Wednesday, March 23, 2005

How Do I Feel? 

Amy Welborn asks how do we feel, watching Terri Schiavo die. I'll try to answer.

I decided to enter RCIA and started this Blog on March 8, 2004. On March 20, 2004, Pope John Paul II put to rest twenty years of debate concerning the Catholic response to Persistent Vegetative State (PVS). I am disregarding in this comment all arguments about whether Terri Schiavo is in that state because the Pope's teaching concerns anyone who is unable to exercise their highest functions of consciousness and that fits Terri Schiavo's current state. I didn't decide to become Catholic in order to argue with the Pope. I wasn't born a Catholic and I don't have the desire or the knowledge to guide The Church down paths of my own, ill-formed conscience. I decided to become Catholic, or was led to become Catholic, because I saw the Catholic Church as a defender of the same Truth and Life that other Christian demoninations are no longer defending. I didn't decide to become Catholic to be a Christian warrior against the Rome our world is becoming.

How do I feel? For most of the 2000 years of Christianity, Terri Schiavo would not have survived the past fifteen years. For most of my life, until March 20, 2004, I would not have wanted to survive myself in a state like Terri Schiavo. Now I am called to defend her life, a life I wouldn't want, a life past Christians most likely could not have envisioned. And so I defend her life, I alter my own belief and decide that I, too, and my family, must live if ever such a state comes to us. The only comfort in this is the belief that it is God's will that Men suffer. It is God's will that Christians be apart and call others to follow. Well, here we are: apart. Here we are praying for God to somehow turn this tragedy into something good and holy.

We learned in RCIA that Holy means "separated," means "apart from the world." How do I feel watching Terri Schiavo pass away before my very eyes? I feel Holy. I feel Holy and it comes with an unaccustomed weight.

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