Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, June 28, 2012

...a great peace shall come into our souls

That title is very hopeful isn't it? On this dark day of days. I had every intent to write a sewing post today. A nice little post on stitching new skirts and reading new books.

My day got kind of ruined around 10:20 a.m.

I guess I didn't realize how much confidence I had in our Supreme Court to do what's right. Now I realize the Supreme Court doesn't rule on right, they rule on what's legal. Just because something is right doesn't make it legal, and just because something's legal doesn't make it right. We all know that, right? Abortion is legal, but it's wrong.

I am very anxious to see what the Church will do. Will they make a move or wait for more rulings? My guess is they will wait...but for what? It's not likely the Supreme Court will overturn the HHS Mandate...they would have done that today.

I have it from a good source that the American bishops will use the "nuclear option." No more Catholic Church except for churches. No schools, no charities, no universities, no hospitals. Gone. I don't know when or how long it would take but I have heard that is the only choice in this case.

For me this means my husband could lose his job, or have to choose between his conscience and his job. It means my son will not attend a Catholic school.

All Catholics will have to choose between conscience and medical insurance for their families.

For all Catholics this is the martyr's dilemma. Not the red martyr -- not the ultimate dilemma: "Will you claim Jesus or deny him for your life?" But the white martyr's: "Will you stand by while we kill the innocent and do nothing? Will you pay for the killing of the innocent?"

It would be easier to live with the red martyr's question, in so many ways.

I spoke with my oldest son right after the decision came down. Sadly, he has very little confidence in his fellow American and has been saying for years that he plans to leave the U.S. after he gets his degree. In a conversation we had not too long ago, I tried to convince him that it is no better elsewhere. National healthcare is almost universal now. He said that elsewhere he doesn't have to watch it happen. He isn't a party to it. When we spoke a little while ago this morning, I said that the hardest part of this whole scene is that I thought we (the U.S.) were better than every where else. But now I am not certain I can say that. Are we? We essentially have no religious freedom. I guess we can still own guns, at least for now, although we don't own guns anyway. And we can vote according to our conscience. We just can't live according to our conscience.

And for how much longer can we own guns and vote according to our conscience? Are we the frogs in the pot of heated water? We know it's happening, but there is not much we can do about it.

When I think of this decision, this day, I wonder if this is a day which will live in infamy, and I'm not trying to be dramatic. Is this the beginning of the end of many ways of life? Will we be free to homeschool in the future? Will we be free to demonstrate? To attend church? Those are big questions, but we have no answers, only more questions.

I think at this time in our lives it is so difficult to have faith. But we must. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit to despair. It is a mortal sin to despair. We must pray, we must turn to God.

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. John 15:4-6 

My mother-in-law reminded me of this meditation by Fr. Bede Jarrett:
Never look forward to the future with anxiety. “Be not solicitous. Consider the lilies.” The present is the will of God. Therefore no over-compunction for past faults, no worrying over the future, no anxious peerings into the darkness. “Watchman, what of the night?”
We can safely leave all that in God’s hands. They are the hands not only of a clever, but of a wise architect, and all power is in them. In our Lord’s last hour, when he seemed utterly forsaken, and gave that cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Even then he yet realised that it was by his Father’s will that he suffered, and presently, when dying, again cried out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Whatever happens to us through God’s will is always the best possible thing for us. God is not only good, very good, supremely good, but the only good. Therefore his will is and must be always the best for us…
So we see that all circumstances, however adverse they seem to be to us, are always favourable to God’s plan, always, always, as to the blind man, the best thing for us.
His hands are strong and powerful hands and we can confidently rest there. Can we not sometimes see in the hands of a clever artist, or surgeon, the strength and deftness expressive of the mind that directs their action? But with God, they are not only the hands of power, and not only the hands of wisdom, but of love, and it is only when we leave all things in his hands that we find complete serenity; and then a great peace shall come into our souls.

 In these dark days it is something we would do well to remember, every single day.


  1. Ann from AtlantaJune 28, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    God is sovereign, so we must maintain hope and peace.
    We must KEEP PRAYING and not doubt His power, and keep working for the HHS mandate to be revoked.
    Beautiful closing quote.
    God bless the United States of America.

  2. This is a very sad day, but as you said, trust in the Lord always.

  3. It is a sad day, Barbara, and I have been praying for your husband. This is terrible. Someone posted this link on Facebook http://www.lifenews.com/2012/06/03/bishops-prepare-for-largest-civil-disobedience-since-the-60s/ so we shall see how it goes. I am all for civil disobedience. Catholics will be attacked though.

    I hope the Bishops do NOT close the schools, hospitals, etc. I hope they force the government to close them. I think it should be that way. Other people should see that it is this law that is forcing them to close because we are not allowed our freedom of conscience. That would be more in keeping with civil disobedience.

    Thank you for posting your observations and your encouraging words. You are so right. We must stick together and pray and fast and do God's Will.

  4. I love that reflection. Very powerful and comforting.
    Remember that the religious liberty aspect of this healthcare bill was not decided today. The lawsuits will continue and hopefully will end up in Supreme Court to decide the religious freedom aspect of this mandate. So there is still hope. :)

  5. You know, I just don't even know what to say or do or think about this whole thing. It's terrifying. It must be even more so for your family.

  6. Barb, I have thought about this statement so much over the last few days. 'All Catholics will have to choose between conscience and medical insurance for their families.' Do you mean that you think it's wrong that I accept my company's medical insurance even though they offer contraceptive benefits? I'm in an odd position now also, because I'm dealing with some 'female' issues. Some of the treatments for my situation include what would basically amount to sterilization (including, but not limited to, a hysterectomy, not something like having my tubes tied, and my treatment is not for the purpose of preventing me from being pregnant). I actually believe that my insurance should cover my treatment. So anyway, my thoughts are confused. I do not believe that any Catholic institutions should be forced to do something that is morally wrong, but in my case, the Catholic belief allows my treatment. I think the thing to go (as always!) is to pray and always ask God for guidance and to trust in Him. He is always in control. It is a trick of Satan that tries to convince us otherwise.

    1. Sheila, your situation is very different from mine. If my husband worked for a secular company I would not expect that company to modify its medical insurance plan to fit my Catholic faith. My husband works for a Catholic company and sterlizations, abortions and birth control is not part of the plan. Rightly so. I imagine even then, there are exceptions for medical need. I understand the hormone pills (birth control) is not always for birth control (although many young girls abuse it and call it medically needed). The government is telling my husband's Catholic company that they must provide sterilization, abortion, birth control coverage against their will. And all employees must carry it. There are many people who work for Catholic companies and charities because their faith is aligned with the mission of the company. That changes now.

      PS hysterectomy, even though it prevents future conception, is not sterilization.

  7. Barbara - thank you for your response. I fully understand about your husband's position and again ADAMANTLY believe Catholic (or other) organizations should never have to do anything morally wrong, but I just was unsure of it you meant only those or secular ones like I work for.

    Even though at 45 I haven't planned on more children, a hysterectomy (or ablation, or medically induced menopause) feels like sterilization to me. It may be more an emotional definition than necessarily strictly accurate. I want the 'none of the above' option that I don't seem to have. I actually have tried birth control pills to control this problem (which at least were just a temporary thing) and they had a scary side effect, so that's not an option for me. So I'm feeling sad about myself (sorry for myself :) ) and sad about our country as well.

    Blessings to you and your husband. These things are definitely in my prayers.

  8. Sheila, I had a partial hysterectomy several years ago and even though I was infertile for years before I still mourned the end of my childbearing years. You are very normal in your feelings. And you have my prayers as well.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!