To give life or to take it
By “Deacon G” Gautrau
I celebrated my birthday last week, emphasis on birth. For my mom, it was the culmination of 10 years of being told she couldn’t have children, only to have five in an eight-year period, none of which were multiple births. For her, each birth was a “gift from God,” as her prayers were answered through the intercession of Saint Gerard, my namesake.(Hence, you now know what the “G” in Deacon G stands for).
Women who wish to become pregnant and have experienced miscarriages, still-born births, or who have been mistakenly diagnosed as infertile, should never give up hope, because “all things are possible for God.” (Matt 9:27) When the day finally comes that they give birth to their “bundle of joy,” there will be rejoicing and thanksgiving.
For other women, who become pregnant without a desire to do so, the experience of an unwanted pregnancy can cause much sadness and turmoil. There are many reasons for their feelings, e.g., financial, physical, emotional and social concerns, some over which they have control, others perhaps not. However, not having control, isn’t the same as not being able to overcome, with some help. St. Paul tells us, “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13)
Overcoming the concerns begins with what may have been the mom’s first thought when she found out she was pregnant, “Oh my God!” Yes, that would be the perfect time for her to turn to Christ in prayer, asking Him to be her companion on the journey, providing consolation and guidance.
Financial, physical and emotional concerns may be overcome by seeking help from the St. Charles Parish Community Services Offices in New Sarpy or Luling. There are Medicaid and medicine programs available, as well as referrals to other agencies including Social Concerns, the Office of Family Services, St. Charles Health Unit, Red Cross, Social Security, and the Veterans Administration.
In today’s society, pregnancies experienced by unwed mothers is high and the social stigma attached to it is minor compared to what it was 30 years ago. If this is a concern of the pregnant woman, recognizing this fact and seeking the guidance of a close friend or relative throughout the pregnancy will help to get her through.
I encourage pregnant women who have decided that they cannot afford to have a child in their lives, to carry the baby to full term and then to put the baby up for adoption. Life is so precious and there are so many couples who are unable to have children but want desperately to give food, shelter, clothing, education and especially their love, to your baby.
There are no valid reasons for a woman to have an abortion. To do so, puts her in the position of playing God. God gives us life and only God can take it back. We were each gifts from God to our parents, to our relatives and ultimately to our friends. We each have a purpose here on earth and we’ll never know many lives we’ve touched and how we have been graced by others in our lives. Our lives and our bodies are on loan from God. For women and men, this means allowing God to use our bodies to bring others into being. We are essentially partners, though not equal partners, with God in creation. The immensity of this responsibility can be overcome by the grace we will receive, if only we ask.
Let us each make a commitment to respecting the sanctity of life and allowing only God to decide when to give it and when to take it.
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