Sunday, August 2, 2015

God Help Me If I Forget


I've written out posts and status updates in my head over and over and over.  I can't make the words right and say it all the right way.  
But I have to write something as fumbly and thick-tongued as it may be because I can't get it out of my head, you guys.  I can't not write something.  And I can't write something else before I at least acknowledge this mess in my head.
The videos that are available unedited that are available for anyone to see that without any doubt show that these little babies' bodies are systematically torn apart, priced, and sold.

Please don't waste anyone's time or offend their intelligence with arguments otherwise. 
And please don't DARE state an opinion defending it or excusing it until you yourself have watched those videos.  Because intellectual integrity.  It's a thing.

I can't stop thinking about, knowing, that these tiny babies are being ripped apart while still alive.  
IT'S REALLY HAPPENING.  
The horror is not ultimately that they are being sold but that they are being killed in the first place. 
I mean, I knew that.  I've known it my whole life.   I was raised pro-life.  Two of my sisters were even arrested when Operation Rescue planned a several week protest in Buffalo.  I was in grade school and went to some of the pickets and rallies.  I saw the anger and spit of the escorts first hand.  I saw the pictures.  But somehow over the years it quieted itself in my mind.  I knew it was there but perhaps unconsciously as a way to survive, God help me, I chose to forget.  Or at least, turn it into a cause.  A prayer intention.  Now, it's hitting me hard that it's still going on.  I see the videos and I remember and can't forget.  It's still happening thousands of times a day through pills, poisons, vacuums, forceps.  The killings are still happening.

And I've barely done a thing about it.  

I want it out of my head and yet I don't.  I'm so so tired of pretending like this isn't a big deal.  Like we are not living in the new holocaust.  Because we are.  Except that it's not new anymore.  It's forty-two, forty-two, years old and we've barely done a thing about it.  We are so used to it that we barely recognize it as evil ourselves.  It's almost like to continue on living and not be paralyzed with the reality of it all we have to pretend it's not happening.  We have to forget for a little while just to get dinner on the table.  I know that I somehow have to know and not know all at the same time because the past few days I've felt paralyzed by the knowledge and that probably isn't helping anyone.  I don't know right now how to find that balance.  And yet what if this "need" to forget by the normal nobody folk is exactly what has kept the massacre going on for so damn long?

I've heard people say they just can't watch the videos.  It's too much.  
Exactly.
It's too much.
ONE is too much.
Our minds can barely grasp the thought of millions.

Our answer can't be to let other people fight the battle.  The mystical magical people who are "called."
WE ARE CALLED.  EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO BELIEVES THAT A BIG PERSON SHOULD NEVER TAKE THE LIFE OF A LITTLE PERSON IS CALLED.  

Yesterday I brought it to Confession because I didn't know what else to do with this ache in my stomach and heart.  I hate that I haven't done more, though I don't even know what that should have been.  Not at all coincidentally, the priest there was an older man from Poland.  One who knows the power of evil well.  He talked about the evils he had seen there and elsewhere and the powerful witness of family life.

I wish I could say that I walked away comforted.  I at least walked away forgiven.  Forgiven for all the things I haven't done.
But I still know I need to do more.
I don't know what that means specifically.  I don't know how to do it the best way.
But I have to do something.  I know I need to pray a whole lot more, at least. 

Because I've held that 10 week old product of conception in my hands.  And even though that baby had died a few weeks before and his little body was already starting to break down, I could still see the little head and back and arm buds of my precious Joseph Mary.

I've held an 18 week old baby in my arms.  That blob of tissue.  My nephew.  A completely formed baby with sweet tiny toes and a perfectly formed mouth.  His name was Charles.

Those two lives were no more inherently valuable just because they had people that cried for them.  
We all feel helpless.  We all feel too little against the machine.  But together we are a mighty force and they don't want us to know it.

Praying.  Fasting.  Sharing on Facebook and everywhere.  Liking posts on social media to keep it trending.  Voting.  Rallying.  Boycotting.  Donating.  Writing.  Signing petitions.  Taking care of the babies and mothers that are saved.  Treating every single child, including our own, as a gift.  And, of course, extending mercy, prayer, and love to those who were swallowed into the lie and are now grieving their lost children.  All of it is something.

I have to do something.  It might not be the perfect thing but damn it, it's something.  We can spend our time picking apart the methods of other people from our armchairs or we can actually do something, however imperfect it may be.
Because otherwise I will be no better than the people who did nothing during all the other holocausts in history.  Worse, probably.  Because I have a lot more recourse and knowledge than they did.  I know Jesus is bigger than all of this.  But I also know we are required to fight injustice and we dare not do nothing.  

We can't pretend we don't know anymore.  We just can't.  A part of me wants to hide still.  To close my eyes and pretend it's not happening.  Pretend that what I do won't ultimately make a difference.  But at the very least, it makes a difference for my own soul.  I know now and God help me if I choose to forget.

"... you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth." 
 (Ephesians 4:22-24 from today's second reading)

Jesus, show me what that means for me now.





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15 comments:

  1. The past two weeks have seen me angrier than I have ever been and I hate the feeling of helplessness against such a monstrous reality. I've prayed on the sidewalks, made baby blankets for mothers who have chosen life, prayed in my home privately, offered up my suffering (including ongoing struggles with infertility) for it all and yet it all seems to be helpless.

    I've come to realize that God takes our small offerings and prayers and he DOES use them! So much has been achieved by those who have been given a task in this war and we must remember that we have already won the war. Our Lady has done that. We must be confident in that victory and trust that God will bring good out of the evil. It is hard to see it.

    On another level, God is bring to light the ugliness and the darkness and everyone is being confronted with it. That is important right?

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    1. You're right. It's never been clearer, I don't think, the choice put before us. It is "good" that people are being confronted with this reality. Maybe that's what we need. And you are so right that God can work through this. Thank you for that reminder. His death was the ultimate evil and He brought the ultimate good out of that. It's so hard right now to see those ways He is working, though, when I want just an immediate end to the horror. But He doesn't work that way and it's taking an act of faith for me to know that He is here in the midst of it.

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  2. The Amherst Operation Rescue in 1988, I think...?

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    1. Wow, probably! Now I feel old. They called it the Spring of Life.

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    2. Great post Mary- I feel the same way - struggling so much with this right now. The Spring of Life was in 1992- when I was on spring break in college!

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  3. I feel similar these past days. Why can't there be some clear directions about what we average people can do about abortion? It doesn't seem right that we just keep doing what our duty of state. I'm not sure if this is a valid thought but I remember that Mary was okay with being at home doing chores.She wasn't out in the streets protesting the Roman occupation or pagan influences or slavery. If a humble and quiet life was good enough for her, then it's good enough for me. Maybe just staying home, being a mother and being a virtuous wife is the best way to protest the inversion of motherhood going on at planned parenthood.

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    1. Thank you for that reminder about Mary. It's tough. Her position as a woman was very different in her time and place than ours is today so I'm not sure we can have the same expectations. But at the same time we do know that tending to our own family is crucial and the spiritual fruit of that, while unseen, is real and necessary. I suppose we each need to just be open to the Holy Spirit and the ways that God is calling us specifically to live out our Faith and obligation to fight for justice. I do agree, though, that we as a people of faith are craving more leadership and direction. The silence from the bishops and leaders in faith is deafening.

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    2. I realized about three hours after posting the comment above that it was condescending. I'm sure you don't need to be reminded of your patron Saint. I'm sorry and thank you for being gracious. I guess it all goes back to the original problem of us fumbling around for what we should do. My personal opinion shouldn't matter at all. There should be clear direction for all Catholics coming down from the bishops or even the Pope. I'm not even sure who should handle this.

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    3. Oh my goodness, not condescending at all! I was serious that I need the reminders of those things as I try to figure out this mess in my head! I appreciate the discussion, truly. I hear people give quotes out of context about just loving your family being enough but it just doesn't seem enough at the moment and with this issue. You're right, unless and until we have guidance from our shepherds we kind of have to figure it out on our own and bringing up the examples of the saints can certainly help the discussion!

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  4. Excellent post, Mary. There is a National Rosary that begins on August 15th (The Feast of the Assumption).

    http://rosaryea.org/index.php/hearts-united-programs/national-rosary-novena/54-day-national-novena-2015

    http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/call-to-prayer-pledge.cfm


    I just made a call to my local senator (FL) and asked that he defund Planned Parenthood. I don't know if it will work, but it's worth the try!

    God bless,
    Sonia

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  5. I'm struggling with this too. It's so easy to do nothing in the face of evil, when it's not directly affecting you or your family. But...isn't that true of so many things? Other than monetary donations (and probably not enough of those) I'm doing exactly nothing to fight the poverty in my own community. And I know that poverty is a contributing factor in why people sometimes abort. I don't know what I CAN do, about this evil or so many others, that I end up feeling fairly helpless. So I do pray about it, but it's hard to see how that helps anyone but me. Sigh.

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    1. I'm relying on faith that our prayers do make a difference and that all of the fruit of our sacrifices and fasting and prayers will all be revealed in heaven. Jesus, we trust in You.

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  6. I'm sorry, I feel like I may have inadvertently offended you. I just meant that I'm frustrated by this injustice as well as many others, and would like to be able to do more.

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    1. Oh no! Not at all!! The limits of typing and not having a face to face conversation :) You are totally right. My response was echoing that feeling of powerlessness but knowing (or trying to have faith) that our prayers must make a difference even if we don't always see or feel it. But I want to do more, too. I appreciate the comment <3

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