Archive for December, 2010

Raising Awareness is the First Step

Thursday, December 16th, 2010





Today I want to share with you the following email I received from a pro-abortion person who visited the Priests for Life website and saw the pictures of aborted babies. She wrote,

“Hello, I am a sixteen-year-old female and I just finished looking at the pictures on your site and reading what actually happens during an abortion. Up until five minutes ago, I was extremely pro-choice. But within 3 minutes of viewing your website, my face was covered in tears. Those pictures just really hurt to look at. … I cannot express how grateful I am that you have shown me the truth about abortion. God bless you.”

Invite others to view these images at priestsforlife.org. You may email and print them. Nothing is more effective to end abortion.

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Christmas is God in Human Language

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010





Christmas is God in human language. It is not simply about the birth of a child, but rather the coming of the one who will preach the Sermon on the Mount, instruct us by parables, and establish His Church.

This is why it makes no sense to welcome the Child but reject His teachings. It is inconsistent to prepare for and celebrate Christmas but refuse to accept the fullness of the Gospel that this Child proclaimed.

That Gospel has taught from the beginning that life must be protected, including life in the womb. There can be no such thing as a “pro-choice Christian.” A rejection of even a single life is a rejection of Christ Himself.

This Advent and Christmas, let us welcome Christ and all those whom He loves.

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The Savior was Born for All People

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010





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 that they understood the message at that moment?

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.

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The Best Way to Celebrate Christmas

Monday, December 13th, 2010





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.

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Sunday is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Friday, December 10th, 2010





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 honor her, let us pray for an end to the human sacrifice that is abortion.

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Grown Up Christmas List

Thursday, December 9th, 2010





One of the Christmas songs playing on the radio in these days is called “Grown Up Christmas list.” The singer says that the list is not for herself, but for a world in need. This list includes, “no more lives torn apart, that wars may never start…that right would always win.”

Christmas is a time for wishing for good things, because we know that God has given us His Son — and if He has gone that far, as St. Paul declares, how will He not give us everything else besides?

Let us increase our longing, then, that every life may be secure, safe from the violence of abortion and euthanasia, and from the ravages of poverty, crime, and war. Let us write our Christmas list with confidence.

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The Immaculate Conception

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010





The Immaculate Conception is about Christ’s power to destroy sin. Mary was sinless from the first moment of her life not because she did not need a Savior, but because she was so close to the Savior. It is always and only through Jesus Christ that Mary receives her special favors and graces.

This Feast is meant to give us confidence that we can say NO to any temptation. The same Christ is ready to strengthen us to do what is right. This is the kind of confidence we need to inspire in those who are pregnant and feel they cannot carry the child. God, through Mary, always provides us the strength to do what is right. Inspired, by her, let us reach out with eagerness to all those who are pregnant and in need.

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Christmas is Not Merely an Event of the Past

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010





On Good Friday, we sing, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” We imagine standing along with Mary, St. John, and the others on the first Good Friday. And the answer to the question is “Yes.” We were there, because He died for us, and our sins were on His shoulders.

What about Christmas? What if we sang, “Were you there when the King of Kings was born?” Nativity scenes, and the meditations which spiritual writers provide us about that first Christmas, help us enter in to the drama and meaning of that event.

There is a way to be there, and it is to open ourselves to the joy and meaning of the birth of every child – to see in each child, even the unwanted and unexpected, a reflection of the Christ who comes even today.

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No Room in the Inn

Monday, December 6th, 2010





“She wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

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, because the birth of Christ was foreseen and planned by God from all eternity. Hundreds of years before it happened, the prophets announced he would be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14) and that Bethlehem would be his birthplace (Micah 5:2). Many other details of his life and death were also foretold. Did God, then, forget to make room for his only Son? How is it possible that there was no room, when the child born at Christmas owns the inn, and Bethlehem, and 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 this demonstrates that the world has rejected God. The world makes no room for the God who created it. 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. Being turned away from the inn foreshadows the fact that the Savior himself will be rejected, despised, and ultimately crucified, and that all this was part of God’s plan from all eternity. Ultimately, the lack of room in the inn symbolizes the lack of room we make for him in our hearts. When our hearts are filled with all kinds of other desires than God, we gradually crowd him out altogether.

No room at the inn also means that we fail to make room for our brothers and sisters. The first great commandment is to love God, and the second is like it: Love your neighbor. Christ willed to be left out, because he is always in solidarity with those who are left out, shut out, and crowded out. That is the position of the unborn children today. They are crowded out of the busy schedules of so many people doing so many good and important things, but who don’t have a finger to lift to protect the lives of these children from abortion. They are crowded out of legislative agendas, preaching schedules, career plans, and volunteer activities. There’s just too much going on already; there’s no room in the inn.

Christ comes at Christmas to change all that. Today, he does not seek an inn; he seeks room in our own hearts and lives. And he asks that as we welcome him, we welcome everyone whom he welcomes, including the children most defenseless and forgotten. We welcome the Divine Child, and in doing so, we welcome every child. As we celebrate Christmas, we sing in “O Holy Night” the words, “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in his name all oppression shall cease.” Amen! Let oppression cease and let Christmas come for the unborn!

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A Deeper Understanding of the Incarnation

Monday, December 6th, 2010





St. Augustine said of Christmas, “God became man so that man might become God.”

Christmas is about a wondrous exchange of natures: God shares our frail humanity, and we share His divinity.

The joy of Christmas is not just that a child is born, but that a whole new humanity is born. This new humanity is not disconnected from the old, but is radically renewed and redeemed. Just as in Adam, all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Christmas, then, is about the destiny of the human person. Christ promises: “I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne”.

Christmas goes far beyond the natural blessings of kindness, goodness, family, and giving. It is about sharing the Divine Nature, starting right now. “He who believes has eternal life.”

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