“One of the soldiers thrust a lance into his side, and immediately a flow of blood and water came forth” (John 19:34).
Reflection: We worship Jesus’ heart. It is the core of the pro-life movement, which is a movement of self-sacrificing love. Nothing can stop the love of the Heart of Jesus, which is the meaning of the flame we see. This love is met by rejection and hatred, symbolized by the wound in the heart.
Prayer: Lord, when my love for the unborn is met with misunderstanding, ridicule, and persecution , fill my heart with yours, that I may continue to love those who cannot love me back. Amen.
“Suddenly, there were two men talking with him, Moses and Elijah” (Luke 9:30).
Reflection: Jesus was transfigured; the glory of his divinity shone through his humanity, which reminds us that humanity always expresses the image of God. Here, Moses and Elijah converse with Jesus about his upcoming death, which will itself, conquer death. The Transfiguration was meant to remind the apostles that death would not have the last word.
Prayer: Jesus, may your transfiguration strengthen all of us in the face.
Jesus said, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. You should be happy that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” This command to love and serve those who cannot repay us strengthens our resolve to love and serve the unborn children, who are in danger of being killed by abortion. They cannot know right now that we are helping them and speaking up for them. They cannot repay us. These are the ones we should love and serve above all.
Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your signed copy today.
We are all familiar with the power of ultrasound images have to save lives. Now we have a tool far more powerful than ultrasound. It is called embryoscopy. Though rarely used, this procedure has yielded powerful video footage of the unborn child. A tiny camera is placed up against the amniotic sac to yield full color video of the child from about four to twelve weeks old. A video containing this footage has been made which has such strong medical, secular credentials that it has won eleven awards and been endorsed by National Geographic. Now Priests for Life is distributing this video within the pro-life community and seeks to get it into all the churches, pregnancy centers, and schools across America. Find out more at www.priestsforlife.org
Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your copy today.
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.
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.
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.
If we read the letters of St. Paul in the order in which they were written, we see that Paul displays an increasing awareness of his sinfulness as life goes on. “Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus,” he begins. Later he says, “Apostle and servant.” Yet later he declares himself “not worthy to be called an apostle”, and finally, he calls himself “the chief of sinners.” Contrary to what some of our critics say, we in the Church and in the pro-life movement are not self-righteous people who think we are better than everyone else and want to tell others how to live. Rather, we begin with repentance, realizing that we recognize the sins in the world only after we’ve recognized our own. That is the spirit in which we build a culture of life.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was called from this world on September 5, 1997.
In my many conversations with her about the pro-life movement, it was very clear that she expected us not simply to pray but to intervene. She told me about how she went to the places where abortions were performed and took the women by the arm, away from that place of death and to her communities where they would find hope and life for themselves and their children.
Help us to honor Mother Teresa by joining the special novena we have posted at priestsforlife.org. You will find a prayer to say, and will be able to share with us how Mother Teresa has influenced your own life – that’s at priestsforlife.org.