Friday, July 22, 2011

Icon of the New Adam and New Eve: The Shroud and The Tilma

The Shroud of Turin and The Tilma with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Both images are Icons.

What is an Icon? An Icon is said to be "written" not painted because it is sacred art that has a purpose. It is a Catechism in color. Every line, every detail means and teaches something. That something is a theological truth about God and man's relationship to Him. Icons are spiritual doorways because when we contemplate them, there is an internal movement towards God incarnate, which is what Icons are, and when we move toward God, He moves towards us.

Icons are God incarnate because they are the physical manifestation of theological truth. They make visible the invisible. It was said that every man and woman are icons because we are made in the image and likeness of God, male and female He created them so to see a "persons" is to see the likeness of God. Perhaps that is why we greet one another with a gesture of reverence. Some cultures shake hands and some bow in the presence of others.

So now, in a world where the belief of the supernatural is almost lost, we are once again in need of a simple catechism. Like children, we need to be re-engaged through the beauty of pictures. "Beauty will save the world" and perhaps sacred art is the very beauty Dostoyevsky was speaking of.
(This Icon "written" by Michelle Leonille Jennes using the shroud as her guide and Divine Mercy)

So what do I think they are Icons of? Well, several things but here are four of the biggest. I believe they are Icons of these four things.

Icons of;

1. The Wedding Feast
2. The Eucharist
3. The Redemption of Man and Woman
4. The Song of Songs

1. The Wedding Feast:

TILMA; Tilma worn during marriage ceremonies, worn on the body as a covering. Bridegroom and Bride are tied together as a symbol of their union during ceremony of wedding. It also is used to carry children later, in the fold which is then tied around the waist of the person. The Tilma is worn by average people therefore revealing that ALL are called to Union and Communion. Two pieces of cloth were sewn together, in fact the center of this cloth is the exact middle of the image. It is where two have become one. Two pieces of cloth become one garment. This also brings dignity to male and female he created them as marriage is only between a man and a woman. In the image, I content the exact center of the tilma is also where the divine mercy image is in the robe. But that is another thing.

SHROUD; The Shroud is believed to be the table cloth of the last supper. This is the wedding feast of of the lamb, the table an earthly banquet but the feast is on Jesus Christ, the true food and true drink. This last supper is THE wedding feast and we are ALL called to the Wedding feast. The cloth of the shroud is two pieces sewn together. The two become one once again revealing the theme of "marriage". Also revealing the dignity of male and female he created them as marriage is between a man and a woman.

2. The Eucharist

TILMA; The image of Mary, with Christ incarnate, is God made flesh. This is a Eucharistic image. She is the tabernacle that brings us Jesus. She is the ark of the New Covenant that holds manna for us. Even the words of Juan Diego "is this the land of the flesh, the land of the corn, the land of my people" is indicative that the food of his people is linked with flesh. Fr. Miguel Guadalupe wrote in 7 Veils of OLGuadalupe, that even the image is shaped like a ear of corn, the fruit!

SHROUD; The image of Jesus, on the tablecloth is the very meal upon which we are receiving. The miraculous impression, a foreshadowing of what would continue on earth at the hands of the priest. Jesus uttered the words over the cloth upon which hours later he would be covered. He broke the bread and gave it to us as true food and true drink. Later, his body, broken would be laid upon the cloth once more, and at the moment of his consecration, of the fulfillment of scripture, he rises and in an instant his glorified body manifests the image, makes visible the invisible, onto the table cloth.

3. The Redemption of Man and Woman; The New Adam and The New Eve

TILMA; Not only do the constellation's placed precisely over her image where theological truths are conveyed, but she reveals that her immaculate conception is woman fully participating in the redemption of man. Just as Eve took of the apple and ate, so did Adam and so BOTH fell from the glory of what God had intended for them. In God's plan for the redemption of man, He could have done it by any means He saw fit, yet, He chose for the participation of mankind, and begun so through A woman. Male and female He created them, so would not God make it known that male and female they are redeemed? If we are made in his image, male and female, then we see how beautiful it is that before Christ takes His flesh from her, the merits of His sacrifice are applied to her at the very moment of her conception. OLGuadalupe appears to St. Juan Diego on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, linking this truth to the image.
Sts. Joachim and Ann, Icon handwritten by the iconographer, Nancy Lee Smith, IHM
(Copyright, Saint Ann Catholic Church and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)

The truth of Redemption "written" in this icon is that God makes all things new. Eve, of her own free will, in the garden of paradise, free from concupiscence and free from sin, she took from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, the fruit and ate it. She brought it into her body, through an act of the will and it bore death to the world.

This image reveals through Iconography, that Mary, The New Eve, free from sin (immaculately conceived) brings into her virginal garden (an icon of eden) with an act of her free will, she brings into her garden the fruit of ALL KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL and through her yes, brings life into the world. Not just spiritual life but the physical life of Jesus Christ full man and full God. "The Body makes visible the invisible".

Even the process of Iconography reveals a theological truth and Our Lady of Guadalupe is no exception. For instance, her inner robe is a rose or earth color and is understood by the Nahuatl Indians as meaning she was created from the dust of the earth. Through the lens of Iconography we can see that ALMOST ALL OF THE NAHUATL GLYPHS hold a message NEVER BEFORE considered because we have not looked upon the image through the LENS OF ICONOGRAPHY.

Through the lens of Iconography, we would first understand that the clay bole used on the image as well as the gold leafing found there have a HUGE message and symbolic meaning!

The clay symbolizes the earth from which Adam (and all humanity) was created. With
the gold leaf, you "breathe life" into the clay, as God breathed life into Adam.

Just as raw clay is fired into a handsome and durable pot, applying gold leaf "fires"
the clay bole into luminous beauty, reflecting earthly and heavenly light. So through the lens of Iconography, the message found in OLGuadalupe reaffirms that She is the New Eve and that where I see the torso of Christ in her inner robe which is done in these clay tones, IS the New Adam and the gold leafing, reveals the breath of God, the Divine Light.

SHROUD; The New Adam, free from sin, with an act of his free will allows the manifestation of our sins, the spiritual depravity, to make itself visible upon His body so as to bare it and then birth us all through his sacrifice into His Father's heavenly kingdom. The New Adam's glorified and redeemed body is what created the image onto this holy cloth.

4. The Song of Songs

"Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.

See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land."
(Song of Songs 2:10-12)

It is as if Mary is being invited to rise and be assumed into heaven! To demonstrate the redemption of woman as well as man has been accomplished. God unties all of the knots that Adam and Even tied. He makes all things new.

Tilma; Mary is both sister and bride as well as Mother. As sister, she has provided the flesh and blood, without a biological father, thus acting as a twin might. The splitting off from one person and the creation of another. This is what took place when Adam was asleep and Eve came from His side. There was not a union of two become one flesh. So in the tilma we see Mary, offering her side, her flesh, for the Son of God to be given the hands and feet upon which to give His life for the Redemption of the world. The constellation of Gemini is over her torso. The Nahuatl indians wrote in glyphs and not letters. There way to write the most beautiful of love songs and poetry was the glyphs of flowers and flower clusters. Music, was the highest form of prayer and to dance and sing was the highest form of worship. The flower glyphs on the robe of our lady is "written" by God revealing to the indians this is a divine love song of the greatest form of love and of worship of the one true God. To love, free from concupiscence.

Even now, I have been told that Msgr. Eduardo Chavez has placed pins into the center of the flowers and tested his theory to see if a song or melody would manifest and indeed, there is. I have believed this from the moment I began to see that OLGuadalupe is an Icon of the New Eve. She is the Bride that sings her beautiful song to the Bridegroom. That song is an invitation for the world to ponder the biblical book of the bible and discern and contemplate the love poetry of our God in the Song of Songs. We are called to love our sister and our bride. Jesus himself, desires for us to be nourished at his mother's breast, as we see in many pictures of the saints that had mystical experiences of this. We are called, to be brothers and sisters by sharing in His mother's milk and in fact her protection under her mantle. She is His sister , His mother and His Bride. I have also found significant writings of Blessed Amadeus as well as Fr. Miguel Sanchez that believed this image had a message for the church as the lady of the apocalypse. He believed that she would be a great intercessor of healing and evangelization to the world. He even speculated that the flowers on the hill, which were many, held great significance to the story. I have researched these flowers and agree. There were many flowers gathered on Tepeyac hill and I believe they are all significant to the story being told through Iconography to the Church of the 21st century.

SHROUD; There has been the discovery of the flowers within the image. Not only has there been similarities to iconography, but there is even some experts that believe that there are "cartoon" shaped flowers on the image. I suspect that they also would play a song if pins were placed into the centers and that if played while the tilma song played, would create a melody and harmony. These images are receptive and the parallels and similarities are great. These are only SOME of what I have found and I am a nobody, a no one, a mother of 8. But, St. Juan Diego was also an average everyday person, and perhaps sometimes, the littlest ones are the ones that hear. I could be wrong, but I believe we are all being invited to contemplate the images of the Shroud and the Tilma in light of one another (also with Divine Mercy).

For more info on other areas I am developing, please read the other articles related to this on my blog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Icon Of The New Eve and The New Adam; Song of Songs on the Tilma

One of my latest "discernment's" that the Song of Songs is "written"(Icon's are not painted but written and this is one of my main contentions, that there is a message written in the image of the Tilma for the Church of the 21st Century through the lens of Iconography) in the image has been confirmed, at least to me. The priest in the picture is Fr. Tim, someone I believe Mary is going to be revealing much of her plan through in the next several years, please pray for him.

This would be one more demonstration that the technological age that would have the equipment to detect it, would be re-invited to discern the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. So far, because of a micro-scope, we have found the Purkinje effect, the effects of a living eye as well as 14 people including a family and Bishop Zummarago and St. Juan Diego, all considered to be present in the room at the time St. Juan Diego opened his Tilma and the image suddenly "appeared". The second is the that the Constellations as they appeared at the exact latitude and longitude of the apparition are deposed on the tilma in the exact placement of the morning of Dec 8, 1531 by way of the stars on her outer mantle. Advanced Keplers mathematics and super computers and software programs were necessary for this discovery to be found and then confirmed. Now, a song, may be present and discovered only after entering into the 20th century upon which the music devices have been invented to hear the song? Am I the only person asking the question of "Could there be a message in the Tilma for the Century of the Church that is most like the Aztec culture? We are after all, a culture with false deities, shedding of innocent blood and in need of divine intervention as well as a poor man's catechism to re-evangelize our pagan world are we not?

So, I contend, we are making discoveries in an image that always held these new findings but they were laying dormant until the age upon which would need it most would not only discover it, but through a gift of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there would be an outpouring of grace and receptivity to the world so that we would, through the sacred doorway of art, discover the spiritual realm. The Aztec's were catechized through glyphs, through pictures that spoke a language to them. Through the lens of Iconography and science, Theology and Technology are revealing the teachings of our faith once again and I expect to see millions healed, converted and protected through Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I have just been told by a friend who traveled to Mexico and met with Msgr. Eduardo Chavez. My friend told me that Msgr. Eduardo has taken pins and put them into every center of every flower and then had it analyzed and put through some kind of device to test the theory that a song or melody exists within the image. I am not sure if that is a device like the small jewelry box I had that when I opened it, the metal cylinder that when it turned, would spin and the the pins on it would pluck a steel comb creating a beautiful melody, usually, a love song. Well, it is my understanding that Msgr. Eduardo Chavez found found that there is a song or melody in the structure of the flower clusters that when the pins are plucked, creates a tune. I do not have all the specifics on this but am working on getting them and will update this when I do.

I had this same discernment and shared it in May of this year with Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, the director of the Shrine of OL Guadalupe in La Crosse. Fr. Peter Fehlner is a Marionologist, an expert in Theology as it pertains to Mary. I told him, I believed there is a message about Mary being both Sister and bride. Sister, in that like a twin, she split from her side and gave her flesh, all of it, to Jesus. Sister, in that in the song of songs, we are invited to contemplate the love of the bride and bridegroom as sister first then bride. It is also a message of loving rightly, without the disorder of concupiscence. The constellation of the Gemini Twin is over her belly.

I told him that I believed that there was a song in the image, in the robe. I did not know how to confirm this, yet believed it strongly based on the fact that OLG is the Icon of the New Eve and that I believed the Shroud is the Icon of the New Adam. I have read research of the ancient Nahuatl Indians and that they wrote/painted in flower glyphs to depict love songs and love poetry.

Clusters of flowers were to depict the most beautiful of prayerful poems and music. I told him that I believed that hidden within the clusters on her robe, lies a song. It is a song of holy music. I based this on the fact in their culture dancing is a form of prayer or entering into the prayer.

She IS the woman in the Song of Songs.

The fact that OLG is is dancing meant that she is participating in the song revealing that she IS the bride. Yet, she is making the music because she is performing by playing the morroco which she is holding in the palms of her hands (yet it is sacred music since her pinky's are in the position of St. Anthony's cross). The fact that she is making the music shows her role in the redemption of man as her own conception was immaculately conceived (1st date of apparition) and that through her Fiat, her yes, The New Adam was given flesh and blood from which to give us his Fiat. Just as Adam was free from concupiscence when from his side 100% of his DNA was utilized to create woman. Like an embryonic twin that splits, Adam split and the breath of God into her created woman. So now we have The New Eve, free from Concupiscence, sharing her flesh to give life to the New Adam.

This theology is shared pictorially in that she is holding the morocco in her hand (her immaculate conception and her Fiat, her participation is validated). Mary reveals to all women that we also are called to the redeemer. She is the redemption of woman and so all women have hope of being sung to by the Bridegroom.

Mary participates on every level as Christ makes all things new, she is also assumed into heaven so that the feminine receptive is redeemed and even her body is glorified and risen into heaven just as Christ's was to show the world that while man and woman fell in the garden, male and female they were created, well guess what the tilma and the shroud tell the story through sacred art that male and female we are redeemed. It is the story of Eschatological Man. It is Theology of the Body. That is why the glyph of Blessed Pope John Paul 11 is there as well as the Song of Songs.

I pray if you can share any information on this new research about an actual song being found in the image that you can share with me how to find this information. I have so many more insights to share about what the image of OLGuadalupe is SINGING to the world because within the image, is a message for the Church of the 21st Century.

By the way, there is a message about an unholy and diabolical "trinity" of the dragon, the serpent and the scorpion in the image as well. They are working in a profanation of unholiness all to mock God, but yet, since the very beginning have been bringing about deception, division, confusion and schism (the dragon/draco), murder, death, loss of dignity of person and of life and the shedding of blood acts like gasoline on flames to this entity (the serpent/hydra) and finally perversion, woundedness, desecration of femininity and masculinity (the scorpion/scorpio). Even the sign of scorpio with the M and the forked tail seems to be speak a profanity.

This unholy and diabolical perversion forms an inverted triangle over the image with the head of the dragon being stared down by Mary as she holds the family in her eyes. She is the power upon which we will be protected from this force at work in the world, and has been at work (osiris, isis and horus) since it is my contention they have been at work since the beginning of time, she is going to bring healing of deep wounds to many and she is going to rightly order her children to prepare us for our final confrontation which I believe is coming soon. I believe we are at an end of an age and She desires to be our intercessor, with her son of divine mercy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Extreme Hoarding; A Cry for Love and Mercy

I have wanted to write about the hoarding shows on cable for some time now. As we speak I am watching "Hoarding; Buried Alive" on TLC.

There are many programs currently on cable dedicated to the issue of hoarding. For those of you who are unaware of what hoarding is, let me try and explain. Hoarding is the collecting and or keeping of possessions. The common word would be "stuff".

The "stuff" that they keep is piled up so high that in some cases, the people must hold on to the ceilings to steady themselves as they walk from room to room. As a viewer of these shows, I see the piles of junk for what they are, junk. I see rotten food, urine in bottles, dolls, diapers with feces in them or feces tied into shopping bags, crafting supplies, clothes, knick knacks, boxes and in some cases chickens, pigs, and rats making a house unlivable to most persons, but not to the person who is a hoarder.

People who hoard have fail to use or discard the many items they collect. They do not see the items surrounding them as hazardous or unsanitary, rather they see it as their possessions, for better or worse. People who have a compulsive need to hoard are impaired in more ways than just the basic activities of life like cooking, cleaning, bathing, sanitizing their homes or the like. It is my opinion, based on a personal observation and a degree in Psychology, that compulsive hoarders are impaired in their ability to love and be loved.

The hoarder surrounds him or herself in "things" because they believe that the things do not judge them, do not hurt them and will never leave them. Because many of them are deeply wounded, perhaps even suffering from emotional affirmation deprivation disorder, they have no understanding or experience of unconditional love and so, because human beings are made for love, these wounded souls create their own relationships of unconditional love, not with people, but with things or sometimes with their pets and the more of them, the more love they believe they are experiencing.

I often wonder why the therapists on these shows do not think to take the compulsive hoarder to another hoarders home. You see the hoarder forms an attachment to their piles of garbage. To the onlooker, we see paper wrappers with rotten food in them. The hoarder, they see the item they opened last Thursday and ate while thinking about happier days. They laid it aside thinking they wanted to keep that memory and so the food rots in the wrapper. To the viewer, they see bottles of urine in old juice bottles all over the floor. To the hoarder, they see a necessity of life, their toilet is broken and so the bottles allowed them to deal and cope with a situation they have no power to rectify since they truly are powerless in this dysfunctional love relationship they have united themselves to.

It is almost like a very dysfunctional marriage. Based on this premise, I wonder if a hoarder saw another persons pile of dysfunction, a home filled to the ceiling with 8,000 tons of garbage, wouldn't they see it as garbage? After all, if the stuff is about a personal connection to things, if the personal element were removed, wouldn't this facilitate an opportunity to bring understanding of the dysfunction of it all to the hoarder? It seems like it could be a possibility, yet every therapist and counselor on the show, fail to see this is more than a behavioral response to stress. This is a dysfunction and a wound to the very soul of the individual. This is the soul making visible the invisible. This is a demonstration of Theology of The Body.

Theology of the Body is the teachings of Pope John Paul II, now Blessed Pope John Paul II and one of the important things to remember is that not only are we to understand we are made male and female but we are also made for relationship. We are made for union and communion. We are made for love. We are also body and soul and the body is the way in which we live out our call to love and be loved. When a soul is deeply wounded, the body will make visible this woundedness. I believe hoarding is just one of the physical manifestations of a a wounded soul and the persons inability to love and be loved.

All of us are called to union and communion, family. This is the nature of the trinity. God is love and this love is revealed through the 3 persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As men and women made in His image, we too are called for union and communion, in other words, we are made to love and be loved. Family is manifested when a man and a woman unite their lives to each other in marriage.

When a person suffers deep wounds from childhood, generational sin, abuse, addictions or other, their understanding of how to love and be loved becomes disordered. To a wounded person, other people can become so frightening, yet the call to love so strong, that they replace people in their lives with "things" and so begins their dysfunction. The hoarders believes they are united to their hoard, they believe they are in communion with it and in a very unhealthy and disordered way they attempt to live this out. They live in the pile of garbage, use it to cover themselves up to stay warm. Every choice they make and every minute of every hour is consumed and affected by their stuff. It cuts off their ability to be in relationship with other people and so they become trapped and bound by it. The garbage becomes all that they know all that they love and all that serve.

When someone arrives to help them clean out their homes and rid them of their hoard, the hoarders seems receptive. As they show the TV crew around their homes, I notice a lightness of heart and quickness of step that seems to indicate a feeling of liberation. Perhaps revealing the hoard to an outsider allows them to see with new eyes what has always been before them. Usually the person with them is a trained counselor and so it is my belief that it is the non-judgment and willingness to "love" on the part of the counselor that causes this receptivity. Image it, you walk through your pile with a stranger, they see, yet do not leave you but promise to stay and help you.

It must be a breath of fresh air to the person who has been hiding for so However, as fast as the feeling of hope that this breath of fresh air brings into their lives, it is promptly replaced with the distress symptoms of the deep wounds that caused this dysfunction in the first place. They begin to feel hopeless, fearful, powerless, rejected, shameful, and more. These manifest through many forms, anger seems to be a big one. Anger is actually a need for control and is based on a deep abandonment wound. At some point in their life, they were abandoned and in that moment the enemy proposed a idea. That idea was that they were unlovable and that they would always be alone. If they consented and agreed to that idea, it became a stronghold. Strongholds are the way the enemy gets his foot in the door. Once we have come into agreement with the enemy, we begin to experience all the disorder that being in agreement with the devil would bring.

Some become hoarders to cope, some become addicts, some neurotics, we are all unique and unrepeatable human beings and so our reactions to disorder and dysfunction will be as unique and individual as our very person. The reason the hoarders go from happy to angry and fearful once their hoard begins moving from their house to the dumpster is because each of the items being removed has a great significance to them. The thought of taking away their hoard, feels like a stripping away of their safety net, a stripping away of a sort of relationship. The relationship they had with their hoard had soothed and comforted them in some way for a very long time and the thought of being parted, opens up the wounds of abandonment once again.

If these shows truly want to help these people and not just provide us with entertainment, then they would stop treating the symptoms and begin addressing wounds. If a person has a brain tumor, you don't give them an asprin, you remove the tumor. These people are manifesting distress symptoms in hoarding. To clean up the hoard and to talk about how to organize gives them some coping skills but does not bring any healing to the wounds that have generated this disorder to begin with.

Distress symptoms are a Mercy from God. They are like a neon sign that you see when you are driving down the highway looking for a motel vacancy to stay the night. The flashing sign with the arrow pointing the way to warm bed for the night is a perfect example of what a distress symptom is. God gave every human being free will, this means we are not robots but that we can freely choose to live out our lives however we wish. We can love or not love, we can believe in God or not. He does not force himself on anyone. However, for every action there is a reaction. If I drop a ball it will hit the floor and bounce. It will follow the rules and natural order of things. If a person abuses another, free will allows that to occur. However, God always brings a better good out of every situation. When a person is abused, God's permissive will allows it, NOT his active will. I have been abused, however, because of this breakthrough therapy that I experienced at the Theology of The Body Training and Healing Center, I have been healed in ways I never thought possible.

You see when we experience a distress symptom, something in your life that is causing distress, in inordinate emotional reaction or belief in yourself or others, this is that neon sign. It is God's way of pointing you to a place where you have, of your own free will, come in agreement to a judgment about yourself. "I can't do this" a powerless wound, "I will do this alone! I don't need anyone!" These strongholds are patterns of behavior that persists in our lives and we just cant seem to change these things. This become a taste of hell. They become the barriers and the moats that lock up our hearts in this hell. Anger is the root of abandonment, lust is the root of rejection, greed is the root of fear and mistrust. The neon sign, the distress symptoms show us what and where we are really wounded because Christ desires us to receive healing and freedom in this area. He will not trample on our free will, so the distress symptom, is the neon sign flashing over and over inviting us to come and rest in His motel. His motel, is His Sacred and Merciful Heart.

If you know someone who has a problem with hoarding, share this article with them. The next time you watch the show, contact these places and tell them to look into inviting someone from The Theology of The Body Training and Healing Institute because unless they deal with the cause, they will only be treating a symptom.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Prayer For Grace; Updated 2/2012 Imprimatur GRANTED!


Father, you created us male and female and called us to a life-giving communion of love that would bring forth new life, a reminder of your presence among us. Through a misuse of modern technology, your plan to bring forth new life has been altered, causing embryonic human life to be created outside of the loving embrace of man and woman.  

> Compassionate and loving Father, they remain in Your Hands. We pray for an end to this misuse and abuse of human life. We pray for a renewed awareness of the dignity of every human life, from the moment of conception to natural death.  Through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we wish to make reparation for this sin against the dignity of human life and pray for hearts to be ready to receive the gifts You wish to offer. May all, born and unborn, be united one day in the warmth of Your Embrace. We offer this prayer through the Sacred Heart of Jesus and The Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen. 

(Imprimatur Granted by The Most Reverend Bishop David L. Ricken DD, JLC 0Bishop of The Green Bay Diocese on January 5, 2012 Feast of St. John Neumann may he help us to educate peoples on the dignity of the human person).

There is a great need for reparation in our country for the thousands of “persons” who have been frozen in time. These persons are neither living nor dying. They are alive, yet they are not living their lives. They are not dying, but death seems to be a more likely certitude since they have no right to life in a country where the unborn are not given the status of “person”. If they are not recognized as a person, then there is little hope for them to be treated like one.

I am talking about the many hundreds of thousands of human embryos that are frozen in laboratories, research centers and fertility clinics in the United States. These are not “potential” people but are in fact persons. These embryos have been created after sperm and ovum have united and an immortal soul has been infused by God. This is not "genetic material" created by two genetic “donors” but one living person with their own biological and genetic material. In fact anyone who understand the way organ donation or bone marrow registry works knows that a parent and child match is extremely low. Why? One reason is because a child is a new creation. A child is not merely a genetic product.

So how many of these persons are frozen in a state of “limbo” neither living nor dying and what is being done with them? Well according to the research at the Rand Corporation there are almost half a million human embryos that are frozen. What is being done with them? Well, for those abandoned by their parents due to divorce, loss of contact with patient, death of parent(s), their fate includes being discarded as medical “waste”, being used in laboratories for experimentation or research.

“The RAND-SART team designed and implemented a survey to determine the number and current disposition of embryos frozen and stored since the mid-1980s at fertility clinics in the United States and the number of those embryos designated for research. The survey was sent to all 430 assisted reproductive technology facilities in the United States, 340 of which responded. Estimates for nonresponding clinics were developed using a statistical formula based on a clinic's size and other characteristics. The results show that as of April 11, 2002, a total of 396,526 embryos have been placed in storage in the United States. This number is higher than expected; previous estimates have ranged from 30,000 to 200,000.

Although the total number of frozen embryos is large, the RAND-SART survey found that only a small percentage of these embryos have been designated for research use. As the figure illustrates, the vast majority of stored embryos (88.2 percent) are being held for family building, with just 2.8 percent of the total (11,000) designated for research. Of the remaining embryos, 2.3 percent are awaiting donation to another patient, 2.2 percent are designated to be discarded, and 4.5 percent are held in storage for other reasons, including lost contact with a patient, patient death, abandonment, and divorce.” RB-9038 » RAND: How Many Frozen Human Embryos Are Available for Research?

This is our reality. It is disturbing to me that we live in a country that protects the rights of animals with much more fervor than it does the unborn. But do not despair, because I have decided to find a way in which I could make reparation for this great evil and injustice and I encourage you to do the same. We should all be looking at the places in which we as a society are broken and seek to find a means in which to bring healing or even a cure where possible.

Let me share with you how I came to learn about these abandoned persons and was inspired to find a way to effect some form of change to it.

This past week I spent at the Theology of The Body Institute studying “Sexual Ethics” with Dr. John Haas, President of the National Catholic BioEthics Center. I learned many things that week, one of which I will share with now.

In our country there are human embryo's by the hundreds of thousands. While the name "human embryo" sounds like a medical term, the reality is that these are “persons”. But they are not seen as persons in our world. Instead they are seen as "potential" persons. Some are boys and some are girls and these persons were created in a laboratory and placed in a petri dish then frozen for later “use”.

While this is a very complicated subject, it is a new reality in our world. A reality that includes the creation of life occurring in a laboratory rather than inside of the marital union. This new reality has introduced a new set of questions that must be addressed.

I am not a biophysicist nor am I a theologian so my observation is going to be that of a mother of 8 children as well as a daughter of Christ.

What is to be done in regard to these babies? After all, they are persons. Because of this, some will have red hair, some will have blond hair, some will have curls and some will not. Blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, tall or short, great at math or really funny. For one child there will be a natural inclination towards math or science and for another it will be the arts. Perhaps one is the next Mozart. These proclivities are an inherent trait within each and every one of us at the time of our creation. Our environment then becomes the second affecting agent as to whether or not those inclinations are brought to fruition. After all, a fertilized ovum is a human embryo. A human embryo is a human being. A human being is a “person” and each “person” has being created in the image and likeness of God for a reason, for their own sake and should never be used as an object. This beautiful premise is elaborated upon in Blessed Pope John Paul II very clearly stated in Love and Responsibility.

However, we live in a world where these inherent truths are rejected and instead these persons are looked upon as biological material and nothing more. But what if we could for one moment operate from a place where everyone accepted that these are persons? If we did, we could no longer look upon any cryostasis facility as a laboratory of science but would instead have to see these facilities as the modern day orphanages of the 21st century. A facility housing many abandoned children of God. As Christians what is our responsibility towards these children? What is to be done with these persons?

There are organizations such as the “Snowflake Embryo and Adoption and Donation Program” in which families seeking to rescue these abandoned embryos are able to bring them into their own homes by first providing them the womb. This gives them the possibility of living out their lives, being baptized and giving their gifts to the world through the embracing of family life facilitated by their adopted parents. It must be said that this certainly reveals that the we have gone into uncharted territories with the advancements of medical science. Just as the laws have not caught up with the fast paced advancements on the internet, so too have we not contemplated the morality or the ethics behind medical treatments or procedures being used in our modern world.

As a Catholic, we look to Rome for clarifications on these sort of things, not because we are not intellegent enough to decide something for ourselves but because there are many aspects to every part of what is happening in these “laboratories” that must be considered so as to respect the dignity of life and the human person in every action. When we say we look to Rome, it is because there are experts like Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph. D. with a degree in Philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He earned a Ph.D. In Neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain. He worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He then studied for 5 years in Rome where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo. He has spoken on ABC World News Tonight, NPR, CNN and more. The point is, he is an expert in both the biology as well as the theology and he is one of hundreds if not thousands of voices that Romes looks to for counsel before declaring anything. As a Catholic, I know that a declaration on whether or not I could adopt an embryo and bring it into my body as my child, would first take into careful consideration whether or not this further desecrates the body or speaks against the dignity of the person or if it in fact is a loving solution to this horrible atrocity going on in laboratories all over the world.

As I listened to this argumentation being discussed in class, my mother heart within in me ached for these poor souls, abandoned and in limbo. So until Rome makes a declaration what can be done? Well, some Catholic parents have in fact adopted these embryos and have become parents. Some are waiting for formal approval before doing so. This approval may not come so what happens now? What can be done? I was mortified by the prospect that nothing could be done until there was a great comment made by one of the students. It gave me so much peace and put things into prospective. It also led me to another line of thinking I would not have otherwise taken.

The comment was that these human embryos are under the care of God. There is no risk of mortal sin for these little ones and while they have not been baptized, I think we can all agree that these innocent little ones surely have a special place in God's heart. They are not at risk of going to hell, they are free mortal sin and under the care of their heavenly Father and this truth gives me great peace. Every day human beings are living out lives in great sin as they have fallen under the weight of their own weaknesses. In fact, many souls are going to hell everyday because of their rejection of their greatness, their great God given dignity, which came because of their rejection of God.

With this new thought I realized that I could and should do something for these little ones, but it should be done to make reparation to God for this great evil and in doing so, this reparation should be a means of which to convert hearts in the world so that no more of these persons are brought into being in this disordered way, no more should be abandoned to these Frozen Orphanages.

It is from this great love of these persons that my friend Becky and I talked of making a prayer card for these human embryos in reparation for this great wrong to our Lord. To console His caring and Merciful heart so as to inspire more souls to contemplate the meaning of life and that it begins at the moment of conception. This prayer card will have as it's picture, a human embryo by the name of Grace. Grace was adopted by a family, who answered the call of motherhood and fatherhood and rescued her from this modern day orphanage. Her adopted mother, gave her very body for this child and in doing so, received a great grace. Not only did she receive Grace the person, but the grace of motherhood and family to her marriage. We are all called to union and communion and that is why the greatest unit is that of family and not of individual.

Grace only lived 10 hours after being delivered. She had many medical conditions that attributed to her death. However, her mother was able to birth her into the world, Grace was baptized by her father and then she did something extraordinary in her very short life. She lived the life of the trinity. She gave of herself a gift to her mothers body. Her mother received that gift and the reciprocal union of these two persons was so great, that it created the very milk which became a source of life to her brother, a 4 month old newly adopted addition to the family. Grace passed away in a state of grace to her Father in heaven but before she did so, she gave a gift to her mother, her father and even her brother.

I have asked these parents to write the prayer for this card. Who better than those who understand tragedy of this modern day technological crisis? I pray that we all find a way to addresss the loss of dignity that continues to grow in our country. You and I can do something to bring reparation and healing to a world that has hardened their hearts. This was my answer. What will yours be?

If you would like to distribute these prayer cards please contact me at with the subject line “A Prayer For Grace”. All proceeds will go to the printing of more cards and anything extra will go to the continuing the cost of keeping these embryos frozen. It is their life support. If the facilities they are at no longer provide them a place to live, they will be discarded as medical waste, an attack on their very dignity. For now at least, it seems to be an act of mercy to allow them to live. In the meantime, we can all pray in reparation for this evil to console the heart of God our Father and the graces that will flow from our prayers can turn the hearts of the world toward once again recognizing the dignity inherent in every human being. After all, a person's a person no matter how small.