NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

No Apologies

I wrote an article for Catholic 365; an open letter to Tim Kaine, Vice-Presidential candidate, who professes to be a devout Catholic yet supports the Democratic platform that promotes ideals contrary to the Catholic faith.  (Read the article here.)   Sadly, Mr. Kaine is not the only Catholic politician who publicly goes against the Church’s teachings.  I probably should have spoken out sooner, but sometimes fear (brought on by Satan) gets in the way.  

Yes, my friends, there are times when I bite my tongue out of fear …  fear of being misunderstood and fear of being maligned.  It was only after careful and prayerful consideration I decided to move forward with the commentary.  Alas, my fears came to pass.  Although some of the comments (on the Catholic 365 website and associated Facebook page ) were positive, there were a few negative ones (with grammar/spelling corrected) that tugged at my heart:

 “Move over God; Patti's in charge now. She'll be making all the decisions and judgments on everyone's behavior from now on, and will be doing your job for you. She apparently knows better than you do.” 

 “In this year of mercy and compassion, it seems unusual to find someone still focusing on condemnation and judgment of others.”

“Judge much? You may have your opinion yes. However, God is the final judge. Claiming he's not devout enough is not your role or anyone's. It's God's. Signed a Catholic.”

“Why doesn't Patti whatever her name is just make a move to have Mr. Kaine excommunicated? That'll show him whose boss and is making all the decisions.”

My response to those comments and those still coming in:

I will not apologize, nor do I regret speaking my mind.  I am a proud Catholic and will do everything in my power to defend the teachings of the Church, especially when it comes to the sanctity of life and traditional family values

In this Year of Mercy, I pray for those who have fallen away, but sometimes prayer is not enough.  We are taught in Galations 6:1:  Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself so that you also may not be tempted.  “Luke 17:3 reminds us, “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him...”

I am not judging … far from it.  I too am a sinner.  If it weren’t for the teachings of the Church and for others helping me see the error of my ways, I would be plunged back into a dark abyss and never return.  I do not want that to happen to me or anyone.

 "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. "
James 5:19-20

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Open Letter to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan

It was brought to my attention the Archdiocese of New York's annual Al Smith Dinner will once again be a speaking platform for both presidential candidates. I understand this is an important event to raise money for the poor and that the original intent of inviting both candidates was to bring about a positive rapport between both parties and the Catholic Church. 

We all know now that didn’t work when Mr. Obama was invited and appeared.  He has done nothing but continually degrade the teachings of the Catholic Church by promoting abortion along with several other issues contrary to our beliefs (i.e. same-sex marriage).  His programs and policies find no place for religious freedom, in fact, takes away that freedom altogether. 

This year you will be welcoming Hillary Clinton who has vehemently promoted Planned Parenthood, late-term abortions, tax-payer funded abortions and was quoted as it pertains to abortion, “…and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

Inviting a pariah such as Mrs. Clinton would create more misinformation in mainstream media and much confusion to Catholics. By doing so, you are also undermining every effort our church is making in evangelizing and bringing people “home” and most egregiously, contradicting our beliefs with images of you in the media smiling alongside Mrs. Clinton during the event.

You, above all, should know what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says regarding abortion:

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.
This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end, or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

Inviting Mrs. Clinton to the dais of this dinner may not be an acceptance of her politics, but the appearance of acceptance, which is just as destructive.

Your Eminence, Catholics throughout the country look up to the Church’s leaders for guidance, encouragement and education of how to follow the Church’s teachings. One would think that since you are the head of Pro-Life at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops you would rather make a statement regarding the sanctity of life rather than create a scandal within the Church. With that in mind, I humbly ask you prayerfully reconsider your invitation to Mrs. Clinton, in fact, your invitation to Mr. Trump as well.  Make this about the Church, the poor, the unborn and not politics. 

For the sake of the Church and the Unborn 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Media/Political Bias – Me thinks thou dost protest too much!

I had a conversation this morning with a friend of mine, Leslie Davis-Blackwell, about how views of the sanctity of life are biased towards the left by the mainstream media and politicians.  We brainstormed the possible source of this unfortunate diversion from love and compassion and realized it comes from the one in three who carry darkness in their souls. 

One in three in this country has experienced abortion.  I’m not speaking of just women, but men as well.  That statistic applies not just to average citizens, but also journalists, newscasters, and politicians.  No wonder our country is mired in the culture of death.

I cannot honestly say all in the public eye are living in denial but remember …  one in three.  They keep their deep, dark and shameful secret buried.  Instead of being truthful with themselves and accepting the fact they took the life of a precious child, they do all they can to validate their choice by vigorously promoting the pro-choice ideology and categorizing those of us who speak the truth as judgmental pro-life fanatics.

I am not judgmental nor a fanatic.  I used to be pro-choice but grew too exhausted continually suppressing the feelings of guilt and remorse over my abortions.  One can only live a lie for so long before it takes an emotional and physical toll.  Spewing the pro-choice rhetoric slowly soured in my mouth, and I eventually found there were not enough words, bottles of bourbon, drugs or men that could keep the pain at bay.   

It’s no wonder mainstream media and politicians are so vehemently biased.  They are living in the shadows of secrets and lies, afraid to face the light of truth.

Clouds cannot cover secret places, nor denials conceal truth. 


Monday, September 12, 2016

A Basket of Deplorables?

Well, it’s time to get on the soapbox again.  I was going to let Hillary’s latest "deplorable" statement go, but I could not in good conscience do that.

I happen to be one of those in that basket and very proud to be in such good company.  This is what it takes to be in the deplorable basket – not in any specific order:

  1. Value life at all stages, from womb to natural death.
  2. Stand up for traditional values.
  3. Be proud of our faith and not afraid or ashamed to share it.
  4. Put the security of our nation and its citizens first by:
    A.  Heartily welcoming legal immigrants, once they are adequately vetted.
    B.  Heartily welcoming refugees, once they are adequately vetted.
    C.  Protect our borders from illegal immigration.
  5. Help those in need by giving them a hand up, rather than a hand-out.
  6. Protect the integrity of the voting process by requiring identification.
  7. Respect our veterans and provide them quality health care and other assistance.
  8. Respect our country’s law enforcement and expect officers who use undue force be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  9. Not use what happened many years ago as an excuse for current behavior.
  10. Respect our country’s laws, and if violated, expect to be prosecuted.
  11. Respect everyone’s right to their own opinions and not demean those who do not agree with us by name calling (i.e., racist, homophobic, etc.)
  12. Demand those in or running for office to follow all the laws applying to every citizen and assure they be prosecuted if said laws are broken.
  13. Be an advocate for unity, rather than one that advocates division of classes, race, culture, etc.
  14. Support religious freedom at all costs.
  15. Accept responsibility for our own actions.
  16. Respect our country, our flag and our national anthem. 
  17. Defend our right to bear arms.
  18. Treat everyone with respect, even if we don’t agree with their beliefs, lifestyles, etc.
Thanks to Hillary, the definition of basket
case has a new meaning - and I'm proud to be one!

National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children - 9/10/16

On September 10, 2016, Rachel's Hope - Escondido/San Diego, San Diego Silent No More and North County 40 Days for Life, co-sponsored the fourth annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.  It was held at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carlsbad, CA, and officiated by Father Michael Robinson who gave a touching homily and led us all in song. Joanne Strantz did a wonderful job as emcee and Rosemary Benefield and Tony DePaola provided valuable insights and information in our fight for life.

As with planning any event, there were "bumps in the road" (video camera and computer malfunctions), but God answered our prayers and the ceremony went forward beautifully. 
It was an honor to give testimony and wanted to share my words with you....
We are gathered here to mourn the innocent children lost to abortion and to raise our voices to heaven assuring them they will never be forgotten and proclaiming their precious lives matter. 

It’s also an opportunity for me to share the truth of what abortion does.  You see, two of the innocent children we mourn today are Matthew Thomas and Sarah Catherine - my precious son and daughter. 

We all are aware abortion takes the life of a child, but did you know there are life-long consequences for the mother and those around her?

I didn’t.  It took many years for me to understand that “To choose is to lose”.  Through choice, my children lost their life.   Through choice, I lost the chance to be a biological mother because I had a tubal ligation at the age of thirty.  I was punishing myself for the abortions … I didn’t deserve to be a mother.  I eventually adopted, but through choice, my adopted son lost the opportunity to have a brother and sister, my parents lost two grandchildren, my sister a niece and nephew, two men lost fatherhood and my husband two more step-children he would have loved as much as he loves my living son. 

My choice resulted other consequences as well.  I tried to ignore the loss through obsessive behavior, negative attention seeking and substance abuse which grew over time, culminating into self-loathing, a loss of self-worth and depression – which eventually led to my becoming suicidal and being committed to a psychiatric facility.

Sadly, my experience is more of the rule than the exception and does not limit itself to mothers but to all involved in the choice to abort.  Whether the choice was made out of fear, embarrassment or intimidation, the loss is there … sometimes not surfacing for months, years or decades later but always brewing in the dark recesses of the soul.  

Spiritually-speaking, I and countless others hid from God and some still do, convinced we committed,  “the unforgivable sin,”  believing He could never love, let alone forgive someone who had or encouraged an abortion. The shame and remorse is immeasurable.

Statistics show that approximately one-third of American women have had at least one abortion by age 45.  Yes, my friends, one-third. Other studies have shown about 1 in 10 of these women continue to attend church and many of them, as well as those complicit in the abortion decision, are still suffering in silence. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and fellow parishioners.

Which brings me to another reason I’m here… assure those suffering in silence all is not lost.  We have a merciful God who loves all of His children. Nothing, absolutely nothing is unforgivable in God’s eyes if we go to Him with humble and repentant hearts. I pray their wounded souls can embrace His mercy and forgiveness and reach out for healing thus receive what has been missing for quite some time …. Peace and Hope.

At this time, I ask you to stand and pray with me the Prayer for the Unborn:

Although our video camera malfunctioned, we were blessed to have a volunteer who recorded the majority of the service via cell phone.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Forgiveness: Giving vs Receiving

Forgiving is one thing ... being forgiven is another.

1 John 1:9 states, “If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” That verse assures me of God's forgiveness when I accept responsibility for my transgressions and repent. Unfortunately, doing the same in an earthly relationship does not always reap the same reward.

There are times when we unintentionally say or do something to a family member or friend that breeds anger, hurt or distrust. Because we cherish that relationship, we humbly ask for forgiveness, but our plea falls on deaf ears.

Not too long ago, I was trying to help out a friend with a situation, and because the relationship had always been open and honest, I felt comfortable using a little tough love, and in this case, it was necessary. Although the words said were out of love and concern, they were not received in the same manner. I knew deep down I said the right thing and for the right reason; however, holding on to the friendship was more important.  I apologized and asked for forgiveness. What followed was a complete loss of contact, and the silence was deafening. I ended up shedding a river of tears, losing hours of sleep and turning into a self-loathing, muddled mess.

Through prayer and meditation it came to me: If a relationship is built on the foundation of mutual love, trust and respect, it will survive even the strongest storm. I hope that is the case and that time will heal the wounds.

Until then I pray:

Heavenly Father, I bring a heavy heart to You at the foot of the cross. 
I know You can and will lighten it. Please give me the strength to turn my worries over to you and leave them there ... and place my trust 
in You .... Your Will ... Your Way.