The Repercussions of Looking Away

In the Our Father, we pray “Hallowed be Thy name.” When the People of God live in a way that reflects the holiness, justice, truth and love of God Himself, then God’s name is honored. In other words, God’s people give God a good reputation, and the word “Christian” is something people want to identify with. But when God’s people are unfaithful, God’s name is dishonored.

This is what happens when God’s people turn the other way and ignore the abortions that kill thousands of babies every day – or even participate in them. This dishonors both the rights of that child and the honor of God. Hallowed be Thy name, through our commitment to life. Hallowed be Thy name, through the sacrifice we make to defend life, and the care we give to mother and child alike.

The Theology of Giving (Part 3 of 3)

The goods of the earth have been given for all. We are to share those goods not simply when we don’t need them, but also when we do. These are key principles of Catholic social teaching.

Giving, whether of our time, talent, or treasure, is based on the very nature of God. Though He did not have to create us, He did..and then became one of us and died for us. He taught us the meaning of giving when we don’t have to and of giving from our very substance, from our very life.

The Lord Himself referred to a theology of giving. After observing the rich putting their sizable donations into the temple treasury, he saw a poor widow making her contribution, whereupon He said, “I assure you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. They make contributions out of their surplus, but she from her want has given what she could not afford — every penny she had to live on” (Luke 21:3-4).

Most of us give to some charity, and we give what we do not need. But how often do we give away what we do need? And the fact that we need it is precisely why we need to share it.

The needs of another are not just the other’s needs; they are ours. We are one body.”The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body; and so it is with Christ….God has so constructed the body… that all the members may be concerned for one another. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy. You, then, are the body of Christ. Every one of you is a member of it” (1Cor.12:12, 24-27).

How much should we give to a cause that we know is right? The measure of our giving should be how much the other needs the gift, not how much the giver does not need it.

No group of people is more needy in our society than the unborn, deprived of the very right to their lives. More money is spent in this country to kill the unborn than is spent to save them. Some wealthy people contribute billions to the very groups that promote the killing.

“I ask you, how can God’s love survive in a man who has enough of this world’s goods yet closes his heart to his brother when he sees him in need?” (1John 3:17). Given that the greatest of “this world’s goods” is life itself, we can rephrase the verse: How can God’s love survive in anyone who is alive yet closes his heart to his brother who is in danger of death?

When we give out of our very need, we give life itself to others. Nowhere is that more true than when we give to the efforts to end abortion.

The Model of All Prayer

The Lord gave us the Our Father as the model of all prayer. The first two words of that prayer tell us why we are pro-life. There is one Father of us all, the one who gives both divine life and the natural human life which is its pre-requisite. The Father is the Creator, and if he is “our” Father, then what does that make us? We are all brothers and sisters in one human family. One Father entrusts us to the care of each other. We are to seek the good of one another. This is why Paul exhorts us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep, and to bear one another’s burdens.

The first way we do that is to safeguard the most basic good each person has – life itself.

Novena Begins Tomorrow!

September 5 is the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in 1997. Starting tomorrow, Priests for Life is conducting a special novena in her honor. By going to, you can download a special prayer to say each day. You are also invited to share with us your stories about how Mother Teresa impacted your life, through her example, teaching, or by being in her presence.

At that website you will also find the Prayer breakfast speech which she gave in Washington DC in 1994, and in which she asked, “If we allow a mother to kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other?”

Please join the Mother Teresa prayer novena at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us and for the unborn!

Sitting Back is Not an Option

Pro-abortion politicians will often say to us, “Let’s just agree to disagree.” Our response? We have the greatest respect for those who disagree with us. But when victims are oppressed, we don’t sit back and “agree to disagree” with the oppressor. Rather, we intervene to save the victim. We have been victims of terrorism in America. We don’t just “agree to disagree” with the terrorists; we stop the terrorists.

Abortion is not about beliefs; it’s about bloodshed. It’s not about viewpoints, it’s about victims.

Those who need protection need it precisely because there are some who think they shouldn’t have it. When it comes to protecting the vulnerable, disagreement is an argument for action, not for sitting back and letting the violence happen simply because some think it should.

No Middle Ground

Pro-abortion politicians will often say to us, “My office does not involve any decision-making about abortion.” Our response? Your position on abortion says a lot about your character and worldview. If you cannot oppose an act of violence against the most defenseless children, on what basis will you oppose violence against the rest of us?

Your position on abortion also tells us what you think of government. A nation either recognizes that the right to life comes from God, or thinks that it comes from its own government. Whether a public official is actually going to vote on the legality of abortion is beside the point. Before we cast our vote for our leaders, we need to know what kind of authority they think we are giving them.

The Cornerstone of Human Rights Issues

Pro-abortion politicians will often say to us, “Abortion is just one of many issues; I embrace a consistent ethic of life.” Our response? The foundation of a house is only one of many parts of the house, but it is essential in order to build the other parts. That is why the Catholic bishops teach that the right to life is the foundation of all human rights issues, and that our priority has to be fighting abortion.

That is also why the Pope has declared that pleas that politicians make on behalf of human rights are false and illusory if they do not stand up for the right to life.

The fact is that nothing takes more human life than abortion — no crime, disease, natural disaster, war, or act of terrorism.

Laws Can Be Changed

Pro-abortion politicians will often say to us, “Abortion is the law of the land.” Our response? The “law of the land” can be changed, just as it was changed regarding slavery and segregation. The law of the land is meant to protect the good of the people. Because imperfect people make the law of the land, they sometimes make mistakes, and allow things which experience later proves are not good for the people.

That’s why the law can be changed. Laws once passed can be amended or nullified. Court decisions once passed can be overturned. Even the Constitution can be amended.

Claiming that abortion is the law of the land is a weak excuse. Leadership means seeing the injustices that others miss, and inspiring people to make the necessary changes.

Abortion is Not Health Care

Pro-abortion politicians will often say to us, “Legislators should not be practicing medicine.” Our response? We’re not asking you to practice medicine, but to prevent the abuse of medicine. Medicine is for the purpose of preserving life; abortion takes life. Surgery helps the body do what it is supposed to do; abortion stops the body from doing what it is supposed to do. There is no disease that abortion cures.

Legislators are not called to practice medicine. But laws do prohibit doctors from carrying out procedures without the patient’s consent, from using certain types of medications, and from all kinds of malpractice. The practice of medicine is regulated by all kinds of laws that protect the lives of patients. All we ask is that the unborn be included in that protection.

Funding the Pro-life Movement (Part 2 of 3)

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

More money is being spent on killing babies by abortion than on saving them, and it’s up to the pro-life movement to turn that around. Yet all of us struggle with how to do that. This is the second part of a series to offer some recommendations about pro-life fundraising which we have found helpful at Priests for Life.

You don’t own your donors – Some approach the acquisition of donors like the acquisition of a spouse, thinking that if the donor is “mine,” he or she cannot also be someone else’s. But we neither marry nor own our donors. Instead, a donor should be thought of as a friend. It is both normal and expected that your friends will have other friends. It is also understood that you can’t take friendship for granted. You have to nurture the relationship, and you need to have a give and take, paying attention to the donors’ needs just as you want them to pay attention to yours.

People respond to service – There are many techniques about how to write a fundraising letter, how often to mail it, how to get people to open it, and what to do when people do and do not respond. These techniques should be studied and practiced, because they work. Yet there is one thing we need to do that will multiply powerfully any results from these special techniques. In a sense, it is the foundational fundraising technique: Provide a quality product.

A product may be a physical item, or information, or a service. Whatever it is, make it of the highest professional quality. Pay attention to the needs, desires, and patterns of response of the people you serve. Be available to them, and they will be generous to you and your organization.

Communicate a vision, not just a need – While we should state our needs honestly, the core of asking for money is not simply saying that we need it, but rather presenting a vision that you want the donor to grasp and be part of bringing to fulfillment. The excitement and promise of that vision will elicit generosity.

Remind people of the God of Generosity — Scripture is clear that those who do God’s work should be supported not only spiritually but materially. Scripture is also clear that one of God’s clearest traits is generosity, and that the people who strive to be like God should likewise be generous. Leaders, therefore, should call them to generosity, not simply so that the work can be supported, but so that the donors can fulfill a key aspect of their call to spiritual growth.

Trust mightily in Providence – When I invited Mother Teresa to an event I planned, I was speaking to her about the financial needs connected with it. She urged me to trust God’s Providence, and said, “God has lots of money.” Foster that confidence within your heart, and then ask God to share some of that money with you through your donors!