Last night, I was privileged to dine with national Catholic radio host, author and apologist, Patrick Madrid.

I should probably mention there were 600 other people at the Catholic radio fundraiser he graced as keynote speaker, but I was honored to be at his table, #42.

Patrick Madrid, right, at our table, #42

I've been listening to Patrick on radio a long time now and greatly enjoyed his book, "The Godless Delusion," which I read and discussed with him on Catholic radio a few years back. I'm now equally appreciating his memoir, "Envoy for Christ".

Patrick led two talks Thursday -- a midday luncheon and evening banquet -- and at each of them, he made mention of something of which we should all be aware if we care about our lives: forced euthanasia.

Not a pleasant topic, no, but a reality that will almost assuredly affect us if we don't pay attention.

Yes, that means you!

Patrick helped lead us into the topic by calling to mind the Titanic and the iceberg that started off the downhill spiral.

But as he reminded us, it really wasn't the iceberg that did the big vessel in, but the lack of preparedness, the pride of many who designed the ship and set it afloat, and the failure to respond effectively once the block was spotted; these are the elements that caused the ship's and its passengers' demise.

Madrid pointed out that we, too, have an iceberg up ahead. Are we going to acknowledge its existence, and if so, will we collect our wits soon enough to avoid hitting it?

We have a situation now in which the population of our world is turning into an inverted pyramid, according to Madrid and others who study these sorts of things -- the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, for example. And we know that many developed countries aren't replacing themselves. That combined with medical technology that allows us to live longer could make for a highly problematic scenario soon.

Rather than having the base of young people at the bottom of the pyramid and the elderly population at the narrow top, we've got more and more older citizens at the wide top (above) and a waning number of youth to support everyone else.

Now, mix that with a culture that devalues the human being (think 40 years of abortion, consumption of pornography at an all-time high, and all kinds of other versions of objectification of the human person), and you've got a real issue: A whole bunch of old people who aren't seen as valuable, and not enough young people to sustain them.

If we can justify disposing of our smallest children, Madrid pointed out, it's going to be equally as easy to justify disposing of our elderly who have outlived their time of usefulness to us.

Seems logical to me, and frightening.

As a friend and I talked about this horrific possibility -- a reality we're already seeing in some countries, and beginnings of in our own -- I mentioned that it could well be our generation that winds up first on the chopping block. "It will be those who put Roe v. Wade into place," she said, who will first be nudged in line for an untimely death.

Again, I know, not a pleasant subject, but another friend of mine who visited a nursing home in France last year gave me a verbal tour of what could be our reality here someday soon, describing the desolation of the place and how little care the residents seemed to be being given.

God help us. Help us see the value in all of our citizens. Help us work on solutions that are life-giving and life-sustaining. You, Lord, are the author of life, and we are here because you loved us into being. Let us not desire to assume your post as Creator of all, but work to love one another while we can, and to help each other live as long as you will it.


Copyright 2013 Roxane Salonen