Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Madison is coming home!!

I saw Madison Mehlferber this morning at the rehab center. She is coming home June 2!! She is doing very well, especially considering that she’s been in the hospital and rehab center for the past 3 months. She and her parents are amazing! God is sooo good! Thank you all for your prayers.
“Night Owl” asked, “If a baby dies at 6 weeks of age and she was not baptized does the baby have a shot of going to heaven or does she end up in limbo?” Timely question! The Church recently issued a statement about the question of whether babies who die without being baptized can go to Heaven. Here are excerpts from an online article about the statement; to view the full text, please click on the title of this post:

“…In a document published April 20, (the Vatican's International Theological Commission) said the traditional concept of limbo -- as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God -- seemed to reflect an "unduly restrictive view of salvation."

The church continues to teach that, because of original sin, baptism is the ordinary way of salvation for all people and urges parents to baptize infants, the document said.

But there is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and "wants all human beings to be saved," it said. Grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ's special love for "the little ones," it said.

"Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered ... give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision," the document said.

"We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge," it added…

The commission's document said salvation for unbaptized babies who die was becoming an urgent pastoral question, in part because their number is greatly increasing. Many infants today are born to parents who are not practicing Catholics, and many others are the unborn victims of abortion, it said.

Limbo has never been defined as church dogma and is not mentioned in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states simply that unbaptized infants are entrusted to God's mercy.

But limbo has long been regarded as the common teaching of the church. In the modern age, "people find it increasingly difficult to accept that God is just and merciful if he excludes infants, who have no personal sins, from eternal happiness," the new document said.

Parents in particular can experience grief and feelings of guilt when they doubt their unbaptized children are with God, it said.

The church's hope for these infants' salvation reflects a growing awareness of God's mercy, the commission said. But the issue is not simple, because appreciation for divine mercy must be reconciled with fundamental church teachings about original sin and about the necessity of baptism for salvation, it said…

This does not deny that all salvation comes through Christ and in some way through the church, it said, but it requires a more careful understanding of how this may work.

The document outlined several ways by which unbaptized babies might be united to Christ:
-- A "saving conformity to Christ in his own death" by infants who themselves suffer and die.
-- A solidarity with Christ among infant victims of violence, born and unborn, who like the holy innocents killed by King Herod are endangered by the "fear or selfishness of others."
-- God may simply give the gift of salvation to unbaptized infants, corresponding to his sacramental gift of salvation to the baptized.”


At 11:05 AM, Anonymous mindy said...

That so great to hear about Madison- thank you for sharing it. I can't begin to imagine what she and her family went through and will continue to go through in her extended recovery. I know one first grade class filled their prayer box with thoughts of Madison. So many of us prayed "hard" for the entire Mehlferber family.

Should've shared this the other day, but the great news about Madison just reminded me. There's another time I remember really praying "hard" for someone. Last year my friend's one year old son was run over by a car. He suffered severe trauma and every bone in his face was crushed by the weight of the car when it went over his head. At first it was minute by minute, then day by day, week to week and so on. When the child finally opened his eyes, he asked for his mommy, and even the nurses cried. My family and I were talking about this recently, and we had the same experience of praying "hard" for that family. It didn't seem like enough to lay in my bed at night and ask God to help him, but I "needed" to get on my knees and say, "please God just help him, please God just help him- I'll do whatever, just please, please, please...." This little boy perefctly recovered- no brain injury and only barely noticable scars in his hairline. His surgeons, who gave him only a 50% chance of survival and a 25% chance of thriving, thought it a miracle. I know God answered everyone's prayers.

Happy coming home, Madison!!!

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God in all his goodness!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger fran said...

Miracles abound everyday, in the simple and the grand! What happy news to hear that Madison will be going home.

Welcome home Madison, Joanne and Walt!!!!!

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said... more comments about gossip right now. Thank you.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous HSPrincess said...

Welcome Home, Madison! I'm very glad to hear that you're much better!
God Bless!

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Kat said...


At 2:21 PM, Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I found it imteresting to read the response to "Night Owl". About twenty years ago I worked with a man, then approaching 60, whose baby had died, unbaptised, of cot death. The baby was back then denied a church burial. The man and his wife had never been back to the Church since.

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's wonderful about Madison!

Praise God!!

No little child should go through what she did.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did the titles Father, Brother, Sister, Deacon etc. come from?

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


When the baby died the father
left the church because he felt angry and thought god could have her. Slowly he is coming around. Now if I can get him to come back to church that'll be great!

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Night Owl said...

oops I put anon instead of Night Owl. That is what happens when I am blogging during the day time instead of at night!

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Night Owl said...

"I meant god could have saved her."

That's it I am not going to blog before 10 pm :0)

At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miscarried twins last Mother's Day. Between the doctors' coldness during the whole event and the mixed messages I read about limbo, and of course, my own personal sadness, I wasn't sure how I'd find my faithful center again. Thankfully, it is coming slowly but surely. I read this statement from the church last month and it certainly helps matters. There is nothing more urgent than telling parents who lose a child (baptized or not) for whatever reason that the child is experiencing everlasting love with God in Heaven.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Kat said...

May 24, 2007
St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Mystical ecstasy is the elevation of the spirit to God in such a way that the person is aware of this union with God and both internal and external senses are detached from the sensible world. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was so generously given this special gift of God that she is called the "ecstatic saint."

She was born into a noble family in Florence in 1566. The normal course would have been for Catherine de Pazzi to have married wealth and enjoyed comfort, but she chose to follow her own path. At nine she learned to meditate from the family confessor. She made her first Communion at the then-early age of 10 and made a vow of virginity one month later. When 16, she entered the Carmelite convent in Florence because she could receive Communion daily there.

Catherine had taken the name Mary Magdalene and had been a novice for a year when she became critically ill. Death seemed near so her superiors let her make her profession of vows from a cot in the chapel in a private ceremony. Immediately after, she fell into an ecstasy that lasted about two hours. This was repeated after Communion on the following 40 mornings. These ecstasies were rich experiences of union with God and contained marvelous insights into divine truths.

As a safeguard against deception and to preserve the revelations, her confessor asked Mary Magdalene to dictate her experiences to sister secretaries. Over the next six years, five large volumes were filled. The first three books record ecstasies from May of 1584 through Pentecost week the following year. This week was a preparation for a severe five-year trial. The fourth book records that trial and the fifth is a collection of letters concerning reform and renewal. Another book, Admonitions, is a collection of her sayings arising from her experiences in the formation of women religious.

The extraordinary was ordinary for this saint. She read the thoughts of others and predicted future events. During her lifetime, she appeared to several persons in distant places and cured a number of sick people.

It would be easy to dwell on the ecstasies and pretend that Mary Magdalene only had spiritual highs. This is far from true. It seems that God permitted her this special closeness to prepare her for the five years of desolation that followed when she experienced spiritual dryness. She was plunged into a state of darkness in which she saw nothing but what was horrible in herself and all around her. She had violent temptations and endured great physical suffering. She died in 1607 at 41, and was canonized in 1669.

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On another note:

Can someone explain what Liturgical life means?

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kat, Much thanks for sharing about the St. MM's life. The saints' lives fascinate me.

This makes me want to share something that happened. I have a very good friend who is a very dedicated non denominational evangelical Christian. She has HUGE faith and she has the great gift of spiritual joy.

My friend moved away last year &we have kept in touch. Our friendship is strong due to our shared love for Christ. We sort of don't go there on the differences in our beliefs.

Not too long ago I was able to go to confession and then immediately went to Mass (on a week day). The Mass celebrant was FG.

My friend, Deb, called me the same day. She wanted to pray with me and offer some scriptures for encouragement (my father is suffering&terminally ill). As we talked, suddenly during our conversation, she said, "Oh my gosh, the Holy Spirit is all over you." (or some thing like that). 2 days later, we talked again and she said the same thing and said it was amazing her. Deb has never said any thing this to me before. She kept saying that when she talked to me she could feel the spirit of GOd very strongly.

Deb seemed to be sensing the graces just received from the sacraments. All the glory and honor to you, oh Lord. AMAZING.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger fran said...

I would like to recommend a prayer book for all mothers. It is called the "Mother's Manual" and it can be purchased online at

Rather than browse the entire catalog, you can type in Mother Manual (yes, NO apostrophe or the letter "s") and it will come up. The cost is $3.95.

I have found this little book to be invaluable in any aspect of marriage and child rearing. There is also a section of prayers entitled "For Times of Special Problems," which for those of us who have experienced loss of a child, may be spiritually uplifting.

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Kelly said...

Thanks , Fran. I just read your post today and am so appreciative that you shared book info.

I have 4 close friends who have lost children between from age 14 to adults. They are always our children. You are now in my prayers in a special way, Fran. Having walked beside these mothers while they are suffering leaves one with very little ways to console them.

Can't wait to share it with them. Much thanks.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger fran said...

You are welcome Kelly, and thank you for your gift of prayer.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!


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