Category Archives: Pro-Life

A Day of Archangels

Today is the Feast Day of the Archangels!

September 29 traditionally was set aside as the Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel. (The word “saint” simply means “holy.”) Then the Church made it the feast day of all the Archangels.

Three Angels are named in the Bible:

  1. Michael
  2. Gabriel: in Hebrew, the name means “God is my might”
  3. Raphael: in Hebrew, the name means “God has healed”

Notice that all three names end with “El” — which means God, in Hebrew. Thus, each Archangel’s name ending in “el” means they are “of God.”

Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary
The Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, 1485

The word “angel,” in Greek is angelos; in Hebrew is malach; in Arabic is mala’ika – which all mean “messenger.”

Angels are incorporeal (bodiless) spiritual beings who act as intermediaries between God and humanity. Angels are defined by their function as messengers or message-bearers, although this function does not exhaust their activities because they were created by God to serve the supreme deity by fulfilling any and all tasks assigned to them.

In other words, being an angel or messenger simply denotes one of their functions, not their nature. St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that each angel is unique, a species unto itself — truly a mind-boggling idea.

Major philosophers — such as Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, John Locke, and most recently, the American philosopher Mortimer Adler — have put forth compelling reasons for the existence of Angels. (For the conversion of Adler, a Jew, to the Catholic faith, see the moving account, “A Philosopher-Pagan Comes Home.)

Theologians maintain there is a hierarchy of Angels, due to the fact that in Genesis 3:24, Isaiah 6:1-7, Ezekiel 1, 10, Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Colossians 1:16, 2:10, 2:15, allusions are made to “seraphim,” “cherubim,” “thrones,” “dominions,” “mights,” “powers,” and “principalities” in the “heavenly places.”

Dionysius and St. Thomas Aquinas delineated three hierarchies of Angels, with each hierarchy comprised of three orders:

  • 1st hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones.
  • 2nd hierarchy: Dominions, Virtues, Powers.
  • 3rd hierarchy: Principalities, Archangels, Angels.

Of the nine angelic orders, five are sent by God for external ministry among bodily creatures, as indicated by their names of Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels—all of which refer to some kind of administrative or executive office. Of these five orders, only the last three minister to human beings, which suggests Virtues and Powers minister to other bodily creatures, including all the non-human animals whom St. Bonaventure called “creatures without sin”!

  • Principalities are in charge of the whole of humanity.
  • Archangels minister to nations — their leaders and those persons whom God tasks with special work to do on Earth.
  • Angels, the last order, are God’s messengers to and guardians of individual human beings.

The name “Lucifer” means “Morning Star,” “Son of the Dawn,” or “Light Carrier.” For that reason, theologians believe that Lucifer was a high-order Angel, most likely the highest order — a Seraphim. Aquinas thought him to be “probably the highest of all the angels.” But Lucifer admires and loves himself more than his Creator and thinks himself to be “as God.” And so, swollen with narcissism and grandiosity, Lucifer rebelled, taking a third of the angelic beings with him.

StMichaelTheArchangelBut, a lower-order Angel, full of courage and love of God, rallied together two-thirds of the angelic ranks against the apostates, in the First War that began the enduring conflict between good and evil:

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. (Revelation 12:7-9)

That braveheart’s name is Micha-el, which means “Who is like God?”

I like to think “Who is like God?” is Micha-el‘s battle cry . . . .

St. Michael the Archangel is believed to be the captain or prince of the heavenly armies and the most beloved of all the Angels. He is mentioned in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon).

Described in Revelation 10:1 as a “mighty angel…with a halo around his head; his face was like the sun and his feet were like pillars of fire,” St. Michael is generally portrayed by artists as wearing full armor and carrying a sword or lance, with his foot on the neck of a dragon. (Pictures of the martyred St. George are often similar, but only Micha-el has wings.)

michaelfrMichael has four main titles or offices. He is:

  • Patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament.
  • Patron saint and defender of the Church.
  • The Angel of death, who assists Jesus in the final judgment (thus, Michael is sometimes depicted with a scale).
  • Leading the good angels against the fallen angels or demons. For that reason, Christians consider St. Michael the most powerful defender of God’s people against evil. As such, Michael is also the patron saint of soldiers and policemen. (For the Prayer to St. Michael, go here.)

All of which is why St. Michael the Archangel – the Braveheart of Angels — is my most favorite saint, whom I admire and love with all my heart. He is my captain. As you can see from this blog’s masthead, he is also the protector of Fellowship of the Minds.

Happy Feast Day, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael!

Thank you for inspiring us with your humility, courage, goodness, and love for God.

Thank you, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for creating the marvelous Angels!

~Eowyn

For a fascinating account of one man’s experience with the Archangel Michael, click here. Check out FOTM’s other saints and angels posts, here!

Sources:

  1. Mortimer J. Adler, The Angels and Us (New York: Macmillan, 1982).
  2. Matthew Bunson, Angels A to Z: A Who’s Who of the Heavenly Host (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1996), pp. 181-184.
  3. Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the Warrior (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Co., 1993), p. 34.
  4. René Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy, trans. by Donald A. Cress (Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1979).
  5. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, edited with an introduction by A. D. Woozley (Cleveland & New York: Meridian Books, 1968),
  6. Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One(New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947).

Why Are Californian Republicans Such Sniveling Cowards?

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There were two excellent candidates for governor in California’s June primary: Tim Donnely, a pro-family, pro-life, pro-Constitution, liberty-loving Tea Party Republican, and Robert Newman, a pro-family, pro-life, pro-Constitution independent.

So who did Californian Republicans vote for? Neel Kashkari, a Republican-in-name-only who supports Obamacare and admits he voted for aka-Obama, who once worked as a junior banker for Goldman Sachs, and who, in 2008, was given control of $700 billion of tax-payer money which he handed out to the banking industry, including his former employer, Goldman Sachs.

Ask Republicans why they voted for a such a candidate and their immediate response is, “We have to win in November.” And yet they keep losing.

Ever been to a Californian Republican meeting? I have, several times. Half the time is spent arguing over procedural matters, and the other half consists of members, who just happen to work for companies like Nation Builder, pitching their services, which just happen to be extremely expensive.

If someone has the temerity to suggest that the party embrace their conservative roots by coming out in strong support of the Constitution, the pro-life movement, traditional marriage, etc., they are applauded by most in attendance, but then told by the “leaders” that they are being “unrealistic.” “We have to win in November,” they say, and yet they keep losing.

Ever volunteered to work for the Republican Party? I have, several times. No one returned any of my phone calls or emails.

California Republicans loathe the Tea Party. They see the Tea Party as a threat to their established ways. They claim the Tea Party does not represent their members. And yet they keep losing.

In California there are numerous races in which the Republican Party does not even bother to run a candidate. “No chance to win,” they say. “We have to be realistic.” And yet they keep losing.

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Orly Taitz ran for Attorney General as an independent in the June primary. Possessed with infinite courage and wisdom, Taitz would have done everything she could to clean house and expose political corruption. Did Republicans vote for her? No, they didn’t have the guts.

If you voted for Neel Kashkari in California’s primary, I’m calling you out. Why did you betray your state, your country, your family, and yourself by voting for such a man? Why are you such a damn, sniveling coward?

http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2011/07/02/the-gop-went-over-to-the-dark-side/

http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2012/11/15/why-the-gop-will-not-do-anything-about-vote-fraud/

“Who wants their son to live the life of a handicapped person? Maybe some families want this, but we don’t.”

AFP Photo

AFP Photo

France24: Parents of an extremely premature baby, currently in hospital in the city of Poitiers, have asked doctors to take their child off life support, or “passive euthanasia”. The doctors, however, say they need more time to evaluate the baby’s condition.

“We made this decision over a week ago,” said the baby’s mother, Mélanie, who was interviewed by France Info. “Who wants their son to live the life of a handicapped person? Maybe some families want this, but we don’t.”

The baby boy, named Titouan, was born on 31 August, four months before his due date. He weighed just under 2lb at birth and suffered from an intracerebral haemorrhage. For now, the doctors at the University Hospital Center of Poitiers (CHU) are unable to judge the extent of the damage to his brain.

“If we want to be able to fully understand the consequences [of the haemorrhage], we can’t rush this. We need a few weeks to evaluate his condition,” said Professor Fabrice Pierre, of the department of gynecology and obstetrics at Poitiers CHU, on French TV channel France Bleu. “Currently, we are not giving him intensive treatment; we are simply giving him life support to give us the time to do a proper evaluation.”

The baby’s parents, Mélanie and Aurélien, who are both in their 30s, say that doctors have already told them that their son will be paralysed on one side and that it is very likely he will be “severely disabled.”

They accuse the “inhumane” doctors of prolonging their son’s suffering.

Currently, euthanasia is illegal in France, though the 2005 law says that doctors are allowed to end or refrain from using treatments or care that result in the artificial prolongation of life, as long as the family agrees with the doctor’s decision. This is often referred to as “passive euthanasia,” or withholding treatments necessary to the continuation of life.

Importantly, the 2005 law also puts the decision in the hands of the doctors.
Faced with the repeated demands of Titouan’s parents, CHU’s neonatal unit sought out the advice of an ethics panel. They have yet to make a decision.

Earlier in the year, French President François Hollande announced that the government planned to enact a tightly-framed law allowing “medical assistance to end one’s life in dignity”.

Close to nine out of ten French people (89%) interviewed said they would be in favour of a law authorising euthanasia, according to a survey published in French daily Le Parisien at the end of June.

In situations when a person is too sick to make the decision themselves, 53% said the family should make the decision, 41% said a doctor should only 6% said a judge should make the decision.

In June, The Council of State, France’s top administrative court ruled in favour of so-called passive euthanasia in the high-profile case of Vincent Lambert, a tetraplegic patient who has been in a state of minimal consciousness for the past six years.

See also:

DCG

‘She’s not a fetus, she’s a fully-formed human being’

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DailyMail: A mother has released the first photograph of the moment her premature daughter was born, hours before she passed away too small to survive. Emily Caines and her husband Alastair want to raise awareness of the issues surrounding neonatal death, after losing tine Adelaide when she was just hours old.

She was delivered at 24 weeks but was too small to survive. The couple’s treasured image of their daughter shows doctors bringing her into the world. The current law allows babies to be terminated killed up to 24 weeks gestation – the point at which Adelaide was born.

Mrs. Caines, 25, from Yeovil in Somerset, said: “Our picture shows Adelaide was not a fetus, she was a fully formed human being and to think that a baby like her could be legally terminated killed is to me horrifying. Our hospital was amazing and did all they could be Adelaide suffered complications which made it impossible for her to survive but many babies born at 24 weeks do live.”

“That makes a mockery of the 24 week legal limit. Our daughter may not have lived long but she was still our daughter and we love to talk about her and celebrate her life. Sadly in this day and age some people still find that offensive or uncomfortable.”

“I find it particularly hurtful when people use the term late miscarriage to describe our daughter because she was born so early into my pregnancy. But I think this picture of her crying out shows that clearly that is not the case. I went through labor and delivery with both of my premature babies. Adelaide lived for more than an hour and will always be very much part of our lives.”

baby3

Mrs. Caines also lost her first daughter, Isabelle, who died during delivery as she arrived prematurely at 23 weeks. Mrs. Caines and her family and friends have raised money for the stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands in light of her daughters’ deaths. She said she hopes the picture of Adelaide’s delivery will help encourage people to talk about baby loss.

Mrs. Caines also hopes the image of Adelaide will help re-open the ongoing debate surrounding abortion reform. Read the rest of her story here.

24weeks

A baby at 24 weeks: Your baby is about eight-and-a-half inches long (standard letter size!) and weighs one-and-a-half pounds, gaining steadily at a rate of about six ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from growing organs, bones, muscle and accumulating baby fat. Wondering what (and who) your baby will look like? If you had a baby cam at 24 weeks pregnant, you’d almost be able to tell by now. That beautiful face (though still tiny) is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. 

All kinds of sounds can be heard by your baby in your womb: air exhaling from your lungs (deep breath now), those gastric gurgles produced by your stomach and intestines, your voice and your partner’s (which your baby will be able to recognize at birth) and even very loud sounds such as honking horns, barking dogs or a wailing fire truck.

DCG

Seattle City Council Member: Free abortions an issue of “racial and economic justice”

Author/city council member Harrell

Author/city council member Harrell

The Stranger: Over 41 years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that every woman has a constitutionally protected right to make her own personal medical decisions about when and if to become a mother. For almost as long—nearly 38 years—the Hyde Amendment has undermined Roe v. Wade by barring public funds from covering abortion care, effectively cutting off access for most women enrolled in public government insurance. Many of those most affected are low-income women, women of color, and immigrant women, who already face significant challenges to accessing safe, respectful, timely health care. This isn’t just a matter of reproductive freedom—it’s an issue of racial and economic justice.

Though the Hyde Amendment frames reproductive healthcare as a political bargaining chip, it is in fact a vital part of women’s health care overall. In a country where 99 percent of women who have had sexual intercourse use or have used birth control, and 1 in 3 will seek abortion care at some point during their lives, safeguarding access to these health care services is crucial to every woman’s safety and well-being, and a requirement for building a society in which all people are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their income.

This is why we are proposing a resolution to the Seattle City Council today, Monday, September 8, calling upon President Obama and Congress to overturn all federal bans on public coverage of abortion, and to improve access to public and private insurance coverage for the full spectrum of reproductive health care options.

If we pass this resolution, Seattle will become the first jurisdiction in the Northwest—and the sixth nationally—to declare its support for overturning the Hyde Amendment and restoring access to reproductive health care for every woman, regardless of her income or what kind of insurance she has.

The timing is critical. There were 205 abortion restrictions passed nationwide from 2011-2013, including state bans on public and even private insurance covering abortion. As women’s reproductive rights are deliberately and strategically eroded in other states, passing the resolution shows that the Hyde Amendment and attacks on women’s health do not reflect Seattle’s values.

As a state that values reproductive justice, we cannot afford to stand still. Passing a resolution against the Hyde Amendment is a reasonable, proactive step we can take as a community to reject laws that come between women and the healthcare they need, and to build momentum until all women across the country can meaningfully exercise their rights. Thirty-eight years is too long to wait for health care.

See also:

DCG

The Shoe Box.

I LOVE THE PRAYER AT THE END.

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A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

get-attachment (1)

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents.
‘When we were to be married,’ she said, ‘ my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.’

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two Precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two Times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with Happiness.

‘Honey,’ he said, ‘that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?’

‘Oh,’ she said, ‘that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.’

Yikes!

Yikes!

A Prayer
Dear Lord,
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
Love to forgive him;
And Patience for his moods;
Because Lord, if I pray for Strength,
I’ll beat him to death,
Because I don’t have the freaking time to crochet.

~Steve~                                       H/T  Hujonwi

Belgium’s culture of death: Doctor Kills Depressed Woman in Euthanasia, Doesn’t Tell Family Until Next Day

angel

LifeSiteNews: Alliance Defending Freedom filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights Wednesday on behalf of Tom Mortier, who is challenging Belgium’s laws that allow euthanasia. Mortier’s mother was put to death by a doctor for “untreatable depression” even though she was not terminally ill. Mortier did not find out what had happened until he received a telephone call the day after her death.

“The government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Robert Clarke. “A person can claim that she should be able to do whatever she pleases, but that does not override the government’s responsibility to protect the weak and vulnerable. We are encouraging the European Court to uphold this principle, which is completely consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.”

godelieva2Oncologist Wim Distelmans killed Godelieva De Troyer, a Belgium citizen who was not terminally ill, because of “untreatable depression” in April 2012 after receiving consent from three other physicians who had no previous involvement with her care. De Troyer’s doctor of more than 20 years had denied her request to be euthanized in September 2011, but after a 2,500 EUR donation to Life End Information Forum, an organization co-founded by Distelmans, he carried out her request to die because of the depression. The donation gives rise to an apparent conflict of interest.

No one contacted Mortier before his mother’s death despite the fact that he says her depression was not only largely the result of a break-up with a man, but also due to her feelings of distance from her family.

Distelmans has no psychiatric qualifications, and none of the doctors involved had any enduring doctor-patient relationship with De Troyer. In addition, the commission the government established to investigate any failure to observe the euthanasia law has been led, since its creation, by Distelmans. Despite evidence of widespread abuse of the law, the commission has never referred a case to the prosecutor.

As the ADF application explains, “The institutions of the Council of Europe have shown consistent opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia…. [T]he only positive duty on a State is the positive duty to protect life.”

The application argues that Belgium’s law, which now allows children to be killed as well, has gone too far:

“the balance has shifted unacceptably in favour of personal autonomy at the expense of the important public interest and a State’s obligation under Article 2 (the right to life).”

“People suffering from depression need compassion and love, not a prescription for death,” said ADF Senior Counsel Roger Kiska. “The state has a duty to put the necessary safeguards in place so that suffering patients receive adequate care from doctors and an opportunity to consult with family members.”

ADF is also involved at the ECHR in defending Switzerland’s denial of suicide drugs to a woman who does not suffer from any fatal disease. That case, Gross v. Switzerland, is very similar to a previous case, Haas v. Switzerland, in which the ECHR in 2011 unanimously rejected the claim that Switzerland had an obligation to assist individuals in committing suicide.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organisation that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

See also:

DCG