Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Friday, December 14th, 2012

HolyFamily333

 This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and he was obedient to them” (Luke 2:51).

Reflection: Though he was conceived of a virgin, Jesus nevertheless lived as a son in a human family. The family is the sanctuary of life. The family, above all, is where life is to be welcomed, no matter how fragile or inconvenient it may be. One of the many reasons why the Church sees abortion and euthanasia as pre-eminent issues is because these crimes are committed by one family member upon another.

Prayer: O Holy Family, bless our families, and lead us to a Culture of Life. Amen.

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Can the Government Veto a Sermon?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Friends,

Lots happening this weekend… It’s Respect Life Sunday (and we have resources at ProLifePreaching.com), it’s Life Chain Sunday (and I’ll be participating in one in Detroit… I hope all the Life Chain organizers are ready to collect names, numbers, and emails of the participants to help engage them throughout the year!), it’s the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization (Priests for Life was pleased to send input to the synod on the connections between new evangelization and the pro-life movement) – but what I want to focus on for a moment here is that it is also “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”

Here’s the question: May the government filter, edit, or veto the contents of a sermon?  No court has ever heard a case regarding whether the Internal Revenue Service can do so. Yet every day – and especially in these weeks prior to an election – preachers act as if their sermons have to be vetted and approved by the IRS.

Indeed, the IRS issues guidelines saying that in order to retain its tax exemption, Churches and other organizations set up as “501 (c)(3)” entities must avoid any intervention in a political campaign.

But this restriction is not in the Constitution. In fact, it only goes back to 1954, to a provision that has no legislative history and has never been challenged in court.

And the result of the restriction, and the ambiguity often surrounding it (because the IRS says that all the “facts and circumstances” have to be taken into account to determine exactly when a preacher has “crossed the line,” therefore meaning in practice that you may not know that you’ve crossed the line until after the fact), what in fact happens is that speech is chilled and pastors do far less than they are able to do.

Since 2008, therefore, pastors across the nation have begun to rise up with a simple message: No government interference in the pulpit! They have decided, on a designated weekend, to preach sermons outside the usual restrictions of the IRS, and have sent those sermons to the IRS. The hope is that this will lead to a court case that can clarify whether the restrictions are in fact even constitutional.

In 2008, some 33 pastors did this. The IRS did not respond.

In 2009, some 84 pastors did this. Again, only silence from the IRS.

In 2010, a hundred pastors engaged in this project. The IRS raised no complaint.

Last year, 539 pastors sent in their sermons challenging the IRS restrictions. And nothing but silence came from the IRS.

This year’s numbers will surpass all the previous years.

It seems clear that the IRS does not want the 1954 restrictions subjected to court scrutiny. We will report more of what happens as a result of this Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Stay tuned!

Fr. Frank

 

 

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Friday, August 17th, 2012

This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org.

“You will be doing well if you truly observe the sovereign law…’You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (James 2:8).

Reflection: Some prominent politicians claim that it is not their business to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of America. That’s true. But none object to enforcing laws against stealing. Why isn’t that an imposition or religion, given the fact that the Bible and the Catechism tell us not to steal? The reason, of course, is that you have a right to your possessions, not because you are Catholic, but because you are human.

Prayer: Lord, help us distinguish between religious beliefs and moral laws rooted in our nature. Amen.

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Then will the words that are written be fulfilled: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians 15:54).

Reflection: At the scene of the first murder of Abel by Cain, the soil “opened its mouth” to swallow Abel’s blood (see Genesis 4:10-11). At the scene of the final victory of life, it is death itself that will be “swallowed up in victory.” God is in the business of destroying death, and that is why his people work on behalf of life.

Prayer: Lord, continue to give us consolation, amidst a Culture of Death, that this evil will not last forever, but will be swallowed up in victory. Amen.

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Garden of Eden

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You will be like gods,” the serpent said to our first parents in the Garden of Eden. This original temptation was a promise that what was right and what was wrong would be up to us; that we could write our own moral law. That’s what the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” meant, and why Adam and Eve couldn’t eat from it.

We are all called to know good from evil, but not to decide it. To think we decide it is the error of the “pro-choice” mindset. “It’s all up to me and my choice, even if it means killing a baby.” This way of thinking, of course, leads to total chaos. On what basis do we tell people not to kill each other or steal from each other unless there are standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone no matter what they believe?

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Why Don’t More Pastors Preach about Abortion?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Why don’t more pastors speak out against abortion?  Some of them actually do not know how to connect the issue with the Scripture readings.  They know that the readings are supposed to be the basis of their homilies, but they do not find many references to the unborn child or to the killing of such children.

But the themes of pro-life are on every page of Scripture.  Homilies are not simply Scripture lessons.  Rather they apply the great Biblical themes to the day-to-day challenges that believers face as they live their lives.

So, for instance, the Bible is clear that only God has dominion over human life – He made it, He cares for it, He owns it.  That is why no human being can own or kill or devalue it.

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