May 23, 2012

Courage

Here are quotes from a few incredibly powerful and important articles that I hope you all have a chance to read:
There is no consolation to be had for the mother that loses a child. She will grieve in her heart for the rest of her life. Abortion; however, not only robs a child of it’s life and a mother of it’s child, it also robs the mother of her grieving. She is not allowed to grieve because she cannot publicly claim the title Mother.

Abortion advocates will never admit a post-abortive woman is a Mother because to admit that would acknowledge the existence that there was once a child. Not a clump of cells, but a very real living child. When girls begin menstruating they are not called mothers to a clump of cells, yet so many people really believe an abortion is just like having a heavy period or passing a large menstrual clot. This was how it was described to me when I found myself in their clinic fifteen years ago. Two years later when I returned to have a second abortion the lie had not changed.

For fifteen long years I’ve lived with the pain, shame and guilt associated with my past. In that time I’ve experienced denial, anger, and depression. It wasn’t till my conversion to Catholicism that I finally sought the reconciliation my soul needed. Once I received the grace of forgiveness I was charged with the next most important task of my life… to tell as many women as I can how horrible, evil and despicable abortion is.
- Kristina Hernandez, The Crescat
(HT: Hepburn)

I have no taste for identity politics, but the truth is that all of us do, in fact, navigate complex identities. I identify first as a Christian, secondly as an orthodox Roman Catholic. After that, we find a slew of monikers; an Augustinian, a scholar, a theologian, an American, a single person, a theatergoer, a cook, a pedestrian, and—here comes the controversy—a gay or queer person.

The central locus of my identity, which shapes all other aspects of it, is Christ. But no one, upon honest self-reflection, can realistically claim that this entirely does away with all other aspects of one’s identity. Christ is the foundation which shows how other aspects of my identity can and cannot be expressed, but other aspects of who I am do say something significant about me.
- Joshua Gonnerman, First Things

Two things that have enhanced Jon’s life are the Washington subway system, which opened in 1976, and the Washington Nationals baseball team, which arrived in 2005. He navigates the subway expertly, riding it to the Nationals ballpark, where he enters the clubhouse a few hours before game time and does a chore or two. The players, who have climbed to the pinnacle of a steep athletic pyramid, know that although hard work got them there, they have extraordinary aptitudes because they are winners of life’s lottery. Major leaguers, all of whom understand what it is to be gifted, have been uniformly and extraordinarily welcoming to Jon, who is not.

Except he is, in a way. He has the gift of serenity, in this sense:

The eldest of four siblings, he has seen two brothers and a sister surpass him in size, and acquire cars and college educations. He, however, with an underdeveloped entitlement mentality, has been equable about life’s sometimes careless allocation of equity. Perhaps this is partly because, given the nature of Down syndrome, neither he nor his parents have any tormenting sense of what might have been. Down syndrome did not alter the trajectory of his life; Jon was Jon from conception on.
- George Will, Washington Post

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