Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky, News Consortium, ZEBULON, NC

12/23/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Is Every Life Precious In Our Eyes

The readings at Mass this weekend focused on the Visitation, when our Blessed Mother, carrying the newly conceived Word Incarnate, traveled to the home of her cousin Elizabeth.  Mary was in her teen years, having not even been with a man, when the Holy Spirit sparked life in her womb.  Elizabeth was close to giving birth in her old age.  While today 40 is labeled "elderly" in the obstetrical world, Elizabeth is considered to have been far beyond that age.  Counseling women friends through our Natural Family Planning ministry, I've rarely heard a woman say she'd consider a teen-aged or a senior-aged pregnancy a welcome blessing.

Highlights

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky, News Consortium, ZEBULON, NC

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/23/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: unborn, St. John the Baptist, abortion, pro-life, sacrifice, motherhood


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "How are you feeling today?" reads the text message that's just come in.  Contemplating the nearly unabated nausea that already began shortly after I opened my eyes to the morning's light, I type back one word, "nauseous." 

"Cool, glad to hear it, honey. Have a good day!" is the response from my sweetheart of a husband a moment later.

Now before you write my spouse off as some cruel barbarian caveman, who drags me around by my tresses, you should consider a different perspective.  Over the last few years, our family has suffered the loss of several miscarried children and we'd begun to think that our days of childbearing were coming to a close. 

Yes, many of us, from our first grader to our older children were praying persistently for the blessing of just one more sweet newborn head to kiss, but we understood that not all prayers are answered in the manner we expect.

So, one year after our last eternal soul was carried up to her heavenly home, we were overjoyed to accept the gift of a new life in the womb.  Of course, along with the joy came that nausea and a number of other unpleasant physical challenges.  But rather than pray for the removal of these daily crosses, we understood that they are positive signs of a life continuing and a chance to offer thanksgiving to God. 

Oh, to be honest I do complain now and again, but then I gently tell myself, or that wise spouse of mine reminds me,  that each day is an opportunity is relish the time I have with this baby.  Truly, our earthly time together may be limited to days, weeks, months or years.  So, rather than waste a single moment,  I try to embrace the sacrifices needed to grow and protect this child and trust that this offering of my very body is worth it no matter the final result.  Because even if we are called to relinquish this little one before we are ready, he or she was created for eternity and that's an awesome perspective. 

The readings at Mass this weekend focused on the Visitation, when our Blessed Mother, carrying the newly conceived Word Incarnate, traveled to the home of her cousin Elizabeth.  Mary was in her teen years, having not even been with a man, when the Holy Spirit sparked life in her womb.  Elizabeth was close to giving birth in her old age.  While today 40 is labeled "elderly" in the obstetrical world, Elizabeth is considered to have been far beyond that age.  Counseling women friends through our Natural Family Planning ministry, I've rarely heard a woman say she'd consider a teen-aged or a senior-aged pregnancy a welcome blessing.

When we view these circumstances from a proper historical distance though, our eyes are opened to the reality.  Mary said yes to God's plan even though it may have made no sense to her at the time and placed her in very vulnerable position; however, her example of supernatural surrender and heroic trust opened the door for salvation for every human person to follow.  Elizabeth, who suffered the cross of infertility and carried the label of barren for so many years, was now about to give birth to St. John the Baptist, of whom Jesus said, "...among those born of women there has been none greater..."  I imagine these joyful mothers scarcely considered the minor inconveniences of motherhood too much to bear.

How simple it is for us today to arrive at knee-jerk conclusions, to offer our opinion based on erroneous ideas.  Our culture fuels a plethora of misconceptions and false opinions around which many form their consciences.   
 
Consider how we mourn as a nation over the devastating loss of life in Newton, CT.  The innocent children, who were gunned down, are rightly upheld as precious, lost lives.  The women, who selflessly donated their lives to protect their students, are honored as they should be.  Our president was moved to tears as he addressed the shocked nation, referencing his own cherished fatherhood. 

On the very same day in our country, we allowed an abortionist to dismember  an innocent, unborn child and called that a reasonable choice that his/her parents were entitled to make.  Rather than offer support and encouragement to brave mothers, who unexpectedly conceive, we encourage the opposing message that strong, free women place themselves first even if it is to the detriment of another life.  The president, who contemplated the faces of his own beloved daughters, has forgotten that they were once unprotected, living persons developing in their mother's womb.

What if one of the teachers, who gave her life so readily for her students, had been pregnant?  Would we count an unborn child among the dead?  Would the church bells have rung 27 times?  What would have been our perspective of an innocent, unborn child slain by Lanza while still within his mother?

Of course, this unthinkable tragedy may lead others to hold their children a little tighter this holiday season.  Perhaps, the parents, who were focused on purchasing presents, will instead take their children to church for the first time and refocus on the true meaning of Christmas this year.  Maybe, a frightened unwed mother saw her unborn child in the faces of those sweet, Newton students and found the resolve to embrace her motherhood.

Basing our perspective on truth is necessary if we are to rightly judge the circumstances we encounter as we live out each day.  If God creates all persons and if He creates all persons in His image, then each person is worthy and valuable. 

Spending a little time thinking about the real life characters documented in the Bible, we meet a diverse bunch through whom the Creator chose to make manifest His plan of salvation.  It is than that we gain a clearer perspective.  Greedy tax collectors, weak-kneed Apostles, adulterous women, stubborn prophets and unborn babies were His ministers to carry out His work on earth.  Of course, those who were living in sin were called out and they ultimately chose the better part, a life for Christ and in Christ. 

My family's openness to life and our surrender to the possibility of suffering allowed Our Creator to reach down from the heights of the universe and form a perfect, unrepeatable person, made in His image.  We hope to hold the result of our openness, to stare deeply into the eyes of this expected child at the appointed time.  Irregardless, though, we stand firm on the truth that our sacrifices will not be in vain because abandoning oneself to the Divine Plan always has an eternal reward.

Nibbling another salt cracker in an attempt to keep my nausea to a tolerable level, I offer this simple prayer, "Lord, thank You for this day, for the chance to cradle this baby in my womb.  Thank You for allowing me the privilege to sacrifice myself for another.  And thank You for shaping my perspective by way of Your cross."  

-----
Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of seven living children with six more heavenly ones who intercede.  Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat and a bunch of chickens.  Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes for the the glory of God.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

The Experience of the Resurrected Christ: A Divine Dream Worth Dying For

Image of

By Deacon Frederick Bartels

The dream of God is a dream of unending, divine love. His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, sacrificed his human life for this Dream: the redemption of humankind and the gift of eternal life and perfect happiness. Heaven is the divine dream that is not but a dream, it ... continue reading


Pope Francis 'considering' visit to Cuba Watch

Image of A nun waves a Vatican flag while attending Mass with St John Paul II in Havana in 1998.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is said to be considering a trip to Cuba this coming September. The papal visit would tie into his visit to the United States. The gesture could lead to improving relations both between Cuba and the U.S. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vatican ... continue reading


Could Yoda be a Biblical character? Medieval manuscript features a painted figure resembling the Star Wars hero Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a 14th century book, a green-skinned character was painted, resembling Yoda. Just like the Star Wars icon, the painted character in the old religious documents is donning a white cloak and has spiky, long fingers and the pointed ears sticking out. Although there is ... continue reading


Pope Francis pokes holes in 'gender theory,' saying male, female roles are separate Watch

Image of The Bible, Pope Francis says, shows how

By CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis has warned against gender theories which seek to eradicate differences between man and woman, saying they perpetuate the very problems they are trying to solve. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Experience teaches us: to know each other well and grow in harmony, ... continue reading


6 types of men Christian women should dismiss for marriage Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Women, and men, should be wary of whom they shall live with for the rest of their lives. Marriage is not a temporary commitment, it lasts for a lifetime no matter how you will put it --- two people still shared the same vows to cherish one another through a sacred ... continue reading


Pope Francis to host major conference on climate change Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will host a major summit on April 28 entitled "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The conference will feature famous American economist, ... continue reading


Can Catholics Practice Yoga and Transcendental Meditation?

Image of

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Among many Christians who are honestly seeking to deepen their prayer life, there is a genuine concern about erroneous forms of prayer. People should be careful to accept practices which diverge from the faith they have received, whether through the family or in a ... continue reading


Is there a war between feminism and the Catholic Church? American nuns' 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith' Watch

Image of The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ended an investigation into radical feminist ideals held by the U.S.'s largest nun group, warning the organization to fall in line with Catholic orthodox stances.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year-long inquiry into American nuns by the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has concluded, and will not take any action against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the body that governs around 80 percent of nuns in the ... continue reading


Passionate pastor attempts to fix the missing spiritual link in churches across the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Percy McCray suggests that leaders of faith should undergo in-depth training programs to better deal with cancer-stricken patients and their hurting families. According to McCray, as it stands now, most churches across the United States lack the proper ... continue reading


Dialogue: an essential ingredient for peaceful relationships Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

According to the New York Times, during a White House luncheon in 1954 Winston Churchill said, "To jaw-jaw [talk-talk] always is better than to war-war." While clearly not a pacifist, the United Kingdom's World War II prime minister had seen upfront the absolute horror ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 7:51--8:1
51 'You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
3 You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:30-35
30 So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2015 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter