When our friend, who knows that we are a “hardcore” Catholic family, asked if I would “let our child celebrate Halloween,” my immediate reaction was “No!” Instead, I said, “I’m not sure, I haven’t considered it.” At first thought, Halloween is sinful, right? Goblins, witches, ghosts, the evil one, gluttony (candy!), vampires, haunted houses and evils spirits. (Don’t fret, that is what the economy wants you to think.) Halloween is actually OUR holiday. History proves that Halloween is a Catholic holiday!
Therefore, my husband and I have decided that we are going to let our son partake in our version of Halloween. This decision is mostly because Halloween is a “holy mockery of the devil” and as St. Thomas More said, “the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked.”
The History of Halloween
Halloween comes from the phrase “All Hallows Eve.” Hallows means Holy or Saints and “All Hallows Eve,” or “Hallowe’en” is really just the night before a very important Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church: All Saints Day!
In 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints Day on May 13th and then in the mid-eighth century, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1st. All Saints Day is a day which is dedicated to the saints of the Roman Catholic Church, which includes everyone in heaven.
The day after All Saints Day is All Souls Day. All Souls Day is dedicated to those souls who have died and not yet gone to heaven and is annually observed on November 2. As this year is the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fátima, let us remember how our Blessed Mother told the three children that “there were many souls in purgatory that had no one to pray for them.”
To me, not being able to reach heaven after my life on Earth is finished is scarier than any Haunted House in the entire world. Even the Haunted Labyrinth in Cranston, R.I. (which benefits the Rejoice in Hope youth center.)
How We Celebrate Halloween
Last year, our son was roughly 10 months old and was a Lion for Halloween. This really meant that I took three photos of him in his costume until he had a meltdown and wouldn’t settle down until I took the costume off. He then happily played with the tail and the mouse that came with the costume.
This year, our little love will be a Franciscan Friar for Halloween. I am making his costume and hopefully it will come out well. I will be sure to post pictures (regardless of the outcome) on social media when it is finished!
Like last year, we plan on visiting with family and friends and forgoing trick or treating or any Halloween parties.
When he is older, he may want to go trick-or-treating and he may want to go to Halloween get-togethers, but for now, we are enjoying a more quiet and simple holiday.
How We Don’t Celebrate Halloween:
We don’t mess around with Ouija boards, spells, séances or anything of the sort.
‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:31
“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12
I think God is pretty clear on that point. But, if you’d like more bible quotes on that topic, click here.
Last week, my son and I were taking a walk when we spotted a cat in the neighbor’s yard. My son LOVES animals and immediately started to call after the cat and use some hand signals that we use for our cat. He couldn’t understand why the cat was outside though. He kept “baby babbling” that the kitty was outside and that our cat was inside. When we got home he kept running after our kitty and pointing outside. I explained to him that while our cat lives inside with us and is considered an “indoor cat”, some other people have “outdoor cats” and the cats live both inside and outside of the home. I am really hoping he got the message and doesn’t try to push our cat outside the next chance he gets.
What does this have to do with Ouija boards? Just as I explained to our son that some people decide to let their cats live both outside and inside, we made a different decision. As our son gets older, I want him to understand that some families make different decisions than we do and it doesn’t mean that they are bad just because their decisions are different. So, while his friend may have a Ouija board, he will be told (and I pray he listens) that he should not “play” with it ever. Maybe his parents have no idea how terrible these boards are and perhaps my son will be the light that brings them to the truth.
We also don’t forget the “reason for the Halloween season”, which is All Saints and All Souls Day.
While our little love is still too little to completely understand it, we make it a point to highlight All Saints Day and All Souls Day. In addition to taking him to Mass with us, I show him prayer cards of saints and explain to him that we must always pray that our family members and friends who have passed away make it to heaven and that they need our prayers to get there faster. One qualm I have with those who say that Catholics “worship” or “idolize” saints is that they don’t realize that we love the saints as if they were our family members and we ask for their help from time to time. You don’t “worship” your sweet Uncle Joe that passed away a few years ago, you just love and miss him and hope that he is in Heaven watching over you and your family members.
I would love to have our son dress up as one of our favorite Saints for Halloween or All Saints Day one year. I can imagine how adorable he would be as St. John the Baptist, St. John Paul II, Saint Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio or Saint Maximillian Kolbe. Perhaps one year we will host an All Saints Day party and invite all our Catholic Mom Rhode Island friends!
Now that I know Halloween is actually a Roman Catholic Holiday, I won’t feel as bad eating most of the candy that my son is given when he is older. Just kidding, gluttony isn’t worth missing out on Heaven.
How will you celebrate Halloween and All Saints Day? Please, share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading and May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.
Why Catholics Should Embrace Halloween. Catholic Answers, 14 July 2016, www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/why-catholics-should-embrace-halloween.
All Saints' Day - Saints & Angels. Catholic Online, www.catholic.org/saints/allsaints/.
Thompson, Father Augustine. “The Catholic Origins of Halloween.” UCatholic, 31 Oct. 2016, www.ucatholic.com/blog/the-catholic-origins-of-halloween/.
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, a full-time working mom, a part-time working mom or any other kind of mom; please remember that being a mother (or a parent in general) is very serious business. We are quite literally forming the future as we are raising our babies, toddlers, children, teenagers and young adults. Being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding “job” on the planet and is a “job” that I wish received the recognition as it deserves.
What Do You Do For Work
I am a work-from-home mom and have been since my son was born. When I am asked if I will “go back to work one-day” by those that know me, I usually have the same response: “I have no idea, maybe, probably, I hope so.” Really, my focus is on the now and trying to keep my son from climbing the furniture like he’s Spiderman scaling a tall building, among other things. I enjoy working and that is why I am so thankful that I can have the “best of both worlds” in which I can stay home with my little love while still working each day.
Sometimes, I am asked by others who don’t know me, “what do you do for work?” and I respond that I am a mother and I also work from home. With that I received various responses. While I truly do not care what people think of the decision my husband and I made that I will work from home and take care of our son, I don’t want other mothers to face these questions that really have no place being asked in the first place.
Unless you are taking care of the child and unless you are responsible for paying the bills of that family, you have no place in asking unless you are intending to show support regardless of the answer.
What if I instead said that I work 50+ hours a week and my child is in daycare or we have a nanny? Would the people who have silently scorned me for choosing to stay home with my son then suddenly feel that I was of more value?
What about the moms that do work 50+ hours a week? Would they be better moms if they stayed home instead?
What about the fathers who stay at home with the children or work from home with the children while the mother goes to work? Are they not fit to raise the children?
The answer to all of these questions is NO.
A mother is a good mother because she is a good mother.
A mother is not automatically a good mother because she stays at home, works from home, works full-time or works part time or anything else. The same is true for fathers or any other guardian of a child.
What makes a good parent is quality of time spent with a child, not quantity time spent with a child.
The battle between who is a better mother: the SAHM, the WAHM and the working mom, needs to end. All mothers, fathers, and/or caregivers are important and, I will say it again, have the most important jobs on the planet.
My heart has been filled with sorrow as I have read countless of my family members, friends and others whom I have connected with on the internet share their “Me Too” posts. Many have silently said “Me Too,” myself included, and my heart also breaks for you (us). The “Me Too” movement, which actually began decades ago by Tarana Burke to help young women of color who had survived sexual abuse, assault and exploitation, has recently gone viral on the Internet. This movement has recently inspired millions of all ages, backgrounds and races to post the hashtag #MeToo or the phrase Me Too to indicate that they too had suffered from some form of sexual abuse, assault or other exploitation.
The one thing that keeps coming to my mind and lifting the sorrow in my heart is: hope. The hope that we can change the future so that no women, man, girl or boy ever has to speak or silently say “Me Too.”
Raising the Future
“It is not so much what we say or do that educates; what really educates is who we are.” ~Mother Janet Erskine Stuart
I can raise my son (and my future children) by example and will pray each day that they will use their God-given free will to respect and treat everyone with the dignity that they deserve. If we all did this, we could change the future.
For me, this starts as early as possible. When we were on the playground and a little girl went to use the slide, instead of allowing my son to charge in front of her (like he was trying to do), instead I pulled him back and said, “Ladies first,” allowing the little girl to go down the slide instead. Of course, I don’t allow my son to charge in front of little boys either and I always encourage him to wait his turn and be charitable.
I have also stopped saying things like “look how cute” or “how pretty” when we see little girls. Sure, they are beautiful as all children are, but I want him to first see other more important qualities. Instead, I will say to him “Do you see how she is helping her brother with his bottle,” or “Look how strong she is picking up that ball.” These instances may seem small but I pray that they will be beneficial to him so that he can see beyond the superficial.
I hope that other parents realize the potential in themselves to also raise their children to be humble, have respect and treat everyone with dignity.
Mothers Need Faith, Hope and Love.
Making the decision to have a child is momentous and raising that child or children is frightening. Of course, we can look to Scripture for comfort as God loves us, somehow, more than we love our children.
“So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:31
Moms, whether you are at home, at work or a combination, you are wonderful and important beyond measure. Dads, you’re awesome as well. Remember, motherhood and fatherhood is hard work and when you are not feeling so wonderful, important or awesome, take the advice of Padre Pio:
"Abandon yourself into the hands of Mary. She will take care of you."
Catholic Mom Rhode Island’s mission is to bring together Catholic mothers who are seeking a community of friendship and support and to also share valuable resources that will empower each other to strengthen our faith and family. Let us look to support each other, our partners, family members and friends as we continue to raise the future: our children. Start by connecting on Facebook and invite others to also share and connect.
As always, thank you for reading and May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.
I debated titling this post: “How to Get Fit, the Wrong Way, When You Have a Young Child” instead. But I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Please note that this is a parody journal and does not intend to replace proper medical care and/or advice. I have absolutely no certification, education, expertise, degree, knowledge or anything of the sort related to nutrition, diet and/or exercise. Please consult your doctor or a medical professional before making any changes or decisions regarding your health. Now without further ado, here is my funny pregnancy weight gain story.
What Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman
I gained almost 50 pounds when I was pregnant with our sweet boy. This weight gain was mostly due to my son being diagnosed with IUGR in the third trimester and me putting myself on a high-protein, high-calorie diet to try and get his weight up to acceptable levels.
One Sunday morning during the third trimester, my husband and I were in our bathroom getting ready for Church. I was trying not to sulk at the fact that my body was growing larger and larger and more swollen, it seemed, as the seconds went on. Here is where the funny story comes in:
Me: “I am so sick of being so fat.”
Husband: “So do something about it.”
Husband: “Oh my goodness, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that!”
Me: *Anger rising rapidly* “WALK AWAY!”
Before I go on, yes, my husband is still alive. I can just imagine what his guardian angel was thinking when he uttered those words. My pregnancy hormones were raging even before his comment.
Nevertheless, men: this is the perfect example of what NOT to say to a pregnant (or any woman) EVER. Here is some advice I found online:
“If a woman asks if she looks fat, it's not enough to say “no.” You must also act very surprised by the question. Jump backwards if necessary.”
Once I gave birth to our son, I was excited to begin losing weight and to start feeling like myself again. Honestly, the excitement was in anticipation of forgoing my limited pregnancy wardrobe, finally fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes and having my normal wardrobe back.
I’ve written in past journal entries how I exclusively pumped breast-milk for my son for 14 months. While this took almost most of the weight off, my body did hold on to some of the baby weight until after I weaned. While pumping, I had to be careful that I ate enough so that I could keep my small, yet decent, milk supply up for my son’s insatiable appetite. I also had to be mindful of not exercising too much as not only did it affect my milk supply, but I was also a “chronic clogger” and many exercises would cause painful and stubborn clogs to form. Once I weaned, the remaining baby weight finally came off.
I was at a function last month and a sweet lady that I hadn’t seen in almost a decade remarked that I look fitter and thinner than ever. Welp, internet world, allow me to regal you on how I lost weight with a young child:
1. Embrace your new mom-brain’s forgetfulness feature.
I lose “stuff” probably about a thousand times a day. Today, I kept misplacing my phone. Each time I sent a quick prayer up to St. Anthony to intercede on my behalf and then followed it by profusely apologizing for bothering him for the thirty-third time that day. This forgetfulness causes me to race about the house and to climb and descend the stairs multiple times—all while carrying a toddler (it’s easier than waiting for him to follow me or hear him wail if I leave him alone—we’re at peak separation anxiety here.) Gym membership, gym smembership! Carrying my sack of potatoes son with me while searching for my lost items is one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. I just make sure to keep the core tight and am lifting and carrying him properly.
2. Embrace the exhaustion that comes with motherhood.
Before having a child, my husband and I would partake in snacks while watching our favorite television shows or movies during the evening. I can barely recall what it is like to do something as mind-numbingly, gloriously relaxing as this. Since we’ve had our son we 1. are almost always busy at night with the little love bug and 2. I, at least, have almost no energy left by the time we can relax before bed and therefore have no energy to snack whilst watching the three minutes of a television show or movie before I pass out. For me at least, sleep always wins over snacks. My husband is especially happy to watch whatever show he likes while I slip into blissful sleep and dream of days when I will have enough energy to make it to the first commercial of a show.
3. Embrace the new short order cook position that you had to take because, toddlerisms.
Prior to having our son, I envisioned myself cooking nutritious, high-quality, gourmet meals that my child would happily devour. Now, if my son has a handful of peas at lunch and a few sips of green smoothie a day, I’m elated. While I try to cook nutritious meals, there are times in which I give-in to my monster, I mean toddler, and let him have a peanut-butter, or as he calls it a bobby, sandwich for lunch.
The lunch run down: I say a prayer and re-heat left-overs from last night’s dinner. Child refuses to eat said left-overs. Then I attempt to eat my food while making his “new” lunch (aka bobby sandwich) while throwing, I mean lovingly placing a handful of peas on his tray. I am so exhausted by the time he takes his first bite of sandwich that if I didn’t finish my food, the dog gets the rest of mine and my son’s—if it’s safe for him. Happy toddler, happy mommy.
4. Embrace the fact that your favorite snack foods are now your child’s favorites.
Also prior to having our son, I pictured myself serving only the healthiest of snacks. I vowed to never buy any snack foods that had any preservatives, sugar, additives or flavor (kidding) and I would most certainly never let my child eat anything of the sort. Fast forward to today—I now just make sure that I can at least pronounce and identify the ingredients and I only buy higher quality snacks with better ingredients. Of course, these cost more and I am more inclined to let my son enjoy the organic chocolate ice-cream than indulge in it myself. (Boo!) Plus, when I do take even the slightest bite of his beloved “eyes scream”, he berates me and demands in his baby language that I never take another bite again.
5. Embrace the fact that you should be a good role model. I want my son to be as healthy as possible, therefore, I try to model good behaviors for him. Monkey see, monkey do. While this mama monkey wants to sit down and watch a great show while eating some chips, little monkey will try to do the same thing. So instead, we listen to music, dance, play and exercise. There is nothing cuter than seeing my son do his toddler version of squats and bicep curls alongside me and say “ah, ah, ah” as he pretends to count like mommy does. I’m embarrassed to say that he has much better form than I do.
6. Embrace the fact that you’ll have to wake up early for some quiet time.
This summer, I completed the process of Consecrating myself to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary using the method of St. Louis de Montfort. I did this in the morning, before the rest of the house was awake. After the consecration, I continued to wake early so that I could pray, exercise and get some work done. I had been used to waking early to pump breast-milk for my son since he was born and after weaning, I continued to wake earlier so that I could have some quiet time. Now, I actually wake up before my alarm and look forward to setting the foundation for my day with exercise for my mind, body and soul. Praying the Rosary along with regular exercise has also helped me manage my anxiety—which I had an especially difficult time dealing with postpartum anxiety.
And there you have it! These not-so-helpful tips may have worked for me to keep the weight off, but they may not work for everyone. In fact, I don’t recommend all of them. Waking up early is great to pray and exercise and exercising with our little ones teaches healthy habits. However, snacking while watching a television show or movie is awesome! So, if you like that, enjoy, life is too short! Now, if only I could stay awake. 😊
Do you have any healthy, helpful ways to stay healthy while having a child or children? Please share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading and May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.
It is amazing to believe that only 100 years ago, our Blessed Mother appeared to the children of Fátima for the sixth and final time. Mary would appear to Lucia for a seventh time years later.
The Blessed Virgin Mary, who is also known as Our Lady of Fátima and The Lady of the Rosary as she told the three children, had very simple yet poignant requests for the children.
Among these requests from the Blessed Mother were “to continue saying the Rosary every day,” and for people to “amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!” “There is nothing more.”
As a mother, my heart bursts with happiness when my son listens to what I ask him to do, especially when he does so without protest. We would also make our Blessed Mother very happy if we listened to her requests and fulfilled them without protest.
Why is the Rosary so important to our Blessed Mother?
I don’t think that I could put it as eloquently as Pope Pius XI did, so I will refer to the quote below:
“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” -Pope Pius XI
It has been a little over two years since I have been praying the Holy Rosary each day. Since then, my life has radically changed. In many ways because of the birth of my son and in many ways because of my shift in focus. Before I focused too much on this life, whereas now, I focus much more on everlasting life. Prayer and following God’s will has made my life entirely better and in turn, I have become a better person for my family.
Learn how to pray the Holy Rosary and find out the 15 Promises the Blessed Virgin Mary will grant to those who recite the Holy Rosary each day.
An important prayer to add after each mystery is one given to us directly by the Blessed Virgin Mary:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Take all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of thy mercy.
A Mother’s Warning
The Blessed Mother warned that "The sins of the world are very great ... If men only knew what eternity is, they would do everything in their power to change their lives." In addition to this warning, Our Lady showed the three children visions of hell.
The children were told that there were many souls in purgatory that had no one to pray for them.
“Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Father Riccardo Lombardi, founder of the Better World Movement and author of The Salvation of Those Who Have No Faith met with Lucia in 1954. Father Lombardi said that the meeting and Lucia’s “words disturbed me. I returned to Italy with that grave warning impressed on my heart.”
In speaking with Lucia, Father Lombardi remarked, "It is true that the world is full of evil, but there is always a hope of salvation.” To this Lucia responded, “No, Father, many, many are lost.”
"What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?" (Matthew 16:26)
A Mother’s Fear of Losing Her Children
One time when my son and I were playing outside, for a split second he disappeared. While these events only took a matter of 10 seconds or so, it was torture. I thought he ran around the corner and when I followed, he wasn’t there. My heart stopped and I felt myself panic. Where was he? Did he race into the street? I turned around ready to start shouting his name and calling the police to seal off the town (just kidding!) When I turned back, of course, there he was, playing with his ball in the opposite way than I initially thought he had gone off to.
I imagine that our Blessed Mother also feels these fearful and panicked thoughts when she witnesses us, her children, putting our souls in danger.
So what do I do to ease our Blessed Mother’s fears and try to save my soul from eternal damnation?
To read more about the final apparition to the three children and the Miracle of the Sun, which is also known as the Miracle of Fátima, visit The Eternal Word Television Network’s website devoted to 100 Years of Fatima.
How are you celebrating Our Lady of Fatima? Please share with us on Facebook.
As always, thank you for reading and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.
Borelli , Antonio. “What Our Lady Said at Fatima on October 13, 1917.” The American TFP, 8 Sept. 2017, www.tfp.org/what-our-lady-said-at-fatima-on-october-13-1917/.
Pronechen, Joseph. “On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima Showed a Vision of Hell and Taught Us How to Avoid It.” National Catholic Register, 13 July 2017, www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/fatima-july-13-apparition-ways-to-overcome-a-frightening-vision.
“Rosary Quotes.” The Power of the Rosary, www.thepoweroftherosary.com/rosary-quotes.html.
“During the Night of 12-13 October It Had Rained throughout, Soaking the Ground and the Pilgrims Who Make Their Way to Fátima from All Directions by the Thousands.” Fatima 100th Anniversary - Sixth Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, EWTN, www.ewtn.com/fatima/sixth-apparition-of-our-lady.asp.
Francis Johnston, Fatima, The Great Sign (Rockford, IL:Tan Publishers, Inc., 1980) p. 36. For more information see www.wafusa.org
Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra L. Encountering Mary: From La Salette to Medjugorje. Princeton University Press, 2014.
October is a month devoted to many different things. One of the most important is that it is the month in which I was born. (Kidding!) In all seriousness, the month of October is also for raising awareness about many, many topics. While almost everyone (I think) knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I have written about October being dedicated to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, there are three other subjects that October is dedicated to. The month of October is also “Respect Life Month”, “National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month” and “Down Syndrome Awareness Month.”
These four topics of the Holy Rosary, Respect Life, Pregnancy and Infant Loss and Down Syndrome for me and my family are all intertwined like grapevines in a vineyard.
If you have read earlier posts regarding my pregnancy with our son, you know that we were told during my first trimester that my son had a 9 in 10 “risk” of having Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome. You will also remember that we were also told that we had “options”, which we believed meant abortion and that as pro-life Catholics, our only option was to give our child life. To read more about our experience, please click here.
While we chose to follow God’s will and did not take our child’s life through abortion, we fully understood that our son may not make it to the end of pregnancy. The genetic counselor that we met with who delivered the results of the prenatal test told us that there was a chance that if our son did have Down Syndrome, that we could miscarry. In fact, there is a significant likelihood that women who are pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome will miscarry.
My husband took to the internet and found that “chance for miscarriage at about 50% in the first trimester and 40% in the second trimester. This means that if you started with 10 pregnancies positive for Down Syndrome, 5 would miscarry in the first trimester and, of the remaining 5, 2 would miscarry in the second trimester. Meaning that out of 10 pregnancies, only 3 would make it to full-term.”*
The realities of what we were facing was disturbing. As each day, week and month went on and as our little love continued to breath, kick, hiccup, wiggle and grow, we praised God and continued to clutch and pray the Rosary with growing fervor. It felt as if we were crawling to the finish line, all the while terrified that we wouldn’t get there. Each day, I prayed that our son would live and, if it was according to God’s will, be as healthy as possible.
Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, all the angels, saints and relatives that we prayed for their intercession, we received our miracle. Our son was born healthy. It just so happens that he also does not have Down Syndrome. But that is not wherein lies the miracle.
The miracle is not that my son does not have Down Syndrome. The miracle is that my son is alive.
Two weekends ago, my husband, my son, and I went to the Buddy Walk® hosted by the Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island. It was an event that we had longed to go to since we first were told that our son could possibly have Down Syndrome and an event that we will most definitely be attending each year.
As I looked around at all the beautiful people of all ages that were surrounding us who had Down Syndrome, I could barely hold back tears thinking that there may be a day in which people with Down Syndrome do not get a chance to walk the Earth.
Due, in part, to prenatal testing, people with Down Syndrome are being eradicated from the Earth.
Almost NO babies with Down Syndrome are born in Iceland.
“That’s because nearly 100 percent of women in Iceland who receive a positive test for Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy. In Denmark, 98 percent of pregnancies with a Down Syndrome diagnosis are terminated.
In France, it’s 77 percent and in the United States it’s 67 percent.”*
These facts are terrifying and it frightens me to the depths of my soul.
I hope it terrifies you as well. I say this not to harm you but to inspire you to join me in making a difference.
Please visit the Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island to learn more about their wonderful organization and visit them on Facebook.
Also consider visiting "Saving Down Syndrome" on Facebook. Their mission is to "We wish to ensure that prenatal screening exists only to provide unborn children with Down syndrome and their parents with life-affirming, unbiased care through advocacy, education, support and understanding; worldwide."
While my husband and I decided to “keep” our son, there are others who have been faced with the same circumstances or perhaps other circumstances, and for whatever reason, decided to abort. Regardless of the reasons that someone has decided to abort, to them, I offer my love and prayers for you and the baby (or babies) in Heaven.
While my husband and I welcomed an adorable, loud, screaming, wiggly, precious baby boy into our arms on that cold and windy December afternoon, we understand there are so many others who have lost a baby or babies, due to miscarriage, stillbirth, in infancy, childhood or other circumstances. To them, I offer my love and prayers for you and the baby or babies in Heaven.
And to all the beautiful babies, children and adults with Down Syndrome, whether you are here with us on Earth or in Heaven, I offer you my love and prayers so that others can see that you truly are “more alike than different” and that every person deserves the Right to Life, from conception until natural death.
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
Leach, Mark. “Down Syndrome & National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month.” Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing, 15 Oct. 2015, www.downsyndromeprenataltesting.com/down-syndrome-national-pregnancy-and-infant-loss-month/.
“Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island.” DSSRI, www.dssri.org/.
Wakeman, Jessica. “The Debate Over Terminating Down Syndrome Pregnancies.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 29 Aug. 2017, www.healthline.com/health-news/the-debate-over-terminating-down-syndrome-pregnancies.
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us be reminded the many, many Saints that have proclaimed their love and devotion to praying the Holy Rosary each day, faithfully.
“If our age in its pride laughs at and rejects Our Lady’s Rosary, a countless legion of the most saintly men of every age and of every condition have not only held it most dear and have most piously recited it but have also used it at all times as a most powerful weapon to overcome the devil, to preserve the purity of their lives, to acquire virtue more zealously, in a word, to promote peace among men.” ~Pope Pius XI
Shortly after becoming pregnant with our son, I began to pray the Holy Rosary each day and still do. It is something that I look forward to each day. Learning more about Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother is a treasure that is found in praying the Holy Rosary.
“The Rosary is a priceless treasure inspired by God.”~St. Louis De Monfort
Each time that I pray the Rosary and meditate on each mystery, I feel as if I am being transported back in time. Each mystery of the Rosary brings us directly into the most significant moments of the life of Jesus Christ and His most holy Mother. It allows me to feel as if I am “walking with them” and experiencing each moment. Every day, we mediate on either the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful or Glorious mysteries.
“The Rosary is the Bible on a String.” ~Fr. Ronan Murphy
The Joyful mysteries are just that: joyful. They allow us to reflect on the very early life of Jesus. They begin with the very moment that Angel Gabriel appears to the Blessed Mother and reveals that God wishes she be the Mother of God, in which she accepts, Yes! (Luke 1:26-38) I love to imagine the happiness and comfort that Blessed Virgin Mary felt while staying with her cousin Elizabeth who was then pregnant with John the Baptist. I smile each time I think of the future baptizer of Jesus leaping in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:41). With this mystery, we are also able to ponder the birth of Jesus Christ. As a mom, I think of the love, amazement, joy and comfort that the Blessed Virgin Mary felt when she first held Jesus in her arms and consider the same feelings that I experienced in the first moments when our son was born.
The Luminous mysteries bring us from the “hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way “mysteries of light". Certainly, the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the “light of the world" (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom.” Saint Pope John Paul II* The Luminous mysteries help me to consider how I can “listen,” “obey,” and “follow” Jesus just as the apostles did and use Jesus as an example in all aspects of my life. After coming back home to the Catholic Church I feel that my baptism in Christ has been renewed and continues to be renewed each day and moment in which I decide to continue to follow Him. While at times it can be difficult to discern what Jesus actually wants us to do, considering the Luminous mysteries helps tremendously. I have found that, in particular, The Wedding Feast at Cana puts me back on track when I have moments of fear, anxiety, doubt or uncertainty. “Do whatever he tells you do to.” John 2:5 is what I envision the Blessed Virgin Mary telling me when Jesus is calling me to listen, obey and follow Him.
The Sorrowful mysteries bring us to face the Cross of Jesus and to imagine and feel the suffering that He felt. One of the most poignant features of this mystery is in Matthew 26:39 where we are witness to how Jesus was fully God but also fully human. In all ways did our Lord suffer for the forgiveness of our sins. While He was perfect, he died so that we can live eternally with Him. “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42) This also shows Jesus’s total consent and submission to God and should reflect our own complete and total submission to God and His will. We must carry our Cross and trust in God just as Jesus did and gave us the Ultimate Sacrifice.
The Glorious mysteries bring us to Jesus’s fulfilled prophecy that “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (Luke 24:7) The Glorious mysteries are also the “crown of Jesus' triumphs. How exhilarating to know that Jesus is God and that He rose from the dead thereby destroying death and making you an heir to Heaven.”* The Glorious mysteries reflect on the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38) The Glorious Mysteries highlight the Blessed and eternal Virgin Mary finally reunited with her Son. The Blessed Mother was assumed into heaven, both body and soul and is then crowned rightfully as Our Lady: Queen of Heaven and Earth and Queen of all the Angels and Saints.
What is your favorite mystery or mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Please share on Facebook.
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
“The Holy Rosary.” EWTN, www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/rosary/
"Rosary Quotes.” The Power of the Rosary, www.thepoweroftherosary.com/rosary-quotes.html.
“Find Jesus, Life's Greatest Happiness Through Mary And The Triumphs They Share In The Glorious Mysteries Of The Rosary.” Glorious Mysteries of the Catholic Rosary, www.how-to-pray-the-rosary-everyday.com/glorious-mysteries.html.