Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Commuting at 73 Prayers a Trip

I've decided to use my 35 mile commute to the best advantage... Instead of sleepily listening to music or the news on my commute, I have made an effort to say a whole Rosary during my commute. I turn the volume down low, grab my Rosary (although I want the Rosary steering wheel cover) from my purse along with my iPhone, open the Rosary app on my iPhone (simply called Rosary), begin working the beads, and set the cruise control to 73 mph. I know the prayers by heart, but I use the app for the Mysteries. I still haven't gotten the hang of the Luminous Mysteries or the days for which set. The app I use automatically gives me the Mysteries for the day with a scripture reading relating to it and a short Fruit of the Mystery. Since I'm driving while praying, I skip the Scripture and just announce the Mystery and it's Fruit aloud to myself (and the mouse and spider that I'm certain live in my Jeep).

My close personal friends know that lately I've been going through a rough patch with my health and with my job. It's very difficult to balance breast cancer issues, two children, a disabled husband, and a job. Oh, and that doesn't include my love of all things Catholic and Pro-Life, both of which add a little bit extra to my already full plate. Through my breast cancer journey, I honestly feel that I've never questioned God's will or succumbed fully to the depression that can easily afflict a cancer patient. I honestly don't think I've blamed God for my disease. However, I also can honestly say that I've not been nearly as devout and devoted as I could have been. Now that I've had my fifth major surgery (seventh if you count the lumpectomy/biopsy and port placement), I'm expected to miraculously be healed and back to 100%. I realize that it has been a L O N G journey to outsiders, but no one can have felt the length more than me! I'm back at work full-time now and still having some issues. However, I have found that my morning Rosary does wonders to helping me deal with the stresses of the day.

I will admit that the Rosary is just like Mass (and just like exercise): you get out of it
what you put into it! Enter into anything with a bad attitude or even just half of yourself and you're setting yourself up for failure and even frustration. This is not my maiden voyage with trying to devote my morning commute to Our Lady of the Rosary. In the past, I've tried praying the Rosary in the mornings only to quickly fall out of the habit. Or even worse, I've begun the Rosary only to quickly become so immersed in my problems (typically my intentions) or road rage that the prayerful meditation that is the Rosary is lost. There are times that I'm so stressed that I cannot focus enough to get through a single Hail Mary, much less the opening Apostles Creed. I've found that for myself, one of the best ways to combat this tendency is to actually say the prayers out loud. I kind of feel like a dork, but I'm not singing in the car, I'm praying in the car! Occasionally, I still miss part of a prayer due to inattention, but most often lately I find myself adding a prayer, the Act of Contrition, at the end of each decade (Hmmmm... I think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me to go to Confession).

As I speed toward my job and away from my family, I don't consciously pray for anything in specific. Instead I kind of let my mind wander from stressor to stressor and concern to concern. I do try to mentally picture each Mystery and Fruit as I announce it to myself, however, I don't belabor them. I was explaining my driving Rosary to a non-Catholic co-worker (who has her own stressors both at work and at home). Since I know the prayers by heart, I *can* allow my mind to wander. Since I'm praying, my mind isn't wandering without direction. It gets direction from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit may guide me, but I don't feel like I'm getting tapped on the shoulder and told, "I'll fix this." Instead, as I progress through my day I'll suddenly come to a realization that I haven't worried about X or Y. I have an inner feeling of resolution. None of my problems have miraculously disappeared, but my perception and handling of my problems has improved. Even my supervisor has commented on a change in my attitude that coincides with my Driving Rosary. It is not a hardship to add these 73 prayers to my daily commute. I suggest everyone try to find time to let your mind wander in a daily Rosary! You may be surprised about the Fruits of your labor!

*For the suspicious and/or safety conscience, this photo was taken by my passenger!

Monday, January 23, 2012

March for Life

Great article. Women, including myself, do deserve better than abortion as a choice. In my experience, doctors suggest abortion when they just aren't sure how to treat a pregnant woman. They are also over concerned with their own convenience and/or covering their rumps to provide adequate care for pregnant women. Having abortion as an option keeps them from finding alternative ways to care for pregnant women.

I was 20 weeks pregnant when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Abortion was one of the 'treatment' options given to me. However, it was NOT necessary or even in my best interest according to lesser know research by MDAnderson Cancer Center. They've found that women who are diagnosed while pregnant and seek treatment while maintaining their pregnancy do BETTER than their abortive counterparts. How many other situations are like this? How many women have been given the 'choice' of abortion without a reasonable alternative? How many women have been misinformed about their 'choices' and gone on to end an innocent life only to find out later the abortion was not necessary? So how is abortion really a choice that helps women?

Since Roe v. Wade, doctors have had abortion and birth control as their first-line treatment for women's conditions. Proponents of women's right to "choose" have fought tooth and nail against any regulations or legislation that seeks to provide women with resources and information about their true options. Abortion providers claim to have women's health as their priority, but often the 'clinics' where abortions are performed are staffed by nonmedical personnel and lacking in proper surgical atmosphere. Any effort to ensure that clinics follow standards of care that are in place in any other medical facility meets with strong resistance from pro-aborts. How can women's education, sanitary conditions, and medical personnel be thought of as infringing on women's rights?

When pro-aborts actually promote ALL women's rights, then the debate over abortion will be more difficult. Until then, they are dead in the water -- just as all those babies are dead!


Friday, January 20, 2012

What Do You Mean By Choice?

If you ask that question to a pro-choice person, they will most likely say that choice is about having the option to kill the unborn. Oh, they won't say it that way, but that is the gist of the meaning for them. If you visit a pro-choice site (like Planned Parenthood), you will not be overwhelmed by choices for "family planning" that really don't promote family at all. If you look hard enough, you can find information on the 'calendar' method of natural family planning, but it is minimal at best. However, you can find all sorts of options for hormonal birth control. You will also find numerous resources for abortion clinics. However, very little will be mentioned about adoption. In other words, the only 'choice' that really matters is the one choice that is fatal for one person and injures the other.

We are bombarded by ads for birth control as we watch the news or other programs on TV. Even commercials that aren't for birth control contain subtle (or not so subtle) innuendos about how having children basically ruins your life. There are a few programs and ads that indicate that families are a good part of life, but they are few and far between. I don't think I have ever seen an ad promoting adoption. I've seen some for fostering, but seldom do they go so far as promoting adoption. I know I've never seen an ad (or TV program) that promotes fertility awareness or natural family planning.

This begs the question, why are these choices not important to the pro-choice groups? Is it because parenthood is a life-long sacrifice that our selfish society appreciate? Is it because more money can be made with birth control and abortion than with fertility awareness and parenthood? Is it because families aren't glamorous? Why, if women's liberation is so important, are women seeking to be chained to a drug that poisons their bodies?

I can't answer these questions because I know for myself that life, in all its stages, is sacred. We, humans, are created in God's image. My body is a temple, not of self, but of God. I am free, by God's design, to make choices. However, my choices end when someone else's life begin. I am not imprisoned by God's laws. Instead His laws give me the freedom to love Him, my husband, and our children with the whole of my being. So the next time you hear abortion and birth control touted as freedom of choice, remember that we are freed when we submit to God. Also, ask that person just what 'choice' means to them and why.


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Smiling already at 2 weeks

Smiling already at 2 weeks
Rachel has been smiling as a response to other people since day one.

And two shall become one...

And two shall become one...
In 2006, Andrew & I became one before God and family! Shortly thereafter we became 3 with the birth of Simon in 2008... Then 4 with the addition of Rachel in 2009!

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