This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org
“He consoles us in all our afflictions and thereby enables us to console others in their tribulations” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Reflection: Terri Schiavo’s family now assists other families who face tragedies similar to their own, and is calling for laws in various states to protect the disables from being dehydrates to death as Terri was. Rather than being absorbed in bitterness or despair, this family has accepted from the Lord their mission to be a voice for the voiceless. Their book, “A Life that Matters,” is their personal account of what happened to Terri.
Prayer: As I battle the culture of death, Lord, may I receive and share your consolation. Amen.
When the women who had gone to anoint Jesus’ body on the first Easter morning returned to the Apostles with the news that they had seen the risen Lord, the Apostles refused to believe it. The story seemed like nonsense to them. That night, when Jesus appeared to them, He chided them for their stubborn refusal to believe.
The Apostles clearly were not engaged in wishful thinking, or a desire to make up the Resurrection story. If they were, then they would readily have used the women’s story as a starting point.
In reality, they came to believe because they saw and touched the risen Lord. This gives us confidence. Death has been conquered, and therefore we can fight the culture of death, knowing that the victory of life is more than wishful thinking.
The Easter Season is a celebration of Life, and a time to renew our confidence in the ultimate victory of the forces of life against the culture of death.
Therefore, Priests for Life has composed a special Easter Prayer for Life that we invite you to say each day of this holy season. The prayer reminds us that the victory of Christ, the Author of Life, is the source from which we draw strength to fight evils like abortion.
So visit priestsforlife.org, print out the Easter Prayer for Life, and invite your family, pro-life group, school and parish to join us in praying it. Let us rejoice throughout this Resurrection season that death can never have the last word in the human story.
On March 30, 2005, Terri Schiavo had her last full day of life on this earth. I spent her last night by her side, praying with her, reading Scripture to her, and assuring her of the love of so many of you. Terri had not received a drop of water in nearly two weeks. As I reached out my hand to touch hers, I could also reach it out to touch the vase of flowers that was next to her, and that vase was filled with water. The flowers were nourished; Terri was deprived of nourishment. Court orders saw to it that none of us could give her some of the water that nourished the flowers. In a culture of death, law is divorced from humanity, and we are all victimized in the process.
Jesus Christ can change us and can change our world. We are people of hope. When Jesus visited Martha and Mary to console them over the death of their brother Lazarus, even though he had been in the tomb for four days, the sisters said to Jesus, “Even now, I know that God will give you whatever you ask Him.” Even now. That should be our theme as we fight the evil of abortion. Some will say it has gone on so long it cannot be changed. Others will voice the objection that was raised when Jesus ordered Lazarus’ grave opened: there will be a stench. In spite of the culture of death, we are called to hope in the God Who has not changed, and in His power to defeat abortion. Even now.
Lent is a season of Life. As baptized believers, we reflect on how the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Christ have brought us the new life we now live. We commit ourselves to join all our suffering to His for our own salvation and that of the whole world. To help us all observe Lent, I have written a special Lenten prayer for life, and invite you to join me in saying it each day of this holy season. You can view it here. As we prepare to celebrate the victory of Christ over death, we commit ourselves to defeat the power of abortion and the Culture of Death. As we practice Lenten penance, we can do no better than to reach out and save the lives of our youngest brothers and sisters.
Responding to the news that abortionists Steven Brigham and Nicola Riley are being held in custody for the murders of viable babies, Father Pavone stated:
“These two individuals are now where they belong and should be in jail for the rest of their lives. This case, as it progresses, is key for the American people to pay attention to, because it exposes the abortion industry for what it is. Abortionists have no respect for human life, much less for human laws. Even those who believe abortion should be legal can join with us to stop the out of control practices of people like Brigham and Riley, and the time is now.”
Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit priestsforlife.org.