Today’s Pro-life Reflection: Adopt Children

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“When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses” (Exodus 2:10).

Reflection: Many couples are eager to adopt children, but unable to do so, either because of burdensome laws, or because the children have been killed by abortion. The pro-life movement promotes adoption; the pro-abortion movement does everything it can to discourage it. After all, for them, every adoption is lost business in the killing centers.

Prayer: Lord, look with love on all those who seek to adopt a child. Bless them for their generous desire to give a child a loving home. Give them patience and trust in you. Amen.

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: Future of Humanity

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“Although faith provides special light and strength, this question arises in every human conscience which seeks the truth and which cares about the future of humanity” – EV 101 

Reflection: Jesus, the Bible, and the Church teach that stealing is wrong. Therefore, do the laws that prohibit stealing impose a religious belief on the rest of us? Of course not. But some argue that a law protecting the unborn would impose religion. They think freedom of religion should allow child-killing.

Prayer: Lord, you have blessed human conscience with the ability to perceive that killing children is wrong. Increase the moral strength of your people, that this evil may end. Amen.

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: Alternatives to Abortion

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“These commandments that I give you today … Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6,8-9).
Reflection: Many states now have specialty license plates that have the words “Choose Life” above the plate number. Money raised from the purchase of these plates supports alternatives to abortion, and the pro-life message is spread on the road!
Prayer: Father, in the most ordinary activities of life, we can spread the message of life! Give us creativity to see more of these ways, and courage and perseverance in using them! Amen.

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: God is with us

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“And they shall name him Emmanuel, a name that means ‘God is with us'” Matthew 1:23.

Reflection: In the midst of the abortion tragedy, the Church does not point fingers of condemnation. Rather, the Church extends hands of compassion and help, to lift up out of despair those who are tempted to abort their children. The Church informs her people of the many alternatives to abortion, and says “I am with you, and will enable you to say yes to life.”

Prayer: Lord, so many are tempted to abort because they feel alone. May we reach out to them, that they may know that we and you are with them. Amen

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: God and man

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“There is one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus, himself a man” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Reflection: Jesus is humanity’s only mediator with God precisely because he is both God and human, and his humanity comes from Mary. All her importance flows from her Son, and our worship of the Son naturally leads to honoring his mother. Marian devotion teaches us something about our pro-life commitment. Mother and child belong together. To hurt one is to hurt the other; to love one is to love the other.

Prayer: Mary, thank you for being the mother of Jesus, who now shares our humanity. Teach us to honor every mother and child. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

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 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.

Can the Government Veto a Sermon?

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

 

 

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

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.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Garden of Eden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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?