Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh, and...

...Wine Dark Sea already gave this a plug, but it is so good I will, too. Elizabeth Scalia on "Dwelling in the Possibilities of a Win-Win Situation" over at First Things:

"'Asked if the church position prefers the mother and child to die, rather than sparing the life of one of them, [James J Walters, professor of bioethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles] said the hope is that both would survive.'

Exactly right. The church hopes for nothing but life, lived in love, but with the clear-eyed understanding that pain is a part of the whole."

Read the whole thing--and the discussion that follows!


I have never been very good at either making long-term friends or long-term good-byes. After high school, I simply didn't say good-bye at all before flying off to college as fast as I could. I had no friendships, except for one particular Scientist, I wanted to keep.

In college, that changed: I found I could make friends and that, when I did, it was with an intense love based on the deepest desires of our hearts--for God, for heaven, for holiness. After college, most of my friends entered convents and seminaries. I married. And the good-byes were along the lines of, "Well, I'll see you in heaven!" We didn't expect ever to see one another again for any extended period of time. It sounded morbid, but one friend--now a Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ--waved good-bye after my wedding and sang, "We'll be together in about 60 years!" Meaning: when we're both dead.

And it was true. The sisters all have a mission that leaves little room for particular friendships; I have a family that consumes my whole being right now.

But here in the Deep South, we have found friends in the same state of life, or who are single, with whom we share again those deepest meanings and longings of the heart. We want the same things for our spouses--joy in Christ--and for our children--to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

It is hard to leave and say good-bye.

We have high hopes, however: in Christ it is not morbid to think of death when saying good-bye. It is a hope in the things to come, that all this will be made whole and most well. We believe that these dear friends will be with us again, and these few years we shared so closely here will manifest their fullest meaning There.

This is what it is hard to say--who talks like that? But we believe it.

Now it's been some weeks of good-byes to dear friends in Atlanta.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pentecost: Waiting together.

From Pope Benedict's 2006 Pentecost Homily:

"To stay together was the condition laid down by Jesus in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; the premise of their harmony was prolonged prayer. In this way we are offered a formidable lesson for every Christian community.

Some think at times that missionary effectiveness depends primarily on careful programming and its subsequent intelligent application through a concrete commitment.

The Lord certainly does ask for our collaboration, but before any other response his initiative is necessary: his Spirit is the true protagonist of the Church. The roots of our being and of our action are in the wise and provident silence of God."

At a time when fragmentation and divorce seem more prevalent than unity, this was a welcome reminder of where we find our peace. Prayer, togetherness, and waiting upon God's saving action--this is our first calling. And the promise of Pentecost is that... He came to them. He comes to us.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Food Inc.

While I was sick with some awful virus back in March, I made the mistake of watching Food, Inc. on my husband's laptop. There's nothing wrong with the film, which exposes many of the unnatural ways we eat in America nowadays. But it's not a good movie for women struggling to feed their families in the best, healthiest, and cheapest way possible.

The end result: I swore never to eat Tyson chicken again, a vow which lasted about 2 days. We simply cannot afford to eat organically, much less free-range-locally-bred-hand-slaughtered fowl.

Walmart, in short, is my friend.

So, it's nice to read an article like this one in the Atlantic on the small things Walmart does to help out the local farms and less affluent families:

The author started looking "into how and why Walmart could be plausibly competing with Whole Foods, and found that its produce-buying had evolved beyond organics, to a virtually unknown program—one that could do more to encourage small and medium-size American farms than any number of well-meaning nonprofits, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with its newKnow Your Farmer, Know Your Food campaign. Not even Fishman, who has been closely tracking Walmart’s sustainability efforts, had heard of it. “They do a lot of good things they don’t talk about,” he offered."

Someday maybe I'll shop at Whole Foods in the organics-only department. But until then, it's nice to know I'm not eating apples only grown half-a-world away!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A complete thought.

It's been a full week since Ana came home, and we've had three days of "just us" Aherns in the house. Writing has not returned to my life yet, but I feel sure it will. Good writing, I'm realizing, requires at least one complete thought, and complete thoughts are in short supply these days.

The "babymoon" means thoughts like:

"Motherhood holds great mystery and ISABELLA STOP PUTTING THE BLANKET ON HER FACE!"

"Was I this hungry with the other two WHERE'S BELLA????"

"This is the cutest onesie and OH MY GOSH SHE SPIT UP AGAIN!"

Not blogging fodder.

Hardly edifying fodder.

But the best thing so far with the third child (and this is a complete thought) is remembering again how quickly this newbie phase passes. Remembering again how helpless and needy both she and I are during these first weeks. Remembering again that my husband is my dearest friend, even when he's so sleep deprived he can hardly finish a sentence.

And seeing for the first time a world with Ana in it. "How did we ever get along without her?" as Miriam says.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ana Therese Ahern

Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, bringing Ana Therese into our world! She was born at 2.28p and weighed a whopping 10 lbs., 10 oz. (We are very glad we induced a week early!). She came home yesterday to the delight of her two big sisters, who can't understand why she sleeps so much. During the day, that is. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What to do while you're waiting for a baby.

Eat chocolate, celebrate 2 years of Bella, and enjoy the May evenings. Happy 2nd Birthday (belated), Isabella!