Archive for the ‘Christmas’ 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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Christmas Has Prepared Us For Elections

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

We have just concluded the Christmas season, and find ourselves immersed in the election season.

And so it should be. Christmas is actually the best preparation for elections. It is the feast of God becoming human, and thereby joining all humanity to Himself. Each person, in Christ, has immediate access to God, and has a new dignity even beyond that received in our creation.

Because of this, politics is transformed, because if each person is a child of God, then the voice of the people matters, and the people should participate in both choosing and influencing their leaders. Nobody can be dismissed or treated just as a statistic or a cog in a wheel. Even more, no ruler can justify discrimination, subjection, or oppression.

A Pythagorean writer once expressed the role of civil authority this way: “The monarch has an irrepressible authority (and is therefore not limited by consent); he is a living law; he is like a god among men.”

The coming of Christ among us has changed all that; He has transformed authority into service, and subjected power into respect for the rights of the people, starting with life itself.

That is why our Founding Fathers spoke of inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, rights that precede the existence of government and are bestowed by the Creator Himself.

We are at an important juncture in Elections 2012. Those who pay attention to politics are coming to a point of decision regarding which candidate they will support and work hard for over the coming months before Election Day, Tuesday, November 6. Many of us in leadership are meeting in these days and discerning the current shape of the race.

Many of us have formed a “Vote Pro-life Coalition” (VoteProLifeCoalition.com), which in the coming months will educate voters, call on Churches to observe Voter Registration Sundays (May 27, July 1, and Sept 9), conduct prayer campaigns (including a nine-week novena from Tuesday, Sept. 4 to Tuesday, Nov. 6), and much more.

We will have a presence on the road at multiple events, on television and radio, on the internet and social networking, in the Churches and on the streets of America. We will be relentless in the message that while there are many important issues, there is one overriding and foundational issue, that of life itself. Problems like abortion, which deny and attack that foundational right and gift, therefore deserve, in the words of the Catholic bishops, “urgent attention and priority” (Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities, 2001).

Among other key issues, of course, is the defense of marriage and religious liberty, but in order to enjoy the gift of marriage or liberty, one must first be alive! Indeed, the first criterion of public servants needs to be that they can tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Otherwise, they do not belong in public office.

So, let the battle begin! Let the People of God arise and get busy as faithful citizens!

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Truly He Taught Us to Love One Another

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

The Christmas song “O Holy Night” includes the following words: “Truly he taught us to love one another. His law is love, and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in his name all oppression shall cease.” This is a reminder that as we celebrate Christmas, we renew our commitment to ending all oppression, particularly of those who are most oppressed, the children living before birth within their mothers; children who have been deprived of legal protection, and are oppressed by the mythology of choice. In the name of the newborn Christ, the oppression of our unborn children will cease. May Christmas give us the strength to be silent no more, and more active than ever in the pro-life cause.

Please take a moment to check out my Holiday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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This Christmas, Let Us Welcome the Unborn

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

“Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…A Savior has been born for you” (Luke 1:10-11).

The good news of Christmas is for everyone, including the unborn. In fact, we can say it is addressed especially to them, because they are the most helpless. The good news of Christ’s birth was announced first precisely to the lowly, not to the great and powerful. The ministry of the One who was born for us continued to follow that pattern: He consistently sought out those who were on the outskirts of society. We are called to do the same. To welcome the Savior means to welcome the obligations that His mission places on us. This Christmas, let us resolve to intervene for the unborn child.

Please take a moment to check out my Holiday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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No Room at the Inn

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

“She laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”. 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. The birth of Christ was planned by God from all eternity, and the details of His birth and life were announced by the prophets. How could God forget to make room for His only Son, the Child Who owns 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 God wanted to show that His Son comes as a Savior, to reconcile a world that is at enmity with God. Today, He does not seek an inn; He seeks room in our own hearts and lives.

Please take a moment to check out my Holiday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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Christmas is About the Birth of a Whole New Humanity

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Some years ago, a class of students was asked to write about the meaning of Christmas. One student wrote, “Christmas is when Christians celebrate Christ.” The teacher liked the paper, but asked the student to change that one line to “Christmas is when people celebrate love.”

What, some may wonder, is the difference? After all, Christians are people and Christ is love.

Yet there is a difference – and the difference is so profound that if we miss it, we have missed the meaning of Christmas and Christ.

Of course, Christians are people, but not all people are Christians. To be a Christian is much more than to be a good person. It’s about becoming a new person, sharing a new kind of life – the life of God Himself. Christmas is not just about the birth of a child; it’s about the birth of a whole new humanity. In Adam, all die; in Christ, all come to life again. We are made sharers, by faith and baptism, in the Divine Nature. At every Mass, as he pours a few drops of water into the wine, the priest prays, “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the Divinity of Christ, Who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.” That’s what Christmas is all about. St. Augustine put it this way: “God became man that man might become God.”

Preaching today too often loses sight of this fundamental dimension of the Gospel, and people therefore risk seeing Christmas as being just about good cheer, giving, family, and peace on earth. It is about those things, but only because it is first about God reconciling humanity to Himself in Christ and opening the way for humanity to share divine life. Christmas is a Christian feast.

And then there’s the meaning of “love.” Yes, people celebrate love at Christmas, but it is only in Christ that we fully learn the nature of love and find the power to practice it. “Love one another as I have loved you,” He commanded us. The love we are called to live is a love that is revealed in the Christ Who gives Himself on the cross, and a love that requires us to give our lives for one another. It is a love shaped by the first and greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Without the love of God, we cannot find the strength to love one another. And without Christ, we do not see the full revelation of God.

Love has a content, and that content is defined by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Love is not simply the good intention, or the context, in which we do whatever we think is best. Love always requires certain actions and always prohibits certain actions.

At Christmas, God calls all people to celebrate the love that took flesh in Christ, by believing in Him and following Him in the new, eternal life He brings.

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Christmas Is Not Simply the Feast of Christ’s Birth

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Christmas, for which we are now preparing, is not simply the feast of the birth of Christ; it is the feast of His becoming human, the reality called the Incarnation. Christ took flesh within the body of the Virgin Mary when she said “Yes” to His coming, nine months before His birth. Christmas, in its full meaning, is the feast that celebrates that moment, along with His birth, as one wonderful reality of God becoming one of us.

Jesus was an embryo, a fetus, an unborn child. Life in the womb, which was already sacred because it comes from God, is now made even more holy, and worthy of our every sacrifice.

Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.

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Christmas is God in Human Language

Friday, December 16th, 2011

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.

Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.

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How Could God Become More Approachable?

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

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 at that moment that they understood the message? 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. 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.

Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.

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Christ Himself was an Unexpected Pregnancy

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

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.

Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.

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the article above.