When you hear or read the adjectives pro and anti their meanings are clear. simply for and against. Some years ago I remember hearing the term pro choice used referring to a woman’s ‘right to choose’ in regard to abortion. And along with that came anti abortion replacing pro life. The interesting thing is that today people who on the side of the right to life use pro life. You do not hear anti life from either side. Instead the pro choice advocates refer to the opposing side as anti abortion. But they never use the term anti life.
I remember some years after the 1973 decision when the term pro choice replace pro abortion and it was quite obviously a smart tactical move on their part. The same people use anti abortion to replace pro life. It worked quite well. So well in fact that a new more positive term has come into use, reproductive rights. Interestingly enough our present culture are pushing to eliminate the word, mother.
In the late 1960’s I read a book by George Orwell written in 1949. In the prophetic novel the word mother was forbidden to be uttered. I recently asked the local library for the book and the librarian said they actually had several copies but they were all out. The other day I received an email to pick up a copy and I did. I was disappointed because it was in Spanish unbeknownst to the librarian. Food for thought.
(If you din’t read Parts 1&2 scroll down and read them first)
What a night it was so far. Still dark and foggy outside as we opened the church door and walked into the foyer and went through the door into the sanctuary, I felt as if it was a movie set. The lights were on and Father was kneeling in front of the altar in gold vestments. The the gold monstrance was on top of the altar holding the Eucharist. The Christmas poinsettias, red, white, gold and blue, formed a grand display at the base of the altar along with the other Christmas decorations on the aisles and on the side ledges.
Our lost friend was sitting in a pew toward the back and we tapped her on the shoulder and sat in the pew behind her. She turned and smiled and we smiled back. Another friend of ours and her daughter sitting near the front were the only other people in the church. We came at the ending of Adoration in time to say the last prayers and sing the closing song while our pastor put the Eucharist in the tabernacle. After the blessing he said that it was exactly midnight and wished us Happy New Year.
As we left this heavenly place, we began telling our ‘found friend’ our story. She explained on her way home she remembered reading in the Flocknotes on-line earlier that day there would be Adoration from 9 pm to midnight and took the route passing the church on the way home. She went in and stayed to the end.
She said how sorry she was that we went through all the worry for her. I said, “Don’t apologize. It was wonderful to be here and find you in the best of all places in the New Year. Should we call you when we get home?”
“I’m only a mile from the church and you are several miles away, I’ll call you!”
This was a Holy Moment gifted to us from the Lord himself. We will always remember the New Year’s Eve of 2023. And also hope to heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit – to go and do likewise.
This Christmas we received a book from our priest titled Holy Moments by Matthew Kelly. You might say the author writes to encourage his readers to put into action the daily exercise of living their faith. It isn’t rocket science just the idea that every day of our lives these holy moments come to us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Most everyone experiences them when thoughts come into our mind of some kindness we can do for someone. For example letting another driver in when it will help him pulling onto a busy road Or it might be a thank you to someone checking you out in a store who seems particularly busy and upset.
This past New Years Eve I had one of these moments when I called a friend to have dinner with us. We enjoyed a meal as she brought appetizer, Prosecco wine, and desert in addition to our main meal. It really benefited myself and my husband as well because we had a wonderful meal and conversation. We said good-by at 10:30 pm. She lived alone on an unpaved road with several other homes; she lived a few miles away.
Around 11pm I called to make sure she arrived home as I had done before when it was late. I left a message on her home phone and waited for a call. None came so I tried a second time and left another message. Now my husband was worried about her and after some minutes I called her cell. No answer. At that point we became concerned because there was nowhere she would normally go that time of night and had told us she was going home.
We waited a while and decided to go to her house just to make sure everything was all right. When we went to our car, we noticed it was extremely foggy and as we drove it got worse. My husband took the most direct route to her house and as we drove I kept a lookout for her car on either side worried that she might have gone off the road. It was difficult to see our way and no other cars were around..
He said, “We are going to her house. If she isn’t there we have to call the police.”That scared me and I also hoped the fog was not too thick for us on her road. It was foggy when we turned onto the bumpy dirt road but we could see our way. As we passed the other houses I wondered if we’d find her home.
As we approached her house and noticed there were lights on the floor above the basement. I felt relieved. But when we turned into the driveway my husband said, “She isn’t home. Her car isn’t here.”
I said, “She must be home. The lights are on. Go around the back and up the on deck to the door.”
He went to look and I heard her dog barking. He came back.. “She isn’t home. We have to call.”
Let’s go back the other way.”
“OK but I don’t think she’d go that way. It it has so many curves but we’ll try it.”
We sat silently looking through the fog for some sign of her. Now I feared the worst. After less than a mile My husband asked, “What’s that?” He pointed to a number of lights ahead we did not recognize.
Coming down the hill, I said, “It’s the church! But why is it lit up so late? There must be twenty light posts in the parking light.”
He said, “I don’t know but I think she must be there.”
The lights of the church shown through the stained glass windows. It was dark and foggy outside but we saw her car parked in ahead of us in front of the church.. We were relieved. But it was still a mystery to us. Why was she there and why were all the lights on?