Archive for March, 2010
Jesus Christ can change us and can change our world. We are people of hope. When Jesus visited Martha and Mary to console them over the death of their brother Lazarus, even though he had been in the tomb for four days, the sisters said to Jesus, “Even now, I know that God will give you whatever you ask him”. Even now. That should be our theme as we fight the evil of abortion. Some will say it has gone on so long it cannot be changed. Others will voice the objection that was raised when Jesus ordered Lazarus’ grave opened: there will be a stench. But despite the culture of death, we are called to hope in the God who has not changed, and in his power to defeat abortion. Even now.
Washington, DC – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, sent an urgent fax alert to priests and deacons nationwide today urging them to join with parishioners in contacting their Congressmen to express opposition to the health care bill that may be voted upon this week.
“The lives of millions of unborn children depend on all of us taking action now,” said Fr. Pavone. “The Senate version of the health care bill would expand access to abortion like never before in history. With a decisive vote possible this week in the House, there is no time to waste.”
The Priests for Life fax alert encourages priests, deacons, and members of church congregations to e-mail, call, or visit the local office of their Congressman and urge a “no” vote on the Senate measure.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Being actively pro-life is not primarily about belonging to a cause or embracing an ideology. It is not merely a political platform or a hobby. It is a spirituality. It is an aspect of our discipleship. And as such, it is a conviction and commitment that is shaped by the word of God. We therefore continue our reflections on what the Beatitudes teach us about being pro-life.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Peace is more than the absence of war. The foundation of peace is justice, that everyone’s rights are protected and everyone’s dignity is recognized. Peace means that our relationships with God and one another are what they are supposed to be.
To fight abortion, therefore, is one of the ways that we work for peace. Abortion completely oppresses and diminishes the rights of the child who is killed. Rather than fostering right relationships, it destroys them, starting with the most basic relationship between a mother and her own child.
A peacemaker seeks out the most vulnerable in society, and urges the rest of society to welcome them. Let’s build peace by advocating for the unborn and stopping the violence of abortion.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs.”
Those who work for justice will always be persecuted by those who foster injustice. Those who work to preserve the most basic justice, that is, protecting the right to life, are persecuted all the time, by both believers and non-believers. They are accused of having a narrow focus and a lack of compassion, while in reality they are focused on the most broad-based right of all and have compassion for the most vulnerable of all.
Because they know this, pro-life activists can be at peace in the midst of the persecution. They need not be distracted, nor should they ever doubt themselves. The ridicule they endure is a promised blessing from above, the blessing of suffering for doing what is right.
“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.
The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.
Those who want to nourish their pro-life spirituality with reflections like this for every day of the year can obtain my book Pro-life Reflections for Every Day at priestsforlife.org/store.
The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, in collaboration with Priests for Life, has established the “International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters,” which is observed each year on March 31, the anniversary of her death. We invite individual believers to spend time on that day learning about Terri, and praying for all whose lives are threatened in the same way that hers was. We invite Churches to hold memorial services and to educate their people on the dignity of every human life, despite any disability or disease with which that life may be afflicted.
We invite all people to help us continue to draw good out of the sad and tragic way in which Terri was treated. For information and resources, visit www.priestsforlife.org
We are all familiar with the power of ultrasound images have to save lives.
Now we have a tool far more powerful than ultrasound. It is called embryoscopy. Though rarely used, this procedure has yielded powerful video footage of the unborn child. A tiny camera is placed up against the amniotic sac to yield full color video of the child from about four to twelve weeks old.
A video containing this footage has been made which has such strong medical, secular credentials that it has won eleven awards and been endorsed by National Geographic. Now Priests for Life is distributing this video within the pro-life community and seeks to get it into all the churches, pregnancy centers, and schools across America. Find out more at priestsforlife.org.
Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ran key stories recently about abortion in the African American community. They mentioned a billboard campaign arising out of Georgia that asserts that Black babies are an endangered species, because abortion is killing them at a disproportionate level. This is a verifiable fact, because while African Americans comprise about 13 per cent of the population, over a third of the abortions are performed on African American women.
The work of Dr Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life, and the studies outlined in a video called Maafa 21 show beyond a doubt the connections between the abortion industry and a deliberate eugenic effort to rid society of blacks. The black community is awakening to this tragedy, and getting more involved in the pro-life movement.
Lent teaches us the meaning of love. Jesus endures his passion and crucifixion for each of us, giving himself away that we might have life.
Abortion, on the other hand, is the opposite of love, because it takes life.
Love says, “I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person.”
Abortion says, “I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.”
Strangely, the same words are used in both cases. Supporters of abortion say, “This is my body, I can do what I want.” Jesus says, “This is my body, given up for you.” The same words are spoken from opposite ends of the universe, with totally opposite results. Let us resolve to live those words as Jesus did, giving ourselves away for the good of others, born and unborn.
In John’s Gospel, we read the story of the man born blind. He receives his sight, and then gets the spiritual eyesight to know that Jesus is Lord. The Pharisees, instead, insist on remaining blind about Jesus, even though the evidence of his power is staring them in the face.
So it is today with those who support abortion. In spite of clear and present evidence about who this child is, and how violent abortion is, some refuse to see. That is why, along with presenting the evidence, we pray that they may have open hearts to receive that evidence.
The same openness of heart that enables one to believe in Jesus enables one to welcome the truth about the unborn child. But if we miss who the child is, we’ve really missed Jesus too.