Save The Little Lights

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Though our world is filled with sadness, grief, stress, there are individuals who always seem joyful. Have you ever met a Down Syndrome affected person who doesn’t bring a smile to your face? All they want to do is smile at others, hug, high-five and bring joy to the world. They are little lights in this world.

I have never met a family that doesn’t treasure their Down Syndrome children. Even in the extended family, these children are loved. They are people who contribute to society in such a meaningful way. Why doesn’t our society want to protect a group of people who exude so much love and joy?

As a physician, I hear the devastation in my patients’ voices when they speak of the choice they made to abort a Down Syndrome child. These patients suffer from anxiety, depression, and grief. They chose the path of abortion because when they were given a diagnosis wrapped up in fear and presented with the option of relieving the “problem” with abortion. A physician’s advice carries more influence in difficult moments. These patients were not given information about support groups for Downs families. In addition, they were not encouraged to speak with parents of Downs children to see how their lives had been impacted. Instead, the patients were encouraged and rushed from their 18-week appointment for an ultrasound to a 20-week abortion appointment to terminate their pregnancy before it was illegal.

When I meet people considering abortion for genetic anomalies I remind them that none of us are perfect. We may appear perfect on the outside but inside we have anxiety, depression, cancer, a multitude of autoimmune diseases, learning disabilities, heart and lung disease, diabetes, and the list goes on. Down Syndrome children wear their difference on their sleeves while we hide ours beneath our “perfect appearances”. Yet, the Down Syndrome children are actually more perfect, in so many ways, especially in the areas of love and kindness. I advise patients to preserve the life of these blessing who have a different appearance. We are all different. Their difference is that they are little lights, and we all need little lights.

Dr. Monique Ruberu

Mary and the Saints

I am a cradle Catholic.  I have grown up asking the Blessed Mother Mary, the saints, and my family and friends to pray for me.  Many people have asked me what that means and I hope these words help you understand my faith..

Prayer is a way of communicating.  At the end of a legal pleading there is a prayer.  In old English,  we have heard people state during a request “I pray you sir……”  Clearly prayer is how we communicate a request.

I ask family and friends to pray for me.  I also ask Mary and the saints to pray for me.  Regardless of whether someone is here on earth or in heaven we are all one family.  Therefore, I feel confident asking my family and friends on earth and in heaven to pray for me.

Mary and the saints are humans.  Mary is the only perfect human because she was born without sin (immaculate conception), so that she could be the perfect vessel through which God would enter the world.  The saints, are human beings like you and I.  They were all different, with good and bad backgrounds, but eventually they all lead lives that were pleasing to God.  Both Mary and the saints are in Heaven where they enjoy the privilege of adoring the beatific vision of God.  Mary and the saints are close to God and they are perfectly situated to draw God’s attention to our prayers.

When I ask Mary and the saints to pray for me, I do not put my faith in the saints rather than God.  I know that it is God alone that has the power to answer my prayers. To explain, if a person wants a job, he will submit an application to the owner of the company.  He knows that the owner alone makes the decision about the job.  If the person knows employees at the company who are in good standing, he will ask them to put in a good word to the owner of the company.  In the same realm, we know that God answers our prayers.  However, we call upon Mary, the saints, our family and friends to pray for us and put in good words with our heavenly Father.  There can never be too many people praying for you.

Asking Mary for prayer is a good idea.  Mary is God’s mother.  Like you and I, God loves His mother for all that she has done for Him.  Further,  Jesus’ first public miracle was performed at the request of His mother.  Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Canaan because Mary asked him to help the bride and groom’s family.  Jesus at first resisted Mary’s request, but she persisted and told the servants to do whatever her son directed.  For that reason Jesus performed His first public miracle, at the request of  His mother, Mary.

Mary does the same thing today.  She always directs us to focus on Jesus.  She always directs us to do His will.  She always takes our prayers and requests to her son.  She is a wonderful and loving mother.  Jesus gave her to us as a mother when he was on the cross.  He told St John that Mary was to be John’s mother, and John was to be Mary’s son.  This assignment was not just for John, but for all mankind.

How wonderful to know we have a loving Father in heaven who hears and answers our prayers.  How equally wonderful to know that our family and friends on earth, united with Mary and the saints in Heaven are praying to God for us.

Maria Wiemann

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Write to Give Thanks

It will soon be Thanksgiving and I want to share my thoughts with you.  I intend to write to give thanks.

First, I thank God for living in America where I have the right to express my views.

Second, I thank God for the ability to express myself.  The gifts of 50+ years of life, family, friends, health, education, career, opportunities, and so much more that He has provided.

From my first memory to the moments of each day I see His hand at work. I have made mistakes, and He has forgiven me. I have not deserved joy, but He has blessed me.  Every good thing in my life came out of following His will, just as every downfall was the result of a stubborn desire to seek my own will. Life is not perfect, but I walk forward because He gives me hope and strength to persevere.

For all of this and more, I want to share my thoughts and experiences with you. If these words help you, then give thanks to the one that placed the thought in my heart. There is a secret that we all seek, there is a fountain of joy and life eternal, there is something greater than us that loves us more than we can comprehend. It is God.

Follow him. Know, love and serve him…and all the treasures will be yours.

Maria Wiemann

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2017.11.17_Stevie Midi