Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sanctity Through Suffering and Emo for Christ

I was listening to 740AM Sacred Heart Radio while out and about on my daily errands - specifically St. Joseph Radio Presents - and I heard one of the speakers/priests tell a story about a woman who was being told by her doctors to have an abortion because testing had shown that her child would be born with massive birth defects. The priest, during consultation, convinced the mother to have the child with the reasoning that God gives life and God takes life away.

The child was born severely retarded with a "smashed in face" and could not breathe on his own due to the malformations. He was named Milagro (Miracle) and lived in a hospital, pierced with tubes, for almost 4 months. After his death, the priest explained that the mother did not need to pray for Milagro, but to him in hopes that she, too, would go to heaven and be reunited with him. "That's the joy of our faith," he said.

I could write 30 different posts about the different ways that this story exhibits the off-base morality of the Catholic Church, but I thought I'd focus on what bothered me the most: The priest, in telling this story, likened the mother's suffering to that of Mary suffering while watching Jesus on the cross (you guessed it - Happy Feast of the Seven Sorrows Day!), but at no point made mention of the suffering of the child. This man used his influence and the mother's belief system to create four months of physical suffering for a newborn and four months - and far, far beyond, I'm certain - of emotional suffering for the mother. And it was completely avoidable.

At what point do we recognize that what belief systems may say is the right thing to do is not always the right thing to do? At what point does humanitarianism trump religion? And why do we need to ask these questions?

I also learned that the personal, self-inflicted suffering I incur by listening to talk and religious radio is just masochism (even though the priest called it sadism) because I am not uniting the suffering with the suffering of Christ. Take note, emo kids: suffering can be channeled to save your soul - Emo for Christ has it right!

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