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talking to myself

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personal stuff

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markdohle

A walk by the sea

The bright sun on the white sand and rocks

Reflected a strong glare causing the eyes to water,

The blue sky empty of clouds opened up to infinity,

The cool breeze with the sweet smell of the salty water

Allowing calm to descend were just a moment ago was missing.

The sound of the waves pounding the beach,

So soothing its crashing upon the sand

Its rhythm allowing the mind to rest in peace deeper than sleep,

A refreshing break from simply existing apart,

Drawing into the oneness of nature and it endless cycle

Of repetition without boredom

The soft sound of birds calling,

Sea gulls with their dance above the waves,

White wings spread expansively

Gliding without effort over the waters,

Seeking the silver gleam below the surface

That gives strength for the dance to continue.

The levy with its large rocks,

Causing the waves to seek to dissolve,

Spaying those lucky enough to be there

With the cool mist from the sea,

Refreshing to the skin

Lessening the sting from the hot white sun.

A place were speech is unnecessary

All that is needed is a listening heart

With eyes that see,

Filled with wonder at the beauty of it all.

markdohle

The price paid

Loss is a silent companion,

Its cold embrace,

Empty of all that was before

Fits like a black vest,

Tightly zipped,

Forced up to the throat

Blocking breath,

Clinging in its need to feed.

With no where to go or hide

Since it is in the heart,

The center of life

That the void is felt.

Unrelenting in its lovemaking,

That leads only further down the road of loneliness,

Where all fears are felt to be true,

In a place that is shorn of all color or vibrancy.

To dare love is to invite this intimate other into ones life.

A price is to be paid for love,

Be it for a mate,

Friend,

Family;

A bill well worth the price.

Since without love all of life would be a cold artic wasteland,

Inhabited by those dead but who do not yet know it.

The wound heals

Slowly over time,

Without it how can wholeness occur?

There is only stagnation for those who allow fear to rule them.

Fear of pain,

Exacts a higher price than love does,

It is just felt in smaller doses

Over an empty and bleak life

That seems to go on forever no matter how short it really is.

It is better to seek and not find,

Than not to have sought at all.

The seeking without despair no matter what the pain,

Enlivens the soul as it makes it journey towards its destiny,

Where what we seek waits.

markdohle

Perfection

The frog sat without movement

Blinking in the mist laden air,

Surrounded by fog and padded silence;

Its color a bright green

With eyes large and dark

Lending a serene beauty

As it patiently waited for whatever it needed

Food or a mate I did not know

As it sat unmindful of its perfection,

Or the effect it had on me.

markdohle

The end of a conversation

Failure stared him in the face

Mocking all that he has ever tried to do,

Seeking to lead him down the path of regret,

That eventually can mature into despair

Leading into the world that is colored ever so softly

In shades of grey.

Easy on the eye but lifeless and silent,

The wrong kind that leads into nihilism,

A world in which nothing matters

Nothing last or is important.

The man was used to the world of soft shadows

Knowing well the dust filled land

A drought that chokes out all life,

The water of life elsewhere, far distant, that could wash the dust away.

A place that he knows exist from his younger days when hope flourished,

Ideals high and the good sought in a land of bright colors filled with life

That is until his weakness and inner conflict became something more real than life itself

The wheel has turned many times always returning to this conversation

The man knows this place well

This time he smiled

At the insults slung

Finally coming to the point of seeing what failure really is.

A simple chance of listening to the right voice

And the faith and courage to continue and simply move on.

He reached out to whom he knew not

The light came quietly

Softly whispering hope

The future bright if only his heart turned

From mediating upon his failure,

Toward the light

That sees all.

The divine presence that is love

That brings good out of all things.

markdohle
Joy is there
The light ever present enveloping
Upholding the one loved.
Often hidden but at work none the less even if in secret.
Slowly bringing to light the fruit long in coming
Overcoming the darkness of fear
Depression
Failure
That often haunts those who seek the good
The conflict often wounding
Forcing the broken to choose to move forward
To trust
That Joy will win out in the end
No matter how bleak it seems.
Life is not dark
Though at times it seems so
Suffering and evil seemingly strong
Covering the world in its viselike grip,
Will one day end.
The light is slow in its work,
Patient,
Allowing life to takes it course
Until one by one we are called home
Into the light
Where the mystery answered in part continues to unfold,
To dive deeper into this love is our eternal joy,
Our calling
To always plunge deeper into the center we have never left.
markdohle
The pain of the world,
Its sorrow,
Weighs heavily in all our hearts,
Some more in touch than others
With its depth.
Many hide from its sting
Becoming tough,
Cynical,
Angry,
Aloof,
Anything to keep empathy,
Compassion,
At bay,
That if allowed to grow
Will make the heart bleed,
Weep,
Moan for all their brothers and sisters,
Suffering with no one to help,
Or to be with.
Does God weep?
Being present to all,
No way to deflect
The agony
Of all the children created.
Since love embraces pain.
The price paid high beyond all measure.
To walk with,
Be one,
With those who struggle
Thru life’s long road,
Leading eventually to healing,
That only God’s love,
Severe,
Seemingly unkind,
Can accomplish.
It is love that gives life,
Any other road taken
Deadens the heart,
Reducing others to objects
To be used,
Then discarded,
Disposable,
Easily replaced,
The only price asked
Is the death of the soul,
Empty,
Artic,
In its loneliness.
Free from the burden of caring
Or feeling for others
Who are icons of Christ in the world.
markdohle
Learning a new job is like learning a new dance step. I remember when my sister-in-law tried to show me how to do the 2-step. Looks easy, and it is, but learning to do it without counting takes some time; meanwhile the actual counting also makes it hard to do, since it interferes with the actual rhythm that is needed to do anything right, be it dancing or not; to do it properly
Right now I am so busy trying to get all the “details” right that it takes me twice the time that it took Theresa to do any one task, but hopefully my rhythm will kick in the next few weeks, and my self consciousness will lessen a tad.
I am glad for the new responsibilities, since it is making me to deal with some of my under developed aspects in how I relate to what is simply around me. I am not good with detail, sort of drive me crazy, but now I have to slow down enough to simply “do it”. So in the long run it is going to be very good for me.
I have a good crew working with me, who know me, and let me know when I am about to flub up, which in the last few days has been a lot. However over all I have dealt with the literally “thousand and one thing to do”, ok.
I am very good at delegating, but that comes with pitfalls and weaknesses, something that I will have to try to correct. It seems that our gifts also come with an underneath that needs to be dealt with, and it seems that I will not deal with that underneath unless I am put into a actual situation where I have to.
markdohle
I have been asked to give a talk on Anger, Resentment, and Forgiveness; a subject I feel I know a lot about, since anger is an issue that I have been dealing with all my life. I am not an intellectual, so my talks tend to be more autobiographical than anything else, and sometimes it gives me pause when I think about it.
One of the reasons I like blogging is that I have an avenue that I can simply state what I feel I need to state, and then send it to be read by people who really don’t know me, and don’t see me. When giving a talk it is an intimate sort of thing for me since I am face to face with a room full of people, who if they don’t know much about me before the talk, certainly will by the time it is over.
I don’t know why I can’t just get up there and talk in the abstract but I can’t. One reason is that for some reason the differences between abstract and the practical tend to blur for me. When studying for instance something abstract, I tend to think of it on a practical level and how I can use it in my own life. So in my talk’s people get both, which I am not sure is always what people want when attending a talk. I keep getting asked to come back, so enough must like it to want more from me.
When I was younger I would never admit to having anything wrong with me, I had to be perfect, in control, fit body, lots of muscle, last word in every conversation etc. I must have been a real bore to people. As I got older I began to see how foolish that was and began to let others know that I have problems, lots of them, and I found it a relief to be able to state that. I know I told others nothing new, but for me to say it was like letting go of a heavy weight that I was carrying around.
So yes I get angry easily, seemed to have a lot of it; its roots go way back into my past, and have visited that past to get some understanding of this particular issue. At times it seems that I have this excess energy that wants to be released, and is on the look out for something for me to blast. What probably saved me from a lot more pain, and frustration, in my life is that I chose the road of suppression, rather than repression, or simply expressing it to whomever was in front of me. The shot gun approach to anger never seems to work; at least I have never seen it work for some of my friends. It seems to just make communication harder, and the isolation deeper; something I want to avoid.
Others are not responsible for this excess anger that I carry around, and as I get older it seems to lessen, but I feel it is a burden I will always carry with me. Most of my friends don’t know this about me. I guess it is because I am conscious of it, and there is no unconscious leaking. What leaks is my more tender side, I am not in touch with it on an emotional level, but others seem to pick that up from me.
Oh well better get my talk ready.
markdohle
There is a yearning in the human heart
Often going without a name,
Experienced as a wound by some,
By others a simple longing.
An inner thirst,
Unquenchable,
Showing no mercy to the Soul,
Allowing no permanent rest
Since it cannot be owned
But only sought.
This yearning points beyond what we have,
It almost seems that we are also pursued.
That being also yearned for
Is what draws us forward.
Seeking union with that which has no name,
Nor form,
Yet present in the inner emptiness
Speaking of home
A place we know is there
Even though never seen.
markdohle
About a year and a half ago, when Leo, and Damian, first went into Morningside, I would take them out to lunch once a week. They both enjoyed it; the time spent with them was very pleasant and happy. They liked to go and get hamburgers, or perhaps a hotdog, and afterwards go over to Dairy Queen for some ice cream. They loved the ice cream Sundays with lots of syrup on it. This went one for a few weeks, but I had to stop since the director of Morningside told me that Damian would come back agitated, and would want to go out again. Since they both spent a lot of time together; their rooms were next to each other, the trips had to stop; couldn’t just go in and take Leo, and leave Damian behind. So when the time came for a visit, I just stayed there, and talked and joked with them. Damian loved to joke, and Leo is a very good listener, so they made a good pair.
Now that Damian is gone, it seemed a good idea to start taking Leo out once a week again. He became excited when we stepped out onto the parking lot and started to laugh, saying it has been a long time since he was outside. We went to the Bugaboo steak house near the Mall, went early before it got crowded. Got him some chicken strips, French fries and some ice tea. He can easily eat those items, sometimes he has trouble knowing how to eat certain foods, but he did fine with his meal. Afterward he had two scoops of ice cream. He loved it; liked the music, the waitress made a fuss over him, called him honey, which made him laugh; he laughs easily.
I wanted to take him for a walk. The horse park was one place I thought he would like to go, but when we discussed it after a fashion, he stated that he wanted to walk thru the mall. So off we went. He does not remember anything about the area, so each trip is a new adventure for him. Took him to a pet store, he became enamored with an African Grey parrot, and spent some time making soothing noises at it. Loved the water fountains and kept remarking how big the mall is. After a while he began showing signs of fatigue, so I took him back to Morningside, and was happy to see that he was glad to get back. I took him back to his room, hugged him, and he laid down for a nap.
I am very happy that he likes it there, the staff is made up of some terrific people, and they spend a lot of time with him. Leo likes to be read to, and also prayed with, which some on the staff have told me they like to do with him. One of the ministers from hospice that goes there has learned to say the Hail Mary with him, which being Catholic is firmly embedded in his long term memory, and even if he at times cannot say it with her, knows it in his head and can follow along.
Odd about Leo, look at him one way and he seems not to be there, but listen and look into his eyes, and he is there looking out trying to communicate. Yes he is like a child, but the man is also there, his complexity has not gone or diminished, it is just expressed in different ways.
markdohle

Chains of oppression and mercy/justice


The belief that God is merciful is often hard for many to accept or to understand. Mercy is often thought of as something for another, a wrong doer, someone who has caused personal harm. To let the one receiving mercy off the hook. Which is a dangerous illusion to actually believe, forestalling healing for all involved in any situation in which evil is done to another.
Justice is more readily embraced, for then the scales are righted and order restored. Or is it? As a concept Justice makes sense, but how it is practiced and its efficacy when measured out, is debatable.
In real life, when mercy is gifted to another, it effects may be minimal or non-existent to the receiver. Mercy can only be received and its healing experienced only by the depth of understanding what in fact has been forgiven. So ‘mercy’, that freest of gifts, does in fact come with a heavy price for the one who receives it. The one who shows mercy also pays a price for this free offering of grace, because justice, a righting of the scales of justice are not demanded. How is it that something that is such a gift, freely given, so expensive at the same time?
The one who give mercy, does suffer from not being able to experience justice, the one receiving will suffer to the extent that the wrong doing and damage is understood... The giver always experience deep healing, even if it may take time. The one who receives mercy but never understands it, in the end justice is all that is left. For it is justice that gives each of us the chance to deeper repentance….if not then the burden of wrong doing and evil stays with the unrepentant. The gift of mercy has to be embraced for the fire of its healing to take place. Self knowledge and humility is the door way to salvation, the reentry into the community of humanity redeemed by Christ Jesus.
We are often wounded and sinned against. The only key to unlock the chains of this kind of oppression is forgiveness and mercy. To seek to forgive is to receive the grace to let the chains lessen and fall away.
When we sinned against another, or ourselves, which is a sin against God, a free choice, then mercy can only be received by the depth of understanding of the harm and pain caused. This journey could take a lifetime, just as the journey of forgiveness does as well.
To forgive as well as to truly receive takes a deep and often painful death to self that is brought about by God’s mercy to all of us. To harm another human being is an act against God, which are both wounding, to the one damaged as well as the one who damages. Healing comes through the Fire of the Holy Spirit, which brings to light al wounds. Shows us our hard hardheartedness, our self righteousness and though this experience, allows the tears to flow and an ever deeper entry into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Purgatory is a place where the Holy Spirit, the fire of God’s love allows this to be finished if we allow it. If not then only justice is left. If we demand what we believe to be justice for everyone else without any mercy in our hearts, it is also what we will receive. Freely embraced, this harsh stance, but in the end does not lead us into the Child-likeness needed to be called Children of God. God is love; we are called to that love, to allow it to inflame our hearts, minds and souls.
To pray for the Body of Christ, is to pray as well for those in the healing power of God’s love, be they alive, or deeper in and higher up…we are one in Christ Jesus.
markdohle
 
All Souls Day
O Lord in prayer we enter your time,
that moment in which all moments are contained,
so on All Souls day we do pray
for all who have entered into your ‘Eternal Now’,
let us bring all  those we know,
for those who lived before
and will come after,
for in your eternal ‘Now’
all moments are one.

For those we love we pray O Lord,
for those we just passed by,
and worked with,
for these who have died,
we also lift to you,

As well as the poor who die in so called obscurity,
for the down trodden do we seek your blessing,
for those we hate and despise give us the grace to
seek your benediction on their souls made in your image,
as well as for those long forgotten,
for all are one with you,

Your ways O Lord are not ours,
you are not us, not in our image made,
though we try so hard to do so,

No,

We are made in your image,
and in loving all though our prayer,
for those who are now in a place of healing not without suffering,
we long for their joy,
for one we are in you,
when one suffers, we all do,
as you showed us on the cross,
loving still, forgiving,
stripped naked before your enemies,
yet you said,
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”
…. help us to put on your Mind O Lord, give us truly human hearts.

For if not,
there is no root for love to grow from,
our hearts are fragile,
yours is infinite,
so in praying for those who died,
we forgive all as well hoping for their peace,

May they also pray for us.
 
markdohle
“As I experience God’s mercy, so I believe it is the same for all”
“It is Jesus you seek when you dream of happiness; he
 is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is
the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes
you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for
compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life;
 it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices,
the choices that others try to stifle.---John Paul 11
I believe the reason John Paul speaks with such passion is because he knows what he speaks of.  Many of his sayings come from his heart that is filled with love for all.  A heart that has been healed through-out his life, by the way he responds to the evils and injustices in the world.   His words come from a different place than many of mine do.  My heart is still fearful and anxious and because of that I am often in a place of deep anger that feeds off of fear and anxiety. 

Yet like John Paul says, I feel the need to let go of my false hopes and fears and anxious concerns, which only feed off of my soul and make it dry and filled with restless energy.  So even though I often fail, I choose ‘life’, I seek to allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to inflame my soul, and to make me seek Jesus as the center of all of my longings.

I struggle everyday, yet I see the work of God in my soul.  I am slowly beginning to understand how grace is given; it is not earned, but God constant love drawing me deeper into the mystery of His Being.  As I experience God’s mercy, so I believe it is the same for all. –Br.MD



markdohle
Each day so much like one before it
Just little differences
That make some stand out,
Remembered,
Even pondered,
While the rest sink into forgetfulness,
Oblivion,
Never again to see the light.
Memories hide,
Forgotten,
Buried in the cave beneath thought,
With roots deep,
Alive,
Influencing in secret
That makes us a mystery to ourselves
In how we sometimes are.
Am I my past or am I my thoughts at this moment?
What will I be in the future?
Perhaps I am none of these.
Something simpler,
Deeper than thought,
Or past and future,
Greater than the present
Deeper than time?
Am I truly who I am only in the present?
This moment,
This thought or experience?
Is the present all I have to stand on?
God’s present is all time
Mine this instant the doorway
Where I truly connect
With the All.
markdohle
There is a proverb that always seems to speak to me…..”Trust the process”…..a simple statement no doubt, but when meditated upon when going thru some change in life, can be very helpful, and even comforting.
Change can bring to the surface many conflicting emotions, and feelings; excitement, fear, and anxiety, with each flowing thru the conscious awareness one after another, sometimes perhaps being experienced all at once. Causing a swift experience of “ups” and “downs”, that can be unnerving, and exhausting, to say the least. Sort of like being on a roller coaster with no end in sight, to an already unpleasant ride. Yet there are times in everyone’s life when this has to happen, since so many changes need to be made, in order to move on with one’s life.
It can be starting a new job, getting married, moving, getting promoted, or simply taking on some new responsibilities that will take a lot of energy and time to learn. Like a person who is more intuitive, and global, in their thinking, taking on a job that is more detail orientated. Something that can seem daunting, but in reality can be learned with patience, all it takes is learning to slow down and take one aspect of the job as it comes up, the over all picture will come later.
The trick is, to really “trust the process”, that whatever needs to be gone thru is allowed to happen; with the desire to move forward and learn still intact , and the possibility of failure always there, but excepted as part of the equation. I think the possibility of failure adds a little spice to the whole experience. Not knowing the outcome is what brings up the emotional roller coaster ride in the first place, it is an ego thing.
Life is about expansion, either in our relationship with the world outside of ourselves, or with our own inner world. Both are entwined, so there are times in our lives when we need to be able to move outward and learn, at other times to go inward and grow in that direction. Not to do so is to start a life that…. “Does not trust the process”…. and that can cause a lot of restriction and blockage in how life is dealt with.
Trying and failing, is far superior to not trying at all because of some supposed fear of failing. Failure is just as much a part of life as succeeding, both are important in allowing us to get over the fragile ego syndrome.
Fear is there to warn us of some threat, which is good, it keeps us safe. There are times however when feeling ‘safe’ is just an excuse not to step out and take a chance. I suppose the only way I can deal with fear is to face it, probably a temperamental thing, I can’t do otherwise, the regret is too great if I don’t.
markdohle
He is like an infant now
In his geriatric chair
Table up so he cannot fall,
If he tries to stand up on his own.
He does not know he cannot walk
He stills smiles when his name is called
Laughs at jokes
Loves music
Is present to those around
How much no one knows
He leans to his right
Almost over the arm rest
Nothing can be done to make him straight
When ask if he has pain
He responds he is comfortable
Eats only soft foods
Stating to have trouble taking meds
He swallows on good days
With hot oatmeal which he loves,
Soon he will not be able to do even that.
I caress his face
We talk in our own way
His eyes still shine with humor
And responds
When I say I love him and kiss him on his forehead.
He fights when we clean him
Does not know what we are doing
Takes two to do this tango
But it gets done
All happy when it is over.
He just sits
Quiet unless addressed
Sometimes restless
Most of the time not
Unless he is in bed
He will be missed
His presence here long
Seven years
Swiftly pasted
With a shorter future every day
We each for a short time
Shine our light on those around us
Some lights are brighter than others
Some more loving
He is one of those
markdohle
Deep down in the depths
In places perceived as dark,
Hidden from view,
Maybe forgotten
Or perhaps feared,
Is a knot,
Gideon like,
Tightly wrought,
Unbreakable,
Protective,
Of the one who is its creator,
Even if brought forth unknown
In ignorance.
Purposeful none the less
Even if its time is outlived,
It cannot be undone.
The burden heavy,
If not felt,
Its influence seen
The effects witnessed
By those who know the one suffering,
Who perhaps see their reflection
In the dark mirror presented before them.
Deeper yet
Uncreated
Is love deeper than the ocean,
Stronger than death,
With infinite patience
Waits in silence
For the time of the great unraveling,
The awakening,
The knot at rest
Undone at last,
The constriction over
Breath comes
Freely.
markdohle
He is not the person he was once,
Cannot say what he wants,
Yet still knows he has something to say.
He stutters
The frustration showing in his eyes
Aching to say something,
Anything that forms a complete thought,
But he cannot.
He is present,
Aware,
Just in a different way,
That makes him seem absent
To those who perceive from outside.
He knows,
He feels,
In ways different than before,
Yet the fire,
Humor,
And love still shine forth.
He reaches to tap me on the shoulder,
Smiling gently,
Unable to say what he is feeling;
It is enough.
He sees that I understand.
Being with him,
Watching him struggle
Is like learning a new language,
A new way of seeing,
Perhaps that is why he is a teacher
Unknown to himself,
An icon of Christ in the world.
markdohle
Quenching
The sun beats down
Upon the one who thirsts,
Throat parched,
Tongue swollen,
Screaming for cool water,
The mind obsessed,
Growing deeper
Each moment tormented.
The stream was heard from afar
The beauty of the sound
Greater
More thrilling
Than any sound ever heard,
The body frantic
Its desire
All consuming
With a joyful noise,
The crystal clear treasure
Flowed past rapidly,
Its smell intoxicating,
Almost leading to madness,
Until the hands cupped
The precious liquid,
Drinking
The pleasure
Greater
More fulfilling
Than ever thought possible
As life
Once again became strong
With the water of life
Once thought of as common.
markdohle

Prayer for the dead
(community day of remembrance)

Lord, today we pray for those who have gone before us,
those we know and those we do not, our Christians brothers and sisters,
and all those who have died seeking love, truth, and justice in this world. 
For those who have loved truly, yet need further mercy,
and healing, such is the work of your grace.

Each moment is yours, as is each soul,
all are known and loved by you, such is your heart,
eternal, and infinite in love
and compassion for all….beyond
understanding, who can grasp it.

So, Lord, we place all before you, their lives,
their sufferings, their losses, sins, and virtues,
for all is seen by your loving gaze.

All that is their workmanship will be evident because the Day
will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work.
If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss.
He himself will be saved, but only as if through the flames. (1 Corinthians 3:14)

These flames are your mercy, how deep it cuts, bringing out
all that needs healing and mercy, self-knowledge is a painful journey,
yet necessary for our union with your Infinite purity and love.

Teach us all to have compassion
as well on the living, deepen our understanding
 of the struggle we all have, and the weight of what that implies….
.give us all empathy for one another, and leave off judgment,
for only you can judge truly, for you see all and understand all……
human vision is limited and in judging, we wound our souls deeply,
 for only you are the true judge.

So we pray for all, no one left out since all souls
are each loved uniquely by you. Amen—Br. MD
markdohle

 

 
 “Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
(Hebrews 3:15)
Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person…even if he is ill or at the end of his days bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests!---Pope Francis
We live in a world that is not for those who fear pain and suffering.  Though many of us do in fact run from this reality; it will come to us all.  It is part of every stage of life, though I believe that the very young and the very old suffer much from powerlessness and being at the mercy of others.  Each year I experience this growing in myself.  Health issues, not being able to do the jobs that when young were easy, are now a challenge and may even be dangerous.  So I have to step back and let younger and stronger men do what needs to be done.  Like fixing a flat tire, I can’t do that anymore.  So I have to learn to let go, I guess this is suffering, but the intensity of it depends on how hard I fight it. 

From working in the Infirmary here in the community I saw that first hand.  Now as I age I am slowly starting to experience what so many of my charges went through….most gracefully, a few not so much.  I don’t mind really, since it is just as much a part of life, as growing in strength and ability to ‘do’, is part of being young. 
Today the ‘unborn’ have no right to life and many believe that the mother has the choice to cut short the life in her womb; in fact it is of course legal to do so.   In the future I believe our descendants will look back in horror on how we treated the life in the womb as well as our elderly  Of course the real shame will be in how we allow greed to take over one’s reason for living and how that shaped our values and life’s choices as well as cultural ones. 
Another scandal for those in the future will be the crisis in the family, where so many men seem to think that sex is a simple sport, fun, with no consequences or sense of responsibility.  Women are left alone, and many are very young and do not have the means to support their child.  Then families may turn on their ‘disgraced’ daughter and force her to get an abortion.  Many such parents are Christians who are afraid of the scorn they will be visited on them from their church.  So in some instances, Christian’s may be part of the fuel that keeps abortion going. 

Of course, I may be naive in believing that there will be such a culture, where life is respected to the extent that all will be treated with the dignity that they deserve as human beings no matter their stage of life.  It has never happened in the past, so why would it happen in the future. 

When there is tragedy, and abortion is a true tragedy, the reasons for the abortion can have many influences that lead to that choice.  A law will not stop abortion; it is a symptom of something much deeper and destructive.  A law will only create a whole new class of criminals….is that really a solution?  I think about prohibition, the law only made it more lucrative for the criminals. 

In the very young and the very old we do see the face of Christ Jesus, who became flesh and took upon himself our death and suffering and in doing that has allowed the gates of mercy to open on all.  Yet if Christians don’t show mercy and love, how can change happen?  I doubt we can point to any one source for our problems today, but I believe we all play a role in it.  How you may ask.  By not living out what we say we believe.  If we are pro-life, do we show that in how we treat others?  Many do, others try and fail, yet get up and continue, and then apathy is also very strong.

To pray, love, help and speak truth in a manner that will not make things worse is what we are called to do.  We do not see into the hearts of anyone.  In fact, I can barely understand my own heart.  I am not better than anyone, for I do not know how I would react under certain circumstance.  However while there is still today, we can all begin again. A new beginning because of mercy and that mercy is passed on to others.  When we understand the Love that Christ Jesus has for us and the mercy we have received, how can we not pass it on to others.  For mercy is freely given for those who ask, so just as we received freely, so we must pass it on, for to harden ones heart is easy, to keep a fleshy human heart touched deeply by Christ Jesus is a death to old ways of being and not easy at all, but is a choice that comes from deep within, its roots watered by the Blood of Christ and the Fire of the Holy Spirit.