Live Life, Love Life and Honor Terri Schiavo

ChelseaDisabled, Pro Life, Suffering9 Comments

terri-schiavo.jpgYesterday marked the third anniversary of the day Terri Schiavo was starved to death for having a life not worthy of living. I was pretty devastated that things turned out the way they did, but the whole thing gave me a renewed zeal – especially as a disabled person – to continue to make the most of my life and to show others that all life, even a life of suffering, is worth living.

terriSadly I think that it may not have had the same effect on others who may not have seen the starvation and dehydration of an innocent young woman, but only an ugly battle between family members over the treatment of their wife, daughter and sister. In the wake of Terri’s death I heard many people say that they want to make it perfectly clear their intention to have their own feeding tube removed if they were ever in the same situation in order to avoid the conflict that erupted between the Schindler/Schiavo families. And because they would not want to be a burden on their families. This is the anti-life mentality of our culture, it is better to be dead than to live a life of hardship and suffering and it is better to bury a family member than to take the time to love and care for them.

meTerri Schiavo was not in a coma and was not in a brain dead or “persistent vegetative state”. Terri was a severely handicapped young woman who suffered a life altering, not life ending, brain injury. Because of that many in our society, including her husband, concluded that Terri’s life was no longer worthy of being lived, though she was, in fact, “living”. This is the sentiment that is behind the push for euthanasia and the abortion of “unhealthy” unborn children. Believe it or not, this tends to be the mentality of those who advocate the destruction of embryos for scientific research in order to find a cure at all cost – the idea that the handicapped, like myself, are somehow incomplete because of their various physical or mental limitations and that only a scientific cure can give them any hope for a happy, normal life. Disabled people themselves buy into this, lending their voices and faces to the hyper sensationalized campaigns for this life destroying research, fueling the belief that our lives are lacking in quality.

christinaayers.jpgI think that the best way we can learn from this tragedy and truly honor the memory of Terri Schiavo is to love the life that God has given to us, to keep living it despite the many setbacks and sufferings we endure – and to care for and “suffer-with” the suffering members of our society. We must promote a culture of life, especially among the weak and disabled. This is becoming more crucial as more cases like Terri’s pop up around our country. As human beings our intrinsic value is based on the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of a Divine Creator (and the fact that our Creator humbled Himself to share in our humanity), not on our functional abilities. Life should be cherished as an invaluable gift from God. Because of the passion and death of His Son, even our sufferings have meaning and His Resurrection brings us the hope of eternal life, when every tear will be wiped away and mourning, crying and pain will be no more (Rev. 21: 3-4).

The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through “com-passion” is a cruel and inhuman society. Yet society cannot accept its suffering members and support them in their trials unless individuals are capable of doing so themselves; moreover, the individual cannot accept another’s suffering unless he personally is able to find meaning in suffering, a path of purification and growth in maturity, a journey of hope. (Spe Salvi, n. 38)

Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation
False Compassion an article by Bobby Schindler about other notable “food and fluids cases”.
The Will to Live

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9 Comments on “Live Life, Love Life and Honor Terri Schiavo”

  1. Brian

    Well said, Chelsea; thank you for your powerful witness and eloquence! God grant that our nation breaks its addiction to the culture of death, and all its empty promises…

  2. Val Lee

    Dear Chelsea,

    You are most right in defending the lives of those considered unworthy by the arrogant who do not walk in the shoes of those who suffer severe challenges. God’s despises pride as He created all and commanded that people associate with the lowly.

    I must kindly say, I was disappointed to learn that you worship the false Mary of the Catholic Church, who is not the Scriptural Mary of the Bible. The Biblical Mary was very wise when she referred to her Savior in the Magnificat. She was a wise, God-fearing woman: http://vallee7.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/Mary-did-you-know-Mary-knew-a-lot/

    The Bible makes it clear that Mary was simply a godly, virtuous woman chosen of God to bear God the Son who was sinless. Joseph kept her a virgin until the birth of Christ; Matthew 1:25. Mary and Joseph had children together and they are referred to in Matthew 13:55-56. She was a woman who met her husband’s needs according to the Scripture’s commands.

    If you read Mark 3:31-35, you will observe Christ’s true family is made up those who do His will. He always refused to uplift Mary as anyone special and crushed Mary worship under his feet: Luke 11:27-28.

    In the book of Jeremiah, God forbids the worship of the queen of heaven, one of Mary’s titles; Jeremiah 44:17 and 25. Please read Jeremiah chapter 44 completely. When you worship the Mary of the Catholic church you worship satan in female form.

    The Mary of the Bible did become a Christian as we see from Acts chapter 1. She was in the upper room with the disciples.

    We are commanded to worship God alone and all other worship is demonic idolatry. In Acts when people tried to worship the apostles, they put an immediate stop to it by stating they were mere men with a fleshly nature. They tore their robes in disgust and made sure the people knew they were sinners just like them. They had been redeemed but not through any power of their own. Saint worship is not of God, it is totally of satan.

    Those who worship other beings or idols are kept out of heaven as decreed by God; Revelation 21:8, 22:15, 1 Corinthians 6:9, etc. A rosary is certainly an idol. True, born again believers do not need any fetishes, only their personal relationship with Christ of the Bible, not a false Jesus made up by men in the name of religion.

    Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes men his strength, Jeremiah 17:5. This includes religious leaders who rewrite the inerrant, holy, and immutable Word of God.

    Chelsea, please Biblically research my words. I desire to see you in heaven.

    In love,

    Val Lee (1 John 5:9-12)

  3. Chelsea

    Val – Catholics do not worship Mary, but thank you for your concern. I desire to see you in heaven as well!

    Peace,
    CZ

  4. Val Lee

    Hi Chelsea,

    Thanks for your response. However, your words are confusing. You say you do not worship Mary, but you do perform the rosary and below is the rosary prayer “Hail Mary” It is Mary worship and demonic mysticism combined.

    1.Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed.”
    2.Say the “Our Father.”
    3.Say three “Hail Marys.”
    4.Say the “Glory be to the Father.”
    5.Announce the First Mystery; then say the “Our Father.”
    6.Say ten “Hail Marys,” while meditating on the Mystery.
    7.Say the “Glory be to the Father.”
    8.Announce the Second Mystery; then say the “Our Father.” Repeat 6 and 7 and continue with Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner.

    A Catholic lady sent me a prayer to pray to Mary and I told her I would not. I know a woman whose husband is Catholic and he tries to make her worship the Mary of the Catholic Church.

    Here is one of Mother Teresa’s apostasy prayers: http://home.comcast.net/~motherteresasite/prayers.html

    “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord with thee,
    Blessed art thou among women,
    and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary, mother of God,
    Pray for us sinners,
    Now and at the hour of our death. Amen”

    This is Mary worship and it cannot be denied.

    ________

    http://www.ourladyweb.com/mary-prayers.html
    ~ Prayers to Mary ~

    The Memorare:

    Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary,
    that never was it known that anyone
    who fled to your protection,
    implored your help,
    or sought your intercession was left unaided.
    Inspired with this confidence, we turn to you,
    O Virgin of virgins, our Mother.
    To you we come, before you we stand,
    sinful and sorrowful.
    O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
    do not despise our petitions,
    but in your mercy hear us and answer us.
    Amen.
    Hail Holy Queen
    Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
    our life, our sweetness and our hope!
    To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
    to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping
    in this valley of tears.
    Turn then, most gracious advocate,
    thine eyes of mercy toward us,
    and after this our exile,
    show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
    Amen
    _______
    Please watch this Mary worship video of Pope Benedict:
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope_benedict_calls_on_catholics_to_entrust_themselves_to_mary/

    This is all endless when it comes to Catholicism.

    Thanks again for listening.

  5. Sarah

    As always, Chelsea, great job on this very pro-life blog.

    I have a burning question for Val:

    Where in the Bible does it say to interpret the Bible literally? Can you give us the passage with this direct instruction? Protestants have never adequately addressed this issue for me, but then they really don’t have to. Praise be Jesus Christ for the Magisterium of the Catholic Church that interprets the Bible for us, and has so since it was first put into print. Clearly, we revere the Blessed Mother, and our prayers are directed through Mary or the saints to Christ. We also pray directly in our own words to Christ, to God the Father, and to God the Holy Spirit. Think of all of this as rich poetry, complete with beautiful art and lovely words — unlike the very sterile Protestant prayer and worship of which I am accustomed.

    We, too, want to see you in Heaven, Val, and wish you had this fullness of the Faith. I will be praying for you. God bless.

  6. Chelsea

    First of all, Val, the rosary is nothing more than a prayer and meditation on the life of Jesus Christ – something all Christians are called to do. Second of all, the first half of the Hail Mary consists entirely of the words of Scripture: The first, “Hail (Mary) full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women”, embodies the words used by the Angel Gabriel in saluting the Blessed Virgin (Luke, I, 28). The second, “and blessed is the fruit of thy womb (Jesus)”, is borrowed from the Divinely inspired greeting of St. Elizabeth (Luke 1:42). The second half is simply an appeal to this very blessed woman – who we believe is now, along with all the faithful departed, enjoying Eternal Life with Christ – to pray for us (just as we would ask a friend of family member here on earth). BTW, Mary’s intercession is also Scriptural: See Jn 2:1-11 – the Wedding Feast at Cana when Jesus performs His first public miracle – only at the request of His blessed Mother.

    No, Val, Catholics do not worship Mary – and your examples do not prove any kind of “Mary worship” on the part of Catholics. When we pray to Mary and ask her to intercede for us we are simply honoring her and giving her the respect that is owed to such an important figure in Salvation History, as I explained a few years ago in this post at another blog: http://pathtoholiness.com/2007/07/we-are-honoring-mary-never-worshiping-her/ – in doing so we are also giving glory to God by following His own example (he came to us through Mary) and acknowledging the crowning Jewel of His creation. It is not the Church who has raised Mary to such a prominent position, but God himself who found favor with her and chose her to be blessed among women (Lk. 2:30, 42).

    Peace,
    CZ

  7. Bill

    As has already been noted, Catholics do not worship Mary. I wanted to address the Queen of Heaven issue in Jeremiah. That refers likely to Asarte, a Cannaanite goddess or perhaps to the goddess Isis. There was not a queen of heaven in the time of Jeremiah and it was therefore silly to assume one existed let alone think she should be worshipped. But that changes with Mary. She is the mother of the heavenly King…a position of authority. See Solomon’s mother Queen Bathsheeba’s petition to her son on behalf of her other child.
    The mother of the King in Israel was a big deal.

    Also, if you read the 12th chapter of Revelation, the woman clothed with the sun and with a CROWN of twelve stars on her head, clearly refers to Mary. Revelation’s images are rich enough that the lady there mentioned can also refer to Israel and the Church, but neither Israel or the Church gave birth to the one who would rule the nations with a rod of iron.

  8. Wayne

    Thanks Chelsea, for your thoughtful words on a very important topic. As I pray the rosary privately, I often include this intention: That all may come to recognize the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, thus ending the twin evils of abortion and euthanasia.

    Our late Holy Father, John Paul II, was an icon of the suffering Christ as he carried on with his own life, while enduring a growing debilitation. What a noble example for all of us to follow.

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