Never Too Young
By Miranda Smith
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
This Bible verse is one that speaks to me as a college student who wants to do all that I can to help the world around me. I have often heard of people saying that people my age are too young to make substantial change or improvement in their atmospheres. This is something I encountered when telling people that I would be interning at a supportive care company this summer. They assumed that I was too young to have any experience with hospice and palliative care, and that it would be difficult for me to relate to the work I would be doing. That just made me laugh! I know that at this age there are many things I have not experienced, but that shouldn’t be a limitation. The young people of the world are the ones filled with passion and eagerness to make real change.
This summer I have also learned that you are never too young to be prepared. As I learned with my mom, difficult circumstances can come at any moment and it is important to be as prepared as possible. Luckily my family was prepared, but there are so many that aren’t. That is one of the many ways that Divine Mercy takes care of more than just hospice care, they have many resources to help you be prepared for whatever the future hold for you or your loved one. Remember that you are never too young to be prepared or to change the world!
Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
By Miranda Smith
Fear is something that is very present in our lives. As described by recent Disney movie Inside Out it is the little voice in our head that keep us away from danger and harm. Fear can be a good thing, without fear we would all be far too reckless, but there also needs to be a balance. In many people’s lives fear is what guides their decisions. Ever choice is made by trying to avoid unknown terror. Fear is something that many people face when they learn that their life is coming to an end, or changing in a way they could not predict. The article below analyses how fear was the guiding force of Britany Maynard’s decision to end her life, and how love is the only solution to a life guided by fear. As author Meg Cabot wrote “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.”
Perfect Love Casts Out Fear By Jessica Keating
By Miranda Smith
St. Jude was one of the twelve apostles who followed Jesus. He is often referred to as Thaddaeus and was the brother of St. James. After the death and resurrection of Jesus St. Jude traveled and preached the good news that Jesus taught. St. Jude is known for dealing with impossible circumstances and emerging with unfaltering faith. After being martyred for his faith in 65 AD he was named the patron Saint of lost causes and Hospice care. Many people have asked for the intercession of St. Jude when a loved one is ill or in difficult circumstances.
There is a novena to St. Jude that is meant to be prayed for nine days and dedicated to a specific prayer intention. I have prayed a few novenas for my mother but today I will start this on the all patents in hospice care, and if you are even in a situation where you feel helpless or overwhelmed by the illness of a loved one I would suggest praying it as well.
Novena to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly -
(Make your request here)
- And that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.
May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.
May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen
St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.
What is Dignity?
By Miranda Smith
Dignity is a word that I have heard throughout my life but had never really understood the full meaning of, and I don’t think that I am alone here. Dignity seems to be one of those things that is very loosely defined and hard to grasp that full meaning of. When I first heard about Brittany Maynard and how her story involved a movement called Death with Dignity, I decided it was time for me to learn the full meaning of what dignity really is. The dictionary was unhelpful as it defines dignity as “the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect”. The Catechism addresses how all people are created in the image on God and therefore have innate human dignity. This is a very beneficial definition for me, but it was unable to relate the importance and meaning of dignity to a person who does not believe in God.
I came across an article that explains better both the meaning and importance of dignity. It is not from a Catholic perspective, but is able to make the loft idea of dignity something that we should be working to protect on a daily basis. The link to What Is the Real Meaning of Dignity? By Donna Hicks is here and I suggest reading it to gain a greater understanding of what dignity really is. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dignity/201304/what-is-the-real-meaning-dignity-0
Dignity is something that starts when we don’t see ourselves as above or below anyone else. When we are able to see the dignity that each person including ourselves has, then it is easier to see the value of the person, their opinions and their role in the world. After searching for an understanding of the word dignity I find the name of this physician assisted suicide movement to be named improperly. If a person is to die with dignity that does not imply choosing their time of death, or being in a certain state of mind. Dignity is seeing that all people have value and if you are truly able to see the value of a person’s life, including your own, why would you want to end it?
By Miranda Smith
When I was a kid my mom gave me a book of poetry call Heartsongs by Matthew J.T. Stephanek. Matte has a rare form of muscular dystrophy that took the lives of three of his siblings. Ever since he was three he has been writing poems to brighten the hearts of all of those who read them. Looking back on this book I have seen many poems that have explained my feelings better than I ever could, and I would like to share one with you today.
One of the most challenging things when dealing with the end of life, whether it is yours or a loved ones, is accepting a new normal. Realizing your life is never going to be the same challenges even the strongest people. But taking on this new adventure doesn’t have to be all bad. I’ll let Mattie explain now.
By Mattie Stepanek
I don’t know what Normal is
That’s because Normal has been changing
For a long while of lately.
I’d like Normal to be
I’d like Normal to be
I’d like Normal to stay,
For now though,
I know that Normal won’t be normal
For a little while…
Even if things are not Normal,
They’ll be okay.
That’s because I believe
In the great scheme of things,
As I am unable to attend the Colorado House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee hearing of House Bill 1135, I am asking that my opposition to the bill be read into the record. As with all proposed legislation, the sponsors of the Colorado Death with Dignity Act are intending to do a good thing. The bill’s goal to provide a legal means to avoid suffering in the dying and ease the burden of families with loved ones suffering from a terminal illness is well intentioned and comes from a place of compassion. However, also like much legislation, the bill would have unintended and harmful effects. I have practiced medicine in Colorado for nearly thirty years. My career has been spent serving the most vulnerable citizens of Weld County – the elderly and the poor. I have witnessed families struggle with the stress of caring for elderly, infirmed and disabled loved ones. I have known families torn apart by infighting over even meager inheritances and estates. With doctor-prescribed suicide as an available option, do you fear the potential for subtle emotional manipulation and pressure on vulnerable elders and infirmed family members? I have also struggled to provide care for patients denied insurance benefits by an increasingly burdened and cost-conscious health care system. There is a growing strategy of identifying and case-managing the highest utilizers of health care dollars, particularly in the Medicaid system which funds health care for the poor. Doctor-prescribed suicide is a very inexpensive option for someone facing a terminal illness. Oregon has seen the case of a woman’s insurance company denying treatment for her recurrent cancer but offering to pay for assisted suicide as an alternative. With the availability of doctor-prescribed suicide, do you fear that insurance companies or government run health programs might deny coverage for more expensive treatments in favor of a less expensive alternative – particularly for the poor? It has been my great privilege to serve the most vulnerable of Weld County these past thirty years. I would be remiss as a physician if I did not speak up now on their behalf against the threat of this well-intentioned but dangerous legislation. Respectfully submitted, John W. Volk, MD
303 South Broadway, Suite #220
Denver, CO 80209
Help make a difference for those in end of life while on their journey in to everlasting life.