Archive for the ‘Pro-Life’ Category

Today’s Pro-life Reflection

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

nurse-with-baby

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Doctors and nurses are also responsible, when they place at the service of death skills which were acquired for promoting life” (John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.59).

Reflection: Pro-abortion politicians will often say to us, “Legislators should not be practicing medicine.” But we’re not asking them to practice medicine, but to prevent the abuse of medicine. Medicine is for the purpose of preserving life; abortion takes life. Surgery helps the body do what it is supposed to do; abortion stops the body from doing what it is supposed to do. There is no disease that abortion cures, and no proven medical benefit.

Prayer: Lord, may all doctors preserve life. Amen.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

concurs-castello-human-tower-tarragona-spain-woe1

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Among important issues involving the dignity of human life … abortion necessarily plays a central role…. its victims are the most vulnerable and defenseless …. It is imperative that those who are called to serve the least among us give urgent attention and priority to this issue of justice. This focus and the Church’s commitment to a consistent ethic of life complement one another’ (US Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities, 2001). 

Reflection: Consistency does not mean all issues are of equal weight; it means all people are of equal value.

Prayer: Lord, give us the wisdom to meet the greatest needs with the greatest sense of urgency. Amen.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

marywithbabyjesus

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her would be fulfilled.” (Lk. 1:45) 

 
Reflection: The Rosary is a devotion strongly embraced by the pro-life movement. In the Hail Mary we praise a mother, and we worship the fruit of her womb. Our salvation began because a mother said yes to the life within her! In the rosary we also say, “Pray for us sinners.” We know that sin that is in the world, but we start by repenting of the sin within us. That is the best way to rebuild the Culture of Life.

 
Prayer: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Today’s Pro-life Reflection

Monday, October 6th, 2014

baby-chocolate-image-1_59

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

 
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless — Isa 1:17

 
Reflection: Some say, “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but can’t impose my views on others.” But laws don’t regulate “views,” they regulate behavior. Someone’s “view” may be that you should not be protected. But the law provides you that protection anyway. The unborn should enjoy the same protective benefit of the law, despite anyone’s “views.”

 
Prayer: Lord, help our nation to protect the unborn, despite the fact that some do not acknowledge their value. Amen

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Chosen by the Humility of God – My Thoughts on Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The church on earth lost a great spiritual leader this past Friday night, October 3. On the very same day that St. Francis of Assisi died back in 1226, a priest who lived and taught the Franciscan spirituality and in fact founded a new community based on that spirituality, was called home to the Lord. Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, was an inspiration, teacher, and mentor to so many people of all faiths throughout the world. Many, including myself, would say he was a saint.

I was privileged to have known him personally since I was 16 years old. His office at Trinity Retreat House in Larchmont New York was just minutes from where I grew up in Port Chester. I spent countless hours sitting as a student in his classes during my seminary years, conversing with him privately as a spiritual director, mentor, and advisor for my work, traveling with him and doing media interviews together. I chose him to be the priest to assist me, at my ordination, to put on my priestly vestments for the first time. He strongly encouraged my work with Priests for Life.

I am sure that so many others who knew him well as I did have similar thoughts and feelings in these days. Countless memories rush to our minds, renewing the inspiration he gave us, but this time in a different context: we have a sharper sense of duty now to hand on his teachings and example to those who did not know him. Many times when someone dies, we say to others, “It’s too bad you didn’t get to know him.” But thanks to the dozens of books and countless interviews he left behind, instead, we can say on this occasion, “Please, do get to know him!”

Father Benedict knew and loved the lowly and the rejected. He took his name, Benedict Joseph, from St. Benedict Joseph Labre. Look him up, and you will get a sense of the spirit of Fr. Benedict. St. Benedict Joseph Labre is the patron of the homeless, of beggars, of rejects, of hobos and of the mentally ill. Father Benedict became a psychologist, because he loved and wanted to serve people like that. His profound insights into human nature enabled him to help not only the outcast on the streets of our cities, but countless priests in trouble and the bishops who had to take care of them.

One of the many stories Fr. Benedict told me was about one of the times he picked up Mother Teresa for one of her visits in New York. It was late at night, he was very tired, and when he thought it was time to say good night, she posed the question, “Father Benedict, why were you called by God?” Father said something to her like, “Mother, can’t we talk about this tomorrow?” Mother Teresa responded with the answer to her own question, “Father Benedict, you were called by the humility of God.” Isn’t that a consoling thought for all of us? We think we are not worthy of God’s call, and we are perfectly right. But it is by God’s humility that he calls us anyway! He wants to do great things through instruments like us!

Father Benedict followed that call, no matter what. Not only did he bring faith to those who did not have any, but he defended the faith right within the heart of the church against cowards who either want to distort it for their own purposes or are afraid to speak it to protect their own backs. He was a reformer. I remember when he started his new community. It was during my days in seminary, and at the end of each class, he would take out his little calendar and talk to us about the changes in the class schedule we would have to make for the following week because of his travels. One day, he looked at the calendar, told us when the next class would be, and then quietly nodded his head and said, “By that day, there will have been some big changes in my life.” None of us knew what he meant. He was referring to the start of his new community. But he ventured out to start that new community, not out of any sense of arrogance, judgment, or misguided independence. He did it out of a sense of duty to the young men already in community with him, who felt the call to something deeper. He said it would have been a sin for him not to respond to the grace of God working in their lives!

He was unashamed of the faith. One day, when walking through a rather wealthy section of town in his Franciscan habit, as he always was, a very distinguished lady looked at him and asked, “Are you for real?” He stopped, looked at her, and replied, “Yes, ma’am. Are you?”

One of my most memorable trips with him was a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I was impressed at how, at literally every holy site to which we went, the priests, both Catholic and Orthodox, knew him and would come up to him with joyful and reverent greetings. He seemed to know everybody. Even when he and I were walking at one point together in the Judean desert, he turned and pointed up the side of a mountain. Way up, we saw a small hole in the rocky side of the mountain. “There,” he said, “a hermit lives there.” He even knew him.

Father Benedict Groeschel was a saint, and let me be among the first to publicly call for the introduction of his cause of canonization. But let me hasten to say that I know full well what he would tell us at this moment: “Pray for me, and never stop praying for me or having masses offered for me for the rest of your lives. We never know, when we get into purgatory, whom we’re going to meet, scolding us for having stopped praying for them!”

Perhaps Fr. Benedict had such a strong sense of the reality and need for purgatory because he delved so deeply into the woundedness of human nature. He was committed to bringing to that woundedness the liberating and healing power of Christ. This shaped the way he prayed before practically every talk and class he gave: “Holy Spirit, come and be with us. Guide and enlighten us. Help us to grow and to change.” And in his chapel at the Trinity Retreat House in Larchmont, where he served for so many years, one of the images on the wall says it all. It is the tomb of Lazarus, with the inscription, “Unbind him, and let him go free!”

Fr. Benedict, we praise God that now you are more free than ever. We will not cease praying for you, and we will not cease spreading your teaching and example, to set countless others free as well!

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

SPACER
141005 blog image FF

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

Reflection: Today is the Feast of St. Faustina, to whom Jesus revealed the wonders of divine mercy. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was given to her especially because of the sin of abortion. God revealed to her that because of this evil, the world needs His mercy more than ever. He even permitted St. Faustina to suffer special pains, representing the pain of abortion.

Prayer: For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! Amen!

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Fr Benedict would say: Don’t Stop Praying for Me!

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

I have known and been profoundly influenced by three priests in my life, all of whom, I am convinced, could and should be canonized. One of them is my long time friend, professor, and mentor, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR. Last night, Friday, October 3, 2014, the Lord called him home to heaven at 11 PM. This was the same date on which St. Francis of Assisi, whose spirit and religious charism Father Benedict lived and taught, died in 1226.

In the coming days I will share many memories about my teacher and friend, but at this point I know what he would most want to say to all of us. It is the echo of something I heard him say in talks many times. He said, “When I die, don’t say, ‘He does not need our prayers!’” Instead, he wants us to pray for him and have masses offered for him for the rest of our lives. I remember him saying that when we are called from this world, we may well enter purgatory and find our great-great-grandparents still there, scolding us and asking us why we stopped having masses offered for them!

The other thought that comes to my mind is that now that the Lord has called him home, we have an even greater obligation to promulgate his teachings far and wide. He had profound insights into the spiritual life, and more importantly, how to translate those insights into practical action and apply them to the needs of our times. In that context, my entire ministry of Priests for Life benefited from his wise counsel, guidance, encouragement, and at times, navigation through the mine fields of opposition, even from within the church.

During these coming days, let all of us who knew Father Benedict bring together the memories and the stories and commit ourselves to passing them on to a generation so in need of his teachings and example!

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

St_Francis

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“My brothers, birds, you should praise your Creator very much and always love him; he gave you feathers to clothe you, wings so that you can fly, and whatever else was necessary for you; though you neither sow nor reap, he nevertheless protects and governs you without any solicitude on your part” – St. Francis of Assisi.

Reflection: St. Francis was inspired to preach even to the birds about God’s care. He understood that if such a message is true for birds, it’s true for the tiniest human beings, those yet unborn. God loves them, and so must we.

Prayer: St. Francis, pray for us, that we may have reverence for all creation. Amen.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

141003 blog image FF

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).

Reflection: In elections, each of us has but one vote. Yet we can all influence thousands of votes. And we should start with the people who need the least amount of urging – those who already agree with us on the key issues of the day, and who would probably support the candidates we support. Let’s reach for the “low-hanging fruit,” thereby getting more results for the energy we expend.

Prayer: Lord, let me not miss the opportunities You give me to mobilize Your people to do good! Amen.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Today’s Pro-life Reflection

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

angels-baby-jesus

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“It must be his angel” (Acts 12:15). 

 
Reflection: God assigns an angel to watch over us at every moment of our lives. 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.

 
Prayer: Send your angels, O Lord, to the assistance of all who are tempted to abort, and to all who work to persuade them to choose life. Amen.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.