Consciously Catholic

Stop going through the motions; awaken to the beauty of Catholicism.

Author: lbharding

A Mother’s Day Call to Action

As a Catholic woman who has come to see the validity of Catholic teaching regarding marriage, children, contraception and abortion, I fully understand the vicious unpopularity of my core belief that every human beating heart possesses worth and the right to life. I often struggle to understand how that became such a “vile” stance. Every time I check my Twitter feed, I’m appalled by comments spewed toward Pro Life advocates who have dared to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Witnessing this does have the unfortunate effect of causing pause for others, like myself, to add our voices to the conversation. Honestly, how did we get here? Why on earth should we fear speaking the truth? Why should we fear standing up for individuals whom society has deemed less desirable, less valuable and, in some cases, completely unworthy of any opportunity at life.

Abortion has been legal my entire life. Sadly, I once viewed its reversal as hopeless. However, as we now witness this atrocity lead to others in the forms of euthanasia, denied healthcare and open debate regarding “population engineering”, it is clear we cannot afford to stay quiet any longer. Though the dominos have taken a while to fall, the effect is indeed present. By allowing one person (a pregnant woman)  to choose whether another (an unborn baby) should live or die, we have opened the door for additional means of disposing of those who are deemed defective or heaven forbid, too great a financial burden.   Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans are two deeply disturbing cases and I am baffled by the lack of societal outrage.

Recently a 104 year old scientist from Australia traveled to Switzerland for an assisted suicide saying he regretted reaching this age. The comments below the article were baffling and I was astounded by the amount of people cheering him on and advocating we end our own lives on our terms and if we become a burden to loved ones or society. Besides the intrinsic value caring for the elderly and ill provides society (that’s a whole other post), is it not deeply disturbing that so many are now viewing any type of burden as something so horrid it has to be done away with? Have we really become so incredibly selfish that we can’t fathom caring for a loved one who needs us and so prideful we would rather kill ourselves than allow others to provide us love and assistance?

Life is beautiful in all of its forms. A human beating heart should not be stopped in an effort to alleviate suffering and burden. Just because you wouldn’t want someone else’s life does not mean they are not entitled to it. Nor is suffering useless.

It is time shed any fear of speaking up. I can’t think of anything I’d rather weather a storm for than standing up for someone’s life. Join me. Get inspired by the great Pro Life advocates of our time, like Lila Rose and Obianuju Ekeocha. Let the words of Saint Catherine of Siena set you on fire to change the tide of our current culture of death: “We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence.”

The Beginning of the Journey

Growing up and through my early 20’s I regret to admit I fed into a stereotype many have about Catholics; I was going through the motions but not investing myself, my time, or my energy into my faith. As I now think of it, I was unconscious, shut down from the beauty of my faith as I strove for acceptance in our growingly secular society. Who wants to be the religious nut?

So where did striving for societal acceptance get me? I had plenty of friends, a nice career, an amazingly wonderful husband (still do), but I felt incomplete. A type of incomplete that I knew could not be remedied by anyone but myself… or so I thought. I knew it wasn’t up to my husband and I knew a simple career change wouldn’t make a difference. I felt it was internal.26

When some acquaintances experienced the loss of a child while I was expecting my first, I began to awaken to my faith and the importance of including God in your daily life. At this same time our Parish handed out copies of “Rediscover Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly and my whole world began to change. Allowing God in more began to alter my attitude toward just about everything and helped me realize that he truly does use everything for the good. Even my biggest regrets and mistakes were used in positive ways.

Five years have passed and I continue to yearn for more knowledge of my faith. This quest has led me to more joy as well as an intense drive to better myself and live my faith. This was the birth of “Consciously Catholic”. Through this endeavor, I not only hold myself accountable to dive into my faith, it also gives me an opportunity to share my journey.    

To tell you a little bit about myself. I am a farmer’s daughter who, after trying the big city on for size, became a farmer’s wife.  After the arrival of my first child I lasted a whole six weeks at my job as a marketing and business development executive before becoming the one thing I said a never would- a stay at home mom. My husband and I live on our farm with our three children an are expecting our fourth. God has been great to me…I pray He will help me fulfill the purpose He created me for.