Lent is a season of life. As baptized believers, we reflect on how the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ have brought us the new life we now live. We commit ourselves to join all our suffering to his for our own salvation and that of the whole world.
To help us all observe Lent, I have written a special Lenten prayer for life, and invite you to join me in saying it each day of this holy season. Please download it at www.priestsforlife.org. As we prepare to celebrate the victory of Christ over death, we commit ourselves to defeat the power of abortion and the culture of death. And as we practice Lenten penance, we can do no better than to reach out and save the lives of our youngest brothers and sisters.
Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said today that the 24 bodies of dead babies found in the freezer of a Philadelphia abortion clinic should be given a reverent burial as soon as possible, and that this should be a public event in which people can mourn the loss of these lives.
“The disrespect that the abortion industry has for the human body is seen not only in the fact that they kill these children, but also in how they treat their bodies after death,” Fr. Pavone explained. “It is time now for the bodies of these children to be honored with a dignified burial. It should be a public event, so that our nation will have the opportunity to see that abortion is not an abstraction, and so that people can make up in some fashion for the disrespect with which these children have been treated.”
Fr. Pavone has conducted a number of funerals around the country for children whose bodies were recovered from abortion clinic trash dumpsters. “Next to killing the children, there’s nothing that the abortion industry wants more than to keep the violence hidden. Our responsibility is to expose it,” Fr. Pavone concluded.
“I have heard the cry of my people who are being oppressed…Therefore I have come down to rescue them.” So God speaks to Moses when he calls him to lead God’s people to freedom. The Exodus from Egypt, as well as the Paschal Mystery – that is, the central events of the Old and New Testaments — are both about God rescuing his people who are being oppressed. Our forefathers were oppressed as slaves in Egypt and rescued through the waters of the Red Sea. We are oppressed by sin and death, and are rescued through the waters of baptism. Yet the rescued must also rescue. The saved must also save. We cannot turn to God for mercy and be deaf to the cries of others for mercy. That’s why we save the unborn from abortion.
If we read the letters of St. Paul in the order in which they were written, we see that Paul displays an increasing awareness of his sinfulness as life goes on. “Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus,” he begins. Later he says, “Apostle and servant.” Yet later he declares himself “not worthy to be called an apostle”, and finally, he calls himself “the chief of sinners.” Contrary to what some of our critics say, we in the Church and in the pro-life movement are not self-righteous people who think we are better than everyone else and want to tell others how to live. Rather, we begin with repentance, realizing that we recognize the sins in the world only after we’ve recognized our own. That is the spirit in which we build a culture of life.
Washington, DC – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today in response to the release of President Obama’s version of health care reform legislation.
“The American people have already made their concerns about health care reform known,” said Fr. Pavone. “The President’s refusal to listen now makes it necessary to reject the bill in its entirety rather than to seek to reform it any further.”
Abraham is our father in faith. His name was originally “Abram,” which means “exalted father.” But God changed his name to Abraham, meaning “father of many.”
God tells him when he is ninety nine years old that he will bear a son and be the father of many nations! The stars in the sky don’t measure up to the number of descendants he will have. And it came to pass. His descendants include us, who inherit the same life of faith as he lived.
This is a faith that affirms life despite being confronted with the power of death. In Christ we have seen the victory of life over death, and this faith enables us to declare that the power of abortion will come to an end and the culture of life will prevail.
We have begun the Holy Season of Lent. The traditional practice of “giving something up for Lent” is a practice of self-denial; our Lord said that to follow him, we must deny our very selves. It means we say No to ourselves and Yes to God and others. This reverses the pattern of sin, which says Yes to ourselves and No to God and others.
In our culture, the most violent No to God and others is abortion. Four thousand times every day in our nation, people say No to a little child so that they may say Yes to their fears or their plans.
This Lent, as we practice self-denial, let’s think of these children. Let’s offer our sacrifices for them. May all say Yes to God and Yes to the unborn.
As we make our Lenten journey, I invite you to join with me and thousands of others in a Lenten Prayer for Life. You will find it at www.priestsforlife.org. Lent is a season in which we prepare to celebrate Christ’s total victory over death, and our share in his life by baptism. Death was not part of God’s original plan for us. Scripture says that God created all things that they may have life, and that he does not rejoice in the destruction of the living. Standing with Christ in his new life means standing against whatever destroys life. The Lenten prayer for life renews us in our commitment to be the People of Life. It can be prayed each day by families, school classes, parishes, and individuals. Download the Lenten prayer for life at www.priestsforlife.org.