So I took my books and my notebook and went methodically through my notes, trying to figure out the major themes and how to organize them. And then I came across this gem:
16. In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged.(9) Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths.In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor.(11) In fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth, and for the genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals from social relationships. Hence the more right conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by the objective norms of morality. Conscience frequently errs from invincible ignorance without losing its dignity. The same cannot be said for a man who cares but little for truth and goodness, or for a conscience which by degrees grows practically sightless as a result of habitual sin.
~ Gaudium et spes, Vatican II document on the Church in the Modern World
I've read this before, but something about it today convicted me, stopped me in my tracks, and made me put my head down. And then I read on:
17. Only in freedom can man direct himself toward goodness. Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often however they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man. For God has willed that man remain "under the control of his own decisions,"(12) so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection through loyalty to Him. Hence man's dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skilful action, apt helps to that end. Since man's freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God's grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgement seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil.
~ Gaudium et spes, 17
And then, when I finished my sudden attack of conscience in recognition of my sinfulness, I happened to look up. There in front of me was a coffee display, which, of course, in a coffee shop is not out of place. It would be odd had the display not been present. It wasn't the existance of the display, then, but WHAT the display supported, and it seems that I will nevermore darken the door at Caribou Coffee.
Caribou is offering a coffee called "Amy's Blend"; apparently Amy was a roastmaster who succombed to breast cancer, and in that, I ask you all to offer prayers for the repose of her soul. However, Caribou has decided that the proceeds from the sale of Amy's blend coffee and other specific items will be donted to the Susan B. Komen Foundation.
On the surface, that's not such a bad thing; we all agree that breast cancer is horrible, and breast cancer research and prevention are good things. Being that I had my own scare a year or so ago, I am all for the search for a cure; but not at the cost of support to Planned Parenthood. I'd give up both my breasts to whatever horrible disease, and even my life, if it meant an end to abortions.
There is a very well publicized link between Susan B. Komen and Planned Parenthood; the former has donated over $400,000 (as of 2002, I think) to the latter, ostensibly for breast cancer screenings. However, given the other obvious link between contraception and breast cancer, abortion and breast cancer, Planned Parenthood and the slaughter of innocents (to include their mothers), well, that kind of support cannot be justified.
Right now I feel literally ill. I should have dumped my coffee and walked out.
So I am now asking for all of you to contact Caribou's corporate offices and voice your concerns, and your willingness to go elsewhere for your coffee until such time as they choose to donate the money from Amy's Blend to a research organization that does not also happen to cause the very disease and death that killed the woman they are tying to honor.
Additionally, I'm also requesting all of you to offer Divine Mercy prayers on behalf of the soul of Emily X, a pseudonym given to proud abortionists and workers at Planned Parenthood. "She" obviously believes in what she is doing, and why not? Consciences are deadened in this world, and with what she sees every day, what she does every day, in reality, she HAS to be dead to it! One day, by the grace of God, she will realize with indescribeable horror what she and her cohorts have done. Pray that we as a pro-life community will be there for her when this happens for she will not be able to pass through that horror into the mercy of Jesus Christ without other hands to assist her through that dark passage.