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.
Our Lord tells us in the Gospels not to be concerned over questions like what are we to eat or what are we to wear. He warns against worldly anxieties, and commands us instead to seek first the Kingdom of God.
Worldly anxiety over our ability to provide for ourselves leads to many evils, including the temptation to abort one’s children.
The Lord’s command is to seek His Kingdom first, a mentality which is key to saying yes to life.
To put God’s kingdom first means that choosing what is right is more important and central to us than calculating how much material security we will gain or lose. It means the readiness to sacrifice to make room for God and for others, including those who are unplanned or inconvenient. It means always saying yes to life.
The Lord taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We ask Him for the provisions we need each day to live and to serve Him. We ask Him for the spiritual strength to resist the temptations that will certainly come our way, and for the grace to advance His Kingdom.
This also means we are praying for the graces we need to advance the protection of human life. We may be tempted to compromise with the culture of death. We ask for the daily bread of strength to defend life, to speak up for the helpless, to intervene to save the weak. We pray also that those tempted to abort their children because of economic reasons may experience the help of God’s people, the daily bread of their generosity.
One of the shortest and most powerful prayers we say, taught and used by Jesus Himself, is “Thy Will be done.” Union with the will of God is the heart of salvation and the essence of holiness. It is also the soul of the Culture of Life, where we do not pretend that human life is subject to our will. Rather, we welcome human life because it is God’s will to create and to entrust the lives of others to our care.
Not only accepting, but eagerly yearning for the will of God, causes us to serve the weak, and to work to see that human law reflects God’s will by protecting the vulnerable. Saying “Thy will be done” also helps us avoid the temptation to throw life away when it is afflicted with illness.
This month, in remembrance of the tragic Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton decisions, that legalized abortion in America throughout all nine months of pregnancy, numerous pro-life events take place in Washington and throughout the nation. I hope you will be participating in some of them. Even some people who support abortion are against Roe v Wade, because it took away from the people in the states the right to vote on abortion policy in their own state. Even the most pro-life states, with legislatures and governors eager to protect the unborn children of that state, are deprived of the ability to pass such laws, because of Roe v Wade. I have no doubt that we will see the day when these decisions are reversed. Let’s continue to work and pray for that goal!
In the course of my full time travels around the country for the cause of life, I recently met a woman who said to me, “I am alive because my mom changed her mind. She wanted to abort me but my dad talked her out of it. When she married another man and got pregnant, my only sibling was aborted.”
People like her have a lot to be thankful for. So many others I meet explain how they too were almost aborted.
The issue of abortion is not abstract. It’s about living or dying, surviving or being murdered. And it reminds us that the first thing we have to give thanks for is the gift of life itself. Let’s thank God, not just privately but publicly, for our lives and the lives of others.
This week we observe Thanksgiving Day. We rejoice in the God who has given us life and freedom. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were godly men, who understood their dependence on God and the fact that He was the source of all their blessings. The single most frequently used source for their ideas and writings was the Bible, and they taught that the nation they were founding could never survive without the worship of God and adherence to His law.
They did not believe in the kind of separation of Church and state that some espouse today — in fact, the phrase is found nowhere in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. Rather, the Declaration declares our dependence upon God four separate times. Let us give thanks for our nation and for our faith.
Each year in mid-November and in mid-June, the Catholic bishops of the United States come together for several days of prayer and meetings, to assist one another and the Church throughout the nation to more effectively proclaim the Gospel and serve God’s people.
I am pleased to represent Priests for Life at these meetings, as a guest, and to discuss with the bishops the Church’s priority to defend right to life of the weakest among us, the children in the womb.
The bishops have the primary responsibility to proclaim the faith and to encourage the rest of us to do the same. Let’s lift them up in prayer, that they may have a simplicity of spirit to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done for God’s Kingdom.
Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs. When the Lord speaks about the poor in spirit, He is speaking about those for whom there is no help or hope but God Himself. God is the only hope for any of us. But when we have a lot of possessions, friends, and earthly protection, we are tempted to think that those are the things on which our spirits can ultimately rely. But that is an illusion. “Only in God be at rest, my soul; from Him comes my help and salvation.” Today, nobody is more unsafe and unprotected than the child in the womb. Though father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. The unborn are the poorest of the poor, and God calls us to acknowledge and bless them.
Each year on October 2nd, the Church observes the Feast of the Guardian Angels, and reflects on the fact that from the first moment of our existence, God assigns an angel to watch over us at every moment of our lives. Of course, this means that each unborn child has a guardian angel, too. If God cares enough about each unborn child to create that child and then assign him or her an angel, then certainly He expects us also to exercise some care and vigilance to speak up for and protect the lives of those children.
It also means that we can pray to the guardian angel of each unborn child we are trying to save, as well as to the angels of the mother and father of that child, that they will have the courage to choose life.