“Also, the fact that the Court is asking us to describe a better solution that would truly accommodate our religious beliefs indicates that it is looking for a ‘less restrictive’ means for the government to pursue its objectives. The existence of a ‘less restrictive’ means, which we believe we have identified in this new brief, leads us to victory in this case. It proves our point that the government hasn’t passed the test that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) requires,”
‘Service of the Gospel of life is thus an immense and complex task. This service increasingly appears as a valuable and fruitful area for positive cooperation with our brothers and sisters of other Churches and ecclesial communities, in accordance with the practical ecumenism which the Second Vatican Council authoritatively encouraged. It also appears as a providential area for dialogue and joint efforts with the followers of other religions and with all people of good will.’
Now, employers would be required to provide coverage for abortifacients and other drugs and procedures that are highly objectionable to many people of faith. But again, this pressure did not come from Congress. In fact, Congress knows that if it wants, it can include in legislation an exemption from the strict protections that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) gives to Americans and groups like Priests for Life. But Congress made no such exception in the Affordable Care Act, and therefore RFRA applies to it.
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15).
Reflection: The Lord commands Adam to care for the garden. But Adam failed, because the serpent got in, and then began tempting Eve. Adam did not exercise the necessary vigilance to prevent the serpent from entering in the first place! A key reason why women get abortions is the failure of the baby’s father to encourage them to do what is right.
Prayer: Lord, send your Spirit upon all men. May they not fail to guard and care for their families even amid the most difficult temptations against life. Amen!
“God’s love was revealed to us in this way: God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him.” (1 John 4:9)
Reflection: The bible teaches us that God is love, and it likewise teaches us that this love leads to life. Love always gives life; it never takes it. That’s why Christians are pro-life.
Prayer: Father, thank you for revealing your love in Christ, who is life and gives life. May we be immersed in that love, that we too may always be open to life and become givers and defenders of life. Amen.
“Do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Exodus 23:7)
Reflection: The shedding of innocent blood was strictly forbidden to the people of the Covenant. The giving of the law and the establishment of the way of life they were to live in the Promised Land set them apart from other nations, who did not know the true God, and as a result, did not have the same respect for human life.
Prayer: Lord, we are blessed to know you, the God of Life. Keep us faithful to your covenant, and immersed in the awareness of how sacred every life is. Amen.
“Every child growing within the mother’s womb is part of the eternal loving plan of God the Father: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jer1:5). Each child has a place in God’s heart from all eternity; once he or she is conceived, the Creator’s eternal dream comes true. Let us pause to think of the great value of that embryo from the moment of conception. We need to see it with the eyes of God, who always looks beyond mere appearances.” (n. 168)
“Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers for his harvest” (Matthew 9:38).
Reflection: The future of the priesthood is in the seminarians of today. Their training needs to make them strong and effective pro-life advocates. In fact, many of these young men have found their vocation precisely through the pro-life movement.
Prayer: Lord, let your call be heard by those whom you want to be priests, and make them strong yet gentle heralds of the Gospel of Life! Take away all their fear. May they vigorously confront the culture of death! Amen.
“Much has been made of his recent comments about who should be punished for abortion. As for punishing the woman, those who have had abortions are already in prison. As the Pastoral Director of the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard, and also of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, by which those who have had abortions speak out about their experiences, I know this very well.”
The death of Mother Angelica on Easter Sunday was our loss but Heaven’s gain.
Mother Angelica had a profound impact on Priests for Life and the entire pro-life movement when she decided in 1994 that EWTN needed a pro-life show and she asked me to host it. I had only taken the reins of Priests for Life a few months earlier, so to offer me and our ministry that kind of worldwide platform was a pleasant surprise. But Mother Angelica was led by the Holy Spirit, and she followed the spirit’s prompting to show viewers just how much effort would be needed to protect the unborn!
Janet Morana recalls how special and spiritual it always was to see Mother and her sisters around EWTN in those early years, before Mother’s order moved to a new monastery away from the hustle and bustle. Mother would ask Janet how Fr. Frank and Priests for Life were doing, and also let Janet in on some previews of the monastery as it was being built. Those encounters are times Janet will always remember and treasure.
I know that Mother Angelica has impacted many of you, and I would love to know just how and when that happened – even if it was just by seeing her on EWTN and hearing her teach. I also want to give you an opportunity to offer a spiritual bouquet in thanksgiving to God for her life, and to pray for her, as she would want you to do.