Video of the Day
Long Ride Home With Bear Woznick Episode 5
He loves me, and he loves you. — Grady Dyke, LRH episode 5
Video of the Day
Long Ride Home With Bear Woznick Episode 5
He loves me, and he loves you. — Grady Dyke, LRH episode 5
You have a “right to die,” a euphemism that means others have a right to kill you,
but do you have a right to live and receive care?
and participate in experimental treatments, when no other options exist?
Great Ormond Street Hospital answers, no.
Little Charlie Gard has no idea that he is the center of the latest battle between the insidious culture of death and the culture of life. He has no idea how many people know his name and are praying for him and his parents. He has no idea that his plight has inspired and moved the Pope and the president of the United States. While I am united with Charlie Gard, his family, and supporters in prayer, I recognize a greater need to pray for the hospital administrators and doctors who would deny care and treatment for a terminally ill baby and hasten his death, and for the judges and politicians who support the attitudes and practices promoted by the culture of death.
“death with dignity” is a misleading phrase that promoters of the culture of death hide behind. The term delineates how far they are willing to accompany someone who is suffering (not far enough). In fact, not only have we have lost all our dignity when we purposefully kill someone, but the person we kill loses his or her dignity as well. The sentence issued: your life is not worth living. At issue is how do we help those who are suffering (for any reason) live not only with dignity, but also with hope. Hope that both their lives and their suffering have meaning.
The photos of Charlie Gard with his ventilator remind me of photos of another baby, a little girl whose name the Pope and President Trump will never know. Baby May Faith passed from this life earlier this year, just shy of her first birthday. She spent her entire life at the hospital. She had problems with her organs, was in need of various surgeries. She eventually got well enough for a tracheotomy, but then her health declined, and the next surgery was postponed. Her mother’s greatest hope and dream—to bring baby May Faith home—was not realized. I journeyed with the parents in prayer, watching and waiting with them, hoping with them with every smile their daughter smiled at them, and grieving with them when her body seemed to boycott for no reason. As with all situations, I ask “what is God up to?” (Because I know God is always up to something!)
What is the meaning of these children’s lives?
These children have the power to draw forth from us faith, hope, and love. What gifts! What gifts are their lives, and how they have the ability to enlarge our hearts.
The parents were already devout Catholics. With the birth of their sixth child, I saw, as did everyone, Baby May Faith’s parents achieve greater levels of faith and hope, as well as surrender to God. My friend and I were astonished by how the parents cooperated with God’s grace, which sustained them each day. We heard first hand from the parents how God blessed them daily during their trial. The gift of a sick child burst open their hearts, which they readily shared with the prayer circle via e-mail updates. To accompany the family during the trial of a sick infant was a great privilege for me. No doubt the life of this little girl, the faith of the parents affected the medical staff at the hospital, as well.
Removing Baby May Faith’s breathing tube was not up for discussion, even though miracles were required for this child to go home, let alone survive childhood. To be drawn to kill these innocent children under the guise of “compassion” is to be misguided and misled by the evil one deep into the culture of death. What darkness people must live in when they conclude that they only way to “help” someone is to end their life.
Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. — Matthew 25:40
The case of Charlie Gard highlights how the culture of death is spreading, and that should concern everyone. To give hospital administrators the power to deny treatment and care for the terminally ill has led to denial of care for those who are merely sick. In the name of “patient rights,” patients are losing their rights to treatment.
My own mother, in her very early 70s, went to the emergency room for stomach pain and was diagnosed with an infection and given antibiotics. While there someone (not her doctor or even a nurse caring for her) randomly came in her room and asked if she wanted a DNR. That means “do not resuscitate.” It is hospital protocol to ask these questions of patients, even when they are not terminally ill. My mom did not fully understand the implications, and thanks be to God, someone explained to her what it meant, and they cancelled the DNR and removed the “go ahead and kill me” bracelet from her wrist. So if my mom had suffered a heart attack while in the hospital being treated for an infection, she would have been denied care and might have died. And if that DNR order had not been removed, if my mother had suffered a heart attack a week later, she would not have received treatment, and probably would have died.
The Dutch continue to expand the list of people whom doctors can kill. In the case of one woman with dementia, her husband and doctor decided themselves it was time for this woman to die. She was too much trouble. The woman may have had dementia, but she knew what her doctor was about to do and resisted. In that moment it was not her wish to die. She fully understood, and they had to restrain her, give her a sedative, so they could administer a lethal injection. She was denied both life and her dignity. She made the mistake of signing a paper that the doctors could kill her.
The next step for “death with dignity” advocates is to reclassify food and hydration as “extraordinary means.” For now, Oregon voted down a bill that would allow doctors to starve to death patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
You may not know this… I did not, until it happened to my grandmother. But an elderly woman with a UTI can exhibit signs of dementia. My 89-year-old grandmother, who is mostly lucid, although slow and confused at times. was acting stranger and more despondent than usual. This was going on for a few weeks, and then it was discovered that she had a UTI. As soon as she got on antibiotics, she reverted back to her normal condition.
Do advocates of euthanasia believe governments should end the death penalty?
Just this week, the governor of Virginia (who claims to oppose the death penalty) refused to pardon a man convicted of killing a security guard and sheriff’s deputy. Although he was found to be mentally ill and unable to distinguish between his delusions and reality, his life was not spared. Rather, he was administered a three-drug cocktail which may or may not prevent the condemned person from experiencing pain.
Some tricky headlines and background
Join the Worldwide 12-hour Prayer Vigil for Charlie Gard,
Thursday, July 13, 5 a.m. London Time, midnight Eastern
We pray to the Lord:
For a growing love of each human person
from conception to natural death;
That the life of every human person,
from conception to natural death,
might be enshrined and protected in our laws;
For every little child who is ill or in pain:
that the beauty of their lives
might bring patience and hope;
For a growing love of God’s little ones,
in the womb, in the nursing home, or at death’s door:
That we might love with the love of Jesus;
For those who have grown old or weak:
that we might see God’s power in their fragility;
For those struggling with terrible diseases:
that each day might be a new revelation
of God’s love for them;
For all who are about to die:
that through our love, care, and devotion,
they might know the beauty of life,
to the moment of their final breath;
For those tempted to despair by constant pain:
that they might join their suffering
to the Cross of Christ;
For medical researchers:
that they may be inspired and strengthened
by a love for every human person,
from the first moment of conception;
who in their practice abort unborn children:
that God might give them the grace
to turn from sin and remember the Gospel;
For those who study medicine:
that they may be driven by a desire
to heal and protect very human person;
Lord, hear our prayer.
Sign Petition to Save Charlie Gard
(and all the other lives at stake when doctors, hospital administrators,
and courts seem to think they have the right to kill innocent people)
(more than) A few newsbits about Baby Charlie and his cause,
which is the plight of all the vulnerable sick
The truth that life is a precious gift from God has profound implications for the question of stewardship over human life. We are not the owners of our lives and, hence, do not have absolute power over life. We have a duty to preserve our life and to use it for the glory of God, but the duty to preserve life is not absolute, for we may reject life-prolonging procedures that are insufficiently beneficial or excessively burdensome. Suicide and euthanasia are never morally acceptable options.
The task of medicine is to care even when it cannot cure. Physicians and their patients must evaluate the use of the technology at their disposal. Reflection on the innate dignity of human life in all its dimensions and on the purpose of medical care is indispensable for formulating a true moral judgment about the use of technology to maintain life. The use of life-sustaining technology is judged in light of the Christian meaning of life, suffering, and death. In this way two extremes are avoided: on the one hand, an insistence on useless or burdensome technology even when a patient may legitimately wish to forgo it and, on the other hand, the withdrawal of technology with the intention of causing death.
— The Declaration on Euthanasia, May 5, 1980
56. A person has a moral obligation to use ordinary or proportionate means of preserving his or her life. Proportionate means are those that in the judgment of the patient offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail an excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community.
57. A person may forgo extraordinary or disproportionate means of preserving life.
Disproportionate means are those that in the patient’s judgment do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit or entail an excessive burden, or impose excessive expense on the family or the community
So many questions, some of which are
We love him more than life itself, and if he is still fighting, then we are still fighting. — parents of Charlie Gard
Prayer of the Day: Pope Francis’ Intention for July
that our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith
rediscover the beauty of the Christian life
In today’s scripture, we see the faithful and inexhaustible love of God demonstrated when Jesus relieves two men who are possessed by demons. Not only are two men free, but the road becomes safe for all to travel. Rather than rejoice, the people of the town reject Jesus and the freedom he desires to give. Later on in scripture, however, we learn that this town does turn to and follow Jesus, and we can do the same. Jesus awaits each one of us, no matter for what reason or for how long we have rejected him. He desires no less than to set us free and bestow his love upon us.
Scripture of the Day: Matthew 8:28–34
in which the people of a town reject Jesus and ask him to leave
When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
“If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
Question of the Day
Have you turned away from Jesus? Why?
Song of the Day
Quote of the Day
from On the Origin of Civil Power
7. There is no question here respecting forms of government, for there is no reason why the Church should not approve of the chief power being held by one man or by more, provided only it be just, and that it tend to the common advantage. Wherefore, so long as justice be respected, the people are not hindered from choosing for themselves that form of government which suits best either their own disposition, or the institutions and customs of their ancestors.(3)
8. But, as regards political power, the Church rightly teaches that it comes from God, for it finds this clearly testified in the sacred Scriptures and in the monuments of antiquity; besides, no other doctrine can be conceived which is more agreeable to reason, or more in accord with the safety of both princes and peoples.
9. In truth, that the source of human power is in God the books of the Old Testament in very many places clearly establish. “By me kings reign . . . by me princes rule, and the mighty decree justice.”(4) And in another place: “Give ear you that rule the people . . . for power is given you of the Lord and strength by the Most High.”(5) The same thing is contained in the Book of Ecclesiasticus: “Over every nation he bath set a ruler.”(6) These things, however, which they had learned of God, men were little by little untaught through heathen superstition, which even as it has corrupted the true aspect and often the very concept of things, so also it has corrupted the natural form and beauty of the chief power. Afterwards, when the Christian Gospel shed its light, vanity yielded to truth, and that noble and divine principle whence all authority flows began to shine forth. To the Roman governor, ostentatiously pretending that he had the power of releasing and of condemning, our Lord Jesus Christ answered: “Thou shouldst not have any power against me unless it were given thee from above.”(7) And St. Augustine, in explaining this passage, says: “Let us learn what He said, which also He taught by His Apostle, that there is no power but from God.”(8) The faithful voice of the Apostles, as an echo, repeats the doctrine and precepts of Jesus Christ. The teaching of Paul to the Romans, when subject to the authority of heathen princes, is lofty and full of gravity: “There is not power but from God,” from which, as from its cause, he draws this conclusion: “The prince is the minister of God.”(9)
10. The Fathers of the Church have taken great care to proclaim and propagate this very doctrine in which they had been instructed. “We do not attribute,” says St. Augustine, “the power of giving government and empires to any but the true God.”(10) On the same passage St. John Chrysostom says: “That there are kingdoms, and that some rule, while others are subject, and that none of these things is brought about by accident or rashly . . . is, I say, a work of divine wisdom.”(11) The same truth is testified by St. Gregory the Great, saying: “We confess that power is given from above to emperors and kings.”(12) Verily the holy doctors have undertaken to illustrate also the same precepts by the natural light of reason in such a way that they must appear to be altogether right and true, even to those who follow reason for their sole guide.
11. And, indeed, nature, or rather God who is the Author of nature, wills that man should live in a civil society; and this is clearly shown both by the faculty of language, the greatest medium of intercourse, and by numerous innate desires of the mind, and the many necessary things, and things of great importance, which men isolated cannot procure, but which they can procure when joined and associated with others. But now, a society can neither exist nor be conceived in which there is no one to govern the wills of individuals, in such a way as to make, as it were, one will out of many, and to impel them rightly and orderly to the common good; therefore, God has willed that in a civil society there should be some to rule the multitude. And this also is a powerful argument, that those by whose authority the State is administered must be able so to compel the citizens to obedience that it is clearly a sin in the latter not to obey. But no man has in himself or of himself the power of constraining the free will of others by fetters of authority of this kind. This power resides solely in God, the Creator and Legislator of all things; and it is necessary that those who exercise it should do it as having received it from God. “There is one lawgiver and judge, who is able to destroy and deliver.”(13)And this is clearly seen in every kind of power. That that which resides in priests comes from God is so acknowledged that among all nations they are recognized as, and called, the ministers of God. In like manner, the authority of fathers of families preserves a certain impressed image and form of the authority which is in God, “of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named.”(14) But in this way different kinds of authority have between them wonderful resemblances, since, whatever there is of government and authority, its origin is derived from one and the same Creator and Lord of the world, who is God.
— Pope Leo XIII, 1881
Scriptures of the Day
Authority Given From God: John 19:10–11
So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered [him], “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
Obedience in Authority: Romans 13:1–2, 5
Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. …Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience.
Christian Citizens: 1 Peter 2:13–15
Be subject to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to the king as supreme or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the approval of those who do good. For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish people.
Seek Wisdom: Wisdom 6:3–8
Because authority was given you by the Lord and sovereignty by the Most High, who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels! Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you did not judge rightly, and did not keep the law, nor walk according to the will of God, Terribly and swiftly he shall come against you, because severe judgment awaits the exalted—For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test. For the Ruler of all shows no partiality, nor does he fear greatness, Because he himself made the great as well as the small, and provides for all alike; but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
Prayers of the Day
That we would be servants of our country, but God’s first.
That the Church will have the freedom to carry out her mission of service and mercy in the whole world.
That the Spirit of Wisdom would illumine our minds and open our hearts, as we seek to know the truth about God and to live in the fullness of that truth.
For our sisters and brothers in the Middle East; that through the intercession of the Apostles, who established these most ancient churches, Christians and all religious minorities would be freed from violent persecution.
That all Christians would have the courage to serve God with our whole lives and to live out our faith with boldness and compassion.
That the Lord would protect all migrants and refugees, and that all those who work with people on the move would be free to serve.
That the Holy Spirit would give all Christians the courage and humility to serve Christ by serving the vulnerable.
That nurses, doctors, therapists, and all ministers of healing would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in their imitation of Christ’s compassion and care for the sick.
That we would work to build a culture that recognizes and respects the dignity and freedom of all people.
First Saturday and Feast of Saint Junipero Serra, Apostle of California
We’ve been reading about Abraham and his wife Sarah the past few days, and now we get to the point in their story where the Holy Trinity visits them and announces that, as promised, Abraham will have an heir by his wife. To the human mind, this is inconceivable—laughable—at their advanced age. But for God, all things are possible.
Fast forward to the Gospel reading: we have a centurion, not even Jewish, whose faith Jesus says is the greatest in all of Israel. This centurion knows not only that Jesus can heal his servant but also that Jesus need not touch the sick body. Quite a contrast with Sarah.
Questions of the Day
Scriptures of the Day
Old Testament: Genesis 18:1–15
The LORD appeared to Abraham by the Terebinth of Mamre,
as Abraham sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, he saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
“Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way.”
The men replied, “Very well, do as you have said.”
Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
“Quick, three measures of fine flour!
Knead it and make rolls.”
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before them;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.
They asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
He replied, “There in the tent.”
One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.”
Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, just behind him.
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years,
and Sarah had stopped having her womanly periods.
So Sarah laughed to herself and said,
“Now that I am so withered and my husband is so old,
am I still to have sexual pleasure?”
But the LORD said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say,
‘Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?’
Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do?
At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you,
and Sarah will have a son.”
Because she was afraid, Sarah dissembled, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”
But he replied, “Yes you did.”
Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:46–47, 48–49, 50 and 53, 54–55
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
“For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
“He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
“He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
Gospel: Matthew 8:5–17
When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom
will be driven out into the outer darkness,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
And Jesus said to the centurion,
“You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.”
And at that very hour his servant was healed.
Jesus entered the house of Peter,
and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand, the fever left her,
and she rose and waited on him.
When it was evening, they brought him many
who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:
He took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
Prayer for Restoration of Health
O Sacred Heart of Jesus
I come to ask You for the gift of restored health
that I may serve you more faithfully
and love You more sincerely than in the past.
I want to be well and strong
if it is Your Will
and redounds to Your glory.
If on the other hand it is Your Will
that my sickness continue,
I want to bear it with patience.
If in Your Divine wisdom
I am to be restored to health and strength,
I will strive to show my gratitude
by a constant and faithful service rendered to You.
— #1164, New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book
Prayer to Love God More Than Health
Almighty God, You gave me health, and I forgot You.
You take it away, and I return to You.
How gracious You are to take away the gifts
that I allowed to come between You and me.
Take away everything that hinders my union with You.
Everything is Yours—
dispense comforts, success, and health
in accord with my real good.
Take away all the things
that displace my possession of You
so that I may be wholly Yours for time and eternity.
— #1165, New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book
Prayer of the Day
courtesy of Russian monks
My Lord, grant that I may accept with a tranquil spirit all that this beginning day will bring.
My Lord, grant that I may fully surrender myself to your holy will.
My Lord, throughout every moment of this day, direct and sustain me in all things.
My Lord, whatever news I receive during this day, teach me to accept it with a quiet mind and firm conviction, knowing that your will is made manifest in all things.
My Lord, reveal your holy will for me and for those around me.
My Lord, may I never forget that it is you who send every unforeseen circumstance.
My Lord, teach me to adapt myself truly, simply and wisely to those with whom I live, to those surrounding me, to the aged, to my peers and to those younger than myself, that I may sadden no one but rather serve the happiness of all.
My Lord, grant me strength to bear the trials of this beginning day and whatever else may happen later today.
My Lord, may You Yourself guide my will and teach me to pray, to hope, to believe, to love, to endure and to forgive.
My Lord, do not let my adversaries get the best of me, but rather guide and direct me because of your holy name.
My Lord, enlighten my intellect and my heart that I may understand the enduring and unchanging laws which govern the world and that I, your sinful servant, may rightly serve you and my neighbor.
My Lord, I give you thanks for everything that will happen to me, because I firmly believe that for those who love you, all things work unto good.
My Lord, bless all my endeavors and tasks; bring my work, my words and my thoughts to fruition. Make me worthy to always praise you with joy, sing psalms to you and bless you, for you are blessed forever and ever.