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Keeping Promises

 

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director of Priests for Life

October 27, 1997

   
 

I am delighted at the work and growth of the Promise Keepers.


I am delighted first of all because I am a Christian. Anything that advances and exalts the name and work of Jesus Christ is a cause of joy for me. The Promise Keepers is not an organization, but a movement, and at its heart is the proclamation of Christ.


A second cause of joy is that fact that this movement is one of the responses Christians of our day give to the crying need for strong men in society, in families, and in the churches. To keep promises is a manly thing to do. We live in a society in which countless broken promises erode the very foundations of trust and cooperation that are needed for survival.


The Promise Keeper makes the commitment to:


1. honor Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God's Word in the power of the Holy Spirit;


2. pursue vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises;


3. practice spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity;


4. build strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values;


5. support the mission of his church by honoring and praying for his pastor, and by actively giving his time and resources;


6. reach beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity; and


7. influence his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment (see Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19-20 ).


 


A third cause of joy is the emphasis which Promise Keepers places on reconciliation. Racial reconciliation is always a need, because prejudice has a way of finding very deep, subtle corners of the heart in which to reside long after we think it is gone.


Denominational reconciliation is also needed, and is a commitment of Promise Keepers. We as Catholics can help this process of reconciliation by learning more about Promise Keepers, and attending their activities in our communities.


Finally, as a pro-life leader, I rejoice in the commitment that Promise Keepers make to provide "protection" to their families. One of the major factors that lead to abortions is the lack of commitment on the part of the father of the child. Furthermore, the voice and activity of men in our society willing to protect the most defenseless is a welcome and necessary element in the solution to this tragic problem.


There is also need for a ministry of encouragement to men suffering from post-abortion distress. They grieve the loss of their child. Some are filled with the guilt of deliberately failing to protect their child; others are filled with the anger of having lost their child against their will.


May similar efforts, like St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers, likewise grow and flourish. And may the gifts of life and family be blessed in the process.

   
 
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