Tuesday, April 5, 2005

MH - More on the Dignity of Death

You remember our friend Ethan, the one who courts death so lovingly in the comments he left on this blog? I wondered why Ethan was even reading our blog, and I figured he must have been on the hunt for any pro-life blogs, spewing his offensive thoughts wherever he could.

The sad part is that if Ethan, instead of hunting down conservatives, actually spent some time reading the blogs he infiltrated, he might have learned something. Witness this excellent article from Insight Scoop, a rebuttal to the ridiculous LA Times piece by Jack Miles on how JPII should have been a spokesman for Parkinson's rather than in the Gospel. Miles favorably quotes a letter from a sufferer which said, "[The Pope] is either in denial — or he is a control freak — when he could have been a spokesperson for PD. Of all people, he could have brought this ugly disease into the public view! But I guess he believes in suffering and not in science."

Yes, he believes in suffering. Not in cultivating suffering, in looking for it - but in embracing it, in walking with Christ on the Way of the Cross, in sharing His suffering for the redemption of man. Carl Olson's commentary on Miles' article concludes thustly:
All of this is sheer nonsense, revealing quite a bit about Miles while offering no insight into the thought and life of JPII. The Holy Father poured out his physical life spreading the Gospel and proclaiming the reality of eternal life (just read his writings, Mr. Miles!). Because JPII was convinced of God's existence, the claims of Jesus Christ, and the reality of salvation in the afterlife, he had no need to either hide from public view (who was he trying to impress? Op-ed writers? I doubt it) or to kill himself (God would take him from earth when the time was right). As he wrote in Evangelium Vitae: "The certainty of future immortality and hope in the promised resurrection cast new light on the mystery of suffering and death, and fill the believer with an extraordinary capacity to trust fully in the plan of God."

One wishes people like our friend Ethan would read something like this, instead of engaging in name-calling so often. But that's one reason why we keep putting this out here, why we keep praying for non-believers. And it's why we keep reading what others say, because it's the way we learn, the way we become more solid in our beliefs. One of the dichotomies of life is that if we don't teach, we don't learn. If we're successful we do it not from ego, but from modesty, for we can never take our own salvation for granted. We pray the Divine Mercy chaplet because we know our salvation ultimately depends on God's mercy for us, that salvation is a gift never merited by us, but freely given by Him.

Read these articles, become educated, and do not be afraid to challenge those who seek to spread darkness and deny the light. Our silence is their victory, their damnation (and the loss of any soul to the Devil) is a defeat for us. Conversion is our mission, and while we can't win all the time, we must always try. Many disbelieve or misunderstand the Culture of Life and the Dignity of Death; our Holy Father just finished giving his life to teach us what it all means. Let's show him that we were good students, and continue to be teachers of his message.

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