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Monday, October 27, 2008

The Dignity of the Human Person

My friend, Lee Anne - another Catholic Out Loud, just like me - writes beautifully of the practical application of the Catholic Doctrine of The Dignity of the Human Person.

No, she is not a theologian...she is a grieving friend, standing with a fellow Catholic as that woman's son battles for his life.

Kevin is desperately ill. He is suffering. Yet he clings to life with the desperation known only to creatures who naturally flinch from death.

In our hearts and minds we know that Kevin is as valuable to the whole of humanity right this moment as a Senator, a King or a wealthy tycoon. He means just as much as the man picking lettuce and just as much as the little old lady praying a Rosary outside of Planned Parenthood.

Kevin is as valuable as the gay man who has given up the fight and dedicated himself to God and is as important as the prostitute shivering on the corner, the drunk urinating on himself under the 7th street bridge or the arrogant man flinging Church scandal into the face of a Catholic who does not agree with his political views...Kevin, though suffering and unable to breathe on his own has not lost his value as a human being.

Lee Anne writes movingly of the work being done by the hospital staff to care for Kevin. She asks for our prayers, so that his mother has the strength to stand with her son in the same way as The Woman stood with her's, watching Him die on a cross.

We are grateful for small favors. We are grateful that Kevin is safe from those who would deny him food or water because he is an inconvenience, a bother and really difficult to take care of right now. He is safe from those who would deny him his last powerful works of salvation - that of redemptive suffering - in order to make a bed available or to cut down on paperwork.

As Catholics we look at him and we praise God. We know that we are being asked to walk the same path as the one walked by Our Savior and, because He provides us with the strength - through the Sacraments - that is necessary for this journey we know we can do it. We also know it is going to be difficult, cause pain and make us weep for the pain of another...but we trust in the mercy of an all powerful, all knowing God that what is happening before our eyes is just a small part of a greater whole.

For from all evil comes great good.

As Father Corapi would say, "No pain, no gain. No cross, no glory. No Good Friday, No Easter Sunday".

Lord, send Your Angels to be with Kevin and his family. Help us by deepening our faith and trust in Your Eternal Presence. Allow us the peace of mind to accept what is happening and to be of service to Kevin in the best possible way.

As Catholics.

Out loud.

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