Friday, March 18, 2005

Hole in Your Soul

My apologies for not reporting sooner. Blogger was being an absolute beast.

This morning, I had on my mind, Terri Schiavo. I had listened to Drew Mariani's talk radio program last night after the gym. He reported that Terri's feeding tube was to be pulled as of 1:00 p.m. EST. As I listened to his impassioned plea, I could not help but sit there and feel stupid and useless. After all, I spend all this time complaining that I have too much to eat, and here is a woman for whom that is about to be non-issue.

When I got up, I decided that Terri would be the subject of the homily because this case touches the very heart of basic question. In today's Gospel, John 10:31-42, we see the Jewish people reach for stones to kill Jesus for blasphemy. Normally, we say, "What a bunch of doofuses!" There is something to be praised, though, in the response of the people. In their minds, it was very clear that God is God and Man is man (creature) and never the two shall meet. If you are one, you cannot be the other. Hence, the task for their conversion to accept the coming of Christ, is to accept that Man and God can live as one without confusion or comingling of those things that are proper to each.

Take a step back for a moment and see if you see what I see. Judge Greer and Michael Schiavo, in a certain sense, are taking to themselves perogatives that are proper to God. Is her life worth anything? Does she deserve to live? These are questions that only a Creator can answer, and the creature can only guess at. Logically, then, if there is a question of value or worth, judgment should favor whatever goods are present and not penalize for those goods which are not necessarily demonstrable. From what Mr. Mariani mentioned on yesterday's broadcast, Judge Greer ruled that when the feeding tube is removed, Terri may receive nothing by mouth: no water, no Jello, not even any Vasoline to keep her lips from cracking. In a normal hospice situation you would be able to swab the mouth with ice or a moistened sponge. Clearly, this is not a normal situation.

Take one step forward. Worse case scenario, Terri's tube is removed today. Since most folks can only survive about 3-4 days without water, that would mean Terri's intense suffering would coincide with the beginning of Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum. I guess we still have not learned our lesson. The Lord takes the side of the afflicted, the needy, the little ones. When He is lifted up on the Cross, lifted up like the serpent in the desert, He is accepting to Himself, all the failures of human history. Therefore, when we treat the least of our brothers as though they were nothing and non-persons, we simply re-present the Cross to Jesus and tell Him to get moving. We don't want to be troubled with you.

Thankfully it looks like Congress et al. are taking some steps but it might be too little, too late. As those called to spiritual combat, we can use the time profitably through pray, fasting, and almsgiving. Pray and intercede especially for the judge, Michael Schiavo, and Terri's parents. I don't want to assume bad motives on the judge's or Michael's part, but my inner sensors are telling me something different.

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