Monday, September 26, 2011

La Vie Est Bella

How shall we sing this love's song now
In this strange land where all are born to die?
Each tree and leaf and star show how
The universe is part of this one cry,
That every life is noticed and is cherished,
And nothing loved is ever lost or perished.
--Madeleine L'Engle

I'm partaking in a Gospel of Life seminar at the moment, and we had the great joy of having Professor John Cavadini, head of the Institute for Church Life, and resident Theological Bad-Ass come lead our class. 
We had an been assigned an incredibly interesting article for our reading this past week. This article addressed the new procedure available to pregnant mothers: twin reduction. I have never been so saddened and distraught after reading an article. 
Hearing the stories of a mother who coerces a hesitating physician to consent to the procedure by threatening to abort both children, a father who wants to keep both babies, but his wife only wants one, parents who choose which baby to keep, and parents who can't bring themselves to choose, and leave it up to the physician, was saddening.

One of the mothers reasoned that her pregnancy was so "consumerish" already, choosing to abort one child just seemed like another consumer choice she was making. It is so heartbreaking to see one of the most intimate relationships--the bond between mother and child--reduced to a consumer-product relationship. 
How impoverished we are. 
Professor Cavadini described the two commitments that are culture has made that has effectively crippled our society:

1) We have embraced Having over Being.
We're a society that is obsessed with having. We need to have a nice house, have a good education, have all the right clothes, have the right cars, and have children. You can't "have" children. Once you move away from the idea that children are a gift, that people are a gift, that each human life is a gift of infinite wonder and gratitude, says Professor Cavadini, then you've made the first step towards seeing human life as a commodity.

2) We place an over-emphasis on efficiency.
In our society, if there's a problem, we want it gone, and we want it gone now, and we don't want it to inconvenience us in anyway. The idea of suffering or waiting, or self-sacrifice are concepts that don't resonate with value for modern ears.

Moral of the story is:

Life requires Faith. Get you some.
Life requires Joy. Make it happen.
Life requires Thanksgiving. Lemme see your Attitude of Gratitude.
Life requires Wonder. Look at the stars. Look at the person sitting next to you. What a work of art! What BEAUTY.
Life requires Self-Sacrifice. Go love something. It just might save your soul.

Life is not a product. Life is beautiful.

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