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.



Comments


More Living Faith

Frodo Baggins and St Therese: The Little Way Through Middle Earth Watch

Image of Frodo alone, while weighed down by the burden of the Ring, is not tempted to use it for his own long term glory, until at the last moment he weakens and the Ring's power infests his heart. 
Frodo is humble, but he is not weak, and what keeps him from being weak is his obedience

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

In giving us a humble hero Tolkien reminds us that it is the foolish things of God which overturn the wisdom of the world. Things are not what they seem. The small ones turn out to be mighty while the mighty are fallen. It is the secret agents of the world who ... continue reading


Drinking the Chalice of the Lord: Facing Suffering, Struggle and Failure Watch

Image of All of those who bear the name Christian are invited to follow the path of Jesus' struggle, to walk along with Him on the way of His rejection. We too are invited to climb the mountain of His great saving act of unmerited selfless Divine love. Golgotha beckons.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

James was the son of Zebedee and brother of John. From faithful stock, we see in this encounter that some forms of zeal may indeed be genetic. In fact, the zeal in both of these brothers caused the Lord to name them the Sons of Thunder.(Mk 3:14-17) However, human ... continue reading


Making a Lenten Retreat with Pope Francis: Learning from Elijah Watch

Image of There is a mystery here, deep and profound, yet as simple as the broom tree encounter of our teacher Elijah. God is searching for men and women who will surrender their lives in love to Him in this hour. Often, it takes the depletion of all of our own efforts and resources before we are willing to give up - and give in - to Him. When we do, the life of true faith begins. It is there we learn to hear the God of surrendered love in the whisper of the wind. It is there that we learn the Faith of Elijah, under the broom tree.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In many respects, our life on this earth is a classroom of love and a continual invitation to holiness. As we age, we are given the opportunities we need to receive the graces we need to empty ourselves of all that clutters up our life - so that we can be free to ... continue reading


Pope Francis opens the Vatican to the homeless Watch

Image of The homeless are now being welcomed into the Vatican and are sleeping there overnight in sleeping bags donated by Pope Francis.

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Pope Francis has opened the Vatican to the homeless, providing them with sleeping accommodations. The number of homeless there has doubled in the past six months as the Pontiff makes a difference in the lives of so many people. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Your Catholic Voice Foundation (YCVF) Reports - what your generosity did for Syrian and Iraqi Christians in 2014!

Image of YCVF has helped thousands in need. You can be part of this success too. Help now!

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Your Catholic Voice Foundation 2014 Report - Last year, caring, devoted Catholics such as you made thousands of donations to care for Christians in Syria and Iraq. At this time, Your Catholic Voice Foundation would like to report how your donations made a ... continue reading


New rules for Vatican finance offices include protection for 'whistleblowers' Watch

Image of Publishing the new statutes in Italian on its Web site, the new rules governing the Vatican's finances went into effect on March 1. Pope Francis approved the statutes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Those who find evidence of wrongdoing in the finances governing the Vatican will be protected under new rules. The guidelines governing the guidance, oversight and control of Vatican financial and administrative activities will include the power to levy ... continue reading


Former atheist shares with the world his unbelievable journey finding Jesus Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Journalist and Pastor Lee Strobel led a "narcissistic and profane" life before his conversion to Christianity in 1981. The former atheist spent two years interviewing experts and exploring theology, when he became overwhelmed by the evidence for Jesus Christ's ... continue reading


Catholic-raised beef. Yep, that's a thing! Watch

Image of A nun's life is filled with unexpected joys and happiness. For the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of St. Walburnga, ranching and prayer fit perfectly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When many Americans think of monks and nuns, they imagine brown or black-clad cloistered people who do nothing but pray all day in perfect isolation from the rest of the world. It's a common misconception and perhaps it dissuades many from a life that is actually ... continue reading


Beating swords into plowshares

Image of

By Tony Magliano

"In the days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills," writes the prophet Isaiah. "Many peoples shall come and say: Come, let us go up to the Lord's mountain . that he may instruct us in his ... continue reading


Insight from Pope Francis: 'Minimum skills minuimum wages' --What's wrong with that? ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING Watch

Image of Ask yourself, am I judging or am I helping?

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

"Don't like it? Go home then," Pope Francis remarked on the throwaway culture of our world and how it impacts the lives of millions at the margins. His words are a wake-up call for all of us. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - How many times have we considered the low ... 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, Jeremiah 17:5-10
5 Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 5th, 2015 Image

St. John Joseph of the Cross
March 5: St. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the ... 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