Standing Up for Obedience

Personally, I prefer to kneel when receiving the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus as an act of humility, and hope one day altar rails will return to all Catholic churches (“New Liturgical Norms Adopted at Bishops’ Spring Conference,” July 1-7).

However, if the new general instruction from the Vatican states we must do what the conference of bishops decides, then it becomes a question of obedience — and obedience increases our humility, and the more humble, the more Christ-like we become.

Is that not why we desire to receive Holy Communion?

GLORIA SCHREINER

Hamburg, New York

Pax Christi: Give Peace a Chance

It's hard to imagine why the peace movement Pax Christi USA would make a public statement in defense of their invitation to Rev. James Lawson using the logic that, “There is much more that we hold in common with Rev. Lawson than there is that separates us” (“Pax Christi's Pro-Abortion Speaker Stopped by University,” July 15-21). Whoa! Where's this common ground?

Rev. Lawson was scheduled to speak on how to build a culture of peace through nonviolence. How could anyone not wonder how a man could speak on this topic and at the same time support keeping abortion legal; be a board member of Planed Parenthood in 1995; be featured as a speaker at a 25th anniversary celebration of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion; and participate in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice's interfaith service at St. John's Episcopal Church in Los Angeles last summer?

An even more soul-searching question is how Pax Christi can think this man would have credibility? Mother Teresa many times stated that the greatest destroyer of world peace is abortion. If the child in the womb is not safe, who is?

CAROL BROWN

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

In Defense of the University of Dallas

Your May 20-26 article, “Resignations Rock University of Dallas,” may give readers the impression that UD is in danger of losing its identity as a traditional Catholic liberal-arts university. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I was one of several UD faculty who expressed concern when Msgr. Milam Joseph was named president here five years ago. Since that time I have viewed his presidency with growing respect. Not only are fundraising and administrative competence much improved, but the academic quality of the school has been strengthened as well.

Yes, we have lost a small number of capable faculty since Msgr. Joseph became president. But we have added an even larger number of capable faculty during the same period, including three fine appointments in the Politics Department.

Not one change has been made in the nationally acclaimed undergraduate core curriculum. No changes in the core are being proposed now. None are likely in the foreseeable future.

Four years ago, George Weigel wrote that the University of Dallas provides “a first-class liberal arts education, in a Catholic environment that's open to engaging everyone's arguments.” He concluded that UD is “the best Catholic college in America.” He was right then, and he is still right now. My daughter Susie graduated from UD in 2000. Son David will be on UD's Rome campus next semester as a sophomore. I would be pleased if my two younger sons choose UD as well.

THOMAS G. WEST

Irving, Texas

The writer is a professor of politics at the University of Dallas.

Reality Smites

Regarding “After Abortion: One Woman's Story"(July 22-28):

My husband and I have gone to pray in front of an abortion clinic for many years. We have seen literally hundreds of young girls just like “Kim.” They come out of the clinic with extreme sadness written all over their faces. Many of them are accompanied by their mothers. Sometimes I think that statements like Kim's are not 100% accurate. Two points in her statements: “… that the young girl feels trapped, no one is there to offer help … and … pictures of aborted babies is not the way to encourage” … etc.

We carry signs: “Free help for you and your baby.” We also have 800 numbers, offers to pay lost wages and any other help the young woman needs. But, by the time they come to the clinic, they have made up their minds. Also, their mothers and boyfriends are big factors in getting them to have these abortions. My heart goes out to these young women, but I also feel they do know to some extent what they are doing.

I would have a problem if the Kims we see were to say, like her: “Feeling that she had no other options, she sought an abortion.” We had two girls change their minds, one while she was on the table. I think that they must own their decision. There is help in many instances, but they choose to do what they choose to do.

Secondly, even though we offer compassionate help, pray the rosary for them and their babies, mourn the babies (as Bishop Daily asked us to do), and offer any free help and assistance they need, we also carry a picture of an aborted baby. The picture is sad. The reality is much sadder. Everyone wants to put this picture out of their minds, even many of our churches: “It's too hard to see.”

What about the reality? TV won't show it. Newspapers won't print it. Even churches won't show the poor babies. Yet, Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.”

Our 16-year-old son saw such a picture at the March for Life for the first time and, upon returning, said: “Is that what abortion is?” He then became actively pro-life.

We serve a merciful God; the Kims of this world must help others in their search for peace. Yes, I agree, we must show these women compassion, but we must do it in truth, honesty and tough love.

MARY EDGAR

Charles Town, West Virginia

Mercy for the Moms

Thank you for the interview in your Culture of Life section with “Kim,” who told your writer, Barb Ernster, about her abortion experience (“After Abortion: One Woman's Story, July 22-28). Anyone seeking to find a Project Rachel near them can contact the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing at (800) 5WE-CARE or check out our Web site for additional information: http://www.marquette.edu/Rachel

.

There are post-abortion healing ministries in more than 140 dioceses in this country with several in Canada.

VICKI THORN

Milwaukee

The writer is foundress of Project Rachel.

Book Hunt

I hope you can help me. Recently you reviewed two books in the same issue (July 1-7). One was a fictionalized version of the mysteries of the rosary. Each Mystery was described in detail in a historical-fiction manner.

The other book was about a man who had a lot of questions about his Catholic faith, joined an evangelical Protestant church and became a minister there and then realized the Catholic faith was the one true faith. The book describes his journey in faith.

I want to get both of these books for my teenage daughter, but I discarded that issue of the Register and I need to know how I can order these books.

I hope you will be able to help me, as I don't know where else to turn.

ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

Indianola, Iowa

Editor's Note: You're referring to Mystery Stories: A Journey Through the Rosary by James L. Carney, published by Crown of Mary, and My Life on the Rock: A Rebel Returns to His Faith by Jeff Cavins, published by e3press.

If there's a Catholic bookstore near you, the manager should be able to order these titles for you (if they're not already in stock).

Or, if you have access to the Internet, you can order them through an online bookstore such as Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.