Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Future Foretold


The fair was in town once again with all its amusement stalls and tents pitched in the park opposite St Vincent Church. The lights were shining bright on the big wheel, the round-about and other rides, whilst the music blared for miles around.

Father Ignatius was in the church’s car park when he overheard some youngsters talking loudly:

“I’ve had my fortune told by Mystic Matilda. She looked into the glass ball and it turned all full of smoke inside.”

“What did she tell you? You’re a loser and will always be a loser …”

And somehow, just these words, a snip of an overheard conversation became the basis of Father Ignatius’ sermon on Sunday.

He approached the lectern and asked: “Did anybody here go to the fair last night?”

A few nods and yeses greeted his unusual question.

“I hear there was a fortune teller there. Did anyone go to check their fortune?”

Not many volunteers this time.

“Interesting thing telling peoples’ future … it’s all nonsense of course; but then you all know that, don’t you?” asked the priest with a smile.

“Let’s suppose for a minute that it is not nonsense at all. Let’s suppose that the fortune-teller in the park opposite can really tell your future.

“Let’s suppose Mystic Matilda, for that is her name I believe, can really foretell your future and it is really accurate every time. Every little detail of it. And unfortunately for you she predicts a bad future.

“She says that you’ll lose your job within six months. You’ll suffer a terrible painful illness. You’ll have an accident … I’m sure you know what I mean ….

“And you’re certain the fortune-teller is always accurate and these things will happen. There’s no escaping your fate. How do you feel about that?”

Total silence greeted his piercing question; so Father Ignatius pointed to the children sitting up front, “How about you … you look very intelligent to me. Can anyone tell me how you would feel if you knew your future will be bad?”

A young girl raised her hand and said, “I’d feel terrible and very frightened.”

“Yes Louise … you’re right. You’d feel terrible and very frightened indeed. You’d be terrified and most likely want to change your future at all costs.

“Now let me tell you about someone who knew His future well in advance. Probably from the age of twelve; just the same age as you sitting here up front. When He was found by His parents in the temple in Jerusalem.

“He knew then what was going to happen to Him all His life. He knew He would be betrayed by His own follower. He would be arrested. Beaten, spat upon, mocked and tortured. A crown of thorns put on His head. Made to carry His own Cross and then die a most horrible painful death Crucified between two thieves.

“He knew all that throughout His life. Being human He must have shared the same human emotions we have. He would have been very frightened and terrified just like young Louise said.

“Being human He most probably had nightmares about His whole future. How often I wonder as a young teenager did He wake up in the night having seen His future in His dreams. Can you imagine how terrible this must have been? Knowing what would happen to you and there’s no escape?

“Daily His future must have been on His mind. Just seeing the terrible suffering that He had to face must have been in itself a daily torture for Him. All that evil that is to come His way at our hands!

“But did He give up? Did He try to run away from it? Did He try to change His future?

“When He prayed in the garden before His arrest the devil did tempt Him. Jesus did ask God His Father to make it all go away … but then accepted His terrible terrible fate just for us.

“He was both God and man, and as man He suffered all that pain and that horrible death on the Cross, just for us.”

Father Ignatius stopped for a few seconds, then continued.

“And now I want to address you mothers … how would you feel if you knew for certain what would happen to your children? Your loved ones. And you were told for certain that the future would be terrible for them.

“Can you imagine for a moment how Mary felt throughout her life?

“She knew from the moment she presented the baby Jesus in the temple when Simeon told her sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart. She knew then what would happen to her Son.

“Can you imagine that? Raising a little child, hugging Him, loving Him and caring for Him. Teaching Him to take His first faltering steps, teaching Him to talk, feeding Him and looking after Him every day like a devoted loving mother does.

“And knowing every moment she does these loving things what is to happen to her precious child. Knowing every detail that is to happen to Him. How did she cope with her own Cross to carry throughout her life?

“Not only did she carry this terrible pain in her heart throughout her life, but she lived to witness it as well. For she was there, at the foot of the Cross, when her Son breathed His last breath. She held His dead body in her arms. My heart breaks just thinking about it …."

The priest stopped for a while and silently thanked our Lady for accepting her ordeal on our behalf.

“Now what are we to learn from all this?” asked Father Ignatius in a soothing voice.

“Our future is uncertain; we may be concerned, frightened even, about what is to happen to us and to our children. The financial situation in this town is in a very bad state with many losing their jobs. Prospects are none too good, and it is understandable if we sometimes feel a little apprehensive and doubtful.

“Let us learn from Jesus and Mary and take courage. God was always with them and at no time did He abandon them. Nor will He abandon us.

“When we’re feeling anxious and worried let us turn to Mary and ask her help. Let’s implore her to come to our aid. She has lived through terrible times and she’ll know exactly how we feel. And I’m certain she’ll console us and help us to go on; just like she did all those years ago.

“Let’s honour her right now by reciting the Hail Mary …”

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Where's Einstein when you need him?

OK ... settle down now and listen up ... I am looking for an Einstein brain amongst you to help me solve some very difficult problems.

I am writing a scientific book explaining Einstein's Theory of Relativity in conjunction with the flow of time versus space and the curvature of the space time continuum in relation to gravity.

Try saying that with a mouthful of marshmallows!

Pay attention and I'll try to make this simple both for you and me.

If I were in an open top car driving fast my wig would fly off. As I don't wear a wig, it's all my real hair folks, the chances are that my hat will fly off.

OK ... got that? Hold on to that thought.

Now then, the circumference of the earth at the equator, is just under 25,000 miles - let's call it 24,000 miles.

If I were to stand on the equator, (say in Ecuador), facing East, (because the earth turns from left to right - from West to East),  then it would take a whole 24 hours for me to be back round at the same point where I started as the earth revolves one revolution.

So in effect, if we divide 24,000 miles by 24 hours, we can say that by standing there facing East I am travelling at 1000 miles an hour.

Why doesn't my hat blow off? Why does it fly off when driving a car at say 100 miles an hour but not at 1000 miles an hour? Where's Einstein when you need him?

And if I stood at the North pole, right at the top of the world, I would spin round ever so slowly and get back to the original point where I started in 24 hours - and I'd be very tired standing all this time without a toilet break.

However, if I stood at the South pole, right at the bottom of the world, all the blood would rush to my head because I would be upside down.

If you don't believe me then try this experiment. Take a tennis ball and stick a pin on its equator. Now stick another pin on its North Pole. Revolve the ball from left to right and you will notice that the pin on the equator is travelling faster than the pin on the North Pole is revolving around itself. You will also notice that you have ruined a perfectly good tennis ball. Serves you right for listening to my crazy advice!

Now Einstein had many other theories which I am trying to simplify in my book. And where indeed your help is needed in explaining them.

It is believed that Einstein said that nothing is faster than the speed of light. This is in fact wrong. It was not him but it was a German physicist called Max Planck. His full name is Karl Ernst Ludwig Marx Planck -  but let us call him Max Planck for short. This should not be confused with Max Factor who are also in the business of slowing down time by making women look much younger than they are. 

So ... if we imagine I am in my car standing still, not driving. If I switch on the car headlights; the light will take a tiny infinitesimal period of time to travel from the car to be seen far off at another place in the distance. The speed the light travels from my car to that distant place is known as the speed of light.

Now then ... imagine I am driving the car at 100 miles an hour, and I switch on the headlights. Is the speed of light still the same as when I was standing still or is it 100 miles faster?

And is my hat still on my head or has it blown off?

And if I was driving East on the equator will my speed be 100 miles an hour or 1000 miles plus 100 miles an hour? And would I fall in the water as I run out of land to drive on?

Did you also know that Einstein contradicted Isaac Newton and said there is no such thing as gravity. Obviously he had never been kicked out of bed for watching the sports channel instead of being amorous with his wife!

Finally, my friends, I would like your help in explaining Einstein's Theory of Relativity. As you know, he said that the richer you are the more relatives will turn up at your funeral. Which begs the question; is it worth going to anyone's funeral if these people will not be around to come to yours?

NOTICE 
No tennis balls have been harmed in the writing of this post - 
except the ones you ruined by sticking pins in them.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Conspiracy Theories


I have never believed in conspiracy theories. Although, I think there probably is a conspiracy theory to disprove or deny all conspiracy theories.

Originally I was going to entitle this article Conspiracy Theories And Other Lesser Known Alleged Facts That You Did Not Know About And Yet You Ought To.

But there was not enough room on the paper for such a long title so I abbreviated it to just Conspiracy Theories ... so that you just know that I may well be talking about other things than just Conspiracy Theories.

Anyway, there I was the other day in the museum standing in the newly appointed room for the Exhibition Of Shoes Throughout The Centuries ... ... ...

Let me interrupt myself and hasten to add that I am not a frequent visitor of museums. In fact, I am not a visitor at all and had not been in one for centuries; which in itself is a fact that should be displayed in a museum of sorts. I believe museums are for people with nothing to do in their present life who busy themselves with the lives of others from the past.

No ... I was in the museum to meet a friend of mine for lunch at a new restaurant in town. She is an accountant visiting the museum for some finance meeting or other ... ... ...

Let me interrupt again and hasten to add that she is not the typical boring accountant one usually meets. The ones who permanently carry an abacus with them and are so slow and boring that they shake your hand one finger at a time. No ... Laura is young, very pretty, interesting and with an infectious joie de vivre that makes you feel ten years younger just by being with her.  

As I was saying before my thoughts derailed my train of thoughts ... there I was at the Shoe Exhibition waiting for Laura when I was approached by this man. I could tell by his sandals and the fact that he carried a bag of quinoa that he was one of those liberally minded do-gooders who loves everybody and wants to save the planet for his many children, grand-children and their children for generations to come. I bet his farts are super-filtered to capture any noxious gases that might pollute the atmosphere for eons into the future.

By the way ... here's a fact you may not know ... quinoa is a fancy cereal, not a grass, unlike wheat and rice. It is botanically related to spinach. Its seeds are rich in protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains and is gluten-free. It also tastes like the droppings you find at the bottom of your parakeet cage.

So, this man approaches me at the museum and says, "Do you realise all the time you have been standing here an area the size of Wales has been cut down in the rain forest!"

So I moved to another room in the hope they would stop cutting those trees.

He followed me into another room filled with human and animal skeletons and various whales and fish bones ... a proper dog's breakfast, if I may say so. "Some of these bones are not of earthly origin," he opined.

I was about to say something when he continued, "aliens from outer space landed on this planet many centuries ago but there is a conspiracy to keep this secret so as not to cause mass world panic!

"These aliens are still here right now and they are studying us and our behaviours ...

"You can tell an alien because they don't have a navel, a belly button, because they are not born like us. Which explains why there are no aliens belly dancers ... and they don't sunbathe on the beach.

"Aliens are in our homes as we speak ... or even when we're silent. They hide behind the fridge because it is one place where you don't often vacuum clean.

"Have you ever been at home busy doing something, washing the dishes, cooking or reading quietly when you think you saw out of the corner of your eye a sudden movement? That's an alien observing you. Watching your every movement and sending information back to the mother-ship. All this data and photos of all of us is being stored and recorded by outer-space creatures for future use".

I imagined photos and videos of me in the shower being shared on various websites in inter-galactic space.

He asked me whether I had ever swam with dolphins. I said I could not afford it so I went swimming with sardines instead.

He explained that in ancient times there was another world under the sea inhabited by intelligent life. These creatures still exist and take the form of friendly fish like the dolphins. "They are mammals you know ..." he said, "just like us ... they live deep down in various oceans and they come up where there are people in order to study us ..."

"At least they don't take photos in my bathroom," I thought to myself and said nothing.

"Years ago a scientist studying dolphins in their natural habitat discovered the East Pole you know ..." said the quinoa eating liberal, "but this too has been kept a secret from the world. Unlike the other Poles the East one is warm and not snow covered. That is why it is so easily camouflaged. Not many people know about it.

"You've heard that the ice caps in the North and South Poles are melting, haven't you?" he asked.

I nodded.

"As the ice melts, the sea levels will rise above the land, and more of us will live next to the beach. Property prices will shoot up ... that's why the powers that be are doing nothing about the melting ice caps. They are busily investing in cheap inland properties waiting for prices to go up when the sea reaches them.

"Talking of inland properties ..." he continued knowingly, "did you know that people living by the sea need not pay taxes? That's why they call it the INLAND Revenue. But not many people know that and pay taxes anyway. However, these powers that be, will not pay taxes when the sea reaches their inland homes because they'd be by the sea!"

By this time my head and brain were hurting and I had lost the will to live. But Laura came to my rescue and brought me back to the real world of today rather than being in this fantasy past of creatures from outer-space photographing my bottom, or dolphins hiding in the East Pole.

I'll never visit a museum again.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Rejected



Father Ignatius came out of the Sacristy after Mass and found Sharon still in church with her little three years old daughter Petra. They were standing by the Statue of Our Lady trying to light a candle.

“Are you still here Sharon?” he asked, “how are you these days?”

He must have touched a raw nerve because tears started building up in Sharon’s eyes as she said, “We’re well Father … doing as best we can."

Father Ignatius sat on the first pew and little Petra left her mother and came running to him, handing him her toy bear.

“That’s a lovely bear” said the priest taking it from her hands, “what is his name?”

“John …” said Petra enthusiastically as she climbed on the pew and sat next to the priest. “John, you and me can now pray together …” she added, as her mother a few feet away knelt down by the statue for private prayers.

Sharon was a single mother. Her husband left her for another woman just after Petra’s birth and has not been seen since. Eventually, having no news whatsoever of her run-away husband, she divorced him in the civil court and brought up her little child as best as she could on Social Security Benefits.

After a few moments of silent prayers she joined the priest and picked up her daughter on her lap.

“I’ve been trying to get a part-time job …” she said, “nothing much, just a few hours a week to supplement my benefits and to become a little independent …”

“That’s good …” replied Father Ignatius gently.

“There’s just no work available …” she said, “I can’t go full-time because I have no one to look after Petra … and part-time work is either not available or is too far from home requiring two bus rides to get there.”

Father Ignatius said nothing as he prayed silently and handed the toy back to the child.

“I feel such a failure …” continued Sharon, “my life seems to be in a rut and stuck in failure … I’ve been rejected by my husband … rejected by my family who live too far away to care … and rejected by every employer in town and society in general …”

At this moment, almost by coincidence, the little girl on her lap said, “I love you Mama …”

“Well … you’ve certainly not been rejected by Petra …” said Father Ignatius quietly as Sharon kissed the child on the head.

“And I know you haven’t been rejected by Jesus either …” he continued.

Sharon smiled weakly.

“Rejection is very hard …” said the priest, “and we do sometimes feel as if we’re of no value or worth to others. But that is not always the case Sharon.

“We’re all valuable in the eyes of God, and we all have a contribution to make … you are very valuable to your little daughter who relies on you for everything.

“It’s good that you’re trying to find a job; and I feel deeply for you at what you see as rejection from employers.

“Rejection does not mean failure.

“Sometimes rejection provides you with clarity on where to go next. You say you’ve tried the local factories, and the electric company and the gas works for some clerical work …

“Perhaps your future does not lie there … I can’t say where just now … but maybe God is leading you somewhere else.

“For now it could be that you’re exactly in the right place where you’re supposed to be … and God wants you to spend your time looking after Petra.

“Sometimes He answers us by saying ‘Wait … not now … stay where you are and trust Me’; … do you see what I mean?”

“I understand …” Sharon replied smiling weakly again.

“I shall pray for you Sharon …” continued Father Ignatius.

“And now … would you mind doing me a favor please?”

“Yes Father …” she said.

“I’m having some trouble with the new speakers and microphone they installed in church recently. I wish to test the acoustics in here.

“Would you mind going to the lectern and read something from the Bible over there. Take Petra with you.”

Sharon walked to the lectern child in hand.

“Just read anything … I’ll stand over here” said the priest.

Sharon opened the Bible and read the first passage at the top of the page.

“That’s good …” said the priest, “wait a bit until I walk over there a little further back … now read again …”

She followed his instructions.

“The speakers here sound OK … I’ll go right back by the statue of St Peter … when I get there could you read again please.”

Sharon waited until Father Ignatius walked slowly to the end of the church by the exit door and then started reading the Bible.

He raised his hand in the air to stop her then walked slowly to the front once again.

“As clear as a bell …” he said, “I can hear your every word very clearly despite my old age … and if I can hear you, I’m sure everyone else can.”

She smiled.

“Sharon … we do need readers for Mass on Sunday. It’s really not fair to rely on just the same readers every week. You should really consider adding your name to the readers’ rota to help us out a bit.”

“But … I can’t read …” she exclaimed as she picked up her daughter tugging at her dress.

“You seem to have done OK just now … just think about it,” replied Father Ignatius, “you don’t have to decide right now …”

Sharon did think about it; and eventually she did join the readers list and did read on Sundays at Mass.

A few months later she also managed to get a junior clerical job working part-time at the local Catholic school leaving her child at the pre-school playgroup while she worked.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Couchless Psychiatrist

My psychiatrist friend burst into my office the other day and shouted, "WHY HAVE YOU NOT GOT A COUCH HERE?"

He runs a successful private business specialising in helping individuals, couples and group therapy with their personal problems.

As soon as he entered my office I took my feet off my desk and pretended to be busy. As I picked up a pen to write I accidentally dropped it on the floor and as I bent down to pick it up I banged my head hard on the corner of my desk. I saw stars and tweety birds flying everywhere for a moment or two.

I soon realised that the knock on my head had cut me in the forehead and it was bleeding quite a bit. My friend asked me if I had any Elastoplast plasters or First Aid kit. I said, "Why? Have you injured yourself too?"

Moments later my secretary came in having heard the noise and said, "Oh dear ... have you been fighting birds again?"

I'll have you know that I did nothing of the sort. Just because the other day a seagull landed on my head and scratched my face does not mean that I go out of my way to attack wildlife.

I spent the whole morning in hospital being tested for this and that and exposing my backside to various nurses with needles to vaccinate me against salmonella, tetanus, bird flu and many other dire illnesses I cannot imagine.

Just goes to show that in life you never know when you'll show your bottom to complete strangers.

Anyway ... my psychiatrist friend sat down and with a sigh to end all sighs he said he'd had enough. For years he had been there day in day out listening to an ever ending hoard of people coming in his practice and telling him their problems wide and varied.

"Why do I have to sit there and listen to all their troubles?" he asked.

"Because that's how you make your living," I said.

"Hmmm ... I never thought of that!" he reflected pensively.

"What exactly is the problem?" I asked chewing on a KFC chicken leg I had found in my desk drawer.

"Well ... I'm fed up with the lot of them ..." he answered, "like the man who has Walter Mitty Syndrome. He works as an elephant attendant at the local zoo yet he believes he is a world famous eminent psychiatrist. He comes to my office quoting Freud, 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ...' Jung, 'Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you ...' and Nietzsche, 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger ...' What nonsense ... try a bout of diarrhoea ... see if that makes you stronger.

"You know ..." he continued, "after six months of the best treatment my money could afford, I cured him. I convinced him that he was no more than a worker at the zoo employed at cleaning after the elephants.

"When I sent him my bill he refused to pay it claiming it was his alter ego psychiatrist who had healed him, not me!"

I suppressed a smile licking my fingers of a remaining few chicken crumbs.

"Then there's the man who has a morbid fear of the underside of tables," he exclaimed, "he fears under the table in case there's a tarantula spider down there ready to pounce on his lap and bite his private bits!"

I recoiled slightly on my wheeled chair wondering what ... or who ... might be under my desk. For some reason I imagined my mother-in-law. Is there a syndrome such as fear of mothers-in-law, I wondered but did not dare ask him.

"Oh ... the married couples are the worst," he cried out, "they come to me with double the trouble of single people ... conflicting arguments and points of view ...

"There's this man who complained that his wife suddenly spontaneously decides without a moment's notice that she wants to be amorous ... she enters the bedroom and wants intimacy there and then ... and does not give him time to imagine who he is making love to!"

"Why don't you suggest she role plays and pretends to be the sort of person he imagines?" I suggested more as a joke than seriously, "he can also pretend to be the person she would fancy ..." 

"Hey ... you are good," he said, "have you thought of being a psychiatrist? You'd earn loads with crap advice like that!"

"Just buy me another KFC meal," I replied as he left.

SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE INSERTED HERE - NOT VISIBLE

If you enjoy what you read here invite your friends to join us too.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Ring Ring ... Ring Ring ...

Phone rings ... ... ...

Hello!

Hello ... is that 342 177?

No ... it is ... 34  21  77 !!!

Sorry to have troubled you.

Don't worry about it. The phone was ringing anyway ...

Whilst I got you on ... are you the home owner?

No ... I am not.

Can I speak to the home owner?

He is not here ... I believe they are all on holiday ... the house has been empty for a while ...

Oh ... who are you then?

I am a burglar ... the phone happened to ring and I answered it by force of habit ...

But ... ... but it is day time ... I thought burglars burgle at night!

Oh ... I couldn't be bothered with that ... too dark at night ... the other day I tripped at night and nearly broke my neck ...

I see ... I think ...

Anyway ... how can I help you? Because I'm busy you see ...

Well ... I represent an Alarm Systems Company and wondered if the home owners would be interested in fitting a Burglar Alarm System in their house ...

I wouldn't think so ... not much to burgle here any way ... these people are so poor it is not worth stealing anything from them ...

What are you doing there then?

Well, I felt sorry for them so I am returning a few things I stole last week. A rabbit casserole for instance ... tasted awful ... gave me stomach ache and a Frequent Membership Ticket to the toilet ...

Was it that bad?

Yeah ... the rabbit was all too willing to let go of his lucky foot I think ... anyway must go ... there's someone at the door ... bye!

Good bye!

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Let Him Die


Father Ignatius was a member of the Doctors and Patients Consultative Committee at the local Hospital.

The Chairman of the Meeting welcomed all present and said:

“Thank you for attending this Meeting which we have arranged to discuss a matter on which the Hospital Board has asked for our views. Over the past few months there have been a number of premature births in this hospital and, as you would imagine, it has proved a very difficult and emotive issue for both the medical staff and parents to deal with.

“Let me introduce Doctor Farmington who will address us for a few minutes on the subject in question.”

The doctor stood up and explained about instances when babies are born pre-maturely, some as early as twenty three weeks into pregnancy. He explained that despite medical advancements and efforts made to save the infant, in the majority of cases, those who survived, had severe physical and mental disabilities throughout life.

These disabilities, sometimes painful, resulted in the child leading a very difficult existence dependent on others and on constant medical attention, with no hope of ever being cured to lead a normal life.

The doctor also explained that often, the very intervention by medical staff to save the baby, created medical risks which would adversely affect the infant in later life; for example brain damage, infection and so on.

The dilemma facing the medical profession was whether it would be more humane to let such premature babies just pass away peacefully rather than condemn them to a difficult and often miserable life.

The doctor was followed by a Senior Social Worker who went on to add that in a large number of cases, where the baby was saved despite the severe disabilities, the strain on the family was such that marriages frequently ended in divorce causing further pain and heartache to everyone involved. Furthermore, in many cases any other children in the family suffered too because of the extra attention and resources afforded to the disabled child by the parents. Often one or both parents had to give up work to look after the disabled child putting further pressure on the families’ finances.

The debate went on as to the limited financial resources available by families and the State to assist in such cases.

One or two parents at the meeting maintained that disabled children are well-loved by their parents and are central to their families despite their disabilities. They talked about the sanctity of life and how they, as parents, had the right to decide on medical intervention and not the medics or anyone else.

“You’re very quiet Father,” said the Chairman of the Meeting, “Although I might guess on your views …”

A few people laughed.

“By guessing my views, you may well save me the agony of having to decide on this …” replied Father Ignatius.

The Meeting fell silent.

“I fully appreciate the difficult decisions that have to be made by all concerned in such cases as premature births …” continued the priest.

“It is true of course that where the medics intervene, using their great skills, the results more often than not are a disabled child unable to fend for himself throughout what could be a long life.

“As we’ve heard, this puts a great strain on all concerned and marriages often break-up as a result inflicting further pain on the whole family.

“Understandably, the parents in such cases want everything possible to be done to save the child, and they cling to faint hope that all will turn out well. This is Faith indeed, albeit in reality, as we’ve heard, in most cases it is misplaced Faith since the surviving child is permanently and severely disabled.

“Yet, we must remember, that in these traumatic few moments when a decision has to be made, the parents are acting without any medical knowledge or facts whatsoever, and they base their decisions to save the child on pure loving instincts.

“Faced on the one hand with definite medical and statistical evidence of the outcomes of intervention, and on the other hand on parental love, hope and faith … how are we as a society to decide on this terrible dilemma?

“Who are we, I ask, to play God and decide to condemn a human being to a life of misery for themselves and those around them?

“If a child is born pre-maturely, extremely so in some cases, is this not a sign that the mother's body has rejected it because there is something wrong with it? By intervening are we not interfering with the natural course of event?”

The doctor and the Social Worker smiled sensing the argument going in their favor. Father Ignatius stopped for a second or two as he often did to focus peoples’ attention.

“Let me invite you to consider something else,” he continued.

“There are instances where babies are born after their full pregnancy term, yet, they are born with severe difficulties; like a hole in the heart for example …

“What do the medics do then? Do they reject them as faulty and let them die?

“Or do they do their utmost to help these young lives who sometimes, they too, grow up with disabilities?

“So I ask myself, what is the difference between a child born pre-maturely and another born after its full term? Why should one benefit from the skills and expertise of the doctors and not the other?

“Our skills, whatever they are, are God-given. We’ve done nothing by ourselves to achieve what we achieve.

“A skilled doctor for instance owes his skills and aptitude to assimilate and use knowledge to a Higher Being. This applies to all of us.

“And as such we owe that Higher Being, God, a duty to use our skills, whatever they are, for the benefit of humanity.

“Rather than ask whether the doctors should intervene in the case of pre-mature babies, why don’t we ask God to intervene? Don’t we trust Him enough?

“My views, Mr Chairman, if you’ve guessed them correctly … are that the doctors should do their best with the skills and expertise at their disposal to help these young lives … and then leave it to God to intervene as to the quality and length of life which transpires as a result of their efforts.”
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