs, all these heroes of the Church throughout history were so filled with God that they could not refuse to testify to His truth! No true prophet of God has ever preached a message of tolerance or acceptance of sinful lifestyles in order to make others feel better. 


St. John the Baptist gave testimony
with his very life. He was beheaded
for telling Herod his marriage
was adulterous. Here he is portrayed
in heaven holding his severed head.
No! They proclaimed the truth of God! And this is the way it was for John the Baptist! He testified that people repent of their sins. He rebuked the powerful religious leaders who were phony. He rebuked King Herod for his immorality. In fact, John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed by Herod because he boldly preached against his adulterous marriage.

Let us remember that God calls each one of us to give testimony by our faith by the ways we live our lives. Parents are to testify by teaching the faith to their children. Couples testify to the gift of marriage by keeping their vows. Single persons witness to the world through their holiness of life. Priests are to testify by proclaiming God’s word and by faithfully living our call to celibacy. The pope, bishops and cardinals must testify to the truths of our faith by upholding and protecting Church doctrine.
During these weeks of Advent, the Church focused on the Second Coming of our Lord. Scripture teaches us that when our Lord’s Presence is near, many hearts will grow cold. They  will deny the truths of our faith. Very few will testify for God. We can see many signs of this in our society and world today. This is why there is so much anger, strife, corruption and immorality.  

But God does not want us to fall into this trap of darkness. He does not want our hearts to grow lukewarm. He wants us to deeply experience His conversion so that we can be a living testimony of His truth and joy! May the grace of God be with each one of us.

(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. (John 1:15-18).
St. John the Baptist meets Jesus for the first time in the Visitation when Elizabeth greets Mary.
 "Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" Elizabeth asked.
And the infant leaped in her womb when Mary spoke. 

Did you enjoy this Advent Sermon? Read another by Fr. John Paul Shea: MAKE CROOKED ROADS STRAIGHT

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rachel Weeps for her Children & Twitter Ignores Pro-Life Trend

by Susan Fox

 “Twitter can block my hashtag, but they cannot block my prayers.” (Esmeralda Kiczek)

Dec. 12, 2014 – Today I am Rachel who weeps for her children and yet they are no more.

Twitter ignored this tragedy, joining the ranks of the worshippers of Moloch, the ancient god of child sacrifice.

Twitter blocked the hashtag #Pray2EndAbortion from trending publicly on its Top Ten Feed. On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, the hashtag #Pray2EndAbortion snagged 30,078 tweets by midnight Mountain Time, according to Topsy Analytics. It was clearly in the top ten tweets in the U.S.A., but it was virtually invisible on the Twitter Trends feed.

This is ironic as the Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has bragged about Twitter -- the worst performing stock in 2014* – saying, “Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It’s this real time information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter—important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter.”

Yet “important stuff” occurred on Twitter Dec. 12, and the company suppressed the information on its Trends Feed. They blocked some pro-life tweeters from continuing participation in the pro-life Twitter Storm, alleging they had hit their 1,000-tweet limit. 

“Do you believe in free speech or in censorship? Regardless of your opinion on issues, I hope you believe in free speech. I was shut down on Twitter during this event,” one pro-life tweeter, Molly Harrison, fumed on Facebook regarding the 2014 pro-life Twitter Storm.

Dr. Brian and Esmeralda Kiczek, who started The End of Abortion Movement, announced that prolifers united to trend  #Pray2EndAbortion on Dec. 12. Starting at 1 p.m. EST they tweeted the hashtag 13,000 times, but Twitter ignored their achievement. Instead #Rocktalk trended with only 8,000 tweets. I don’t even know what #Rocktalk is about, except that it apparently appears on TV.  This is 2014. Who watches TV anymore? That’s so 1950s.

“Is Twitter blocking hashtags that differ from their views?” the Kiczeks asked. “Even though Twitter claims that their mission is: ‘To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barrier.’ So, the question is why was #Pray2EndAbortion blocked from trending?” 

LifeNews.com, another powerful advocate for human life,  is experiencing the same treatment from Facebook. "Facebook is making groups like LifeNews pay money to reach our own readers. At the same time, it is making it easier for the pro-abortion media to have their news stories show up in your timeline at Facebook," said Steven Ertelt, LifeNews Editor. 

Dr. Brian & Esmeralda Kiczek
The Kiczeks are no stranger to persecution from Twitter. Last year, they organized the successful #PraytoEndAbortion Twitter Storm that trended #1 in the U.S. and #5 in the world. Yet their main accounts, some with as many as 39,000 followers, were blocked from appearing in any hashtag stream, including #PraytoEndAbortion, and they were forced to open new accounts in order to continue to stand up for life.

Actually, this is a very good sign! For a servant is no greater than His Master:  “Remember my word that I said to you: If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. (John 15:20)

“Twitter can block my hashtag, but they cannot block my prayers,” Esmeralda Kiczek said in a YouTube video she created with her cell phone. This is Esmerada Kiczek's cell phone video demonstration of #TwitterDiscrimination  Her End of Abortion Movement encourages people to pray the Rosary daily for the intention “the end of abortion, contraception, euthanasia, and for religious freedom for all."


The world hates us and that’s good news! Because “the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matt.10:22) And despite difficulty the Kiczeks and numerous other pro-life Tweeters, whose accounts were also blocked last year, are standing firm to the end, patiently opening new accounts when the old ones are rendered useless. “It’s important for me to stand up for life. Children are worth fighting for. Raise your voice against #TwitterDiscrimination,” Mrs Kiczek said.

Oh, but it would be so nice if the world agreed with us. But the persecution of the #Pray2EndAbortion hashtag, the Kiczeks, the pro-life tweeters and and really all who witness for the pro-life movement began long ago in the history of ideas.

Poor aching modern man has completely lost his identity. He is like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, standing there in bright ruby red shoes, unaware that all he needs to do is click his heels and he’ll be home.

Pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides, who witnessed and participated in the beginning of Western thought, said, “Being is, non-being is not.” So entered the concept of reality onto the stage of man’s thought about 500 B.C.

And such thinking found a home in Christianity, which did a Vulcan mind meld with Greek philosophy culminating in the brilliant and rational thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas blessedly assumes that reality exists and can be perceived through the senses. Later philosophers like Rene DesCartes will spend nauseating hours worrying about proving the existence of reality, something Parmenides took for granted. “I think therefore I am” was DesCartes best attempt to prove he existed. That’s something that I simply take for granted.

But prior to the Reformation, three ideas entered the thought of man – univocalism, voluntarism and nominalism. The people who run Twitter are nominalists. They don’t recognize reality. They believe they can make reality whatever they want.

Univocalism blurred the distinctions between God and man. While Parmenides saw the reality of existence, God told Moses, “I AM WHO AM.” God is Being In Himself. Man is created and owes his being to God.

But univocalism remade God in man’s image. Modern Twitter Atheists totally get this. They created a god that is a vile parody of themselves. Then they reject him and their own self-created form of Christianity. I reject this imaginary form of Christianity as well. Twitter Atheists and I are on the same page on this one, except they don’t realize they are rejecting their own distorted view of themselves.

Voluntarism asks, "Is God bound by anything?" Answer according to voluntarists, “No.” This form of thinking arose out of Islam, and found a home in Lutheranism and Calvinism. But thanks to a courageous 13th century Franciscan, Blessed Duns Scotus, the Catholic Church taught that God cannot will that which is contrary to His Nature, His own goodness.  

Hence right is right and wrong is wrong. It doesn't change. The Calvinistic images in early American sermons of God holding a hapless sinner over the fires of hell and deciding willy nilly to fling him in there or not are false. The same thinking permeates Islam. Even Mohammed did not know if he was going to enjoy 72 virgins (his version of heaven) or suffer in hell for all eternity. In Islam, only those “martyrs” who kill non-Muslims are assured of heaven. This, of course, means the “blessed” suicide bombers of 9/11/2001.

Voluntarism establishes an ethic rooted solely in the will of man. And with nominalism, the individual no longer needs a church, a tradition or an authority to be sanctified and come to knowledge of the truth. Ever hear anyone tell you “I read the Bible. I pray in the woods. I don’t need a Church, a building, an institution.” They have reduced the Living Church Christ founded on the rock of Peter to a cold lifeless building or a walk in the woods!

Nominalists believe that knowledge of things resides solely in the mind of man, and not in the thing itself. So you might wonder, if I look at my computer and see a mouse, is my computer a mouse? No that’s not how it works. But if I look at my unborn child and see a blob of cells? Well that is nominalism.
 
A newly "married" couple
after a same-sex "marriage" ceremony
with adopted daughter

Man cannot even recognize his own offspring any longer. And while there is something called the institution of marriage, if I look at my same sex relationship, and decide it is the same thing as marriage, then it is. This great darkness – nominalism – clouds the mind of the U.S. Supreme Court and forms the basis of the 1973 Roe v Wade and recent decisions legalizing same sex “marriage.”

The last three popes have spent a lot of money on ink just to try and convince modern man that he is a person made in the image and likeness of God, who is Being in Himself. And in fact man’s own children – born and unborn -- are made in the image and likeness of God. God is love. He is no blob of cells, my friend.

I tweet at these atheist humanist nominalists: “Dear Mr. Blob, if an unborn child is a blob of cells, what are you?” Answer: “A blob of cells.”

Blob of Cells?
Well blobs of cells don’t get funerals. And blobs of cells don’t matter. And blobs of cells can be murdered at will. And people who stand up for blobs of cells are hate mongers. They are interfering with the convenience of a useful blob of cells, the family member wanting the unborn or elderly dead. Yes, I am certain that Twitter feels justified in censoring an important pro-life voice on their twitter feed because  pro-lifers by being “anti-choice” are hate mongers. This is upside down thinking.
  
Sadly on one abortion link I found a loan officer, who survived a failed abortion, and still calls herself “pro-choice.” Why? “My mother had her reasons same as every other woman in the world,” Emily said, dismissing all pro-lifers with these words,  “Unless you people have gone through an unplanned pregnancy where the father left you to deal with it all on your own, all while trying to push your way through college classes and two jobs, you have no place to talk about this subject.”

“Dear Emily,” I responded, “The failure in your situation is the heartless human race! If there were people willing to help you dear, you would not have killed your unborn child. How blessed you are to have lived through your mother's poor choice. Shouldn't you offer the mercy that God extended to you to others -- like your own unborn children? I had two miscarriages. And I still grieve. If they were alive, Raphael would be 28 and Christina would be 24. I am Rachel who weeps for her children, yet they are no more.”

But for me, Raphael and Christina are people. Emily doesn't believe that. Unborn blobs of cells can be killed because they have no utilitarian purpose -- at the moment. But we don’t run around killing healthy adults because they serve our utilitarian convenience. An unborn child, a handicapped or elderly person does not serve our convenience. Hence we have the right to kill them, i.e. “end their suffering.” 

So we have the philosophical law of non-contradiction contradicted. In the same hospital, one child aborted before birth struggles for breath abandoned in a bucket in the hallway, while another prematurely born child is given the best medical care and lives. One elderly person’s life is saved, and another is starved and dehydrated to death. Nominalists believe that knowledge of things resides solely in the mind of man, and not in the thing itself. Hence human life and marriage can become whatever you define it to be.

Fascinating that on the day of the 2014 Pro-Life Twitter Storm, Life News came out with a piece: “Unborn babies feel anger and joy, Psychotherapist’s Study Says.” In fact they do. And they also reported Friday that a pro-abortion study admits that thousands of women are hospitalized every year from botched abortions.

But the good news is that despite the blindness of nominalism, abortions decreased by 6 percent in the United States between 2000 and 2009. The number of abortion clinics continues to decline due to a reduction in demand for abortion.  Operation Rescue released a report that showed that over two-thirds of the nation's abortion clinics have closed in the past 18 years.

Can we thank courageous pro-life witnesses like the Kiczeks and numerous individuals who tweeted pro-life messages during the Twitter Storm Dec. 12? Yes, we can.

Matthew Reynolds tweeted this Dec. 12 
 “I felt cheated when I learned that the hashtag #Pray2EndAbortion was not allowed to trend (on Twitter). It makes me more determined for the next time,” said pro-life tweeter Matthew Reynolds.  Another young tweeter asked me, “Did you ever find out if they’re going to set a date for another Twitter Storm? #WeWillNotGiveUp #TwitterDiscrimination.”

I am a Christian realist. Blessed Duns Scotus, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict are all Christian realists.  We believe that God is Being in Himself, all good, all knowing, eternal and infinite. And He made the creature man in His own Image. God is love. Man has the capacity for great love.  We believe in universals like one, holy Catholic Church, established by Christ to be His Holy Living Presence in the world until the end of time.

My computer is not a mouse. No matter what I think, it is a computer.  I exist and have value whether I can think or not. God is not made in my image. I am made wonderfully in His Image. And my marriage is not based on a “feeling” but a mutual decision blessed by the Church that Christ founded when He said, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

And I tell you, my friend, my unborn child is not a blob of cells. He is also a person made in the image and likeness of God, who actually experiences joy and sorrow in the womb. My life has value until natural death no matter how inconvenient my suffering is for those around me.

And I echo the feelings of my Twitter priest friend, “God – if need be – please take away my freedom, but never let me worship Moloch or any of his progeny.” And I would include Twitter, which in the ignorance and blindness of nominalism, has decided, “Thou shalt not kill – unless you are inconvenient, old or unborn.”
  

*According to the CNNMoney’s Tech 30 Index.