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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Bit of Perspective

Some words from Mark Shea's blog: Catholic and Enjoying It!

For three decades, Hell's Ministry for the Promotion of the Culture of Death has been issuing confident press releases that the prolife forces are in abeyance and We've Moved On, only to find that, in the last election, abortion was still a huge issue and Hillary Clinton was compelled to blink and start making pro-life bleats. Worse than that, the principal arm of Hell's work in attacking human life--the Judiciary of the United States--has been able to do that while keeping fairly low profile as far as the average American was concerned. This story widely exposed our Robed Masters more than ever as the ruthless enemies of democracy and common sense that they are. It began to occur to more ordinary people than ever that it is not necessary to simply let the Judiciary go on doing whatever insane thing it wanted. The thought, "Resist!" began to occur to a significant number of people. And not just the thought, the act.

That makes Hell nervous.

But most of all, and by far most frightening to Hell, was the broadening dawn of realization that what faces us is fundamentally a spiritual war, not a political or cultural one. Terri Schiavo has inspired prayer like nothing since 9/11. Indeed, I would argue that this is our *domestic* 9/11.

For we have been on a collision course with our cultural schizophrenia for sometime. On the one hand, we are the Liberator of the World, bringing our Higher Values to peoples living in darkness. On the other hand, we are murdering Terri Schiavo, arresting a kid for trying to give her a glass of water, and arresting a mother for trying to keep her 14 year old from having an abortion. When this momentary distraction with domestic politics ceases, it will be fascinating to see if the "America: The Light and Glory" types can suddenly revert back from the Assyrian spectacle and, with a straight face, declare once again that it our Manifest Destiny to enlighten mankind and remake it in the image and likeness of our culture.

Monday, March 21, 2005

A Visit With Terri

Catholic Exchange has posted an interesting read. I'm sure that those who are hell-bent on seeing Terri die won't like it, and it will therefore be "a distortion" a "lie" or something. I'll be told to "get facts straight" and called "writer" again, I'm sure.

Some important clips:

Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair, dressed and looking alert and well. Her feeding tube had been plugged in around 11AM and we all felt good that she was still being fed. Suzanne and I were talking, joking, and laughing with Terri, telling her she was going to go to Washington DC to testify before Congress, which meant that finally Terri’s husband Michael would be required to fix her wheelchair. After that Suzanne could take Terri to the mall shopping and could wheel her outdoors every day to feel the wind and sunshine on her face, something she has not been able to do for more than five years.

At one point, I noticed Terri’s window blinds were pulled down. I went to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain. As sunlight came into the room, Terri’s eyes widened and she was obviously very pleased.

Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an hour or more. At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I noticed the dimples in her cheeks.

The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was sitting on Terri’s bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, “Terri if you could only say ‘I want to live’ this whole thing could be over today.” I begged her to try very hard to say, “I want to live.” To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri’s eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, “Ahhhhhhh.” Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, “Waaaaaaaa.” She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri’s door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terri’s face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world that she had tried to say, ”I want to live.”

Just as Terri’s husband Michael has told the world he must keep an alleged promise to kill Terri, a promise remembered a million dollars and nearly a decade after the fact; I must keep my promise to Terri immediately. Time is running out for her. I went out to the banks of cameras outside the hospice facility and told the story immediately. Now I must also tell the story in writing for the world to hear. It may be the last effective thing I can do to try to keep Terri alive so she can get the testing, therapy, and rehabilitative help she so desperately needs before it is too late.

About four in the afternoon, several hours after the feeding tube was removed, I returned to Terri’s room. By that time she was alone except for a male police officer now standing inside the door. When I entered the room and began to speak to her, Terri started to cry and tried to speak to me immediately. It was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever had. Terri was looking very melancholy at that point and I had the sense she was very upset that we had told her things were going to get better, but instead, they were obviously getting worse.


The world of blogs is an interesting one. The comment below from someone who wants to debate or throw stones without a name attached, surfing around to random blogs, leaving vaguely insulting comments in the comments sections.

It's all well and good, I suppose. And it is obvious that if nothing else, the Terri Schiavo case is exposing a raw nerve in our culture.

A quick google of "Terri Schiavo" shows over one million internet sites that contain those words, and over two hundred thousand with the words "Terri Schiavo Blog".

Reading the comments of some of the blogs that have been completely dedicated to the case shows how concerned the agents of death are about this case. Death is a sacrament to them, so they should be concerned. Their words are instructive.

I can only imagine that Terri's parents have received some of the same "just let her die" emails that show up as comments on some of these lists. They would be humorous if they weren't serious.

In my little corner of the world, I get - maybe - a handfull of visitors in a given month. I don't think it coincidence that an anonymous poster would come by and question my "facts" when it comes to Terri. Obviously, someone is out surfing for a fight, and rather than do so constructively, basically did nothing but waste bandwidth. If I have a "fact" wrong, then show me where, don't just write "The writer should get facts straight. I would remind the writer that you could go to hell for lying the same as stealing." I have no desire to lie about anything on this blog.

Oh. And my name is Eric, not "writer". I've not attempted to be anonymous with this blog.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Prayers For Terri

It appears that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube has been removed.

She will be allowed to starve to death over the next 10 days, or more. My grandmother can no longer feed herself. It doesn't mean she should be allowed to starve to death. Thankfully, she has my grandfather and my mother at her side, doing anything it takes to care for her.

Starvation and dehydration. And this, they call humane? If I starved one of my dogs to death, even if it were dying, I would be put in jail. This is an outrage. It should not be allowed to continue.

Interesting also, I think, that the "spokesman" for Terri's husband is his girlfriend's brother. That's pretty sensitive. What a swell guy. Denying Terri the Eucharist...spending away the money...shacking up with another woman...refusing to just let her parents care for her..." One wonders what he must be hiding...

"Oh my Jesus, forgive us of our sins, save us from the fires of hell, Lead all souls to Heaven, Help, especially, those most in need of thy mercy..."

It is hard to pray for someone who embodies evil...though he is in most need of God's mercy.

Peggy Noonan writes about Terri, and recalls Ronald Reagan's simple pro-life logic...


Again, life is mysterious. Medicine is full of happenings and events that leave brilliant doctors scratching their heads.

But in the end, it comes down to this: Why kill her? What is gained? What is good about it? Ronald Reagan used to say, in the early days of the abortion debate, when people would argue that the fetus may not really be a person, he'd say, "Well, if you come across a paper bag in the gutter and it seems something's in it and you don't know if it's alive, you don't kick it, do you?" No, you don't.

And, does Terri fit that definition. Yup. On top of that, there is evidence that this torture will not be a "slipping away" as the pro-death contingent wants us to believe. Here, a story of a woman in a similar state (perhaps, at the time, even LESS obviously engaged than Terri is...imagine where Terri might be had her husband actually used the money he was given for her treatment for the care she SHOULD have gotten):


"I have a unique understanding of what Terri is feeling. I could feel everything that the doctors did to me, and I could do nothing. I was at the complete mercy of others, and they couldn't hear me," said Adamson.

This combined with a report that Terri cried when a lawyer explained what was about to happen to her saddens me.

Father Rob Johansen has some details of the so-called "exit protocol" for Terri. It basically consists of cosmetic attempts to hide the torture of Terri. You can read more here:


Anyone reading it with a rudmimentary knowledge of medicine will recognize that in Terri's case, and the cases of many others in similar situations, the so-called "treatment" that is given is in fact not treatment at all. It is a regimen of medication intended to perpetrate an illusion: the illusion that someone is peacefully "slipping away", when in fact they are dying in a painful and brutal way.

Prayers, fasting...is there more to be done at this point?

"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

For the times I fail...

...and I fail, on a grand scale...

Teach me, Lord, to be mild and gentle in all the events of life-
in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of others,
in the insincerity of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.

Let me put myself aside,
to think of the happiness of others,
to hide my little pains and heartaches,
so that I may be the only one to sufer from them.

Teach me to profit by the suffering
that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may mellow me,
not harden or embitter me;
that it may make me patient, not irritable;
that it may make me broad in my forgiveness,
not narrow, haughty, and overbearing.

May no one be less good
for having come within my influence;
no one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble
for having been a fellow-pilgrim
on our journey toward eternal life.

As I go my rounds from one distraction to another,
let me whisper from time to time a word of love to You.
May my life be lived in the supernatural,
full of power for good,
and strong in its purpose of sanctity.