“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Friday, March 24, 2017

MEDICAL CONFERENCE ON DIGNITY AT END OF LIFE

The post below is taken directly from the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance newsletter for March 4th, 2017. 
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On March 4, 2017, the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance, in partnership with the Catholic Medical Guilds of Wisconsin, held the "Dignity at the End of Life: From Suffering to Hope" Conference in Fitchburg, Wisconsin (near Madison). The conference was a great success and feedback from conference attendees was overwhelmingly positive.

On March 4, 2017, the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance, in partnership with the Catholic Medical Guilds of Wisconsin, held the "Dignity at the End of Life: From Suffering to Hope" Conference in Fitchburg, Wisconsin (near Madison). The conference was a great success and feedback from conference attendees was overwhelmingly positive.

Mark Davis Pickup powerfully detailed his journey through grief to meaning since his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) 33 years ago. A conference participant told us that he had attended many conferences and talks over the years, but Mark Pickup was the best he had ever heard. Others praised Mark as inspiring, articulate, and deeply insightful. 
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Julie Grimstad shared excellent information about patient advocacy, advance directives for healthcare, and POLST(Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment), as well as life-threatening issues facing patients in various healthcare settings. She also encouraged attendees to initiate a Befrienders group--a volunteer effort to ease loneliness among the elderly--in one's church or community. Conference attendees commented on how useful and informative Julie's presentation was.

Dr. Byron Calhoun, expert in Perinatology, a branch of obstetrics concerned with the care of mother and fetus and the handling of high-risk pregnancies, spoke about perinatal hospice. Perinatal hospice is part of the care for a baby with a prenatal diagnosis of a terminal condition. Dr. Calhoun offered a model of compassion and true caring for mother and child as opposed to the more common solution offered--abortion. The primary focus of perinatal hospice is on the family--not the baby's diagnosis. The family is placed in the center of the care and there is a continuum of support from diagnosis, through the child's death and the family's grieving process.

Cristen M. Krebs, DNP, ANP-BC, Catholic Hospice Founder/Executive Director, with twenty years of end-of-life care experience, illuminated the history and current trends in hospice. Attendees appreciated her humor and expertise as she shared a wealth of information about palliative care and hospice.

Ed and Nan Weber, founders of Holy Family Ministry and Loreto on the Plains Personal Care Home, an outreach of that ministry, shared how they were inspired by God to build and manage Loreto on the Plains. Loreto is a loving home for the sick and dying elderly. Ed and Nan explained how residents of Loreto are treated as valued members of a family, as indispensable lives worthy of the time, money and materials needed for them to live in comfort, protected from harm. It is Nan and Ed's hope that others will hear about Loreto on the Plains and be inspired to care for the sick and aged in their own homes or start care homes in their communities.

Ramon Luzarraga, Catholic Moral Theologian, spoke to the meaning in suffering. The conference concluded after his powerful and beautiful presentation, which left attendees with rich content for deep reflection.

Conference videos will be announced when available. For more information about the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance, visit their webpage here https://www.prolifehealthcare.org

Monday, March 20, 2017

CHILDREN NEED SECURITY OF CHRISTIAN BOUNDARIES

I have heard it said that if a sense of order and discipline is not established in a child's life before the age of seven, he is lost. I do not know where that pearl of parenting wisdom came from and I'm not even sure I believe the age part - but I think I understand the point that was being made.

Children need the security of consistent boundaries for behaviour to be established early in their lives in order for them to thrive. I'm not sure how the seven-year age limit came into the equation; perhaps it was simply an exaggeration to illustrate the fact that every child needs a sense of order. Fair enough. On that point, I hope most reasonable people agree.

I firmly believe that parents' must establish and maintain boundaries for proper moral behaviour - boundaries within which they themselves abide. Those boundaries must be consistent with Biblical Christian teaching. Why? Because that is the best way to live.

I refuse to accept that a child is ever beyond the pale of redemption because of bad circumstances, poor upbringing or even cruelty. If I did accept such an idea, the redemptive message of Christianity would ring hollow.

The Bible tells us that children are a gift and a heritage from God (Psalm 127.3). Parents do not own their children - they are entrusted with their children's physical, emotional and spiritual care. God calls parents to bring their children up in the way of the Lord. 

It is crucial that parents introduce their children, at the earliest age, to the mysteries of Christian faith and the reality of a personal relationship with Christ. Wholesome family life -- with Christ at its center -- can establish an interior spiritual life that is receptive to God's leading throughout a lifetime. I can personally attest to this truth. I was born into the gentle nurture of a Christian home. My parents imparted to me essential Christian truths from my earliest years. Although I turned away from the Christian faith as a young man, in my late twenties I returned to Christianity with a faith that was alive and rooted in a personal relationship with Christ. That faith has served me well throughout many storms of life (and there have been some nasty and frightening storms).

Marriage and family life under God are the ideal setting to build spiritual character for children. I know this because that is where God put his own Son. The Holy Family was the ideal place to nurture the Christ child.

A child reared under the love and nurture of godly parents is likely to thrive. Granted, it is not a guarantee that children will grow up to love and serve God. Worldly influences can tempt them away for a time, but the hounds of heavwen are relentless.  Chances are best that such children will return to be followers of Christ if their parents are their example. Children raised in a Christian home are more likely desire to serve rather than be served. They are more likely to view their lives in terms of seeking a higher calling.

I know forces contrary to Christian faith are everywhere and, quite frankly, may seem overwhelming. Parents must not lose heart. (That is exactly what the evil one wants.) Christian parents must continue teaching the faith and Biblical truth to their children, knowing their church communities and Christian education support them.

The love and hope of vibrant and living Christian faith stands in stark contrast to the chaos found in a godless world-view where materialism, consumption and temporary self-gratification often triumph over human dignity and individual worth.

In the midst of worldly consumption, Christ calls people to something different, something greater, something other-centred rather than self-centred. Young people who have been taught to listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit can discover the reason for which they were born. When this happens, they will discover a meaning and purpose to their lives that far outstrips anything the world can offer.

We desperately need a generation of young visionaries who are unafraid of being radicals for the kingdom of God and are prepared to dedicate their lives to furthering that kingdom on earth, even against great opposition. Young people who are on fire for God can change the world and even the course of history for the better. Parents can not wish for any greater legacy.

Mark


Sunday, March 19, 2017

THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE GOES TWO WAYS

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/0227-na-euthanasia
Sharon Kirkey, "'Take my name off the list, I can't do any more' some doctors backing out of assisted death", National Post, 26 February 2017.

It's been 9 months since Canada legalised medically assisted suicide (euphemistically and deceptively termed medical aid in dying). It seems many participating Canadian doctors are not comfortable murdering killing their patients. (See article above.) Assisted suicide proponents speculate it's because doctors' fear of prosecution or distaste for filling out required paperwork. Yeah right. Perhaps there's another reason.

Could it be that deep within the human psyche there is a natural repugnance to killing people?  Enforced 'progressive' groupthink still can't stifle every human conscience. 

Support doctors who have lost their stomaches for killing human beings -- whether it be abortion or assisted suicide. Encourage them to return to Hippocratic medicine. Support conscience rights that are supposedly protected in the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, Article 2, FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS: 

"Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression ..."

What is the point of having freedom of thought, belief or opinion without the ability to express it in word and behaviour? The freedom of choice to be put to death is not the only right in Canada's Brave New World of tax-funded assisted suicide. 

There must also be an equal right for medical professionals not to participate. Choice goes two ways.

MDP

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SPEAKING OF LIFE AND END OF LIFE ISSUES ...

I am available to speak about Life issues, end of life issues, euthanasia & assisted suicide and/or a Christian perspective of suffering. I can be contacted at the email on the photograph below.

HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

CULTURE OF LIFE STUDIES PROGRAM

This post is for Catholic readers and educators of the HumanLifeMatters blog. I want to bring your attention to a wonderful educational resource from the American Life League: The Culture of Life Studies Program https://culture-of-life-studies.myshopify.com/ 

Be assured that the Culture of Life Studies Program is true to Catholic teachings. It can be used with absolute confidence for its quality, accuracy and adherence to the truth that the American Life League is known for. The CULTURE OF LIFE STUDIES PROGRAM is an invaluable teaching resource for North American educators (including Canada). I highly recommend it.

Mark Davis Pickup