One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early, parked his car, and got out. Another car pulled up near him and the driver told him, “I always park there. You took my place!” The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing. After Sunday School, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member of the congregation walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit. You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment but still said nothing. Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?” The visitor replied, “I took your place.”
When we read the news, today, almost all the headlines read: “Alfie Evans dies at Alder Hey hospital after life support withdrawn . . .
It brings to a end the stalwart fight by Alfie’s family to give him a chance at life. Instead of releasing the child to his parents in order to get a second opinion, they were in court many times trying to win the right to be parents and do what they felt was right for their son. The world stood with them but the UK system gave them police guards which were not to protect the baby but to insure he was not taken to another hospital for reevaluation. Money was not an object as Italy, Poland, Germany, and China made offers. Italy made Alfie an Italian citizen in order to get him to Rome, with the Pope’s blessing, to seek treatment. On all counts, Alfie was refused a chance.
In spite of being basically declared a ‘vegetable’, Alfie breathed on his own. He responded to his parents’ voices. He stretched and even had smiles. This did not move the doctors who still refused him life. His parents wanted to take him home to have him to themselves and their family for however long he would be with them. The doctors refused.
Well, today the Alder Hey doctors got their wish and Alfie went home to heaven. It seems that the UK is getting good at preventing second opinions or allowing families to seek the best options for their babies. In a country supposedly as civilized as the UK, why were these tactics necessary? Why did they fight so hard to insure the death of a child?
So, when we read the news, today, understand the headlines do not say that little Alfie passed quietly from this life so much as Alder Hey hospital removed his life support. Naturally, the hospital sent their condolences but it is easy to be kind once you’ve gotten what you want.
The world should never forget the three, little boys who had their lives taken away from them in the UK medical system: Charlie, Isaiah, and Alfie – mandated by the hospital with the blessing of the courts to die. Prayers should continue for these three families as they probably relive their own agony as the next child gets sentenced to death.
We should all leave a legacy of words like this behind when we go to our Maker. When asked for his last words, shortly before his death, Billy Graham said:
“I hope I will be remembered as someone who was faithful — faithful to God, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and faithful to the calling God gave me not only as an evangelist, but as a husband, father and friend.
I’m sure I’ve failed in many ways, but I take comfort in Christ’s promise of forgiveness, and I take comfort also in God’s ability to take even our most imperfect efforts and use them for his glory.
By the time you read this, I will be in heaven, and as I write this I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the day when I will be in God’s presence forever.”
Send Your Holy Angel to Mass (Discovered on the Internet)
O holy Angel, at my side,
Go to the church for me
,Kneel in my place, at Holy Mass,
Where I desire to be.”
At Offertory, in my stead,
Take all I am and own,
And place it as a sacrifice,
Upon the Altar Throne.”
At holy Consecration’s bell,
Adore with Seraph’s love,
My Jesus, hidden in the Host,
Come down from heaven above.”
Then pray for those I dearly love,
And those who cause me grief,
That Jesus’ Blood may cleanse all hearts,
And suffering souls relieve.”
And when the priest Communion takes,
Oh, bring my Lord to me,
That His Sweet Heart may rest on mine,
And I His temple be.”
Pray that this Sacrifice Divine,
May mankind’s sins efface;
Then bring me Jesus’ blessing home,
The pledge of every grace.” Amen
In China, there are two Catholic Churches – one run by the government and the underground church that is loyal to Rome. Of late, it seems like the Pope is more interested in negotiating with the government than dealing with the mistreatment and harassment of the people who continue to practice the real Catholic Faith even if they have to go into hiding to do so. They need to keep a low profile to protect the brave priests who struggle to bring them the sacraments. They keep on constant guard in hopes of raising their children to continue the battle when they are gone.
It kind of hit home with me in view of the recent Rosary Rallies held throughout the United States in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Miracle at Fatima. Although there were good turnouts, the percentage of people who participated were small compared to the numbers in the congregations. We haven’t ever really felt the burden of persecution to be Catholics.
The world is getting more and more interested in reshaping faith and religion today and we see some of the effects right now. We need to pray more for our fellow Catholics in China and other places in the world while giving thanks that we haven’t had to face the same here . . . yet.
We had almost fifty people at our Rosary Rally which was exciting especially when we touched the hearts of people driving by and seeing us there unafraid to proclaim our own joy. I’m thinking that Catholics should take every opportunity for public displays of prayer before we discover a world where we have to go underground, too.