Kim Padan: Pro-Life Speaker

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Breaking Blog Rules

I did something over the last few days that may be "against the rules" in the blogosphere.  But since I am new at this, and I really don't "know" the rules yet, I am doing it anyway!

I wrote several posts and back-dated them.  Yikes.  That way it looks like I have been writing all along.  To be fair, a few of these posts were started weeks ago, but not finished.  (I still have more to do!)

Why did I do such a crazy, time-consuming thing?  It's because of my "Year in Review" letter.  You know, the kind of letter that gets mailed out with Christmas cards.  I didn't finish Christmas cards this year, so I decided to just send a letter by itself.  In that letter is a tidbit about this blog, primarily because of vacation.  I wanted people to be able to come here and check things out.  It was fun to look back, any way.  Plus, Bruce & I talked with our pastor, Father Nelson about doing a presentation at church sometime in 2014.  We will probably do something during Lent.  We have lots of pictures and memories, but I want to be able to present more information, such as the significance of certain churches.

Oh, and I'll talk about that Hug from the Pope.  'Cuz I still can't believe it.  It still amazes me.  What a blessing, right?

I will post the content of my 2013 letter here tomorrow.  Stop by again!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Feast of the Holy Family!!

Merry 5th Day of Christmas!!

Today while at morning Mass, I saw several young families.  They caught my eye, because today is the Feast of the Holy Family (at least in the Catholic Church).  I love this feast day, because we are encouraged to renew our commitment to our own live with gentleness and patience...and especially with forgiveness.

As a kid, the 2nd reading on this day always made me giggle.  "Children, obey your fathers...Fathers, do not provoke your children..."  I think we all just looked around at each other, trying not to laugh out loud while in church.

But in reality, these words from Scripture are so important and true.  Our American culture is suffering from a serious lack of strong fathers. I see it all the time at Women's Care Clinic.  Women whose boyfriends leave when they find out a baby is coming, or young men who are convinced that the best way to support their girlfriend is to sit by passively as she chooses to abort their baby...HIS baby.

What happened in their lives that made these men so apathetic?  Do they know their own dads?  Do they have any sense of love or acceptance from the man who should have been around more?

It can be easy to get discouraged.  But then I see young couples with young kids at church, and  think "Thank you, Lord Jesus!"  I was singing in the choir, mostly with my eyes closed today because I was trying to pray more and be less distracted during Communion.  For some reason, I opened my eyes, just as a young father was receiving the Eucharist, while holding his toddler asleep in his arms.  Just behind him was his young wife, carrying their younger child...also asleep.  As if that wasn't precious enough, I saw yet another couple with their four little ones coming to the table of the Lord.

YES!  This is God's design for family!  Being together...husbands and wives supporting each other...raising their children to know and love God.  This is what we celebrate this day!

I hope you and your family have a blessed day.  Whether you live alone, with your spouse, or with a bunch of kids...take this day to truly treasure the family God has given you!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Good morning.  I started writing these thoughts on Facebook.  It was too long for that page, I think, so I decided to come here instead.  Turns out, I needed lots of room...

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, marking the brutal slaughter of babies, ordered by an enraged and jealous King Herod.  He couldn't handle the prophecy about a Child becoming King.  Actually, Satan could not handle he had Herod to do his dirty work.  This Child Jesus was posing a real threat to Herod's kingdom because Herod assumed Jesus would be a military-ruler-type of King.  Satan understood the threat was more spiritual...and in his pride, he thought he could kick Jesus off the Throne.  Pride, this kind of intense, ugly, self-serving pride, only leads to destruction.

While Herod ordered the slaughter of boys, undoubtedly little girls died too.  Think about it...babies and toddlers are often wrapped in blankets.  I doubt the soldiers were very particular in checking the gender of these children before they committed the crime.  They may have killed older children too...trying to get the ugly deed done as quickly as possible..."Just following orders."  Many cringe, thinking of killing so many innocent well we should.  But I have often reflected on the similarities in our modern culture.  Sure, we dress things up a bit under the terms of "reproductive rights" and "mercy killing"... but abortion and infanticide are evidence that the Enemy still can't handle seeing these babies.  Satan has worked for decades, convincing our nation that there are "too many" babies, and that sick babies would be better off dead.  I don't know anyone who favors legalized abortion who would see him/herself as doing Satan's work.  In fact, many believe they are doing God's work...if you can believe that.  That is because Satan is conniving and deceitful.  He is not going to put himself out there blatantly.  Just think about the arguments made for keeping abortion legal, they often sound so "compassionate."

  • "These babies would be growing up in poor homes, with little chance for a future."  We should never assume all women seeking abortion are poor.  Nor should we assume all poor people have miserable lives with no future.  Those are elitist notions.  But even if these things were true, the problem is POVERTY, not the baby.  Address the poverty.  People of good will can disagree on how best to do that...welfare, job training, material assistance, pregnancy resource centers.  But we must fight poverty, not babies.

  • "A baby born with a disability will suffer so much."  As a person born with a disability, it irks me to no end when people suggest babies should be aborted if an anomaly is detected. And as the mother of a son who was stillborn due to severe anomalies, I was livid at the suggestion that I get rid of him.  It reeks of Hitler's method of exterminating the "unfit."  Yes, I compared aborting disabled babies to Hitler's reign of terror.  If you think I am way off base, well, I just don't know what to say.
  • "These teenagers are unable to be good parents now.  They should finish school and wait to have babies."  Again, we should never assume those seeking abortion are all teens (poor teens, of course, according to some).  Many women are in college, or they have established careers, or they are happily married with 3 kids in school, and thought they were "done."  But even in the case of teens...who says these girls cannot finish school?  Or go to college?  How about promoting ADOPTION as a loving, safe alternative?  How about supporting the programs at pregnancy resource centers to assist them in completing school?
  • "The woman was assaulted.  It's not her fault that she is pregnant.  She should not have to be reminded of her attacker every day."  This is one of the most difficult and sensitive issues. In fact, in the political realm, this one gets a lot of "pro-lifers" all tangled up in a web.  Let me first say this:  I have met women who have been victims of rape and incest, and who have gotten pregnant because of those violent attacks.  My heart goes out to them.  But as one who believes that life begins at conception, I cannot accept abortion as a solution to this trauma.  Why?  Because it doesn't get rid of the trauma, it only gets rid of the baby.  Do you really think that aborting a baby will let the woman forget she was raped?  And in the case of incest, do you not see that the abuse will likely continue because the evidence (aka BABY) was destroyed?  It is true that it is not the woman's fault...but it also isn't the baby's fault.  In these cases, it is the man's does abortion hold him to account for his crime?
  • "No one should tell a woman what to do with her body.  She needs the freedom to choose what is best for her life."  This is the most common argument that I hear in debates or read in social media.  "My body, my choice!"  Sounds so logical, doesn't it?  Especially if you don't like big government "intrusion."  But it falls short in a big way:  It is NOT just "your body."  There obviously is another body in there, or we would not be having this conversation.  Trying to define the unborn baby as not being fully human is just as wrong as it was to define African slaves as not fully human.  The attempts to de-humanize a group of people in order to justify some "right" of another group of people is always wrong.  Always.  I'll probably write more about this later, because my head is swimming with thoughts, and this post is longer than I anticipated it would be!
These are just a few of the arguments for keeping abortion legal (or even making it a global "human right.")  And my responses can be summed up with my personal mantra...The Baby is Never the Problem.  After all, each baby, each child is created in the image of God Himself.  He made every child intentionally, with a purpose!  We need to build a culture that helps all babies grow up to fulfill their purpose!   I pray for the day when the Innocents are no longer slaughtered by some order from a king (or judge or president.)  I pray for the day when our culture strips away pride and jealousy and fear and selfishness...recognizing that babies are not burdens at all, but BLESSINGS from the Lord.

Gabriel's Mom

Friday, December 27, 2013

7 Quick Takes...Actually on Time!

Hello!  It has been a while.  Too long, in fact.  I am considering writing several posts between now and the 31st so I can catch up.  End of the year reflections do that sort of thing.

I am participating in the fun blog activity of posting 7 things, generally unrelated, as seen on one of my favorite blogs, Conversion Diary


I have learned that blogging is harder than it looks.  Well, I knew that.  But really, I need to be more disciplined with this!


I am very grateful that my husband and I were not hosting Christmas for the family...either side.  We barely have things decorated, and the house is a mess.  But I am having a party for ministry volunteers on Sunday.  Oh boy.


My husband is a very good cook.  My waistline is evidence.  His latest culinary accomplishment is a rosemary/olive bread, baked from scratch.  We served it (at my brother's house) with the delicious olive oil we bought in Italy.  So sorry you cannot experience it...but trust me.  Delicioso!!


I did not complete my handcrafted Christmas cards this year.  Once I fall behind, it is hard to get my mojo back.  The good news is that once I freed myself of that "burden" I felt free to create again.  I made a couple of baby cards and 5 birthday cards this week!  I even updated my stamping blog:  Stamping for LIFE!


Every year, since I was a kid, my mom (and dad while he was still living) has given me a book for Christmas.  She also gives books to my siblings and their spouses and kids.  It is a great tradition.  Since I began studying Dominican spirituality, I asked for something about or by St. Catherine of Siena.  I got 2 books!  One biography, and St Catherine's "The Dialogue."  Looks like 2014 will begin with great reading!


Many people are thinking about New Year's resolutions.  Me too.  More reading, more writing, less Facebook, less television.  More exercise too.  Maybe.  I should...sigh


Then there is the need for more prayer.  Always.  I have quite a year coming up for raising, hopefully more speaking.  The only way to stay on track and stay healthy is to spend time in serious prayer.  I think I'll check with St. Catherine for some ideas!

Feel free to let me know about any great new foods you had, or resolutions for 2014.  I could also use some tips on being motivated for that exercise stuff!