Saturday, November 24, 2012

Edwarda O'Bara: Confounding the Wise and the Strong

But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that He may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that He may confound the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27.

Edwarda O'Bara had dreams of becoming a pediatrician.  But in 1970, the year she turned 17, Edwarda took a course that neither she nor her family could have anticipated.  After being rushed to the hospital during an illness, she slipped into a diabetic coma.  She would never come out of that coma, but she would live another 42 years, finally passing away at home on November 21, 2012 at the age of 59.

Judging by the world's standards, Edwarda's was a wasted life, unworthy of being allowed to continue.  But fortunately for her, and for an ungrateful world, Edwarda belonged to a family of devout Catholics who never ceased caring for her up until the moment of her natural death, despite mounting debts and other trials.  Before losing consciousness, Edwarda made her mother, Kaye, promise never to leave her side; Kaye kept that promise until 2008, when she died at the age of 80.

Why was this fortunate for the world?  Because those who suffer in Christ draw down countless blessings and graces from heaven.  It is precisely for this reason that St. Faustina said that it was an unfortunate convent that had no sick sisters.  The same can be said for any family or society that does not have or care for sick and suffering members.  To repudiate these crosses is to despise grace; and to despise grace is to incite God's wrath.  That is what our aborting, contracepting, euthanizing society is doing right now.  It is putting us on the greased skids to hell.

The magnitude of our folly is shown by the lives that Edwarda touched.  Many who are active in the world fail to produce anything like the fruits that she produced merely by lying helpless in bed.  Her mother's steadfast, sacrificial love was an inspiration to many who came in from all over the world to visit the daughter who was the object of such love.  Her sister, Colleen, who gave up her career in order to care for her after their mother died, sums up what Edwarda herself accomplished.  "She taught me so much," said Colleen, "and I'm talking about now, after she was in the coma. She taught me so much about unconditional love that I couldn't say I had it before. She taught me about patience, that I didn't have before. I learned so much from taking care of my sister. It's like I grew up overnight."  Imagine how much poorer and worse off our already pathetic world would be if Edwarda O'Bara's family had followed the "wisdom" of the culture of death.

The O'Bara family is asking for help to pay for Edwarda's funeral, which will take place on Wednesday.  They probably also have an Everest of medical bills to pay.  Donations can be sent to the Edwarda O'Bara Fund, P.O. Box 693482, Miami FL 33269.

UPDATE: More on Edwarda O'Bara's extraordinary story.

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