Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Legal Basis for an End to Abortion

Abortion is a process in which a woman chooses to end the life of the fetus within her womb. Until 1973, abortion was illegal in almost all cases in the United States. Today, abortion is currently legal in approximately 204 countries around the world ranging from on-demand and partial birth abortion to abortion legal only in the event to save the life of the mother in the first trimester or in restricted cases (“Summary of Abortion Laws Around the World”). As of 2007, only five countries held abortion to be completely illegal and prohibited in every trimester with fifty countries declaring abortion legal only in the case of saving the mother’s life (“Summary of Abortion Laws Around the World”). According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies worldwide end in abortion. In 2003, there were more abortions in Eastern Europe than there were births with 105 abortions for every 100 births (“Guttmacher Institute: Abortion”). While abortion has been legal in the United States of America for forty years, as of January 2013, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the ‘civil liberty’ of abortion has been detrimental to the culture of the United States.

On January 22nd, 1973, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision on the judicial case of Roe v Wade. ‘Jane Roe’, the pseudonym for Norma McCorvey, a single pregnant woman, brought suit against Wade, the District Attorney of Dallas County. She was challenging the constitutionality of Texas abortion laws, which made it a crime to procure an abortion except in cases in which the pregnancy threatened the mother’s life or in the event of rape (Harrison & Gilbert 90). Justice Harry Blackmun delivered the opinion of the Court with Chief Justice Warren Burger and Justices Douglas and Stewart issuing concurring opinions. Justices Rehnquist and White issued dissenting opinions in turn (Harrison & Gilbert 90). The majority decision declared that abortion should not be made illegal and that the Texas law—and thus others like it—was unconstitutional (Harrison & Gilbert 121).

The Court stated in its decision that abortion was practiced in ancient Greek and Roman societies saying it was resorted to without scruple (Harrison & Gilbert 96) though another disputed this claim. While the Court claims that Greek and Roman law offered little protection to the unborn, Arturo Castiglioni, a historian of medicine, stated that Roman law actually did punish abortion, at least from the time of Augustus – 31 B.C. to 13 A.D. – onward. He said “The law against abortion was…strict. Thus the Lex Cornelia prescribed that whoever…caused an abortion should be punished with deportation and the loss of his goods. If the patient should die as a result…the guilty party was condemned to death” (Butler and Walbert 201). The Court also concerned itself in its ruling with the Hippocratic Oath. The passage that pertained to the case read “I will give no a deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy” (Harrison and Gilbert 96). The Court drew primarily from the late Dr. Edelstein to reach the conclusion that the Oath was contested and reflected only the feeling of the Pythagorean school of philosophers. They concluded that this feeling was only a small segment of Greek opinion and was not accepted by all ancient physicians (Harrison & Gilbert 96). Harold O. J. Brown criticized the Court’s interpretation of Edelstein and suggested that Edelstein did not seek to question the validity of the Oath as the ethic of a minority but to demonstrate how an ethic that has come to universal acceptance was created (Butler & Walbert 202).

The law contradicts itself on the status of an unborn child. The Supreme Court declared in its decision that “the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense” (Harrison & Gilbert 117) yet in American courts, an unborn child may benefit under a will or from proceeds of a trust from the date of his father’s death rather than the date of the child’s birth (Butler & Walbert 212). The decision that is most frequently cited to provide a summary of the state of American property law with regard to the unborn child is “In re Holthausen’s Will” which was decided by the New York courts in 1941 (Butler & Walbert 212). As well, child support laws uphold the personhood of an unborn child with Metzger v People (Grisez 374) where the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed an order requiring a man to contribute 30% of his salary to the support of his unborn child. In Kyne v Kyne (Butler & Walbert 212), a California appeals court ruled that an unborn child has the right to bring suit and to receive support from his father. In 1987, an Illinois court allowed an infant to sue its mother for injuries sustained in an automobile accident when it was a five-month-old fetus (Cannold 60). Therefore, it would be correct to conclude that the Court’s view of the status of the unborn child in other areas of the law is inaccurate.

The largest detrimental aspect of abortion becomes clear when one recalls the words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." (Letter to Julia Ward Howe, October 16, 1873, recorded in Howe's diary at Harvard University Library). Alice Paul, the woman who originally drafted the Equal Rights Amendment reportedly referred to abortion as “the ultimate exploitation of women” (“Voices of our Feminist Foremothers”). This becomes clear when one looks at abortion in the case of rape and incest. According to the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA) (“Rape and Incest Victims Don’t Want Abortion, Say It Doesn’t Help Women”), abortion creates more problems for rape and incest victims and is in fact detrimental to their recovery. The only two published studies that have tracked the decisions made by women made pregnant by rape and incest found that roughly 70% of women chose to keep their child. In the Elliot Institute’s survey of 192 women who became pregnant after sexual assault, it was revealed that 80% of women who had abortions strongly regretted it. Dr. David Reardon, author of Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault, said that abortion “gives molesters the means to cover up their crime and the opportunity to repeat it, subjecting the victims to repeated ongoing abuse as well as the additional trauma of an unwanted abortion.” (“Rape and Incest Victims Don’t Want Abortion, Say It Doesn’t Help Women”). He also found that coerced abortion is a growing problem as 64% of women who have had abortions report feeling pressured by others.

While the exact percentage of rapes ending in pregnancy is not known, the percentage of abortions as a result of rape is approximately 1%. Rape victims typically suffer from self-blame, severe guilt, PTSD, OCD, eating disorders, self-harm, flashbacks, sleep problems, nightmares, panic attacks, and Rape Trauma Syndrome which consists of shock, disbelief, shame, anxiety, and an inability to trust (“Effects of Rape and Aftermath”). Similarly, those who partake in abortions often suffer from guilt, anger, shame, loneliness, suicidal thoughts or feelings, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and nightmares. These side effects of abortion are more common among women who have previous emotional or psychological issues—like those present after rape (“Possible Emotional Side Effects”). Abortion in the case of rape does not make psychological sense as it conceivably increases the emotional turmoil in the mind of the mother to a dangerous degree, leading to severe depression or possibly suicide.

In addition to the psychological problems of abortion, the American Pregnancy Association lists anticipated side effects following abortion. The more common ones, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding, may occur up to 4 weeks following the abortion. It goes on to say that serious side-affects occur in approximately 1 out of 100 first-trimester abortions and 1 in 50 late-term abortions. These include infection, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, damage to other organs, and death. Studies have alternately linked an increased risk for breast cancer to abortion while others say there is no correlation.

Following the legalization of abortion, the rate of child abuse in the nation increased at a substantial rate. In the first ten years after the legalization of abortion in America, child abuse jumped by more than 500% (Alcorn 143). A study of 674 abused children conducted by USC professor Dr. Edward Lenoski discovered that 91% of the abused children were a result of a planned pregnancy (Alcorn 142). When abortion was made legal, it appears that value parents placed on their child’s well-being went down. There is no question the with 500% more children being abused that our nation is not moving in a favorable direction.

Gendercide, or sex-selective abortion, has become the most effective mean of sexism with people now able to abort their unwanted female fetuses. In 1975, Medical World News reported a study in which ninety-nine American mothers were informed of their child’s sex. Fifty-three of these were boys while forty-six were girls. Of these, only one mother elected to abort her son while twenty-nine elected to abort their daughters. As so many more girls than boys are being killed by the amniocentesis-abortion, outraged feminists have labeled this practice ‘femicide’. Ironically, the very rights women like Margaret Sanger fought for are being used to suppress their gender further. An obstetrician gynecologist was quoted in USAToday as saying “Probably 99% of nonmedical requests for prenatal diagnosis are made by people who want a boy.” (“The Debate Over the Uses of Prenatal Testing”) Sex selective abortion demonstrates the state of society as brought up in the pro-choice, “Abortion Under Attack”: “We need to have a social debate about…a world that not only privileges but ‘chooses’ male babies…research suggests that there is indeed a cross-cultural preference for boys. It is irresponsible to promote sex selection without acknowledging the misogyny still rampant throughout our world and with no thought for what that could mean to future generations.”(“I’m  Not Sorry”).

Should abortion be made illegal, the availability for children to adopt would increase. More than 1.5 million American families want to adopt, some so badly that the scarcity of babies available for adoption is a source of major depression. There is even a black market for babies in which a child might be bought for $35,000. People often request babies with Down’s Syndrome, who are aborted 90% of the time. There have been lists of more than 100 people wanting to adopt babies with spina bifida (Alcorn 139). The National Committee for Adoption maintains that if abortion were made illegal, most women would choose to keep their babies while 11% would be put up for adoption (Alcorn 139). Given the abortion rate in America, this is a substantial number.

With Roe v. Wade overturned, the unborn would be given their rights per the 5th Amendment; namely: “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.  In conclusion, abortion can kill the woman procuring the abortion at terrifying rates. In cases of rape and incest, it often does more harm than good. The reasons the Supreme Court cited in their decision are fundamentally wrong and show a lack of research, inaccuracy of information, and a surprising lack of foresight as to the ill effects this decision had on American culture.





Works Cited
"Effects of Rape and Aftermath." Rape Crisis Online Encyclopedia / FrontPage. PBWorks, 2008. Web. 06 June 2011. <http://rapesurvivor.pbworks.com/w/page/7208527/Effects-of-rape-and-aftermath#Psychologicaleffects>.
"Guttmacher Institute: Abortion." Guttmacher Institute: Abortion. Guttmacher Institute. Web. 06 June 2011. <http://www.guttmacher.org/sections/abortion.php>.
"Rape and Incest Victims Don’t Want Abortion, Say It Doesn’t Help Women." LifeSiteNews.com. 07 Sept. 2006. Web. 06 June 2011. <http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2006/sep/06090702>.
"Summary of Abortion Laws Around the World." Pregnant Pause. 15 Apr. 2002. Web. 06 June 2011. <http://www.pregnantpause.org/lex/world02.jsp>.
Alcorn, Randy C. Pro Life Answers to Pro Choice Arguments. [Portland, Or.]: Multnomah, 1994. Print.
American Pregnancy Association. "Possible Emotional Side Effects." Promoting Pregnancy Wellness: American Pregnancy Association. American Pregnancy Association. Web. 06 June 2011. <http://www.americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/abortionemotionaleffects.html>.
Butler, J. Douglas, and David F. Walbert. Abortion, Medicine, and the Law. New York: Facts on File, 1992. Print.
Cannold, Leslie. The Abortion Myth: Feminism, Morality, and the Hard Choices Women Make. Hanover: University of New England, 2000. Print.
Christopher Farley “The Debate Over Uses of Prenatal Testing” USA Today Feb 2, 1989 1D
Grisez, Germain Gabriel. Abortion; the Myths, the Realities, and the Arguments. New York: Corpus, 1970. Print.
Harrison, Maureen, and Steve Gilbert. Landmark Decisions of the United States Supreme Court I. San Diego, CA: Excellent, 1991. Print.
Pandora L. Leong “I’m Not Sorry” Krista Jacob. Abortion under Attack: Women on the Challenges Facing Choice (Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2006)Gina Kolata “Fetal Sex Test Used as Step to Abortion” the New York Times Dec 25, 1988.

Reardon, David C., Julie Makimaa, and Amy Sobie. Victims and Victors: Speaking out about Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault. Springfield, IL: Acorn, 2000. Print.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Can He Be Your Best Friend?

That's the question we have all asked. That's the question that we all WANT to be yes. If you're a girl, can your best friend be a guy?

The answer is simple: Of course. Your husband should be your best friend.

I know. "But Siobhan, but we're not married. We're not even in a relationship. We're just best friends."

Okay, well let me ask you this:

  1. Would he be your call at 3am if you were in trouble?
  2. Is his girlfriend/your boyfriend ever edgy towards him?
  3. Has he or have you ever been jealous of someone else's friendship/relationship with the other?
  4. Do you get annoyed when he flirts with other people or when other people flirt with him? And vice versa?
  5. Are you causing scandal with your actions?
If you answered yes to any of these, let me explain why that's a problem.
  1. If you call him at 3am, that means you know he will pick up and you know he would strap on and ride out to help you. (Wild West reference for those confused. It means to strap on his gun belt and ride out on his horse.) He will drop everything for you to help out. Granted, I have several men in my life who would do that, the first being my father. The man in your life who protects you and tries to fix your problems should be your father or your brother. When they're at home and you're at college, it's hard to figure out how to make it work, but I have. My dad has asked me to ask my friends to deal with problems and if they don't deal with it, he's flying down. I recognize that is not very feminist of me, but your 3am call should not be a platonic friend, especially a platonic friend who is in a relationship with someone else. It's simply not appropriate and it's not the role he should be fulfilling in your life.
  2. If his girlfriend is rude towards you or doesn't completely trust you, you need to back the heck off of your relationship with her boyfriend. When you or your male friends enter into a relationship, the friendship you have with that person must change. How would you feel if your boyfriend or husband received a 3am call from another woman and left your bed to go take care of her? Ideally, you'd be with a man who wouldn't think twice about it and you'd trust him enough to recognize that that's the kind of man he is, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't make you uncomfortable. It should because it's just not appropriate. His girlfriend has every reason to mistrust you because if you have known him longer, his relationship with you might be deeper than (especially in the beginning) his relationship with her. Yes, it is insecurity, but if you want your friend to be happy, you'll give him and her every advantage - and that includes the space to develop a deep and meaningful relationship based on trust. Once you're married, you can't be best friends with your guy friend unless he's your husband. It's just not fair to your husband.
  3. If you get jealous, there's more involved than just friendship. There's an unhealthy possessiveness that you just need to roll the heck off of. If you're worried about "being replaced" then you don't have a secure and clearly defined friendship.
  4. This is the same as above. That's jealousy. Jealousy doesn't belong in platonic friendships.
  5. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE. If other people think that you are a couple, you need to check yourself. Not in a "oh, everything everyone else says matters" but in a "are we acting like a couple?" type way. Don't just completely dismiss what other people are saying. They see something you might not because they're on the outside and not affected by your own personal "of course we're not dating" bias. If people think that the two of you are in a relationship, that will detrimentally affect your opportunities to be in future relationships in that if someone thinks you're already in a relationship THEY ARE NOT GOING TO THINK YOU ARE AVAILABLE.
Your best friend is someone who knows your heart entirely. They know that you have struggled with an eating disorder from the time you were eight or were addicted to hardcore porn from age ten to sixteen. They know the innermost desires of your heart and want to help you fulfill them. They sacrifice for you and they will beat anyone who hurts you. They are your closest confidante who you can call and say "I'm at work and just got my period but I can't leave to get stuff and no one here has anything" and they will drive to bring you supplies. Your best friend should be the person in your life who you trust exclusively with the stuff no one else knows. 

Where women share their hearts is where they leave their heart. It's a fact. I'm pretty sure it's the same for guys too, but if there is any guy left here after I talked about a real life period emergency, I'll be pretty shocked and impressed and say "let's be friends". 

When you allow your heart to be vulnerable, the devil can with greater ease twist your close friendships into something that they are not. Which, believe me, sucks.

Guard your hearts. And if any men have stuck with me through this, guard the hearts of your female friends. I completely recognize some things need a woman's touch, but for some things, try to look to your sisters, mothers, or male friends. I feel so trusted and honored when guys confide in me, but at the same time, I find myself having to take three steps back emotionally. I'm a sharer so I will share until someone tells me to stop. If you respect and love your friends, just guard the emotional chastity of your friends' hearts.

Friends don't let friends be emotionally unchaste.

When it comes down to it, man is the head and woman is the heart (read Casti Connubii from Pope Pius XI. It's the bomb. The next sentence is paraphrased...) As he occupies the chief place in ruling, she should claim for herself the chief place in love.

Women own the chief place in love, therefore we should be careful in the ways that we love. While we can love until it hurts, it is important that we love in the proper way - in the way that God intends for us to love. Our love is our most powerful weapon, so we must use it wisely. With great power comes great responsibility, right? 

I'll talk about love as a "weapon" in my next post, because I don't have time now. If this seems a bit rushed, it is. Someone asked for this post more quickly than I had intended to post it, so here it is.

In Christ,
Siobhan

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Most Difficult Thing

Emotional Chastity.
I've talked about it before. I've thought about it a lot. I've prayed about it a lot.
Because emotional chastity is hard enough to explain but it's WORLDS harder to put it into practice. Think about it.
Chastity is hard enough, especially in today's world. My most basic, lame definition on chastity is keeping your mind and body pure. Emotional chastity is keeping your heart pure and the things you love in right order.

So we're going to play a game that asks us to go to the emotionally unchaste part of our heart real quick. Are you ready?

Think of your future spouse. They're attractive, aren't they? They make you laugh, make you feel loved, have fun with you? You have physical characteristics too, don't you? Taller than you? Smaller than you? Pretty face? Certain physique?

Now stop. 

Now think of Joseph and Mary, the world's most perfect married couple. 



Think of some of Joseph's characteristics:

Joseph: Faithful. Self-sacrificing. Humble. Chaste. Protective. Leader. Caring. 
In the Bible, Joseph never speaks. But we know about him, don't we? Ever since elementary school, I've loved Joseph. I always thought it was so, SO unbearably sad when Joseph died. I remember just realizing that some point between Jesus being left in the temple and the wedding at Cana, Joseph died. Once I figured that out, I remember imagining Mary laying on an empty mat crying. The man who originally thought she had been unfaithful but was willing to marry her anyway, the man who shielded her and her Son from certain death, the man who guided and led their family, the man with whom she raised the Son of Man was dead.
When I was little, I used to think Joseph could have just asked Jesus to heal him so that Joseph could see his son (because Jesus was truly Joseph's son, especially in Joseph's heart) grow into a Man. I used to get upset that Jesus resurrected Lazarus but not His own dad. I used to get upset that Jesus said "of course I am in my Father's house" after being found in the temple. I felt like that would have been such a punch in the gut for Joseph. His 8-year-old essentially said "You're not my dad" - it was in the nicest (and truest) way possible, but I always felt bad for Joseph. He was human. That had to have hurt. 
Joseph is literally my comparison chart for my future spouse. His faith was crazy. Do you know how many things he did because of a DREAM? His chastity was the most legit thing ever too. He NEVER HAD SEX when he was married to Mary. She was "ever virgin." In comparison to today's society where some boys expect sex in exchange for buying me dinner, Joseph gave his everything in exchange for nothing. His humility had to have been off the wall. How could he ever teach Jesus anything? Jesus is GOD. And Joseph married a woman who NEVER EVER EVER sinned. That puts a whole new spin on the "woman is always right" theory. He was the only person in his family who wasn't "practically perfect in every way". And he owned that. He took care of and provided for his family and he never even tried to claim glory because of it. Given the obnoxious sports dads and dance moms (and I'm in the same category myself...did I mention my baby sister is being considered for the US Women's Olympic hockey team?), it's kind of shocking Joseph never proclaimed from the rooftops "MY SON IS GOD. EVERYONE. LOOK AT HOW AWESOME MY SON IS. HE WAS TEACHING IN THE TEMPLE BEFORE HE WENT THROUGH PUBERTY. MY SON IS BETTER THAN YOUR SON. YOU SHOULD HONOR US BOTH."

Ladies, when you find yourself liking the next guy who pulls a "Hey, is this pew taken?" or "I lost my rosary; can I use your fingers?", just take a step back and take a nice deep breath. 

I don't care if he prays every mystery of the rosary in Latin while holding a baby and kneeling on concrete wearing a scapular, a St. Philomena cord, and a "Keep Calm and Go to Confession" shirt after attending daily Mass following his Adoration hour which he offered up for his future spouse, a solidification of the family life, and an end to abortion.

Take a breath. Trust me, I've fallen into this trap. 

And you're not listening. Because he's perfect, right? So holy. Such a strong man of God!

Listen to me:
As someone who has been blessed with multiple men in my life who can pretty much fit my description above, listen. He is your brother in Christ. View him as a brother in Christ. View him as someone who inspires you to holiness, but take care you don't start changing your spirituality to match his and to impress him. I know way too many girls who go on the rosary walk just because the boy they like goes on the rosary walk. You need to look at EVERY SINGLE BOY (that means ALL OF THEM in case you were confused by the concept of 'single') as your BROTHER IN CHRIST. Do not look at him and think "HE WOULD BE SUCH A GOOD DAD. WE WILL MAKE BEAUTIFUL BABIES. OUR FIRST SON WILL BE JOSEPH XAVIER AND OUR FIRST DAUGHTER WILL BE MARY PHILOMENA" because not only is that a little creepy (even though every girl has done it at least once), it's also so unhealthy.

DO NOT give him your heart. Repeatedly offer your heart to Jesus. Keep your heart in Adoration. When someone enters into Adoration with you, that's when it matters. Do NOT get invested in him until he ACTUALLY SAYS THE WORDS.

Boys do things and say things without thinking about the way girls who overanalyze every interaction will take it. Speaking of overanalyzing, let's just take this moment to recognize something:
When men say "I like your hair" that does NOT mean "You look like a princess. Be my princess and we can pass your princess hair onto our babies." It just means they like your hair. Take the compliment and move on.
When men say "I like someone" that does NOT mean "I like you but don't want to tell you yet." It just means they like someone. Recognize that and move on. It could be their way of trying to get you to back off. So take a deep breath and reevaluate. 

We as women need to remember the concept from "He's Just Not That Into You": IF A MAN WANTS TO BE WITH YOU, HE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN. He will pursue you. He will let you know. So don't worry about it until that happens. The best relationships are based on strong friendships.

That brings me to the other concern: BE CAREFUL IN YOUR FRIENDSHIPS.
I'm the worst person to speak on this. Of all of my best friends, most of them are boys. Last night after there was a fire in the only girls' dorm and the halls were flooded, I literally walked into the boys dorm and pounded on my friend's door to get him to come and babysit me. He got me into a guys' common room, set me up on a laptop, lent me comfy clothes (I was wearing wicked nice uncomfortable clothes), and gave me a back massage. 

Yes, it's good to have friends of the opposite sex, but you can't be too close. You have to be careful. You have to be very, very careful. When you share something, you slowly share pieces of yourself and pieces of your heart. When pieces pile up, there can be an unhealthy tug to that person. Men and women can be friends, but they cannot be TRUE best friends. I'll make another post about that later.

Just...think about it?

In Christ,
Siobhan

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Do All With Great Love

Do all things with love, for without love we have nothing. 1 Corinthians 1-3 says without love our words, faith, and selfless acts are nothing without love.

When it comes to love, we are last. We must love God first. After God we must love others. After all others,  we love ourselves. We were made for love, yes, but more than that we were made to give love away - not to hoard it jealously for ourselves.

In giving, you receive. You might not feel the love when someone snaps at you for offering to help our doesn't say thank you when you take care of them, but someone loves you always. God's love for us is neverceasing, especially when we help others. That's not to say we can earn His love because we can't but rather we earn His approval for helping His children. You never know who might be an angel in disguise.

Above all other things, the way you might know your capacity for love is by how much you love the Lord. Love stems from and is Jesus, so when you love Him, the love you give Him manifests itself in your heart and purifies the love you have for other people.

Do All With Great Love

Do all things with love, for without love we have nothing. 1 Corinthians 1-3 says without love our words, faith, and selfless acts are nothing without love.

When it comes to love, we are last. We must love God first. After God we must love others. After all others,  we love ourselves. We were made for love, yes, but more than that we were made to give love away - not to hoard it jealously for ourselves.

In giving, you receive. You might not feel the love when someone snaps at you for offering to help our doesn't say thank you when you take care of them, but someone loves you always. God's love for us is neverceasing, especially when we help others. That's not to say we can earn His love because we can't but rather we earn His approval for helping His children. You never know who might be an angel in disguise.

Above all other things, the way you might know your capacity for love is by how much you love the Lord. Love stems from and is Jesus, so when you love Him, the love you give Him manifests itself in your heart and purifies the love you have for other people.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What is Love?

"Love is give and take." Wrong. Love is give. Period. Love is laying yourself on the line for others daily. Love is sacrifice. What did Christ take from us as He stretched His arms open wide? Nothing. He gave us with His open hands salvation. Love is not taking. Love is unreserved giving.

"Love is like a fever that comes and goes independently of the will." No. Love is not a fever so much as it's a core temperate. Steady. Love is a choice. Love is choosing to love someone even when you do not like them. Love is not independent of the will, but, rather, continues existing because of the will.

"Love is never having to say you're sorry." Lies. Love is having to say you're sorry a lot. Love cannot exist mutually without apologies. Love is sacrificing your own pride to admit you are wrong.

"Love is a battlefield." Love is only a battlefield in that you are fighting your own selfishness and heroically sacrificing yourself for others daily. Love is a battlefield in that you are fighting for the other's holiness, for the other's purity, for the other's sanctity. Love is not a violent meeting of two people, but rather, two people standing shoulder to shoulder, back to back, protecting the other.

What is love?


Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

It is exponentially easier to be attracted to someone or something than to love them. Love comes with commitment. Attraction and fascination are in their nature transient. Love demands loyalty. Love is some scary stuff. I'm not ashamed to say that I am terrified of loving another person, especially in a romantic way.

I idealize things, so when many people don't know what love is, if someone tells me they love me how can I distinguish in their eyes love and infatuation?

I'm not patient AT ALL. I try to be kind, and I'm not a jealous person, but I do brag sometimes. I can be arrogant and act unbecomingly. I can be selfish at times too and (especially in Lit class) I am easily provoked. I sometimes let my feelings get hurt and I let it hurt me for a while. I don't know if I can bear all things. I don't know if I can believe all things. I don't know if I can hope all things. I don't know if I can endure all things. But most importantly, I know that I will fail.

I'm me. I'm human. I make mistakes. But Jesus doesn't. Jesus is Love. He is all of those things and more. He is the one who teaches me how to love and when I cannot love, He loves for me. He strengthens me when I am weak and brings be up when I'm down. 

"My Love is not a fire as much as it's a glow. A softly burning candle within my soul. Love can move mountains, and it's moving me."

From Day 70,
Siobhan

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Blurb on How Amazing People Are

So my best friend's mother has cancer. Not just "she was just diagnosed and it's easily treated" cancer, but rather Stage 4, lung, brain, cancer everywhere terminal cancer. I'm really close to my best friend's mom. I text her all the time - more than I text her daughter. I call her Mama. I go to daily Mass with her sometimes. She sends me money and care packages and calls me her adopted daughter.

We are really very close.

So when she texted me the other day that she was in pain and needed prayers, I was pretty upset (especially given the fact she's on some crazy pain meds to regulate the pain). A friend/acquaintance/kid I had Lit class with was at lunch with me when I got her text and, as I was upset, I told him about it.

He just walked up to me as I'm studying in the library and gave me a present (accidentally left the price tag on too - a $12 present). It is a little wooden novena to St. Jude devotional object thing. He's praying a novena for this woman he has never met. He bought me this St. Jude thing when we have never really hung out outside of Lit. He is seriously one of the sweetest men of God I know. Like really. I'm just so so SO blessed by the people in my life. I want to cry right now I'm so happy/overwhelmed/grateful.