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Either Or

Recently the sisters and I were at Hardee's.  There was a bunch of coupons in the newspaper and who can refuse greasy food dipped in salt?  Will it be the Prime Rib with Angus or the Mushroom Swiss?  Crispy Curls or Onion Rings?  Either or.

My parents found themselves in that situation many years ago.  They had to choose to stay in Vietnam or leave.  Either stay in poverty or risk dying on the ocean to find freedom.  Either suffer religious oppression or rebuild a new life in a foreign land.  Either or.

Elections are coming up.  Meaning, the general elections to vote for the president of the United States.  And we are stuck in that situation of choosing this person or that person.  Either or. 

Can we ever have it both?  Perhaps with lots of calories, if you are talking about eating at Hardee's.  Perhaps if like my parents, they did not leave right after the fall of Saigon in 1975.  They waited and experienced both.  Perhaps if you are Catholic, it is possible to respect life both in the unborn and in the immigrant. 


Read Pope Francis’ words for yourself.  Gaudete et Exsultate #100-103. In particular, we are reminded that:

Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”

There is not an either or in being a Catholic.  We are called to embrace all. 


Sr. Janine Vân Tran

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