Ordinary People – Extraordinary Love

In life no one goes unchallenged.  Challenges rise before us like daunting mountains before the promised grace abounds that will carry us up and over.  Angels stand by still and mute til summoned to our side. The Church teaches, yet it is left for us to decide to trust and to obey.  From Christ we hear, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew16:18)  When I hear that I must assume that “the gates of hell” will certainly try. Be Not Afraid.Net shares a story of trust amid extraordinary challenge.

From:L  A Donation of Spirit by Katrina J. Zeno:

“She was the first person I ever met who wore black leather and lipstick to match. It was 1983, and I was a freshman at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. The young woman in black, Dawn Scanlan, was the University president’s niece. She had been “entrusted” to my small, faith-sharing group for the weekend with the hope that we would be a good influence on her. Much to my surprise, and to the delight of her uncle, Dawn enrolled at Franciscan University the next fall. Leaving behind the racy life of a Long Islander, she tried to give God and her Catholic faith a fair shake. She half succeeded. After a year of less than spectacular grades, the probation committee at the University informed Dawn she couldn’t continue. She got a job with British Airways, moved to Atlanta, Georgia, married a Lufthansa airline employee, and settled down to a mediocre Catholic life. “I continued to straddle the fence,” Dawn says. “I went to church on Sunday, taught my two daughters their prayers, but still compromised in many areas.” But in August of 1997 the fence began to crack. Five months into her third pregnancy, Dawn received some disturbing news: Her baby had a rare and fatal form of dwarfism (only 100 documented cases) in which his lungs would never develop. If he made it to term and was born, he would die within hours. Additionally, he had no arms or legs, just hands and feet, and he was hydrocephalic. “I was very confused and didn’t know what to do,” Dawn says. “Some of my friends suggested I have an abortion. I wanted the Catholic position, so I called Uncle Mike.” Uncle Mike, a.k.a. Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR, president of Franciscan University, listened to his distressed niece and then gave his advice: wait and pray for 24 hours, and then he’d call back. “It was the best advice he could have given me,” Dawn says. “Within two hours, I knew what I would do. I would continue my pregnancy and shower my baby with love. I made the decision with God’s help. It was my decision. It wasn’t Uncle Mike’s decision.” …….  the rest here.

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