Archive for the ‘Culture of Life’ Category

Abraham, Our Father in Faith

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham is our father in faith. His name was originally “Abram,” which means “exalted father.” But God changed his name to Abraham, meaning “father of many.” God tells him when he is ninety nine years old that he will bear a son and be the father of many nations! The stars in the sky don’t measure up to the number of descendants he will have. And it came to pass. His descendants include us, who inherit the same life of faith as he lived. This is a faith that affirms life despite being confronted with the power of death. In Christ we have seen the victory of life over death, and this faith enables us to declare that the power of abortion will come to an end and the culture of life will prevail.

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A Fundamental Distinction

Monday, June 4th, 2012

In the MTV program about abortion called “No Easy Decision,” the couple struggling with their pregnancy talk about how they describe the child. The guy at one point calls the child a “thing,” and the woman gets upset. She says that while it is not a person, neither is it a thing. Then, pointing to her born child, she says that this is what it will result in. She says that her partner does not understand a woman’s perspective.

This exchange points to a key aspect of the Culture of Life: we stop looking at any human as a thing and start looking at every human as an equal. When the child in the womb is seen as equal in dignity, we are closer to finding the strength to do what is right.

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Feast of the Visitation

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

In the first chapter of Luke, we read, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!’”

This is a marvelous encounter of two unborn children, one of whom was the Lord and the other the one who would announce Him to the world. Both of them had been specially announced and named by angels who appeared to their parents. Clearly, God gives us a calling before our birth, and is the One who prepares us for that calling. He has a relationship with children in the womb, and became one Himself. Why, then, should we be afraid to defend them and speak up for them?

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Resources for Building a Culture of Life

Monday, May 7th, 2012

In their pastoral plan for pro-life activities, the Catholic bishops of the United States have asked that at every Mass a prayer be offered for the defense of human life.

To help parishes fulfill this request, Priests for Life prepares an entire set of Prayers of the Faithful for each Sunday of the year, based on the readings for that Sunday.

Among these petitions each week is a prayer for an end to abortion and other forms of violence, and for the growth of a Culture of Life.

We also provide homily hints and bulletin inserts for each Sunday.

You can find these resources at priestsforlife.org, and we also provide them weekly via email.

Help your pastor today by bringing him these weekly pro-life resources for the liturgy. Visit priestsforlife.org for information.

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Remembering the Pope of Life

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II was called from this world to the next.

John Paul II was the Pope of Life. He provided the Church and the world with profound reflections about the origins of human life in the loving mystery of the unity of man and woman. He wrote about love and responsibility, and he called the Church to understand that God’s choice comes before our choices.

He provided the pro-life movement with the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the Gospel of Life. In it, he declared that the attack on children in the womb is an attack on God Himself, and that when the state no longer protects these children, the disintegration of the state itself has begun.

May the example and teaching of John Paul II hasten the Culture of Life.

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“Terri Schiavo Priest” Issues Anniversary Statement

Monday, March 26th, 2012

New York, NY — Fr. Frank, who became known as the “Terri Schiavo Priest” because of his involvement in the case back in 2005, issued the following statement in preparation for the seventh anniversary of her death on March 31:

“None of us who were in Terri’s room during her final weeks and hours will ever forget the intense spiritual and emotional impact of that experience. Terri’s death was not a dignified, peaceful, beautiful event, like the proponents of euthanasia want to paint it. Instead, it was violent, ugly, and offensive to the dignity that Terri and every human person, whether disabled or not, possesses.

“During Terri’s fight, some asked, ‘Why so much commotion over one person?’ Our answer is twofold. First, every single person is worth every effort it takes to stand up for them. And second, Terri’s fight is our fight. If she is not safe, neither are we. If she can be discarded, so can millions of others.

“That’s why I’m so grateful to see how God’s grace sustains Terri’s family to fight for all the other Terris of our world. That’s why our Priests for Life team is honored to have co-founded with them this annual International Day of Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo and All of our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters.

“As I said when I preached at Terri’s funeral Mass, let us take hold of the mission that is given to us now, to move forward with resolve, creativity, and boldness to protect human life and build a culture of life.”

For information on observing Terri’s Day on March 31, see TerrisDay.org.

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Join Us in Remembering Terri Schiavo

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Tomorrow Priests for Life will launch a prayer novena in remembrance of Terri Schiavo, the brain-injured woman who was killed in Florida in 2005 by being deprived of all food and water. We invite you to join this novena by visiting our web site and downloading the special prayer we have prepared. The prayer reminds us that life is always a good, even when beset by disability, and that it is precisely in its vulnerability that life shows forth the glory of God.

The novena concludes on March 31, the date of Terri’s death, and a day that has been designated as the International Day of Remembrance of Terri Schiavo and all the Vulnerable. Please join our novena and invite your parish, school, pro-life group and family to participate as well.

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October Baby

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

I don’t recommend many movies, but on Friday, March 23, one that you really should see is coming into theaters nationwide. It’s called October Baby, and it deals in a masterful way with a difficult topic, abortion.

Abortion is not and should not be an abstract debate. When I’m asked how the pro-life battle has evolved over the decades that I’ve been in leadership in the movement, I often respond that the ‘issue’ of abortion has gotten more and more of a face. This is both desirable and inevitable.

The face of abortion is marked by both beauty and pain, hope and despair, tears and the joy of knowing the Savior.

The face of abortion is revealed in the photos of the babies — the primary victims — and in the faces and voices of our Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which mobilizes women and men who have lost children to abortion and speak out about their pain and forgiveness.

And the face of abortion is increasingly revealed by its survivors, not only because more and more of them speak out, but also because filmmakers are using their talents to bring these faces before millions.

This Friday, that will happen again.

The movie October Baby is a fabulous, moving, powerful encounter with the reality of abortion survivors, and the pain and healing they experience. It is the story of a beautiful young woman who, on finding out she was adopted after her biological mother’s attempt to abort her failed, goes on a journey in search of that mother. In the process, she journeys just as much into her own soul, to find the grace to do what she doesn’t think she has the power to do.

Research has uncovered the wounds of those who have abortions, as well as the wounds abortion inflicts on marriages and families. And among the most fascinating research, still not as widely known as it should be, is that on abortion survivors. October Baby makes use of some of this research, done primarily by my friend and colleague Dr. Philip Ney, Canadian psychiatrist. Dr. Ney identifies ten different categories of “abortion survivors,” one of which, as with the central character of October Baby, is the survivor who is actually a victim of the abortion procedure but is not killed by it.

But that doesn’t mean that something doesn’t die.

Abortion survivors feel guilty and anxious about living, confused about their identity, and unsure of their psychological footing in a world where love, parenthood, and even God seem to have betrayed them.

These dynamics take on another dimension when the survivor, as in October Baby, is a twin survivor, and lives with the knowledge that her companion in the womb was killed in an attempt that was aimed also at her.

To love, educate, and serve our youth, we need to understand abortion survivors better. October Baby is an important step toward that goal, and Priests for Life is proud to co-sponsor its promotion. Don’t miss it!

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Give God Permission

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

When the Lord gave the command to take away the stone so that He could call Lazarus to walk out of his own grave, Lazarus’ sister Martha expressed a concern: “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Notice how we worry about small things when God is about to do great things. He works through us to end abortion, but we worry that we will lose friends; pastors worry that they will anger parishioners; politicians worry that they will lose votes; we all worry that there will be a stench. It’s time to stop limiting the power of God. As Mother Teresa said, let’s give God permission, so that He can work mightily through us to end abortion and bring about a Culture of Life.

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When You Reflect on the Passion

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The Passion of Christ was far more horrible than most of our crucifixes portray. As we reflect on how much He suffered, we also reflect on why.

He suffered for the sake of human life. Christ Jesus came to rescue the human life He had created, to snatch it from the kingdom of death and bring it into His kingdom of life.

And He includes every human being of every age.

I ask you to remember this Lent that Jesus endured His Passion for every unborn child in the womb. He endured every pain that the unborn might be saved as well as the born.

When you pray the Stations of the Cross or the sorrowful mysteries, or watch the movie of His Passion, ask for the grace to inconvenience yourself a little more for the unborn.

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