The Seventh Commandment

The Seventh Commandment declares, “You shall not steal.” Whenever we violate the right to life, we steal. We rob the person of what is his – the recognition of his rights, the protection of his life.

Actions like abortion also rob God himself of what is his. Once when I was praying at an abortion facility with a group of people, and one man had his toes over the property line, a clinic worker shouted, “Get your feet off our property.” I responded, “And when are you going to get your hands off God’s property?”
God alone has dominion over human life. When an abortionist reaches into the sacred space of the womb to rip the child apart, he is stealing from the Almighty, and is also robbing society of the respect it owes to life.

–Fr. Frank

The Sixth Commandment

The Sixth Commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery.” In keeping with the understanding that commandments are like chapter headings, and that there are many other actions included under each one of them, this commandment prohibits us from abusing the gift of human sexuality and marriage. And with good reason. These gifts are given to us for our good as a human family. When we use them as God intends, they serve life. But when we abuse them, they lead to death, not just spiritually, but physically. When we speak to our nation about the tens of millions of children ripped apart by abortion, let’s challenge them to realize that one of the ways we arrived at that holocaust is that we ripped apart the very meaning and purpose of human sexuality.

–Fr. Frank

The Fifth Commandment

The Fifth Commandment states, “You shall not kill.” The literal translation of this commandment forbids murder. This is not about a prohibition on killing cattle for food or on killing bugs for our safety. Nor is it an absolute prohibition on repelling an aggressor. The commandment means that we do not have authority to murder the innocent. Babies are always in that category. The commandment against directly, deliberately killing a baby or any other innocent person is absolute.

From this commandment comes the prohibition on abortion, at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason whatsoever. The commandment is based on God’s absolute dominion over human life. He alone gives and takes the lives of human beings; he alone governs who comes into the world and who goes out, and when, and how.

–Fr. Frank

Why the Our Father is a Pro-life Prayer (Part 3)

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Each line of the Lord’s Prayer gives us insight as to why we are pro-life.

“Lead us not into temptation.” Every temptation is a lie, which makes something evil look good. Among the most masterful temptations of the evil one is to make the killing of a child seem better than the birth of that child. This is the lie that leads each day to thousands of abortions.

As we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” we keep in mind the need to protect all pregnant mothers from the deception of abortion. We also pray against the temptation to be silent and passive in the midst of this holocaust. Sins of omission are the most frequent sins, especially in regard to the culture of death. As we pray “lead us not into temptation,” we resolve to say more, do more, and sacrifice more for life!

“Deliver us from evil.” In asking this, we are not asking to be delivered from some vague force or bad luck. Rather, we are asking to be delivered from the influence and power of a real person, the devil, also known as the evil one. His kingdom of death has been defeated, and so his power is limited, but he still seeks to lead us astray.

When we pray to be delivered from the evil one, we are praying to be delivered from the culture of death, and to stay faithful to Christ’s Kingdom of Life. We are praying that we will not be deceived by the false promises of the evil one, who presents abortion as a solution to a problem, though it is no such thing.

“For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.”

The Lord’s Prayer culminates with these beautiful words which, in the Catholic tradition, we pray at Mass shortly after the rest of the prayer. In “The Gospel of Life,” Pope John Paul II wrote that human life is always a good because it reflects the glory of God. God is glorified when human beings live, because they are made in his image and likeness. In attributing all glory to God, therefore, we acknowledge the infinite value of life.

All power, furthermore, belongs to the Lord. Jesus said he had the “power” to lay down his life. That is the power of love, by which we sacrifice ourselves for the good of the other person. Abortion, instead, sacrifices the other person for the “good” of oneself. Abortion is the opposite of love. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us what real power is.

“Amen.” St. Paul proclaims that Christ is the Amen, the yes, to all the promises of God. Abortion is just the opposite. It is a big “no” to God’s plans for the child who has been conceived, and for all of us who are called to love that child rather than kill him.

The Lord’s Prayer is, indeed, the model for all prayer, and it is the model for all our striving for a Culture of Life!

Why the Our Father is a Pro-life Prayer (Part 2)

To view “Why the Our Father is a Pro-life Prayer” (Part 1), see this link:

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Each line of the Lord’s Prayer gives us insight as to why we are pro-life.

“Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Union with the will of God is the heart of salvation and the essence of holiness. It is also the cornerstone of the culture of life. To say, “thy will be done” is the opposite of saying, “my will be done; it’s all up to my choice.”

When we see a child living in the womb, we see the will of God. The Lord never makes human beings by accident. Each child exists precisely because God wants that child to exist, no matter what the circumstances surrounding his or her existence.

When we say “Thy will be done,” we are expressing confidence that because God says yes to the child, so can we. He will give us all the strength we need to follow his plan.

We pray, furthermore, that his will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” In heaven, the angels and saints are perfectly united with God because they see him as he is. One who sees God face to face cannot sin, because it is unmistakably clear that there is no good that surpasses God himself.

Many acknowledge “God” and yet go ahead and abort their children, because here on earth, our vision is clouded and imperfect. Hence in the Lord’s Prayer we ask that we not be misled to think that anything good can come from offending God.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” We ask the Father for the provisions we need each day to live and to serve him. We ask him for the spiritual strength to resist the temptations that will certainly come our way, and for the grace to advance his Kingdom.

This also means we are praying for the graces we need to advance the protection of human life. We may be tempted to compromise with the culture of death. We ask for the daily bread of strength to defend life, to speak up for the helpless, to intervene to save the weak. We pray also that those tempted to abort their children because of economic reasons may experience the help of God’s people, the daily bread of their generosity.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We are asking the Lord to use us as an example of how readily and generously he should forgive our sins.

He is more eager to forgive our sins than we are. This should not only give us confidence, but should help us inspire confidence in those who despair. One of the hardest sins to confess is abortion. And even there, the Lord is ready to pour out his mercy on those who repent.

Nothing can minimize the horror of abortion, and nothing can justify it. Yet countless people come each day to the cross where they find that even this sin is washed away in the Blood of Christ.

The Fourth Commandment

The Fourth Commandment is “Honor your father and mother.” The Lord worked through our parents to bring us into being; he asked for their collaboration, for their generosity, in bringing about a plan that he had decided on from all eternity – that we should exist to love and serve him. This commandment points to the dignity of human procreation. It also points to the profound privilege and responsibility that parents have in being open to life and in being ready to protect the lives that God entrusts to their care. Those who claim a right to abortion are violating the fourth commandment. No parent is the owner of his or her children. God alone owns and rules human life. And he entrusts to parents the awesome gift of welcoming that life with joy.

–Fr. Frank

The Third Commandment

The Third Commandment requires us to Keep Holy the Lord’s Day. Scripture tells us the Lord rested on the seventh day. This was not because he was tired, but rather because he was foretelling the Sabbath day that Jesus would rest in the tomb after his work of offering the sacrifice of his passion and death. On that day the Lord preached to the dead and bid them to leave the place of death and to come with him into life eternal.

Keeping holy the Lord ’s Day, then, reminds us that God is on the side of human life. It also reminds us that he is Lord of life. All our activities and choices are under him, which is why we pause on the Lord’s Day to worship him in Church.

–Fr. Frank

The Second Commandment

The Second Commandment is “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This does not only mean that we shouldn’t use the Lord’s name in cursing when we are angry. It also means that we should not use God’s name or His Word to justify actions that he abhors.

There are religious groups and individuals in our society who do exactly that when it comes to abortion. They say they are “prayerfully pro-choice.” Groups like the “Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” claim that God’s word allows abortion, and they even celebrate it with pro-choice liturgies.

This is a distortion of God’s word and an abuse of his name. It is a direct violation of the second commandment. Let’s honor the name of God by honoring the lives he creates.

–Fr. Frank

The First Commandment

The First Commandment is “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods besides me.” There are many ways of having false gods. Pope John Paul II once wrote that to think we are the ones who decide whether a child should be created is to say that God is not God. At the root of the contraceptive mentality, and at the root of the so-called “pro-choice” mentality, is idolatry. We place our choices before God’s choices. We break the first of all the commandments. In the Old Testament, we read that God’s people committed idolatry when they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire to demons. Until we end the child sacrifice of legal abortion, we are guilty of the same kind of idolatry. Let us worship the Lord of Life!

–Fr. Frank

‘Law and Order’ Brings a bit of Order into the Abortion Debate

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

If you are tired about how the secular media and entertainment industry always slant anything that has to do with abortion in a pro-abortion direction, take 42 minutes and click on the link below:

Law and Order show on Abortion

You’ll see an episode of “Law and Order” that aired in the Fall and that delighted pro-lifers and upset pro-aborts.

The episode was based on the killing of abortionist George Tiller. But unlike many news reports, which go from there to simply paint the killer as a “pro-life fanatic” and the pro-life position itself as fanaticism leading to violence, the “Law and Order” episode actually brought some balance into the debate.

First of all, in the episode, the killer is permitted to make a defense based on the intention of saving a life. Now pro-life people rightly proclaim that unborn children are real lives, and they also know that this fact doesn’t justify killing an abortionist. Yet the fictional courtroom in this episode allowed more than real courtrooms normally do when it comes to the abortion debate.

And as the courtroom drama unfolds, we catch a glimpse of the ambivalence of the American people when faced with the reality of abortion. Moreover, we catch a glimpse of the extremism of abortion itself and of the movement that supports it.

For example, an abortionist testifies that he is committed to doing abortions, no matter what the law may eventually say. This leads the DA to comment privately that there is extremism on both sides of the issue. This reflects a growing awareness of atrocities within the abortion industry, as more abortionists are arrested for various types of malpractice and abuse.

In another moving scene, testimony is given of a botched abortion, after which the child is killed outside the womb. This reflects what abortionists call “the dreaded complication,” a child born alive. What often happens in abortion facilities and hospitals is precisely that the child is killed outside the womb. The jury is obviously upset by the revelation and the description of what happened. And even the prosecuting attorney declares, “Each life is special and unique and imbued with inalienable rights.”

Most telling are some of the private conversations between the DA and his assistants. “I grew up thinking Roe v Wade was gospel,” one woman says, but now “I don’t know where my privacy ends and another’s dignity begins.” “The tide has turned,” another says, describing how his daughter was pro-choice until she saw an ultrasound.” In other conversations, it is asserted that “Roe is outdated science…the disabled are protected…defects can be corrected.” One character is even told, “Substitute slavery for abortion” and see if the arguments make sense.

And at one point, the DA declares that one would hope for more consistency, that more pro-life people would oppose the death penalty and that more human rights advocates would find some rights for unborn children.

I won’t tell you how the episode ends, because I’d like you to watch it. And when you do so, be encouraged.