March 17, 2008
Dear Lay Missionary of the Gospel of Life:
The Blessings of the Most Holy
Trinity be upon you as we unite ourselves with Christ this Holy
Then Jesus said to his
disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny
himself, take up his cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16: 24)
As we unite ourselves with
Christ's loving sacrifice for us this Holy Week, we embrace His
call for us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.
It is not enough to be moved by Christ's bearing of the cross;
we must trust in Him, His sacrifice, and take up our cross and
follow Him! Out of gratitude and deep devotion to Christ let us
deny ourselves through prayer, fasting, and special sacrifice on
behalf of the least and Christ in the least (Matthew
25:40). Let us deny ourselves and take up the cross in a unique
and splendid way for the poor, helpless and defenseless least of
the brethren, everywhere. Let us love the Bride of Christ
and those who still need to embrace the Groom.
Last week, we witnessed a
great demonstration of the way of the cross that Christ calls us
to. As members of the body of Christ we share in the
sorrow and joy attached to the death of Archbishop Paulos Faraj
Rahho of Mosul, Iraq, and his companions. It is clear that this
beloved Archbishop emulated the Christ of Holy Week, and was
martyred for it!
See the excellent article by
Deacon Keith Fournier by
How the world and our
culture in particular need to hear of such loving and total
sacrifice. Yet, one could hardly see or hear a word of the
Archbishop's martyrdom. Instead, it was and has continued to be,
the Gov. Eliot Spitzer sex scandal which totally dominated the
communication airwaves. Again, Christ is rejected in the public
square. Still, the love of Christ has been made manifest once
again to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear the Gospel.
Let us join with Christ and his martyrs, deny ourselves, take up
the cross, and follow Him. Let us walk the way of the cross for
As we reflect upon holy ways
of uniting ourselves with Christ and His way of the Cross this
Holy Week, I want to encourage you to joyfully give yourself to
the way of prayer (especially the Rosary) and
fasting/abstinence. I ask you to review my
April 2007 teaching at on Praying the Rosary and Fasting
for Life. Let us also participate in the Liturgies offered
to us this week by Holy Mother Church, and deepen our commitment
to participating in or establishing Life
Along with Fr. Frank Pavone,
I would encourage you to consider prayerfully participating in a
beautiful expression of Pro-life sacrifice and devotion, the
Cenacles of Life. Our dear friend and holy priest, Fr.
Andrew Apostoli, CFR, is the Spiritual Director for the
Cenacles of Life. The Cenacles are not a replacement for the
Life Cells, but are a wonderful resource for extending the
prayer and fasting dimension of our Pro-life Spirituality. One
of our Lay Missionaries attends the weekly Cenacles of Life
and holds her monthly Life Cell immediately before one of the
weekly Cenacles. If you are not already involved in a Cenacle
of Life, please consider beginning one. All the information
you need may be found on their wonderful website:
You will be hearing more encouraging words from me and Fr.
Pavone about participating in and promoting the Cenacles of
I would like to converse
with you about this email through my blog posted on our MEV-Online
you are not registered as a member of our Online Community
please register today at:
Be assured that you will be
very close to me as we participate in the life of Christ and His
Church this Holy Week and on to Easter!
Keep your eyes on Jesus
who leads the way.
Jim Pinto, Jr. M.E.V.
Pastoral Associate: Priests for Life
National Coordinator: Missionaries of the Gospel of Life-Lay