Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Random Reflections

Random Reflections

Dateline: Saturday April 19, 2014 and the afternoon is slipping away.  The morning work in the backyard is a memory and the short visit with one of the grandfathers was a pleasant diversion. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Life goes on.

Life.  It is what this column or blog has been all about. Life. Protecting life. Nurturing life. Promoting life. Encouraging life. Defending life. Saving life.


I had a conversation the other day about the purpose and function of the law. The law is quite complex. Every aspect of our lives touches upon the law in some degree. But the fundamental purpose of the law remains quite simple and straight forward. One could look up the definition and find a general understanding that the "law" is a a body of rules that direct or prohibit certain activity. but what is the purpose for these rules. Cicero states that the purpose of positive laws is to provide for "the safety of citizens, the preservation of states, and the tranquility and happiness of human life."  I explained it in similar terms to my friend. "The purpose of the law is to protect people and property through a series of reasonable rules."
All of this is consistent with a natural law view because it places the individual and the community at the heart of why we as a society have need for law. It also naturally leads us to discuss who are the persons who need protection and who are the communities who have interests that should be protected.

Dateline: Tuesday, May 27, 2014. This morning my mom died. I got the call about 10 o'clock in the morning from Dr. Agnone. Mom was there for a check up and after a couple of deep breaths expired. It was a quiet and all too orchestrated an event – something my mom would do. You see May 26 was their 63rd Wedding Anniversary. The day before on Sunday, May 25, Mom and Dad came over the house for pancake breakfast. They would come over after eight o'clock mass. This was a tradition that had been going on for the last ten to fifteen years. Some of the children would come over. Sometimes the grandchildren and great-grandchildren would be there. It was a chance for mom and dad to see my children every week. Because the next day would be their anniversary, I encouraged my brother and his family and my sister and her family to come over to visit.  It was good that they did. But I could tell the mom looked worn out. She wasn't interested in eating. She wasn't too responsive to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She would smile on occasion but seemed somewhat distant. Dad remarked that she kept asking about that Tuesday doctor's appointment. I told him that she did not look good.  On their anniversary they spent the day watching old "I Love Lucy" TV shows. They were among her favorites. Dad said that she had a good day. I think she knew that it was time for her to go to her heavenly home. And so she decided to the doctor's office was the best place for her to make her exit. You have to hand it to my mom. She was always thinking of everyone else.

Dateline: Monday June 1, 2014. Today we held a funeral for my mom. My daughter and some of my sons sang. My boys acted as pallbearers. We said the rosary before mass began. We did the joyful mysteries because those are the mysteries mom loved best. She was always praying the rosary for someone. She was a true prayer warrior. Fr. Schlarb celebrated mass and gave a beautiful sermon. We prayed mom's Litany for for the Unborn during the eulogy. We continued the celebration over the house and I was touched by the warmth not just of the day but of all of those who attended mass and came to the house of the reception. my father was in rare form. He provided all of us men with an excellent example of someone who truly loved his wife and now that she was gone, appreciated even more how much God loved all of us. He told the story of his own mother and how she constantly reminded him that "we are only here (on earth) to get there (to heaven)."  We all agreed that given the level of mom's suffering and pain she endured every day that death is a release to the loving arms of Christ. We could not be sad now that she was with Our Lord. We set the burial for the next day.  As the last of the guests left our house close to midnight, I once again reflected in how our church is so wise to center all the major activities of our life around the Mass. It is so important to remember to keep Christ as the center of our life. He is our rock, our stronghold, our deliverer. His mercies boundless, His peace comforting.

Dateline July 1, 2014. A month has passed. During that time we celebrated Father's Day. My fraternity brother Bill and his wife KK visited us from San Diego. They came over to see my dad especially. I went to the NRLC convention in Louisville, Kentucky. I have another graduate from high school.  The Supreme Court handed down to decisions favorable the pro-life cause: McCullen vs. Coakley was a victory for the First Amendment. The Hobby Lobby case was a victory for religious liberty. It never ceases to amaze me how ridiculous the liberal press can be a misunderstanding decisions handed down by the court. So I suspect that we will be discussing this for awhile. Finally I must note that this particular summer has been very hot.

Throughout all of these events I am once again reminded of the cycle of life and how each of us must find our way. For me, my mother's death reminds me of our long time commitment to the right to life. Both of us worked closely for many years and she never gave up. Up to her last breath I am sure she offered her pain and suffering for the sake of the little ones. It is my responsibility to continue to do everything mindful that she is now watching me. All of us have something to do. Let us be about doing it.