Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Heavenly Bodies

I was recently listening to Mark Shea on Sacred Heart Radio. He was guest hosting Sound Insight, a wonderful program which I listen to every morning on the way to work.

The topic of discussion was the 4 last things: death, judgment, hell and heaven. I was really struck by one thing Mark said on the show: Jesus Christ remains bodily in heaven. That is, He's still one of us.

All this time I've been thinking of Him as some disembodied spirit. In a similar vein, I've always thought of heaven as a rather bland place where bodiless saints float around all day on clouds with nothing much to do. But the truth is that heaven is far from a dull place.

Consider the mass. When we participate in the mass, we are participating with the angels and saints in a perpetual and glorious heavenly liturgy beyond even the most splendid liturgy here on earth. In the mass, we are participating in the once-and-for-all sacrifice of God's own flesh and blood. Think about this for a minute: the eucharist is a partaking of the actual body and blood of our Lord who is in heaven in His fully human, fully God, fully glorified body. There's a direct connection between the host of which we partake, and the living, physical body of Jesus in heaven. That takes my breath away.

In Mark's recent piece on the National Catholic Register, he goes on to explain that:

"[H]eaven will involve not merely what we call our 'spirit,' but every part of us — including the body. That is the point of Christ’s resurrection. Humans are not disembodied spirits. We exist in perfection only as a union of body, soul and spirit.

So the perfect happiness of heaven necessarily entails our resurrection in a glorified body like Christ’s. And a glorified body must, in turn, exist in some sort of place, not simply float around in the ether.

...we will experience not only the ecstasy and glory of perfect communion with God and one another in perfect love, but also the pleasures of sense that are ours as physical beings." (emphasis mine)

Consider the beauty and splendor of this earth. This world is only a shadow of things to come. If the world in which we live is a wondrous and glorious place, imagine how much more wondrous our lives will be in heaven!

Read Mark Shea's piece on National Catholic Register

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Virgen de Guadalupe - Ruega Por Nosotros

Since my last post dealt with the dignity of the unborn, I thought I'd post a few pictures from my visit to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City. She is the protectress of the unborn and patroness of the Americas.





Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I'm Pro-Life

This is a blog dedicated to my (re) discovery of the Catholic faith. It should come as no surprise, then, that I am pro-life. Why am I pro-life? In a nutshell: because tiny newly made people deserve the same rights and protections as already-born people.

Friends and acquaintances who've known me for a while might be surprised by this statement. I didn't always think this way. I used to use the following arguments to convince myself that "early" (first trimester) abortions were okay:

We don't know when life begins
It can't think or feel
It isn't self aware
You can't legislate morality

Let's take these points one by one.

"We don't know when life begins"

When did your life begin? The answer is simple: at the moment you were created.

It's a myth that the answer to this question is unknown. Anyone with the common sense of an ant will tell you that your life began - you came into existence as a unique human being - at the moment of conception. The real question is not "when does life begin." The question is: when does life become entitled to protection from destruction?

"It can't think or feel"

What if your spouse, or your best friend, or your child were injured and temporarily in a comatose state rendering him or her unable to think or feel? If you knew this was a temporary state, would you feel justified in killing your loved one? (Even if it were a permanent state, would you directly and willfully kill your loved one?) If you knew that tomorrow, or in a week, or in a month, or in a few months, your loved one would have normal cognitive function, would it be okay to end his or her life? Of course not. The inability of an embryo to think or feel is a temporary state in the early embryonic development of a human person.

"It isn't self aware"

Were you self aware at the moment of your birth? There isn't a single newborn on the face of the planet who is aware of his or her own existence. In fact, none of us remembers a single thing from our own infancy. Did we only begin to matter from the moment we become aware of our uniqueness? Do we only matter from the moment we begin to think? Is it OK then to kill a newborn baby, since a baby is unaware of himself and his status as an individual being?

"You can't legislate morality"

Aren't all laws that protect the rights of the human person based on morality? Why, for example, are you not allowed to kill an innocent person? Why can't you steal? Why is rape forbidden? The answers are simple: because these things are morally wrong. Laws against these acts legislate morality. Killing is wrong because it deprives a human being of the fundamental right to life. Stealing is wrong, because you can't take what rightfully belongs to someone else. Rape is wrong, because it's reprehensible to turn an intimate act into an act of forced violence.

Life begins when a unique, human person is created at the moment of conception. In the words of Dr. Seuss, "A person's a person, no matter how small."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dignum et Justum Est

Dignum et justum est.