Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Terri Schindler Schiavo

Last night I had the remarkable and unforgettable chance to hear Terri's brother Bobby speak.

I can't begin to understand or fathom their pain and I don't know how they continue each day-but for the grace of God.

While not a polished public speaker, Bobby was irrisistable to listen to because SHE was his sister. He is her brother. He can speak to things that we will never hear in the newspapers and news shows. He and his family more clearly than anyone undertand what is at stake.

And what is at stake? That evil is called good and good called evil. One of the pro-death groups have given Michael Schiavo an award for his heroic battle. His lawyer got another award from some other group. When asked why this case got such attention, both of them said that "this is happening to thousands, ours is just one little case"-and then in the end the lawyer talks about what a beautiful and peaceful death she had (as she lay starving and parched).

Also, did you know that the term "Peristant Vegitative State" is not a real medical term? In all of their research and asking doctors all over the answer that always comes to them is that is was created so that doctors have the legal right to take out someone feeding tube and let them starve to death.

At the end of the evening there was a bit of question and answer time. One woman asked "What can we do?" Bobby said that they get emails and phone calls all the time asking that same question. His response was to volunteer with them if you live in Florida or help them financially, as they do not have the funds to hire someone for their foundation.

I'd like to go one step further and say that because this is such a vile and selfish act of her ex-husband and society in general, what WE can do is recognize that this life is not about ourselves but about the beauty and dignity of everyone that crosses our path.

Think about it: How many times have you been in the Doctors' office and thought "why can't they hurry up, don't they know I'm on a schedule?" or glared at someone who had 13 items in teh 12 items only checkout or who didn't turn on their blinker before turning? How often do we make an effort to go out of our way for others? Why do we think we are so gawd-awful important?

Bobby pointed out the hypocrisy of our society and the popular press. When Dana Reeves passed away recently she was lauded as a heroine for spending her life on her husband and working towards his rehabilitation. Her husband was the very handsome and popular Superman star, Christopher Reeves. Did you know that her husband was on more life-support machinary than Terri? Yet popular society kept pushing for Terri's family to let her die, no-not to just let her die, but to take an active part in making sure she died. She was not beautiful after this accident, she didn't have popularity in Hollywood, she was never in pictures-she was useless to society, so really, she should just die.

Don't we sometimes say the same about others who we don't find attractive? Maybe not to the extent that we think they should kill themselves, but we certainly don't want to be associated with them.

When I did my piece on Justice and Service in Youth Ministry, I had several people get upset with me. Who am I to say what is service and what isn't? We should just let the kids do what they are talented at! Yeah, let them do what makes them feel good, what they feel comfortable doing!

Has anyone ever read the Parable of the Good Samaritan? I referenced it then and I'll do it again. SERVING IS NOT ABOUT US. The Good Sam didn't stop and go "Hmm. What are my gifts? Am I being called to help this man?" NO! He stopped and cared for this man without regard to his time, money or ability.

Why are we called to anything less?

Today, challenge yourself and challenge your kids. Begin doing as St Therese of Lisieux did: do little acts of kindness. Remind yourself that the universe does not revolve around you, it revolves around God's people. Remind yourself that others in need superceeds your desire to be comfortable. Find 3 ways to make room for others today and 4 ways tomorrow.

Contribute to a kinder society. See every person you walk by how God sees them. See beauty in each person. Step aside for someone even if it inconveniences you.

And train those you are in charge of to do the same.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an old post and I don't know if you will ever read my comment. But, I do have to make one, because although your point is one sided, there is another side to the argument. You cite the Dana Reeves story in your post. Stating that she was regarded as a hero, keeping someone alive who had more machinery than Terri Schiavo. However, there was a major difference between Chris Reeves and Terri. Chris spoke, he interacted, yes he was paralyzed, but his brain still functioned like anyone else's brain. Terri Schiavo had NO brain activity. She did not react to anything. There was a story about her parents letting a balloon float in fornt of her, and they saw an illusion that made them think her eyes were following the balloon. In actuality this is a physiological reaction of the eye that reacts to changes in light and motion. However, this is not connected to the brain, and sadly this gave the family false hope. As a Catholic, you believe in heaven. Then why would you think it would be better for someone to be on this earth as a vegetable with no possiblity of ever coming out of this vegetative state than to be with G-d in heaven? Ask yourself this question, and if you have a viable answer then please, let me know. I am sure that it was hard for the Schiavo family to let their daughter go, and I cannot imagine being in their position. However, I know that if it was, G-d forbid one of my family members, I would not be able to watch them suffer the way she did. I would want them to be with G-d in heaven, protecting me from up above, not here on earth as a vegetable.

2:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home