In a few days we will celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like every Feast, it is a celebration of Jesus Christ. This feast shows us that because of her unique role as his mother, Mary received from Jesus a full share, body and soul, in his victory over death. The feast is a reminder that in Christ, we all will share resurrection of the body.
Mary has it now, because in the human family, which God decided to join, there can be no closer bond than mother and child. They belong together; their destinies are intertwined.
That is one of the central messages of the pro-life movement. To love and care for a mother necessarily means protecting, loving, and caring for her child. Mothers can never benefit from the destruction of their children.
One day, the Lord Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain, and was transfigured before their eyes. His clothes became as bright as the sun, Moses and Elijah were seen speaking with him about his upcoming passion, and the Father’s voice was heard declaring that he was his Son.
All this was a sign to those apostles that they should not be troubled by the events that would unfold. The betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus were to fulfill the Father’s plan for our salvation.
The Transfiguration is also a sign to us. Circumstances can make us forget that every human life is part of the Father’s plan, and that the glory of God is to be seen in every person, no matter how burdensome, unplanned, or ill that person may be.
ATLANTA — Dr. Alveda C. King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, today mourned the passing of the Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
“Howard will be sorely missed. He was a man of integrity and deep compassion,” said Dr. King
Rev. Creecy, 57, died Thursday, July 28, at his Atlanta home. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
He was elected to lead the SCLC in January, when Bernice King, the daughter of SCLC co-founder Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., declined the position. A third-generation preacher, he also was the senior pastor of Olivet Church in Fayette, Ga.
When he assumed the SCLC post, Rev. Creecy acknowledged that internal divisions had troubled the 54-year-old organization in recent years. His goal was to get past those divisions and move the organization forward with a clearly defined mission.
SCLC spokesman Maynard Eaton told Reuters that Rev. Creecy “saved this organization. It was on the brink of disaster. He became this organization’s lifeline with his charisma and his preacher passion.”
Dr. King was looking forward to working with Rev. Creecy to raise awareness of the devastating impact of abortion on the African-American community.
“Howard and I spoke just a few weeks ago at a women’s conference honoring both our mothers. He stopped me in the hallway and said, ‘Alveda, we should meet soon. I am with you in the fight for life.’ He went on to say that he had attended a pro-life prayer meeting with Dr. Billy Graham, and had also participated in Operation Rescue pro-life rallies.”
Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew of Martin Luther King Jr., has been named interim president, the organization said.
Rev. Creecy is survived by his wife, Yolanda Grier Creecy, and two children. The funeral will be Saturday at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Rachel’s Vineyard is a retreat program for women and men who have lost a child by abortion. The retreat provides an opportunity to face the wounds of abortion in a safe, affirming environment of prayer and the support of others who have been through the same experience. Through the use of “Living Scriptures,” participants are invited to place themselves into the parables and other Scriptural events, and encounter Jesus Who heals them.
These retreats, of course, are not meant to substitute for the individual, ongoing counseling that comprises the journey of post-abortion healing, but they are a stepping stone towards making those sessions even more fruitful.
Rachel’s Vineyard is the world’s largest ministry for healing after abortion, and is a ministry of Priests for Life. Find out more about it at rachelsvineyard.org.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.
The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.
There is no single thing that converts more people to the pro-life position than the photos of what abortion looks like. These photos can be seen at priestsforlife.org. Here is one of the many e-mails we receive from people who see the pictures:
“I was horrified by the gallery of photos of those tiny innocents – murdered, but I’m glad to have seen them. No one can truly form an opinion on abortion without seeing the horror. I had no idea the practice was so brutal. I wonder how many women would choose to have an abortion, once viewing those photos and having the various procedures described in detail.”
You can help to convert many people by challenging them to look at the photos. Go to www.priestsforlife.org.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Those who work for justice will always be persecuted by those who foster injustice. Those who work to preserve the most basic justice, that is, protecting the right to life, are persecuted all the time, by both believers and non-believers. They are accused of having a narrow focus and a lack of compassion, while in reality they are focused on the most broad-based right of all and have compassion for the most vulnerable of all.
Because they know this, pro-life activists can be at peace in the midst of the persecution. They need not be distracted, nor should they ever doubt themselves. The ridicule they endure is a promised blessing from above, the blessing of suffering for doing what is right.
Blessed are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs. At the heart of our religion is the cry for mercy that we direct to the Lord. His mercy does not only mean His forgiveness for the wrong we have done, but also means His protection for us from the power of our spiritual and physical enemies.
But when we seek and receive His mercy, we also incur the duty to extend that mercy to our brothers and sisters who depend on us to protect and rescue them.
Those who need our mercy the most are the children in the womb. They have been deprived of the most basic protection of their lives. Blessed are they who show mercy. Blessed are they who speak up for these children and work to end abortion.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Peace is more than the absence of war. The foundation of peace is justice, that everyone’s rights are protected and everyone’s dignity is recognized. Peace means that our relationships with God and one another are what they are supposed to be.
To fight abortion, therefore, is one of the ways that we work for peace. Abortion completely oppresses and diminishes the rights of the child who is killed. Rather than fostering right relationships, it destroys them, starting with the most basic relationship between a mother and her own child.
A peacemaker seeks out the most vulnerable in society, and urges the rest of society to welcome them. Let’s build peace by advocating for the unborn and stopping the violence of abortion.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. This beatitude impels us to ask ourselves what our deepest longings and desires are, what motivates our choices, and how consistently we want to do what is right. The pure of heart seek to please God before they please themselves, even at the cost of great sacrifice.
Having a pure heart protects us from the temptations of the culture of death. Meeting the needs of a vulnerable child in the womb requires a new and selfless center of gravity. We put the child first and our own plans and conveniences last.
And when we speak up for that child, we stop worrying about the criticism we might receive. The pure of heart don’t care about that. They only care about doing what’s right.