October 17, 2018

On the Fifth Anniversary of her Death; Remembering the "Prison Angel"; Mother Antonia Brenner

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Remembering a future saint: Mother Antonia Brenner aka The "Prison Angel"



Mother Antonia Brenner praying with convict at La Mesa Prison     articles-latimes .com

On October 17, 2013, the world lost a remarkable woman. She was truly, a Prison Angel

This is a love story. No, it is not about romantic love. Rather, it is about the love of
Christ exploding in the soul of a woman who ran with her God-given gift and did her best to shower it upon some of the meanest and worst criminals in Mexico.

This is about Mother Antonia Brenner, who was born in Beverly Hills, CA, was married and divorced twice, had seven children and ultimately became known as the "Prison Angel" of La Mesa Prison, the worst and most dangerous prison in all of Mexico.  Mother Antonia died five years ago on October 17. On the anniversary of her passing, I just thought I would remember her with a few words.

 Mary Clarke was born in Beverly Hills, Calif.on December 1, 1926. Her dad, Joe Clarke, was a successful businessman and Mary and her two siblings grew up surrounded with affluence and the glitz of the movie world. One thing was certain about Papa Joe. No matter how good life was for his family he made sure his kids were always taught to help the less fortunate. The desire to help others would blossom in Mary and was one day destined to explode. However, before the "explosion" Mary embarked on a circuitous life journey.

Mary married at 18 and had three children. The first died shortly after birth. That marriage ended in divorce and then Mary married again. The wedding took place in Las Vegas and it was to a man named Carl Brenner. She and Carl had five children together but ultimately, that marriage also ended in divorce. Mary had somehow distanced herself from her strict Catholic upbringing. No matter, it seems that the Holy Spirit had his eye on Mary Clarke her entire life. It was time for Him to shower His grace on His daughter.

Mary became more and more involved in charity work and has her seven children got older she began to visit La Mesa Penitentiary to deliver donations such as food, medicine, and clothing to the prisoners. The plight of the prisoners at La Mesa began to impact her greatly and as time went by her growing compassion and love of neighbor would become focused on these people. They would become her specialty, her ministry, her purpose in life.

In 1977, after her kids were grown and her second divorce was final, Mary gave away her expensive belongings, moved out of her home in Ventura and headed to La Mesa. She had received permission to move there. Her new home was to be a 10' by 10' cell. She would live as any other inmate, sleeping in her concrete cell and having only cold water and prison food. The amenities in her room included a Crucifix on the wall, a Bible and Spanish dictionary nearby and a hard, prison bed. In the morning she lined up with the other prisoners for roll call. This was to be her home for the next thirty years.

The story of how this twice divorced woman and mother of seven kids from two marriages was accepted by the Catholic Church as a Sister and founder of a new order can be found at the links provided. Suffice it to say that as time went by Sister Antonia became "La Mama" (Mother Antonia) aka The Prison Angel,  

Mother Antoni© Brenner praying with prisoners.. courtesy eudistssisters.org


She walked freely among the drug traffickers, thieves, murderers, rapists, and others touching cheeks and offering prayers. Many of these people were among the most violent and desperate of men. Yet she happily walked with them and comforted and consoled them and held their heads between her hands as they were dying. 

Mother Antonia Brenner truly saw the face of Christ in each and every prisoner she came in contact with. She loved them all. Why else would hardened criminals, some who had never loved or been loved,  call the diminutive woman who hailed from Beverly Hills, "La Mama"? They loved her in return.

I believe that one day Mother Antonia Brenner will be canonized a saint and inducted into the "Catholic Hall of Fame". She was an example for each and every one of us showing us how to selflessly "love our neighbor" no matter who they might be. 

N.B. Mother Antonia founded the order known as The Eudist Servants of the 11th Hour. The word, Eudist, is taken from St. John Eudes, a 17th-century priest, and founder of the Eudists Order and the Order of Our Lady of Charity. The 11th Hour indicates that the Eudists sisters accept women in life having a second calling. They must be at least 45 years-old to enter the order.

                                             ©Copyright Larry Peterson 2018

    October 14, 2018

    Motherhood---One of God’s greatest gifts is the Instinctive Love of a Mother for her Child…no Matter what their Age.

    IT MAKES SENSE TO ME


    Mom and Baby at Beach     public domain

    By Larry Peterson


    “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    What follows took place over a period of a few minutes.
     
    The man presented an imposing figure. He was dressed in his Air Force uniform which had a crowd of ribbons on the left breast which covered his heart. He stood, paused and then stepped from his pew. Walking purposefully, he moved and strode up the four steps into the sanctuary. He walked over to the ambo, turned and looked out at the people now before him. He grabbed each side of the ambo, and each of his hands squeezed it tightly.

    He turned his head left and peered downward. In the center aisle at the foot of the altar were the remains of his dad. The middle-aged man, a disciplined officer in the United States Air Force, shook his head, pursed his lips, and looked out at those before him and tried to speak. He did not succeed. Instead, what came from within him were soft, quiet sobs.

    There was a woman sitting in the first pew. Stepping from the pew she calmly walked up the sanctuary steps and over to the sobbing man. She sidled up to him and leaned into his side. Then ever so softly, she leaned her head against his shoulder. He turned and looked down at her. She turned and looked up at him. She extended her arm in back of him and rubbed his back. After several moments, she smiled at him and headed back to her pew.

    It had been a spontaneous moment in time as the natural love of a mom for her child compelled her to rescue him. There was no thought about it. No, it was instinctive, a God-given trait that is instilled in mothers. It is a powerful love that only exists between a mother and her child. How powerful that love is that it can quickly calm a professional military officer who had lost his composure because of the death of his dad.

    He had once again become a little boy. Mommy, ignoring the pain of her own personal heartache, instinctively knew it and went to him, embraced him and comforted him and made it “all better.” And therein lies the magnificence of one of God’s greatest gifts, the love of a mom for her child, no matter what their age. It is a beautiful thing.

    The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the love of a Mother.
    -St. Therese of Lisieux


    Copyright Larry Peterson 2018

    October 7, 2018

    Alzheimer’s Disease—The Ultimate Enemy of the Lifelong Love Story


    Alzheimer’s Disease—The Ultimate Enemy of the Lifelong Love Story

    By Larry Peterson

    If you and your spouse have lived within a marriage that has been filled with an unconditional, unselfish, love for each other, then you have been truly blessed. Giving of oneself to another “no matter what,” creates a connection that can never be broken, and it leaves behind a journey that has been sheathed with laughter, joy, comfort, and compassion powered by that love.

    This was God’s plan, and many have embraced it and lived it and reaped the rewards of truly being ONE. Loving someone more than yourself can be a hard thing to do and many have tried but failed. But far more have tried and succeeded by emptying themselves for each other.

    I have two dear friends, better yet I shall call them the BEST friends anyone could ever have. Their names are Mike and Roberta, and we met 35 years ago when our sons were playing youth baseball. Their friendship was unconditional, unquestioned, and given freely, without reservation. They were unhesitatingly there for my family and later, after my wife, Loretta had passed, for me.

    As is the way of things time never waits for anyone and keeps moving forward.  Now Roberta  looks at the dying person in the bed before her and realizes that part of herself is lying there too. Suddenly their lives together scroll before her. The courtship, the wedding, the birth of their child, the laughter, the good times and the bad, the crying, and so forth. This is when having God in your life is crucial. Hope springs eternal and therein lies the truth of the power of faith.

    My friend, Mike, was raised in an orphanage in Philadelphia. Long ago, his mother dropped him off in front of the place on a snowy, Christmas Eve. She left him standing there with a note pinned to his jacket. He was four years old. When he turned eighteen, he was dismissed from the orphanage, given a few bucks, and offered “best wishes and God’s blessings.”  

    He walked away from that place and immediately joined the United States Marine Corp. From that day forward, Mike, who was a trucker, has walked, talked and looked like a Marine. Most of all he has loved his family and his country as completely as he could.

    Roberta, who was a florist, was one of three sisters and was also from Philadelphia. Her life looks like different chapters in a novel whose genre could be considered “urban legend melodrama.” She was one of three sisters and was abused as a child. She lost her first husband to diabetes when she was thirty-one years old. Her father, an alcoholic, was burned over 75% of his body and she cared for him until he recovered and could somewhat function on his own.

    Then she turned to alcohol which ultimately led her to Alcoholics Anonymous. Mike was also attending AA, and that is where they met. He became her sponsor, and he was relentless in his quest to get her to stop drinking. She eventually did, and they got married. (Neither of them has had a drink in over 50 years).

    A half-century of climbing and struggling down into the valleys and over the mountains of the journey called “life” has passed. They never wavered, stood tall, and together stared down and conquered all obstacles in their path. They raised a son who grew up to be the chief pilot for a well-known airline. Mike and Roberta are a living definition of the word, marriage.

    One more challenge stands before them. The only problem is, this time only one of them can confront the challenge. And, upon completing that challenge, that person will be alone.

    Mike has been attacked by the cruel demon known as Alzheimer's disease.  It began erasing his memory some years ago, and it has relentlessly worked its evil 24/7. Today Mike is in a “memory care unit” inside a nursing home. He remembers nothing yet his face lights up and he smiles ear to ear when his dear Roberta walks into the room. He thinks she is his “mommy.” Except she is not.  He also has lost the ability to swallow and can no longer eat or drink.

    His lover and best friend is now faced with the task of watching him leave her forever. She has asked Hospice to keep him pain free and as comfortable as possible. The journey of the long goodbye has reached the last turn before arriving at the station. All that Roberta can do is embrace what was and know that his spirit will always be with her. Then she can take comfort in knowing that one day, holding hands, they will stand together again.

    May God bless and have mercy on all Alzheimer’s victims and their families.


    copyright©Larry Peterson 2018

    September 27, 2018

    St. Vincent de Paul; feast day is September 27:---Some facts about his life you may not know


     IT MAKES SENSE TO ME 
    St. Vincent de Paul ----Wikipedia commons


    By Larry Peterson


    I have been a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for twenty-five years. At present I am not active but being part of this organization has allowed me to interact and work with the least and most marginalized of God’s people. My affiliation with the society has allowed me to experience some of the most uplifting moments of my life.

    Those who reached out to us were always in dire straits. They had no food, had been evicted, could not pay for life-saving medication, had no water, had no gas or electricity among other necessities of life. There were even those who had no shoes. 

    Somehow, we always managed to help anyone who came to us. If we did not have the capabilities, we were able to forward them to a place that could.

    I mention those things because it all goes back to the example and inspiration displayed by one man; St. Vincent de Paul. On his feast day of September 27, here are a few things you may not have known about this great saint.

    • ·        The first one is; St. Vincent did NOT found the St. Vincent de Paul Society. It was named in his honor by Frederick Ozanam, the 20-year-old student who modeled the society after St. Vincent’s works and teachings. The highlighted link will give you Frederick’s story.


    • ·         St. Vincent de Paul was captured by pirates and sold into slavery. Desperate for money Vincent was notified of an inheritance he had received from an elderly woman who knew him. He had made the journey to Bourdeaux to claim the estate. Disappointed that the inheritance was mostly needed to satisfy a debt, Vincent headed back to Toulouse. The ship he had taken was attacked by pirates and most of the crew was killed or wounded, including the captain. Vincent and the other passengers were taken into chains and sold into slavery and taken to Tunis. Vincent remained a slave for two years before escaping with another and making it back to France.


    • ·         Vincent could have been a “community organizer.” Upon returning to France he was working in a church in the country. The area was so poor many people actually died from starvation. Vincent was horrified and began contacting old friends,  many of whom were wealthy, asking for help. He formed groups and they went from house to house seeking clothing, food, and furniture. They were so successful that word spread and other parishes asked to be taught how to organize such efforts. Vincent’s organizational skills began being emulated all over France.


    • ·         Vincent de Paul was the founder of a religious order called The Vincentians. Under Vincent’s rule, those who entered ministry pledged to devote their lives to the spiritual and material needs of the poor. Later on Vincent, along with Louise de Marillac, founded the Sisters of Charity. The work started by Vincent de Paul expanded to opening hospitals, orphanages, and homes for the mentally ill. His work also included serving prisoners and slaves.


    Vincent de Paul died on September 27, 1660. He was canonized a saint on August 13, 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII.

    It is not sufficient for me to love God if I do not love my neighbor. I belong to God and to the poor.” –St. Vincent de Paul


    St. Vincent de Paul, please pray for us.

    copyright©Larry Peterson 2018

    September 7, 2018

    Can People who do not Believe in Jesus Christ get into Heaven; Dad said, “Absolutely.”

    IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

    By Larry Peterson

    -
    My Dad, Emil Peterson  1912--1965

    There are 2.2 billion Christians in the world of which 1.2 billion are Catholic. That is almost one-third of the world’s population. Obviously, there are many Christians in our world so, to the question: Can all those who call themselves Christians, be saved?

    The answer is YES! Not only Catholics but  Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc., can be saved and get to heaven. The fact is, any one of God’s human creations can be saved. If a person truly seeks God and demonstrates by living their life “loving his neighbor as himself,” how can they not? 

    There are those in the Catholic Church who might insist that ”outside of the Church there is no salvation.”  The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear on this topic; it reads, “all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body” (CCC 846). Well, what about our Jewish brethren? What about Buddhists and Hindus and others?

    The Catechism follows with; “this is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church”  Indeed, if these people seek God with a sincere heart, and try, in their actions to do his will as they know it, they may also attain heaven (CCC 847). 

    My dad died 54 years ago, and memories of him are faded at best. (we were all very young).  It was Christmas day and, as was the custom in our five-story walk-up, everyone traveled from apartment to apartment on Christmas sharing food and drink and laughter and conversation.

    A group of neighbors, including dad, my brother Bobby and I, were gathered in the apartment below ours. Suddenly, a man’s voice, much louder than any of the others speaking, blurted out, “Sorry Emil, (my father’s name) that’s what the church teaches. I did not make it up.”

    There are few vivid memories of my dad that I still have. But this is one that stuck like glue. As the people all grew quiet and turned to listen in, my father leaned forward in his chair and slowly and purposely said, “ Listen, Walter, let me tell you something. Any human being God ever created can get to heaven. All they have to do is love their neighbor. It doesn’t matter where they come from or even if they have a religion. We all are born knowing what is right and wrong. Heaven is every person’s choice.”

    I never forgot those moments.  My young head knew he had it right. What he also had right was when he said, “we are all born knowing what is right and wrong.” He did not realize he was validating and defending the Natural Law; I do not even know if he had ever heard of it. It just means that each of us instinctively knows what “right” is and what “wrong” is. We all have the ability to choose.

    Many years later, inside my much older head, I still know dad had it right. We are, in fact, ALL God’s children. He was a man who never finished high school no less attend a catechism class. But he had it right, and this was way before the Catholic Church clarified the question of who can obtain salvation.

    The Natural Law predicated our behavior. The Founding Fathers used it as a basis for the Declaration of Independence. Whatever happened to common courtesy among people and the common respect we gave each other? Heck, recently I was reprimanded by a woman because I held a door open for her.

    It was never a perfect world but the concept of  “love your neighbor” seems to have been devoured by a secular society that tolerates no opinions that might disagree with another’s life choices. The primary result of secularism seems to be “As Long as I’m Happy that is all that Matters. Too bad if you don’t like it.”

    My dad was a man of faith, and because of his faith he got it right. When he said, “Heaven is every person’s choice,” he was spot on.


                                                         Copyright©Larry Peterson 2018




    August 29, 2018

    The Incredible Story of Four Nuns Trapped in the South Pacific during World War II. There only means of Escape---via Submarine

    IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

    By Larry Peterson

    Trapped in Paradise–true story from WWII in the Pacific
    Sisters of St. Joesph of Orange  pd


    There is a touch of irony to this story. On July 8, 2018,  Aleteia ran a story about Our Lady of Puy. This is the site of the Blessed Mother’s very first apparition after her Assumption into Heaven. The irony is in what follows.

    The Sisters of St. Joesph are a worldwide organization representing more than 14,000 Sisters around the world. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange is the congregation based in California and was established in 1912 by Mother Bernard Gosselin. It is one of many congregations worldwide. In 1966 The Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which comprise all the congregations in the United Staes, was formed; all having their origin in LePuy.

    This is about four nuns from California who somehow became stranded behind Japanese enemy lines during World War II.  They happened to be members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The foundation for this order was set in place in LePuy, France, in 1650. As the Feast of the Assumption approaches, it is an honor to mention them.

    Two of the Sisters were teachers, and two were nurses. They had arrived in the Solomon Islands in December, 1940. These young women were new to missionary life, confronting an unknown culture for the first time, and did not speak the languages spoken on the different islands. Also, they had to learn how to get around the jungle. One year after they arrived, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

    The Japanese quickly occupied many of the islands in the South Pacific. The nuns had been deeply involved in a village on the island of Buka. They had no idea that the Japanese wanted Buka for an airfield. Sister Hedda Jager was the nun in charge of journaling their experiences. No matter what kind of day she was having, she always managed to record the day's happenings.

    As the Japanese get closer and closer Sister Hedda records how their lives morphed from working as missionaries to being filled with sheer terror as the invading Japanese got closer and closer. They made it to Bougainville where they learned  how other missionaries in the Solomons had been tortured and executed.

    There were Marist missionary priests on the island and, knowing what the fate of the nuns would be if captured, managed to hide the Sisters for months in the jungle. On New Year’s Eve, 1942, the priests managed to get the Sisters and twenty-five others, to the beach in Teop Harbor. It was then they all learned that a submarine would be their means of rescue.

    On New Year’s Day,1943, in the early morning darkness, the submarine Nautilus, pulled to within 100 feet of the beach and the terrified passengers were safely taken on board and brought to safety. Sister Hedda wrote in her journal: “You cannot put into words the feeling that one has for those of one’s own country, especially when one is miles from home and running away from the Japanese.”

    When the war ended the four Sisters returned to Buka to continue their work. The last of them passed away in 1999. These Sister of St. Joseph of Orange will forever remain a true inspiration to us all.
    The book by Sister Hedda; Trapped in Paradise, can be found at the link below
    https://www.amazon.com/Trapped-Paradise


            copyright ©Larry Peterson 2018

    August 8, 2018

    How Dark the Night by Elizabeth Schmeidler

    IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

    By Larry Peterson

    My friend, Elizabeth Schmeidler, created this video about five years ago. It is so timely I just had to post it again.  "and the TRUTH shall set you free"



    June 4, 2018

    The “Angel of Auschwitz”-- Venerable Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus

    IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

    By Larry Peterson


    Venerable Angela Maris-The “Angel of Auschwitz”
    Photo Credit: Joachim Schäfer – Ă–kumenisches Heiligenlexikon.ption
    By Larry Peterson

    Maria Cacilia Autsch was born in Rollecken, Germany, on March 26,1900. She was the fifth of seven children and her dad, August, worked very hard as a machinist to keep his family fed. He and his wife, Amalia, were devout and knowledgeable Catholics and worked diligently to pass the faith on to their children.

    The family had little money, so when Maria was fifteen, she went to work as a nanny. Her mom died in 1921 and Maria had to keep on working to help the family. Maria had always known she was being called to religious service and harbored her disappointment at not being able to do so. Her family came first, and she turned her future over to Jesus.

    Finally, on September 27, 1933, she was able to enter the convent of the Trinitarian Order in Austria. It was the Spanish branch, and the Spanish had been the first women religious to come to Austria. The purpose of the sisters was to help in securing the release of captive prisoners and also working as nurses, teachers, and helping the poor and those in need.

    On July 4, 1934, Maria Cacilia Autsch received a new name. She received her habit and along with it the name of Angela Maria of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On August 20 she took her first vow. Her duties were running the nursery school, teaching embroidery, caring for the sick and even helping with the fieldwork. At last, on September 28, 1938, she made her final vows.

    By that time the Nazis had taken over Austria, and they wanted to seize the monastery where the sisters lived. Sister Angela defended their home and argued that it was legally Spanish property and the Nazis had no right to it. She even contacted the Spanish consul in Vienna and the Nazis, in an attempt to keep their activities quiet, relented. However, Sister Angela Maria was now on their radar.

    It was August 10, 1940, when the most innocent of moments changed Sister Angela’s life forever. She had gone to buy some milk and bumped into a few women she knew. They began to converse, and Sister told them she had heard that the Allies had sunk a German ship and many Germans had died in the disaster. She finished by saying that she thought “Hitler was a calamity for Europe.”

    One of the Austrian women was a Nazi sympathizer and reported her to the Gestapo. Her file was found, and she was arrested soon after. The charges were for “insulting the leader” and “sedition of the population.”  All attempts by her co-sisters to obtain her release were simply ignored, and Mother Superior pleaded for her release with the head of the Gestapo several times but to no avail. Even the Spanish consul could not save her.

    Sister Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus spent seventeen days at the brutal police detention center in Innsbruck. She was then assigned prisoner # 4651. With her name now a number and without trial, she was transported to the women’s camp at Ravensbruck.

    True to her calling as a Trinitarian Sister, Angela Maria,  in the most horrendous place imaginable, went right to work representing Jesus. Many reported of her unceasing efforts to maintain human dignity. She is frequently beaten by the guards but, as one inmate reported, “her smile and courage was a ray of sunshine in deepest hell.”

    On  August 16, 1942, she was transferred to the death camp at Auschwitz and assigned to the medical department. Because of her continued  good spirit, self-sacrificing helpfulness and her efforts to alleviate as much misery as she could, she became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz.” Many of the other prisoners had no idea she was a Catholic nun.

    In October 1942, Sister Angela came down with Typhus. She never fully recovered from this disease and was placed in the SS hospital as a nurse. On December 23, 1943, a bombing raid began, and Sister Angela was killed when she was struck in the chest with shrapnel that pierced her lungs.

    On May 21, 2018, Pope Francis recognized the “heroic virtues” of Servant of God, Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus. She now has the title of “Venerable” before her name, and the next step in her journey to canonization will be beatification.

    We ask Venerable Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus, to pray for us all.

                                  Copyright ©Larry Peterson 2018




    May 21, 2018

    Choosing Government over God has a Difference; One is Death, and the other is Life.


    IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

    By Larry Peterson
    AP Photo









    “I do not hesitate to proclaim before you and before the world that all human life — from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages — is sacred because human life is created in the image and likeness of God.”
    Pope St. John Paul II








    The saga of Alfie Evans sickened me. Except for two overriding factors, his death was unnecessary. First, the feigned necessity of his death is embedded within the secular practicality of a 21st-century  judicial system. Secondly, among many medical practitioners who lean on their own omniscient ability, it was in Alfie’s “best interests” to die. You see, they had to help him because he refused to do it on his own. He had become a “burden” to secularism.

    I write this because I have experienced circumstances similar to Alfie’s parents. My wife was on life-support, but unlike Tom and Kate Evans, I had the task of allowing the machines to be turned off.  It was not a judge or a doctor or the courts or anything like that. It was ME,  the woman’s husband. The end result was different.

    My wife, Loretta, had been ill for a long time and on April 6, 2002, she fell into a coma. By that evening she was on life support. There was a Catholic living will on file for each of us, and I signed a DNR (do not resuscitate). A DNR gave me control over life ending processes. Even though her final breaths were expected, signing the DNR was, for me, akin to signing a death warrant.

    Although my wife was a middle-aged adult and Alfie was a baby, the parallels in each case are quite similar. Alfie, at the age of seven months, developed seizures and they caused him to go into a “semi-vegetative state.” Alfie did have brain function, but most doctors agreed that his condition (which they were not sure of) was incurable. Most importantly, his parent’s rights to try to save him were stripped from them by the courts.

    We tried for three days to wean Loretta off the ventilator. Each time her breathing stopped in less than a minute. Six doctors told us it was “no-use.” On the third day, my grown children took turns going to their mom’s bedside to say their “good-byes.” One at a time they came from that room sobbing like babies. I was last and sat by her side, looking at her, holding her hand and saying whatever it was I was saying. Those words I do not remember. I do remember one word; I was called a “murderer” by someone in Loretta’s family.

    Unlike Alfie’s parents, I had control over the machine that was doing her breathing (she had been on life-support for three weeks).  Three of the doctors were there and the chief-of-staff. I asked them to pray with us, and they all did. The machine was switched off, and the intubation tubes were removed. A minute passed by and she kept breathing. Then two minutes passed by and then five and ten and then one hour. The cardiologist said, “Don’t be fooled, she won’t make it.”  

    Three days later she was up in a room, and three weeks later she came home. She had earned the title of “The Miracle Woman of Northside.” Her recovery was not only baffling; it was unexplainable. Ironically, cancer killed her exactly one year later. The “murderer” comment was never retracted.

    In Alfie’s case, his parents had no choice. They were invoking God along with countless others around the world.  The Pope had secured citizenship for Alfie, and the Italians were ready to transport him to Italy to be cared for. Unfortunately, in the world of the “nones,” secularists, and atheists, God is not part of the equation. He was the common denominator in ours.

    Virtually every court in the U.K. ruled against the parent’s rights. The government and their “experts” knew best; Alfie must DIE. I cannot imagine standing by as my child’s life was taken from him by court order. It is incomprehensible to me.

    So the state took away the parent’s right to protect their child. They subjugated Natural law and vanquished the very nucleus of any successful civilization, the family.  They pulled Alfie’s tube.  He lived for five days breathing on his own. Was that a message from above that those in charge should have tried harder?

    Unfortunately for Alfie, his “quality of life” was not deemed worthy to move forward. Loretta kept breathing and did use oxygen intermittently. If the doctors were in charge of the breathing apparatus, they might have simply left it off when her breathing failed on the first day.

    Unlike the Evans, we were able to take three days before we agreed to leave it off.  On the third day, she kept on breathing on her own and came out of the coma. Doctors do NOT know everything. They are definitely not equal to the God who created each and every one of them.

    I can end this with one irrefutable fact. Tome and Kate Evans will go home, and when they close the door behind them, they will realize that little Alfie is gone—permanently. Therein lays the lonely heartache they will forever live with. You cannot understand that unless you too, have lived it.

    Please pray for them both that within each other they find the strength to move on. What happened to them and their son was a terrible thing.



                                              copyright©Larry Peterson 2018