KITCHEN TABLE CHATS

Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I need Advent

"Advent is a time of vigilance, prayer and conversion."
--Blessed John Paul II

The world gets very loud at this time of year. Lights flash, music blares, and commercials scream at us that we are lacking the material goods necessary for true happiness. The Church offers an oasis of calm. It is Advent. Advent lets us turn away from the dizzying sparkle of tinsel and lights and bask in the soft glow of candles. Through prayers proclaimed around the Advent wreath we rededicate ourselves and our families to holiness. We clothe ourselves in the purple of penitence, acknowledging our sinfulness but confident that with God's grace we can hope for our conversion. We await the coming of Jesus, not only as the Holy Infant, but as the King of Kings at the end of time. Our anticipation and joy overflows on Gaudete Sunday when we cast off the purple and wrap ourselves in hues of rose. We then return to our purple world with renewed vigor. We offer more prayers and give one final push towards conversion to a life of holiness. We may not be perfect when we greet Christ on Christmas morning, but we will be better than we were when Advent began.

So let every gift purchased, every card written, and every cookie baked be a prayer. If it does not lead you to holiness, it does not belong in Advent. Let the quiet rhythm of this liturgical season carry you to the real joy of Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Counting Blessings 2011

My son made it home from Afghanistan for a little R&R. He will head back after Thanksgiving, but we are counting our blessings that he gets to share Thanksgiving with us.



Waiting for Daddy in the airport








Daddy!


Happy Family!


Mom gets her turn

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pro-Abortion group goes after Crisis Pregnancy Centers

While the advocates of abortion like to label themselves "pro-choice", they seem to support only one choice--abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice of North Carolina released a report condemning the work of crisis pregnancy centers. My analysis of this report is up at HLI America.

The abortion industry is clearly feeling the heat. Planned Parenthood has been defunded in several states, workers from the infamous Kermit Gosnell abortion facility have pleaded guilty to murder, and the Commonwealth of Virginia is providing a model for other states with newly enacted and strict standards for abortion clinics.

The North Carolina chapter of National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro Choice has responded to this pressure with a report lambasting crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in the Tar Heel State. In it’s press release, NARAL claims to have conducted an undercover investigation of 66 of the 122 CPCs in North Carolina. The actual report reveals that this “investigation” involved visiting only 27 of the centers, while the rest of the information was gleaned from 47 CPC web sites and from 40 phone calls. This small sample size would be enough to question the usefulness of any conclusions, but as it turns out, there are bigger problems in the report than its very limited scope.

Continue reading here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A time when the free market approach does not work

I am usually a fan of letting free markets do their thing. However, when we start treating humans as commodities for sale, it is time to reject economic incentives and seek a higher motivation. My latest article for HLI America addresses the sale of transplant organs to increase the supply:

What’s wrong with paying people in dire straits for their kidneys?

Dr. Sally Satel asks the question many consider taboo in the November 8 Wall Street Journal. In her op-ed, she argues for the compensation of organ donors in order to alleviate the worldwide shortage of kidneys, livers and lungs needed for transplantation. Herself the recipient of a donor kidney, she points to the tens of thousands who are waiting for organs in the United States, as well as the twelve patients who die every day because no donor kidney is available as justification for her position. Since a black market already exists for transplant organs, Satel argues, legalizing organ sales is a win-win proposition, especially for those facing financial hardships:

Were donor compensation legal, it might have been a good option for Donna Barbera of California. Last week, she wrote me asking how she could sell her kidney. She sent her phone number and blood type. “I do not find anything immoral about helping someone get a kidney and in return they help me out of a financial bind,” she said by email, noting that she faces foreclosure on her house. “I have a donor card on my license, so my intentions have always been to help. I just thought maybe someone could help me too.”

Revising NOTA [1984’s National Organ Transplant Act] would allow healthy people like Donna to save a life in exchange for bettering their own. As countries provide for their own needy patients, they will keep future clients from patronizing people like Levy Rosenbaum—and they’ll keep brokers from preying on the vulnerable.

Continue reading here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A moral approach to infertility

I wrote the HLI America column for the Arlington Catholic Herald this week:

Laura and her husband married in the Catholic Church and have been open to life throughout their marriage, yet in three years they have not conceived a child. Well-meaning family and friends keep asking when she is going to start a family. In spite of her smiles and reassurances that they hope to have children someday, she has a growing realization that there might be a problem, a physical reason for why they haven’t gotten pregnant. Her heart aches as she thinks about life without bearing a child. She wonders how God could let this happen to her.


Continue reading here.