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Pro Choice & Pro Life???

Pro-Choice & Pro-Life Is it possible to be Pro-Choice and Pro-Life at the same time? I’ve been pondering this dilemma ever since I returned to the Roman Catholic Church.

For years I’ve been uncomfortable with the way most pro-lifer’s addressed abortion. For one thing it was shaming and lacked mercy. Thank you God that’s not happening as much. I feel strongly that we need to spend more time developing ways not only to help women with unplanned pregnancy but we need to find ways to promote the help that is available. I also think it’s a waste of time, energy and money fighting Roe versus Wade. It’s not going to go away and I think that’s a good thing.

Even Pope Francis said we shouldn’t be talking about abortion so much. Everyone knows what the church teaches.

Let’s stop fighting, form a united front and go to work on this challenge with a positive and loving attitude. Having said that here are more of my thoughts on the subject Pro-Choice.

Pro-choice for me is about bodily integrity which as defined by Wikipedia is the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. It considers the violation of bodily integrity as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and possibly criminal.

Another way it’s defined is: “Being able to move freely from place to place; being able to be secure against violent assault, including sexual assault … having opportunities for sexual satisfaction and for choice in matters of reproduction”

Until 1993 (that’s just 22 years ago) in all fifty states, marital rape was not criminalized. Women could not refuse sex to her husband and could not sue for sexual harassment of any kind.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 94 years ago: Women did not have the right to vote or serve on a jury in the United States. I just saw the preview of a new movie coming out in October called “Suffragette!” It’s based on a true story about women in England in the early 20th Century fighting for their rights. They are called foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. They were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. It’s heartbreaking and inspirational. I must to see when it comes out in October.

Although we are still fighting for equal rights with men in the work place in the early days discrimination in the workplace was rampant. If women were able to get the job they wanted they were given clothing and weight requirements to adhere to and they could be fired if they broke these rules. Also they could be fired if they were pregnant. I remember when air line stewardess had to be certain height, weight and age in order to work for an airline. 1956 I was a clerk for Metropolitan Life Insurance and they forced me to leave when I was 5 month pregnant.

For many years women were not allowed in the military. But…. women served as nurses without the benefits of the GI Bill. And for many years very bright women were denied Ivy League Education. And single woman were denied credit cards.

So why do I want to support Pro-Choice? Although we have a long way to go, we have worked very hard to achieve the rights we have today. So I think no matter what a woman chooses to do with her body is between her and her God.

Stealing, killing, defrauding and misrepresenting all reflect “moral” values and we have laws that punish people who break these laws. However, there’s that whole other category of morality that can’t be legislated. We all have a different sense of ethical responsibility related to our own personal moral values and we have the right to live our lives and make choices directed by our informed conscience in these matters.

We need to have mercy on the women that choose abortion and more importantly put our mercy into action. Our work is to find creative, loving, supportive ways to educate women so they are better able to make wise choices. And…..more importantly when they don’t make wise choices or are victims of their circumstances, it’s our job to love them through the difficult situations they find themselves in. Although we do have organizations like Birthright and Planned Parenthood that provide support for women with unplanned pregnancies, most people don’t know the kind of support they offer.

Although their are several differances between Birthright and Planned Parenhood the main difference between Birthright and Planned Parenthood is that Birthright does not do abortions. However what most people don’t realize is that Planned Parenthood does a lot more for the general health and well being of women and sometimes men… than they do abortions. Three percent of their clients have abortions. Hundreds of thousand of women are helped with other health issues. Go to their web-sites, you will be amazed. Birthright is available to help women with unplanned pregnancies 24/7 with a hotline handled by trained volunteer personnel on the phone. 1-800-550-4900. They offer many services….check them out on the web at Birthright.org

I am strongly led to write about this because I have a gut feeling that if pro-choice is taken away it will spill into other areas of women’s rights and for me that’s unthinkable. Let’s stop fighting and come together to help each other. We need less anti approaches to this dilemma and more promotion for alternatives to abortion. More help for women who find themselves with unplanned pregnancies. Letting them choose no matter what.

So now the other side of my dilemma and the main reason I’m Pro-Life is because I know in my heart of hearts that when that sperm fertilizes that egg, infused with the spirit of God, it is instantly a person. Within in the first few weeks the baby’s nervous system, brain, digestive system, ears, and arms begin to form. At 21 days the baby’s heart takes shape and begins to beat. By the time the mother is in her fifth month of pregnancy, the baby’s limbs are achieving their final proportions, eyelashes and eyebrows appear and the baby has grown to about 6.5 inches,

By the sixth month the baby is about 13 inches long. Abortions in California are allowed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, which is close to six months. Tell me that’s not a human being!!! I don’t buy it.

I wonder if the women, who are considering an abortion would read this progression of growth or even better watched a movie of the progression, would think twice about going ahead and destroying this life. Especially if she knew there was support for her through the pregnancy and after.

And I feel strongly that if after being educated about the progress of the fetus and doing our best to encourage her to have her baby, she still decides she wants to have an abortion then it’s up to us to make sure she gets the counseling she needs, and believe me she will need counseling at some point in her life. I have family members who have suffered immensely from the repercussions of having had abortions. Of course at the same time I would want this women to know that there’s a lot of help available and other choices rather than abortion.

But of course before all this could happen we have a lot of work to do to making sure that there is a lot of help available. My dream is that organizations like Planned Parenthood and Birthright will one day have a dialogue and merge their resources to benefit these women with unplanned pregnancies. I pray that together they can be a source of hope and healing. That’s the kind of world I see for the future.

P.S. In August I will be trained by Birthright to counsel women with unplanned pregnancy. I’m walking the walk not just talking the talk.

Remember to feed your soul!!!

Love, Anne

 

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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in Pro Choice & Pro Life

 

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Celebrating Easter Everyday….

Celebrating Easter Everyday….

During this lenten season, with the anticipation of Easter Sunday on my mind, I’ve been pondering the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means for me personally.

As most of you know I believe that there is only one God. God for me is known by many names. I believe that God shows up in a perfect way for everyone, everywhere. I also believe that some people that don’t acknowledge God, but are kind, loving, generous people are being used by God whether they know it or not.

Today I am a committed follower of the teachings of Jesus first and foremost in my life. About 25 years ago I took a spiritual side trip and had a great time learning about all the ways that God shows up for other people. Bottom line I learned that to live in the Kingdom of Love is all there is and those of us who know that, live a happy life no matter what is going on in the world or in our lives.

Then four years ago I was strongly urged to narrow my path. Catholicism and Jesus is the way God showed up for me when I was born.  So I was led back to the Catholic Church, continuing to take what I liked and leaving the rest. With the main focus for me being the teachings of Jesus. I’ve learned that in order to follow these teachings I needed a personal relationship with Jesus. So Jesus became my best friend and I talk with Him often during the day and night.

In Genesis we read that the Spirit of God, from before the beginning of time, hovered over all the empty, darkness of what became the world. So the Holy Spirit has always been and will always be everywhere.

But…. something happened when Jesus died on the cross. I think that during His trial he was tortured not only by the all the humiliation he went through during that time but He took on every aspect of what humans face in the world. He literally absorbed all the evil, all the shame, all the pain and ugliness of the world and surrendered it all and died releasing the power of His Holy Spirit.

Jesus told his disciples that when he died he would send His Spirit to minister to them and guide them. While on earth he was fully human and called Jesus. When he died on the cross and rose from the dead He was able to release His “Christ” Spirit to the whole world, in a more powerful way.  He filled the world and each one of us with His Christ powered Grace so that all of us could chose to be a part of His Holy Spirit more fully.

Now some of you may not agree with all that I’ve said and that’s o.k. But let’s face it something very powerful happened when he rose from the dead. Just think about what we know. Jesus was physically and actively teaching in the world for only three years. He taught 12 men how to follow in his foot steps and now over 2000 years have past but his message came through and spread all over the world in a very short time.

FATHER ROHR SAYS IT THIS WAY:

“The day of Pentecost frees the apostles to believe in a God who is

actively involved in their lives and no longer a mere intellectual

concept. The Holy Spirit has become wind, fire, joy, excitement,

universal shareability, and not just another boring Sabbath obligation

or more commandments to obey. Notice how all the metaphors of Spirit

presence are dynamic, alive, moving, and universally available.

 

The Spirit will always be totally unmerited grace. She always takes the

initiative, because Spirit is omnipresent, and thus there first! In the

first Pentecost account (Acts 2:1-13 [1]) the Holy Spirit is experienced as

intimacy, enlightenment, joy, and fire, and as the power to love beyond

boundaries and ethnicities, which now becomes the universal language.

She is presented as surprising, elusive, and free, and yet totally

given. The Spirit comes from no place we can control, least of all by

our good behavior or even our bad behavior. All we can do is surrender,

enjoy, and share. A spirit-filled life becomes like a pass-through

savings account—which gains lots of “interest” for yourself and

others when it is consciously enjoyed.”

Now this is what we can celebrate everyday of our lives….not just on Easter Sunday.

Thinking about you with Love this Holy Season I pray…. May your lives be enriched with Love, Joy and Peace.

Love, Anne

Remember to Feed Your Soul

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My 80th Year!!!

November 15, 2012

On November 12th, I celebrated my 79th birthday. So I’m now embarking on the beginning of my 80th year. I don’t know for sure why, but I am excited! But, more than excited I’m truly grateful to be alive, healthy and happy. I’m stronger and more willing to risk and live life to the fullest, more willing than I’ve ever been before. I’ve been graced with a very full and challenging life that has filled me with satisfaction and great joy. My life has had many twists and turns and all kinds of surprises…..never a dull moment and always filled with tremendous faith. Thank you God!!!

12-12-12 I celebrate 22 years cancer free, that’s something to celebrate! And now after almost two years of treatment of various kinds for back misalignment with severe sciatic nerve pain, I am pain free.

It took me a lot of time, a lot more money and and whole lot of faith to finally find the Chiropractor that was able to show me on a X-ray what was going on in my back. The top part of my fifth lumbar was jutting forward toward my internal organs putting pressure on my sciatic nerve and headed for my spinal cord.

Today I can walk two miles with comfort and ease which was not true even a few weeks ago. So I’ve decided to start training to be able to walk the 5K (3.1 Miles) Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning in downtown San Jose. In the words of a dear friend, “This is my skydiving challenge.” Only God knows what I’ll do next. God has surprised me with many challenges over the years all of which has made me the happy, healthy, energetic faith filled, woman I am today. I look forward, by the grace of God to do more….. thank you God.

As most of you know I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the concept of “Love.” One day as I was pondering God’s love for me my heart burst open and in flowed a real sense of God’s love for me in a new and real way. That’s all I can say. It was not a feeling. It just was real…. beyond explanation. I now know without a doubt that God loves me just the way I am, flaws and all. I know that there is nothing that I could do that would separate me from God’s love unless I let it. And I’ve discovered that my work now is about loving myself the same way.

God is my refuge and my strength. God is my cheerleader, always putting supportive and encouraging words in my mind. I refuse to listen to any negative thoughts at all. I remember years ago when I first started working a 12 step program and learning how to take care of myself, I realized that if I talked to my friends the way I talked to myself I would not have very many friends. If what you hear in your head is not encouraging and supportive of who you are, gently guiding you in a different direction it’s not God. God is always firm but gentle, always kind and loving, supportive and encouraging. We must do the same for ourselves and for others.

Negative thoughts enter my mind less frequently but when they attack me, and attack me they do…. I’m prepared with an affirmation or scripture and I pray until they are pushed out of my mind and I am peaceful again. I trust that if there’s something I need to change or alter in my life, God will reveal God’s will for me in the situation that was being used to attack me.

That’s one of the ways that I love myself…..In my next post I’ll talk more about how I love myself and how I do my best, not ever perfect, loving others.

Peace is always for me, the answer to prayer. It’s in that peaceful place that I’m able to know and act according to God’s will. I do my part and leave the rest to God.

Remember to feed your soul and you will change your life!!!

Love & Blessings to you and yours for a glorious Thanksgiving Day……Anne

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Little Bit About Envy …..

October 5, 2012

Love does not envy, Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have….

It’s been a very long time since I’ve envied anyone but I’m sure that sometime or another in my life I have been envious of someone. Maybe because they were thin and/or had beautiful clothes that I could not afford at the time, or had a talent that was not one of my gifts.

But today, by the grace of God I do not suffer from this crippling frame of mind. I say crippling because if we are spending time feeling badly and wanting things to be different than they are…..this attitude gets in our way of our self discovery.

If we truly love ourselves and accept who we are, we are then in a better position to discover our gifts and what our purpose is for being born.

Envy is a debilitating attitude that must be recognized for what it is and to the best of our ability, notice it and let it go.

Now there are times when I see something someone else has or is doing and I think, “I’d like to be able to have_______ or do ______!”  For a few seconds I do covet what my neighbor has or is doing and even think why can’t I have or do _______? Today, more often than not I quickly change the envious thought to one of appreciation and gratitude for all my friend has and is able to do. Sometimes I have to kind of fake it but if I stay with the new thoughts and listen for where appreciation and gratitude take me, eventually the rest of me catches up and I truly feel blessed to know and see my friend in the light of Love.

Jesus said something like this: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I say….”Fix your attention on God.” You’ll be changed from the inside out. My personal experience is that….that’s the only way change becomes permanent….from the inside out. You can’t make it happen however you can cooperate with the Holy Spirit and then change happens. Anticipate miracles, miracles do happen.

Remember to Feed You Soul….so change can happen!!!

Love & Blessings galore,

Anne

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Presumptuous and Arrogant!!!

October 1, 2012

Presumptuous and Arrogant!!!

As I was sitting here one morning about four days ago, just being with my Self, contemplating God and Love I realized that what I’ve written so far is presumptuous and arrogant of me to think I know anything at all about God or about the true essence of Love.

I write with the purpose of growing spiritually myself. In order to do that I need to be vigorously honest with myself and with you.

So I was reminded that I need to own…. that when I write, I’m writing about my thoughts and feelings. To the best of my ability I let my thoughts come off the ends of my fingers and on the page letting my fingers take me where ever I‘m led to go. As I write I do my best to search deep within myself for answers that feed my soul. Yes! What I write is about my personal questions and answers.

I know that when I describe God or attempt to assign an attribute to God or even love for that matter, my thoughts are limited. God is more than my thoughts and feelings. GOD IS! Period! God and love are beyond description. God is always more and more and more. God is way beyond our ability to express, in thought, word or deed.

My process of learning about God and Love is limited to my experiences however, I continue to search, pray and trust that what I learn is perfect for where I am in life at this time. I take it one day at a time,  thinking, feeling and experiencing my life and to the best of my ability sharing with you what I learn along the way, encouraging you to find your answers in your God given guidance and pray that one day you will share with me what you are learning, whether you agree with me or not, I would welcome the dialogue.

With Blessings for an awesome day.

Love,

Anne

Remember to Feed Your Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Love never give up! Love is patient, Love is kind….

September 20, 2012

O.K………I’ve been given my marching orders. I’m to write about each of these, attributes of Love and stretch my learning curve. Of course my mind is telling me, “Who do you think you are?” But I’ve learned that when I share what I think I know, more is revealed and I grow and change. So please remember I’m no expert on the subject. I fall short of living up to being a loving person everyday but my intention is to grow from letting God change me from the inside out. God is my refuge and my strength and of myself I am nothing. Thank you God for all that I am and am able to do.

 

From “The Message” Love never gives up. 

From “N.I.V. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,

Love never gives up!!! Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…

WHAT WAS I THINKING!!! This is not easy.  I’m sitting here facing a black space on this page that I call a “writing wall,” I have no idea what to write. When I come up against this wall, like right now I want to quit. What’s happening right now in this moment is a sense of uncertainty and feeling like I have nothing to say, but truth be told I think the bottom line is I’m scared.

So….please give me some slack if I just ramble on. It’s the way I get going, it’s kind of a way of priming the pump of truth in me. If I just stare at the empty space nothing happens. Writing gets the inspiration going and allows me to get out of the way.  So here goes!!!

I’ve experienced many times, in different situations, wanting to give up. This has happened to me so many times that I now just ignore the feelings and go ahead and do what ever it is…. “afraid!!!” 

Sometimes the inspiration just shows up in my writing. One thing I can say for sure is that although I can’t remember when the concept of God was first revealed to me, what I can say is that I’ve always known God. First as a child, that bargained and tried to get God to do what I wanted done….. to many years later realizing that “surrender” is the key. Surrender to God’s will is a powerful concept that I’ve proven in my life over and over.

Being raised Catholic for me was a gift. The Baltimore Catechism served me well. The one teaching I held on to was; “God is everywhere and in everyone, and God loves me no matter what!!!” The part about God loving me no matter what was not taught to me by my teachers but was demonstrated by my parents.  

Eventually I took a side trip from the Catholic Church. After marriage I was led to the Presbyterian Church and raised my family in that tradition until their father died in 1971. Then I went off trying to find my religious niche but was not led to another church for many years.

For the most part, I studied on my own and at times with other women and men of like mind. A few months after my 48th birthday, I found Overeaters Anonymous and the 12 Steps. That work saved my life and changed me completely. I’ve written an essay about that work and if led to I’ll post  it.

Three years later through my involvement in O.A., I was led to the Center For Spiritual Awareness, later changed to Center For Spiritual Enlightenment. One thing led to another and by the grace of God, I was ultimately ordained at the age of 54, as an Interfaith Minister of CSA. This was a dream bigger than I could dream but then God’s dream for us is always bigger than we can imagine for ourselves. 

In my mind this whole experience was orchestrated by God through the people in my life. People that loved me like my parents did, warts and all. No judgment or criticism, only love and support and encouragement.

I held on to the truth that God is everywhere and in everyone. God waited patiently for me to grow spiritually, encouraging me all along the way, allowing me to explore and study other religions.  God has been and is now a patient and loving God waiting for me to grow and change no matter how long my process takes. Love has never given up on me. My father and mother and all the teachers I’ve had in my adult life, were kind, loving and encouraging. I would not be who I am today without the Love I’ve experienced through out my life. God showed up in lots of people and situations.  

Am I patient and kind always?…..NO!!! but I never give up on that goal. Nor do I give up on the people in my life. I do my best to pass on what I’ve experienced. I do my best to be encouraging and uplifting, When I miss the mark I ask for forgiveness and move on doing my best not to make the same mistake. I’m not always successful but I look for progress and not perfection. O.K. that’s it for today….that’s a lot.  To be continued…..

Remember Love like your life depends on it……..it does!!!

Remember to Feed Your Soul!!!

With Love and Blessings Galore,

Anne

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Truths about Love to Ponder……

September 19, 2012

Truths about Love to Ponder:

There are two versions to ponder. The following quotes are from two different translations of the bible:

The first is from a fairly new translation called “The Message!”

The second is from the New International Version

 

“The Message”

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t ae a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me First,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trust God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

 

The New International Version”

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,

it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others,

it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

Love never fails.

I know this all sounds beyond our ability to accomplish…..but remember, living in Love, these attributes are what we are striving for. They are worthwhile goals. Remember none of us can do anything perfectly…..but all of us can be willing, to be willing, to be willing, to move in this direction. With God we will do our very best and accomplish more than we think we can.

If this doesn’’t stir up some questions and/or comments nothing I write will.

Remember to Feed You Soul!!!

Love & Blessings Galore!!!

Anne

 

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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