Along with a hundred million other Americans or more and people throughout the world we watched the catastrophic break up of the Columbia space shuttle Saturday and realized once again how the best made plans of men often go awry and end tragically, as Robert Burns wrote.
Columbia: A Sobering Disaster
All of the astronauts were still in their forties, with lots of plans and hopes still ahead of them, we all thought. They were essentially humanitarians, trying at least to discover ways of ultimately making life better through scientific discovery, investigation and experiment.
We don’t pretend to know just what they were doing up there but, from what we read, their goals were noble and their courage to carry out their mission was admirable. They sounded like good people trying to serve mankind. But, as the secretary of war Edwin M. Stanton said at the death bed of Abraham Lincoln, “now he belongs to the ages.”
These young people are gone from our midst and belong to our history, not our future. This event, the World Trade Center tragedy, the loss of the space shuttle Challenger, the deaths of our own relatives and loved ones, keep us constantly aware of our own mortality and the uncertainty of spending another day on earth. This reflection could make one morbid, or it could make one ecstatic.
A Reminder of Our Mortality
On a dark, cold, wet, foggy day in February, in Chicago, coming out of a weekend of tragedy and body parts and debris spread over hundreds of miles of Texas and Louisiana… It is a blessing at least that with tons of debris falling from the sky no one was injured on the ground. Praise God for that blessing.
In our fast moving society with all manner of distraction, even tragedies and major disasters are soon cataloged and put away and nearly forgotten by the majority of people — 9/11, the anthrax scare, the snipers. They all kind of meld together after a while, but each has an effect on us individually and certainly brings us face to face with the reality of our mortality, our own pending death, judgment, and accounting.
These disasters make it doubly important for each of us to recommit himself to trying to serve God and our neighbor while we have the opportunity. We remembered the astronauts in our chapel Sunday at Mass and again at morning prayer Monday. Each day we pray for all of our co-workers in the pro-life cause, for our supporters of our work of saving the lives of the innocent unborn and their mothers.
Baby Saved on Saturday
We had encouraging news Saturday when a young woman was turned away from an abortion being forced on her by her own family. When we heard that she was being brought to the mill Saturday morning we had counselors there and pray-ers, and warned her family that it was against the law to force an emancipated minor to have an abortion and they could get in trouble.
What worked–the prayer, the warning, the convincing counselors? Who knows. All we know is that the baby is still alive, and that’s a milestone in that child’s life.
World Magazine Info
Action news callers have been asking about a message about abortion that we had on weekend action news out of the February 1 issue of World magazine called “America’s Best and Worst.” The worst was the D&E abortion with pictures and description that would turn your stomach it is so graphic, but very well done.
We can’t send you a copy but you can get one from their website, or by calling them at 800-951-6397 or writing to World Magazine, 845 Tunnel Road, Suite 12, Asheville, NC 28805. Subscription is only $49.95 a year for this once-a-week gem. Their January 18 issue was all about the thirty years of legal abortion called “30 Years of Destruction, Roe v. Wade 1973-2003.” You really should get World.
Pro-Lifers Divided on Capital Punishment
We have discovered recently that the issue of capital punishment has pro-lifers about evenly divided. If you find your pro-life friends too agreeable, just bring up capital punishment for a lively and invigorating evening. We’re serious.