June 12, 2007
Dear Lay Missionary of the Gospel of Life,
Greetings in the Name of the Lord of Life!
As a member of the Lay Missionaries, it is important that we know our vision, and be able to “cast the vision” clearly and succinctly. As you think about the Missionaries and share with others, these three aspects may be of assistance.
1. Association: We are a society or association of likeminded people gripped by God and the sanctity of every human being from the moment of conception to natural death. We are knit together by our faith, love for the Church, and a common mission, spirituality, virtues and promises. We are members of a Society of Apostolic Life, blessed by Holy Mother Church; and we receive the special graces that flow through her. Our Life Cell gatherings are an important place to develop this common life and spirituality. Please review the Life Cell teaching and contact me regarding your participation in an already existing Cell, or help us to establish one in your area. Association reminds us of our dependency upon God and our need for one another.
2. Mission: Mission is primarily what Christians do in reaching the world for Christ and His Church. We are sent on mission by our baptism, confirmation, and the promises we make as Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. Ultimately we are sent by Christ himself. The saying, “If you aim at nothing you are sure to hit it” must never apply to the Missionaries. Our aim is sure: The members of this Society witness before the Church and the world to the priority of the right to life as the foundation of all other rights, and to the absolute claims to respect and protection that this right makes upon every individual and community in the human family. The Society promotes and defends the natural human right to life, in the light of the Gospel, focusing in particular on ending the scourge of abortion. Let us ever increase our prayerful efforts, both individually and corporately to fulfill this noble aim and Mission.
3. Lifestyle: Wherever we are, whatever we do, whatever stage of life we find ourselves in we seek the Face of Christ in every human being. Our witness does not only find expression in the various missions we may be involved with, but is manifest in every breath, gesture, and relational encounter we have. To be Pro-life, to be a Christian, is to reverence the life of Christ at work in our lives, and the life of every human person. The saying of Nicholas of Cusa expresses beautifully the wonder of encounter with God in every person: In every face is the Face of faces, veiled and in a riddle. To attend to the Face of God in our spouse, children, parents, friends, enemies and everyone. We give ourselves to the grace-filled discipline of not speaking, touching or thinking about another human being, without looking for the Face of Christ in the other person. To be a Missionary of the Gospel of Life is to live an intentional, Pro-life-Lifestyle.
Association, Mission and Lifestyle, may these three aspects of the Missionaries be a great blessing in understanding our identity, casting the vision, and inviting others to unite with us in this great campaign on behalf of life.
Please know that I enjoy hearing from you. I would especially like to know if you will be attending any of the following gatherings listed below. If you are, please let me know and let’s be sure to spend some time together.
June 14-16: National Right to Life Convention www.nrlc.org/convention
June 26-29, 2007: Rachel's Vineyard Leadership Training Conference www.priestsforlife.org/retreats
June 29-July 1, 2007: Come Aside and Rest Awhile Retreat www.priestsforlife.org/retreats
July 21-22 EWTN Family Celebration http://www.ewtn.com/FamilyCelebration/index.asp
I count it a great privilege to be united with you as a Missionary of the Gospel of Life. I hope to hear from you, and better still, to greet you face to face.
Jim Pinto, Jr., M.E.V.
PS: I ask that you weekly review our Missionary website www.priestsforlife.org/missionary. This will not only help you, but will enable you to assist others in acquiring information they may need.