Our Resolution: Restoring the Right to Life

The conclusion of another year should help us reflect upon what we have done and what we have failed to do. Tonight, an exchange is completed — God gives us the gift of time and we use it in loving service to others.

What have we done this year for the defense of life? Whatever we did, we can be sure that God multiplies the effect of our efforts. We can also be sure that the New Year will offer us the chance to do even more. Let us resolve tonight that we will increase the amount of time and energy we devote to what the Pope and bishops have called the number one moral issue: restoring the right to life!

–Fr. Frank

Christmas and the Gospel of Life

For some, Christmas means kindness, goodness, the importance of family, joy, and giving. These are all values that have meaning for the Christian. But the Christmas message goes far beyond these good things, and talks about what kind of destiny awaits us beyond the grave. In the Book of Revelation, the Risen Christ tells His faithful disciples: “I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne” (Rev. 3:21).
Christmas, then, is about the Gospel of Life. It is about the hope of eternal life offered through the birth of a child whom we accept by our faith. Christmas illumines the meaning and value of every human person. In the light of the manger, we see every human person as one who is called to sit with Christ on His throne!
–Fr. Frank

Christmas Continues for Next Two Weeks

The world thinks that Christmas is over, but the Church continues celebrating it for the next two weeks. The liturgy and its readings and prayers focus on the many different aspects of the incarnation, and the many ways that it shapes our lives.

The birth of a child brings great hope about what that child might do in life.

The birth of Christ brings great hope because of what he already did. Our joy in his birth is reflected in the birth of every baby. As we continue to celebrate Christmas, let’s pray that all who welcome Christ’s birth may welcome the birth of every child, no matter how inconvenient or unexpected that new life may be.

–Fr. Frank

Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay

Tomorrow night, Christians gather around the Manger. “Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay,” the Church’s liturgy prays.

On Christmas Eve, as darkness covers our towns and cities, Christians gather in their Churches. In the silence of the night, the sound of bells will ring, and echoing the Christmas angels, strains of “Glory to God in the highest” will be sung.

What is the glory of God? The human person, alive, and reflecting at every moment the wonder of God’s love. Human life, in fact, is always a reflection of God’s glory — whether big or small, healthy or sick, born or unborn. Let that be our conviction, and our message, this Christmas.

Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family at Midnight Mass, and my best wishes for a Merry Christmas.

–Fr. Frank

Come Holy Savior

At midnight Mass of Christmas, we hear the glorious announcement that a Savior has been born for us. From the beginning of time, prophets announced that the Messiah of the Lord would come. “Messiah,” or “Christ” means “Anointed one.” God anointed many people to carry out special missions for him.

On Christmas, this prophecy was fulfilled in a surprising way, because the angels did not simply announce that Jesus was the Messiah of the Lord. They said the newborn child was Messiah AND Lord. God did not just send a Messiah. He came himself. This Child is the God who made us all. And by coming in this way, he joined every human life, born and unborn, to Himself. Christmas is, indeed, the feast of the dignity of every human life.

–Fr. Frank

God As A Baby

Scripture tells us that on the first Christmas, when the shepherds arrived in Bethlehem and saw the baby in the manger, they understood what had been told to them by the angels. Why was it at that moment that they understood the message?
Perhaps it is because a baby is so approachable. After all, the angels said that the Savior was born for all people. Nobody, no matter how poor or lowly, should be afraid to approach him. And how can God become more approachable than by becoming a little baby?
God continues to reveal himself in the tiny babies yet in the womb. He invites us to see Him in them, and to love him in them.
–Fr. Frank

Grown-up Christmas List

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

One of the Christmas songs you’ll hear on the radio during these days is called “Grown-up Christmas List.” It speaks of the fact that age does not stop us from dreaming, and that as life goes on, our wishes at Christmas are not for ourselves, “but for a world in need.” The list begins, “No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start…that right would always win.”

Do we dare to hope for these things, just because the calendar says December 25 is approaching?
Indeed, the question for a Christian is, “How we can dare not to hope for these things?” Christmas lists, after all, spring from Christmas hope, and Christmas hope is based on an historical fact: God has already given us everything in His Son. St. Paul asks, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).

We look for good things in life, and good things are all around us. Yet the best of good things does not satisfy us completely. The best relationships leave something to be desired, and the best vacations always end and leave us looking forward to the next one. This is because every good thing is just a reflection of goodness itself.

In the birth of Christ, we find that total, infinite goodness. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col. 2:9). “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Heb. 1:3). In the birth of Jesus Christ, almighty God has given to the human family His last, best offer of hope.

The wonder of Christmas, in fact, is that the promised coming of the Messiah of the Lord was fulfilled in a surprising way that surpassed the hopes and dreams of the people of old. On the first Christmas night, angels announced Christ’s birth to the shepherds. But instead of saying that Jesus was the Messiah of the Lord, they said that He is “Messiah and Lord” (Lk. 2:11). God, in other words, did not simply send someone to represent Him. He came Himself!

Christmas is not about the birth of a child who became a great man. It is about a God who created the human family, and then decided to become a member of that family. Christmas is not when Jesus began; it is when Jesus began existing as one of us, and thereby joined all of us to Himself. He joins to His Divinity all who share human nature: the weak and strong, the small and big, the born and unborn. Christmas is universal, and is about the exaltation of the human person.

That’s why our “grown-up Christmas list” can say “no more lives torn apart” — whether by abortion or anything else. Christmas lists spring from Christmas hope, and Christmas is all about the victory of life! 

There Was No Room For Them In The Inn

“There was no room for them in the inn”.

The fact that there was no room for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the inn at Bethlehem on the first Christmas should make us wonder. The birth of Christ was planned by God from all eternity, and the details of his birth and life were announced by the prophets. How could God forget to make room for his only Son, the Child who owns the world, and every inch of room in the whole universe?

Obviously, God did this on purpose. There was no room in the inn because God wanted to show that His Son comes as a Savior, to reconcile a world that is at enmity with God.

Today, he does not seek an inn; he seeks room in our own hearts and lives.

–Fr. Frank

Every Birth Reflects The Joy of the Birth of Christ.

As we enter the second half of Advent, the liturgy focuses more specifically on the Incarnation and birth of Jesus at the first Christmas. We think about Mary’s initial fear and uncertainty in the face of her unexpected pregnancy. Then, in every Church in the world, believers spiritually rush to her side to eagerly await with her the birth of the Savior.

The best way for a parish to celebrate Christmas is to rush physically to the side of those in the community who, like Mary, are uncertain and afraid about their pregnancy. We are to accompany them through their pregnancy with support and encouragement, and help them experience the fact that every birth reflects the joy of the birth of Christ.

–Fr. Frank

Our Lady of Guadalupe

When Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego, the Aztec people among whom he lived were practicing human sacrifice, because their beliefs were based on despair. They thought God was against them.

Mary’s image brought the message that God was with them — so much, in fact, that he became a child, carried in Mary’s womb. This gave them hope, and they stopped their human sacrifice and became Christian.

Today, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes to abortion clinics, where human sacrifice is practiced, and turns the despair of those mothers and fathers into the hope that brings new life. That is why Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the unborn. As we celebrate her feast today, let us pray for an end to the human sacrifice that is abortion.

–Fr. Frank