God’s Gift and a Pair of Scissors

All this He saw and, pitying our race, moved with compassion for our limitation, unable to endure that death should have the mastery, rather than that His
creatures should perish and the work of His Father for us men come to nought, He took to Himself a body, a human body even as our own.

Saint Athanasius, On the Incarnation


A pair of scissors saved a “preemie’s” life in England:



But when they put her on the scales she  weighed 1lb, the minimum weight for a baby to be considered viable, so they  fought to keep her alive.

It was only when she  was safely on a ventilator  that doctors discovered a pair of scissors had been  accidentally left on the  scales and that Maddalena actually only weighed  382g.


The baby is doing fine now.

Maddalena’s mother Kate, 31,  of Lewes, East Sussex, told The Sun: ‘We  never thought we’d ever bring Maddalena home.

‘She now weighs 5½lbs and is getting stronger  by the day. She’s our little  miracle and we’re so glad to have her home in time  for Christmas.’


She and her husband Renato, a plumber, had  already suffered heartache when  Maddalena’s twin Isabella died a few weeks after the sisters were  born.


Go here to the Daily Mail to read the rest.  But for that pair of scissors the baby would have been left to die.  Caring for premature infants born at 23 weeks as this child was is always an uphill struggle.  The youngest surviving premature infant was 21 weeks and five days at birth.  However, as technology advances infants are being saved for whom there would have been no hope in the past.  What is chilling about this story is the willingness of the physicians involved to enforce an arbitrary guidline with bureaucratic rigor, rather than to try to save the child’s life.  None of this is surprising since the English National Health Service has been starving premature and ailing babies to death for some time.

At this time of the year we remember the coming of God to us as one of us.  The mystery of the Incarnation underlines the sanctity of innocent human life, which God gives us as His precious gift.  Each baby is a miracle in miniature, and should not be dependent upon a pair of scissors in order for us to see the child as the glorious manifestation of God’s love for us.



More to explorer


  1. Only through the Grace of God.
    Great Christmas story.

    Until people view life as being sacred I’m afraid the voiceless will continue the uphill battle for life.

    How can society respect the rights of others if it doesn’t start by respecting the rights of the most helpless in that society?

  2. Scissors. And then there’s a shoebox/cradle near a kitchen stove for another Madeline circa 1930. She called my mother on Sunday. Then, along comes this post. She was born at home ‘so tiny’. My mother remembers her being cradled in that shoebox with family watching over her. Now, this Madeline is a great grandmother and going to her son’s for Christmas dinner. She had/has a great affection for St. Ann.

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