Friday, 6 December 2013

Alison's "Three Changes of Mind"

I have only just become aware of a video recording of Alison's last major presentation - in New Zealand at a conference of Family Life International in October 2009.

The presentation describes how Alison a) changed her mind from being pro-abortion to defending unborn children, b) became a Catholic after having been an atheist, and c) found meaning in life and a personal reason for being opposed to euthanasia/assisted suicide after a 10 year period of 'wanting to die' which included suicide attempts.

What isn't revealed by this video is that just one hour beforehand Alison had been in bed, very unwell, with apparently no chance of being able to get up let alone to deliver this presentation.  She had suggested that I might have to read it for her.  Yet somehow, as on many other occasions, Alison found the reserves of energy to get up and do what she had to do without fuss and with genuine delight and love for the people she met.  (And then she collapsed again afterwards.)

For me, much of Alison's greatness - and I think it is an exceptional and extraordinary greatness - comes from the suffering that she lovingly bore.  The suffering was observed by some but hidden from most people.  Much of her greatness lay in suffering - in the extreme - and yet being able to say (as she does in the video):

"I honestly do believe that sufferings are a share in the sufferings of Our Lord himself and therefore the greatest privilege possible in the world we live in."
How many people have suffered as much as Alison and regarded it as "the greatest privilege possible in the world"?

1 comment:

  1. A man has died this week. You may have heard about it. If you haven't you have clearly been locked away. The world is falling over itself trying to make the most extravagant claims to his greatness. Some are even comparing him to Jesus This man, whilst he certainly did a great deal of good is also responsible for the deaths of more South Africans than any President in the whole of that country's history and yet on Friday I am expected to stand in his honour at a Professional Sports Match.
    I know that in later years there have been splits and disagreements in the pro-life ranks in this country. But no-one on the right side of this argument can possibly doubt that in the past 18 months, England and indeed the world has lost 3 wonderful people who really are entitled to our thanks, prayers and congratulations.
    Phyllis, Ken and Alison. We salute you.