Hidden in the Womb

The Basilica of the Visitation

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb. –Luke 1:41

We all started off our lives in our mothers’ wombs. We were hidden from the eyes of men, but we were very much alive.

When St. John the Baptist was in St. Elizabeth’s womb, he realized that the Son of God had come to his house. In other words, St. John exercised his mission as a prophet even before he was born.

Christ Himself also exercised His mission before birth. At the moment the Lord Jesus was conceived, God first lived with a human soul. At that moment, Christ made an act of submission to the Father. The act is perfectly expressed in the words of the fortieth Psalm:

I waited, waited for the LORD, who bent down and heard my cry, drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp, set my feet upon rock, steadied my steps, and put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God.

Happy those whose trust is the LORD, who turn not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood…

Sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require; so I said, “Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll. To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!”

Our lives begin at the moment of conception. Life begins to unfold in the womb. St. John’s mission in life was to point out the Lamb of God. He began to fulfill this mission even before he was born. The Lord Jesus’ mission was to offer Himself completely to the Father, to sacrifice Himself for the redemption of the world. Christ accomplished His self-offering perfectly even while He was still hidden in Mary’s womb. His 33 years on earth were simply a matter of living out what He had already resolved to do.

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No Starving People to Death

Can you be dead before you die?
Can you be dead before you die?

Twenty hours before my father died, the doctor came to us and recommended that his feeding tube be removed.

He was dying. He could no longer digest anything. All his organs were shutting down.

I did not hesitate to agree that the tube should be removed. There is no sense in pumping fluid into someone who can no longer benefit from it.

My dad did not starve to death on his hospital bed. He died a beautiful death and departed for the heavenly country in peace. I wish he could have stuck around a little bit longer, but that is another matter…

Five years ago, our whole country watched Terri Schiavo slowly starve to death after the court ordered that her feeding tube be removed. She was NOT dying. She just needed someone to feed her.

We can hope that Mrs. Schiavo died in the friendship of God. But her death was not peaceful for everyone else. There has yet to be a full reckoning of what happened. In Italy right now, there is a similar case.

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