Living Pro-life – 3 Politicians
Governor Sarah Palin is the current Governor of Alaska. She is pro-life and a member of Feminists for Life. She was told last December that the child she was carrying had Down Syndrome. On April 18 she gave birth to Trig Paxson Van Palin who is her fifth child.
This is the announcement that the family made after Trig’s birth:
“Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives.”
Governor Palin also said about Trig:
“I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin said. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”
What a beautiful pro-life example when you consider that at least 80% of children with disabilities are aborted in this country.
Another pro-life politician who recently had a baby with Down syndrome is Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington state Republican, has just celebrated the first birthday of her son Cole, her first child, who was born with Down syndrome. She is busy campaigning for a third term, and Cole often travels with her between Washington, D.C., and the Pacific Northwest.
Here is what she says about her son:
“Cole opened my eyes to the pain and trouble a lot of families endure,” Rodgers said. “He’s allowed me to see people and circumstance more deeply, and the generosity of people.”
“It’s in human nature to focus on the negative, on what the person can’t do. In our mind, we are focused on what he can do, what he will be able to do and do very well.”
She is also spearheading a new Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus:
“It’s the goal of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus to allow every child with Down syndrome to reach their full potential. We’ll work to raise expectations and improve education, make it easier for people with Down syndrome to find jobs, and promote funding and research for effective treatments and therapies,” McMorris Rodgers said.
In an article entitled, Getting to Know John McCain, Karl Rove writes about Cindy and John McCain’s decision to adopt a child from one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages.
“…in 1991 Cindy McCain was visiting Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh when a dying infant was thrust into her hands. The orphanage could not provide the medical care needed to save her life, so Mrs. McCain brought the child home to America with her. She was met at the airport by her husband, who asked what all this was about.
Mrs. McCain replied that the child desperately needed surgery and years of rehabilitation. “I hope she can stay with us,” she told her husband. Mr. McCain agreed. Today that child is their teenage daughter Bridget.
I was aware of this story. What I did not know, and what I learned from Doris, is that there was a second infant Mrs. McCain brought back. She ended up being adopted by a young McCain aide and his wife.
“We were called at midnight by Cindy,” Wes Gullett remembers, and “five days later we met our new daughter Nicki at the L.A. airport wearing the only clothing Cindy could find on the trip back, a 7-Up T-shirt she bought in the Bangkok airport.” Today, Nicki is a high school sophomore. Mr. Gullett told me, “I never saw a hospital bill” for her care.”
A few things not mentioned in Karl Rove’s article about Cindy McCain is that after earning a Masters in Special Education at the University of Southern California she became a special needs teacher. She has also founded and supported many very worthy charities including American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) which brought emergency medical relief to countries all over the world. Another organization she founded is the Hensley Family Foundation, which donates monies towards children’s programs in Arizona and nationally. And she has been a longtime active volunteer in an organization called Operation Smile, a nonprofit organization that has been repairing child and young adult cleft palates and cleft lips in countries around the globe.
The Catholic priest who killed the soul of the Democratic Party
August 28, 2008, 1:18 am
Filed under: Pro-life
Two Democrats, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, who claim to be Catholics, yet support abortion ‘rights’ have been in the news this week. Many are asking themselves how did we get into a situation like this where two Catholics with such prominent roles in public life could so vocally and publicly promote abortion.
Let me start with a personal story. In 1974, when I was 23 years old my uncle from Louisiana came to visit our family. It just so happened that, at the time, my uncle was a Supreme Court Judge in Louisiana. (He was later elevated to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.) One evening when my uncle and I were talking he shocked me when he told me that he agreed with Roe v. Wade, the abortion decision that had been handed down the year before by the U. S. Supreme Court. “How can you be Catholic and support abortion?” I asked incredulously.
He began to speak to me about a priest who he admired. The priest was Jesuit Father Robert Drinan, who had been elected to Congress a few years before the Roe v. Wade decision. (Father Drinan served 5 terms in Congress, 1971 – 1981.) It turned out that Father Robert Drinan supported abortion and was one of the originators of the slogan, “I am personally opposed to abortion but … I can’t impose my morality on a secular society.” My uncle basically told me that if a Catholic priest could support Roe v. Wade why couldn’t he. My uncle also mentioned his admiration for the liberal Jesuit magazine, America. At one point he chided me for being a ‘William Buckley Catholic’. At 23, I was obviously no match for my 54 year old Supreme Court Justice uncle, but I valiantly tried to stick up for the Church’s position against abortion.
In the years that followed I could see the sinister influence Drinan had on numerous leading Catholic Democrats, many of whom, changed from a pro-life position to a pro-abortion position. When the people of Massachusetts elected Drinan to serve 5 terms in Congress they were sending the slyest of foxes into the hen house of Congress. He gained instant prestige as a priest/politician deceiving many because of his position in the Church.
Drinan was one of the chief architects of the culture of death in the United States of America. In a future post we will talk about his 1964 meeting with the Kennedys in Hyannis Port to develop a phony ‘Catholic’ rationale that would mislead Catholics into supporting abortion.
‘When does human life begin?’: Apparently above Nancy Pelosi’s pay grade too!
August 25, 2008, 11:49 pm
Filed under: Pro-life
During the Meet the Press interview on August 24, Nancy Pelosi responded to a question about when human life begins by saying that “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”
For the entire transcript click here.
Denver’s Archbishop Chaput and the Auxilary Bishop James D. Conley issued a statement this morning refuting Nancy Pelosi’s terrible lie. Below is their statement -
ON THE SEPARATION OF SENSE AND STATE: A CLARIFICATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH IN NORTHERN COLORADO
To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:
Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the “separation of Church and state.” But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a “political” issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them. Interviewed on Meet the Press August 24, Speaker Pelosi was asked when human life begins. She said the following:
“I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”
Since Speaker Pelosi has, in her words, studied the issue “for a long time,” she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery’s Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). Here’s how Connery concludes his study:
“The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion.”
Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended tocreate a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”
Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or “ensouled.” But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide.
In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong. Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today’s religious alibis for abortion and a so-called “right to choose” are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief. Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they’re famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.
The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the “separation of Church and state” does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it’s always important to know what our faith actually teaches.
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Archbishop of Denver
+James D. Conley Auxiliary Bishop of Denver
“A NEW HEART I WILL GIVE YOU – A HEART OF FLESH”
Tuesday, August 19th is the feast of St. John Eudes. I’m not an expert on Eudes, but I know of three pronounced devotions that he had: to the Heart of Jesus Christ, to Mary the Mother of the Lord and to Christ within the womb of Mary. We dedicate this reflection to John Eudes.
Through the words of his prophet Ezekiel, the Lord made a great promise to Israel:
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you;
and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezek 36:26
It is important to realize that this promise, this prophecy, could not be fulfilled until the Incarnation of Christ the Lord had occurred. It was the heart of flesh within the Body of Jesus that marked the change, for it was also the very Heart of God! Mary’s heart prefigured the heart of Jesus that would be formed within his Body, within her womb, for her heart was tender and full of Grace.
We see, in fact, that during those first nine months of the Incarnation while Jesus was an unborn baby within the womb of Mary, that the three devotions mentioned above are all linked. As one of the invocations in the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus says: “Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit within the Virgin Mother’s womb, have mercy on us.”
So the Incarnation made it possible for Israel and all Christians to take another step forward in God’s Plan of Salvation. Hence the old Catholic prayer: “Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.”
John tells us: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace” (Jn 1:14,16). If the Word had never become flesh within the womb of Mary, Ezekiel’s prophecy would not have been realized.
About three weeks after His conception, the Heart of Christ was physically formed in a rudimentary fashion, pulsing with love for every human being. Although, His spiritual heart was beating thus from the first moment of conception as Pope Pius XII explains: “The Virgin Mary utters that generous word, “be it done”…Immediately the Heart of Jesus, ever to be adored, has begun to pulsate with love, divine and human” (On Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, #63).
“Elections 2008” Teleconference with Father Pavone
August 16, 2008, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Pro-life
We need GOOD CHANGE…and your voice! I’m going to participate…will you?
|| Assisting God’s People to Proclaim,
Celebrate and Serve the Gospel of Life
Be sure to PRINT THIS PAGE as a reminder to participate on
Tuesday night, August 19!
You have successfully signed up for our “Elections 2008” teleconference. By participating in this call, you will be more equipped to make a difference in this year’s national elections, and to awaken the conscience of Americans about abortion!
Here are your details:
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
EVENT: “Elections 2008” Teleconference and Streaming Web Audio Simulcast
DAY: Tuesday, August 19
TIME: 9 PM Eastern (8 PM Central, 6 PM Pacific)
FORMAT: Simulcast (Attend via Phone or Webcast, it’s your choice)
TO LISTEN TO THE EVENT ON THE WEB AND/OR TO VIEW THE WEB PAGES THAT WILL BE REFERRED TO DURING THE CALL, CLICK THE LINK BELOW:
(if the link does not open, copy and paste the URL into the URL address bar)
TO LISTEN TO THE EVENT VIA TELEPHONE:
If you decide to call in by telephone, this will most likely be a long distance call for you, so use your least expensive calling plan or a calling plan that has free evenings or long distance.
If you listen to the web simulcast with the streaming audio player, there is no cost to you.
Due to the number of participants expected, we STRONGLY suggest you call several minutes before the hour so you don’t get bumped by another caller.
NOTE: We’ll start promptly according to the countdown timer on the webcast page at:
Throughout the teleconference and webcast we will be in “presentation” mode where all callers except for the presenters will have their lines muted.
Due to the size of the call, we will not be able to open the phone lines for questions and answers, however you can submit questions on the webcast page, starting right now! We will try to answer as many questions as time permits.
Here’s that link again where you can get your dial-in details or listen online by webcast:
Susie , we can’t wait to talk with you on the 19th!
Yours For Life,
Fr. Frank Pavone
Priests for Life
P.S.- Please spread the word and let other pro-life people across America know about this teleconference and webcast so they can join in on this important discussion! Simply send them an email encouraging them to register at: http://www.priestsforlife.org/conferencecall/index.aspx
Thanks to :
RECONnecting to the TRUTH
WHERE DOES THE LINE FORM FOR HEAVEN? FALL IN BEHIND MARY!
“The Woman Clothed with the Sun” – (from mural in the Church of the Visitation in Ein Kerem in Israel)
Today, August 15, 2008 is the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. The Gospel reading however is from the Visitation (Lk 1:39-56). We are reminded during this reading of Unborn John’s famous leap for joy at the coming of His Savior Jesus Christ. When Mary first conceived Christ, is it not likely that her soul leapt for joy too? This being the case, can we not see in the Assumption of Mary her extraordinary leap of joy into the Heavenly Presence of her Savior?
The second reading tells us that Christ is “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Cor 15:20). It then goes on to say that in Christ all shall “be brought to life, but each one in proper order”. Mary is first in line for glory, after Christ! No, this is not Mary’s line per se, it is the line formed by Christ the first born from the dead (Col 1:18). But it is the Church’s line, the line for all the members of the Church redeemed by Christ their Savior – and Mary is the first in this line! Just as she was first to receive Christ the Savior into her heart (and in her case uniquely into her womb), so she is first to taste the fullness of redemption!
She was humanity’s representative, waiting faithfully in Nazareth for the Messiah, every day offering God Most High her invitation to send the long-awaited Messiah to Israel, and even to tiny humble Nazareth if it pleased the Most High. When Gabriel appeared to her she said Yes; “…let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). And so too, now at the close of this definitive chapter of salvation history, after saying “Yes” to God all her life, she again says, so to speak, “let it be to me according to your word” – and she is then taken up into heaven. Even Sacred scripture mystically commemorates this event as recorded by John the Evangelist in Revelation 12 (today’s first reading).
The line to Heaven is made up of those who say “yes” to God.
WORSHIP OF GOD IS THE HEARTBEAT OF THE CHURCH!
The Gospel of Matthew tells us about the “wise men from the East”. They really had only one objective for their long journey. If their journey could be compared to a race, then Bethlehem was the finish line, but what was the prize? In fact, when they set out they didn’t know where the finish line was either. Wise men on a Mission!
So when they arrived in Jerusalem, they were saying to various people: “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him” (Mt 2:1-12).
The Infant King of the Jews was the prize they sought. To see Him and worship Him! These wise men were prepared for the realization of their objective. So when they finally found “the child with Mary his mother”, what did they do? “They fell down and worshipped him“. If this had been a test of some kind – they passed with flying colors!
It is interesting that they fell down – physically, probably kneeling in holy reverence – and that the infant was “with Mary his mother”. So is it possible that someone looking from a distance might wonder whether they were worshipping the infant or the mother or both? This is the criticism sometimes leveled at Catholics. Do they worship Mary the mother of Jesus? Of course not! By virtue of her Divinely determined maternal role, Mary is always close to Jesus Christ her Son. But she is always distinct from Him. He is God, she is human. But Matthew presents the Infant King of the Jews “with Mary his mother” because the Infant King needed His mother – He would have been lost without her! On earth, when He was a small child, she was His heaven. This shows us how much the Father trusted Mary to be the best of mothers to the Father’s only begotten Son.)
Of course, these wise men are remembered primarily for what they did next: “Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” But this lavish gift-giving was part of their worship! We mustn’t separate their worship from their gift-giving. First came the worship, then the gift-giving. The worship established the context, the gift-giving was an extension of the worship, part of the worship. Worship of God is the heartbeat of the Church, and refreshment to the spiritual life.
“THE LIGHT OF LIFE”
“PRAYER, PROVIDENCE AND A PRO-LIFE JOURNEY”
THE STORY BEHIND “THE LIGHT OF LIFE”
Nellie Edwards is the artist of this wonderful painting entitled “The Light of Life”. After moving to North Dakota in 1996 she prayed “that God would allow her to somehow make a difference – to help build the Culture of Life on a wider scale somehow.”
Here in her own words:
“Soon, we started a family business, which we called ‘Mother of Eight Designs’, which we knew would help promote the Faith and Family. Six of our eight children assisted in reproducing my sculpted products and before long we were selling to stores across the country. The highlight of our achievements is the fact that Bishop James Sullivan (R.I.P.) of the diocese of Fargo, personally placed some of our Pro Life Ornaments into the hands of our beloved Pope John Paul…who immediately pronounced a blessing on ‘The Edwards Family’. It is evident to me, that this blessing has been a big part of the story behind the paintings.”
Nellie began to “receive public speaking invitations from civic and business groups and I saw it as an opportunity to give witness to my Catholic faith.” She found that the more she talked about faith – “the more enthusiastic the audience response”.
It was in 2005, when she encouraged four of her sons to start a tiling business, that Nellie also started a new venture. Using a PC tablet, which is computerized, she began by making print translations of some of her sculpted plaque and ornament designs but soon turned to using this technology to paint. Her first painting was of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.
Nellie explains that soon after: ” I sensed I should paint an unborn child…I couldn’t think what sort of composition this would be, so I prayed for guidance. After about 2 weeks, I realized the unborn child would be Our Lord Jesus, in the womb of His Blessed Mother. I was afraid to attempt this but again, I could not get away from the idea. As with Kateri, I had no drawing to go by, nor visual aid…I simply started with the face of Mary and the composition seemed to develop almost organically. It was almost like watching someone else work.” The painting took nine months to complete.
Because of limited space I have only been able to summarize a small part of Nellie’s story. If you would be interested in contacting Nellie Edwards, or to view and perhaps purchase prints of her beautiful paintings click here.
GOD’S MIGHT OR MITE?
15th Century Visitation sculpture from Passau. As is customary in later representations of the Visitation, Mary and Elizabeth embrace, appearing as mirror images of one another, their unborn children, Christ and John the Baptist, can be seen in the mandoria-shaped hollows of their mother’s wombs. (see detail of Christ in the womb below)
I have a Catholic hero who 99.99% of Catholics have never heard of. I have lots of heroes, but this person is particularly distinguished for several reasons, one of which is that she has faded into utter obscurity – as most of us will do. But more importantly, she developed her own great devotion to the Unborn Christ Child back in the early 1920′s and 1930′s and wrote two outstanding books about Christ: Nativitas Christi and Ortus Christi. (No doubt her devotion to the unborn Christ was derived from the spirituality and writings of the French School of Spirituality founded centuries earlier.)
At the conclusion of this reflection I will quote one sentence from Ortus Christi, in which she turns to the Unborn Christ Child within Mary’s womb and prays.
“It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth…” Jer 27:5
“O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as thou art, O Lord…Thou hast a mighty arm; strong is thy hand, high thy right hand.” Psalm 89:8,13
“And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen…” Isaiah 30:30
“The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm…” Isaiah 62:8
But the arm of the Lord is also associated with deliverance, as when He delivered the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt: “I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm…” Ex 6:6
Finally, the prophet Isaiah associates the arm of the Lord with the youthful Messiah Savior: “Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant…” Isaiah 53:1-2
The arm of the Lord was revealed to us as a saving arm, bringing salvation through Jesus. So, even in the womb, the tiny unborn Savior’s arm represented the arm and hand of God reaching out to humanity to heal and save!
So, Mother St. Paul – a pro-life hero from the 1920′s and 1930′s – reflects on the mission of Moses and then on Isaiah’s words: “A little Child shall lead them” (Isa 11:6), then she prays to the Unborn Lord: “Oh! Come, little Saviour, come and redeem us by Thy outstretched Arm!” How humanly weak that unborn arm, yet how powerful its redemptive blessings. We too can turn to the Unborn Christ Child and beg Him to outstretch His tiny arm and work pro-life miracles in our own day.
Unborn Christ with His arm outstretched
Faith and prayer can lead to ‘great things’
A ‘santon’ of a pregnant Virgin Mary, is seen in Nice, southern France, Friday, Dec. 22, 2006. Santons are traditional colored figurines usually set in Christmas Nativity scenes. This santon, designed by Christmas figurine maker, France‘s Dominique Coulomb of Aubagne, will be replaced by a post natal Virgin Mary at midnight on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Pope Paul VI was born September 26, 1897 and died August 6, 1978. In his Apostolic Exhortation on Mary he points to the wonderful example of faith and prayer that Mary gave to all Christians when she conceived and carried Jesus in her womb. Let us have faith like Mary, that God wills that the children of our time have their right to life respected, and like Mary let us prayerfully exalt in the mercy and power of God.
- Mary is the attentive Virgin, who receives the word of God with faith, that faith which in her case was the gateway and path to divine motherhood, for, as Saint Augustine realized, “Blessed Mary by believing conceived Him (Jesus) whom believing she brought forth.”
- In fact, when she received from the angel the answer to her doubt (cf. Lk. 1:34-37), “full of faith, and conceiving Christ in her mind before conceiving Him in her womb, she said, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me’ (Lk. 1:38).”
- It was faith that was for her the cause of blessedness and certainty in the fulfillment of her promise: “Blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk. 1:45).
- Similarly, it was faith with which she, who played a part in the Incarnation and was a unique witness to it, thinking back on the events of the infancy of Christ, meditated upon these events in her heart (cf. Lk. 2:19,51).
- Mary is also the Virgin in prayer. She appears as such in the visit to the mother of the precursor, when she pours out her soul in expressions glorifying God, and expressions of humility, faith and hope.
- This prayer is the Magnificat (cf. Lk. 1:46-55), Mary’s prayer par excellence, the song of the messianic times in which there mingles the joy of the ancient and the new Israel. As St. Irenaeus seems to suggest, it is in Mary’s canticle that there was heard once more the rejoicing of Abraham who foresaw the Messiah (cf. Jn. 8:56 Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.)
- “In her exultation Mary prophetically declared in the name of the Church: ‘My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord….’ And in fact Mary’s hymn has spread far and wide and has become the prayer of the whole Church in all ages.
FOR THE RIGHT ORDERING AND DEVELOPMENT
OF DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
February 2, 1974 taken from sections 17 and 18.
In becoming incarnate in the Virgin Mary, the Word had in view this incarnation in each one of us
August 3rd is the feast day of St. Peter Julian Eymard. Here is a beautiful quote from him on the Incarnation:
“Now Jesus Christ, God and Man, enters into us and enacts a mystery similar to the one wrought in Mary’s womb….the Eucharist passes into our bodies and, uniting with us, prolongs, extends the Incarnation to each of us separately. In becoming incarnate in the Virgin Mary, the Word had in view this incarnation in each one of us, this Communion with the individual soul; it was one of the ends for which He came into the world. Communion is the perfect development, the full unfoldment of the Incarnation, as it is likewise the completion of the sublime sacrifice of Calvary, renewed each morning in the Mass….without Communion the Sacrifice would be incomplete. Thus the Body of Jesus Christ is united with our body, His Soul with our soul, and His Divinity hovers over both.”
St. Peter Julian Eymard
YOUR SPIRITUAL RESTING HEART RATE
THRIVING NOT JUST SURVIVING!
A series of reflections on living the Christian Life in a Time of Cultural Upheaval (a Culture of Life under attack by a culture of death which erodes traditional beliefs and values).
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.” Mt 11:28-29
Amidst the cultural upheaval of our time, there is a tangible palpable restlessness. It comes in two flavors: 1.) the restlessness of those who are restless precisely because they are foundationless, and 2.) the restlessness of those who are holding fast to their Christian faith and traditional Judaeo-Christian morality and are being assailed on every side, every day, by contrary arguments and messages.
Both variations of restlessness concern the soul, first and foremost. Another way to express it is to say that our human hearts are troubled. St. Augustine’s famous summation is to the point: “You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.” We can take stock of our spiritual resting heart rate during times of calm reflection, with God’s help especially, as in prayer. Am I restless? In what ways am I restless? What causes me to be restless? When am I most spiritually rested?
These are not trick questions, because in fact, as long as we are humans here on earth we will all have our spiritual “rest” issues. But St. Augustine’s expression is 100% true. Which leads us to the above quote from Jesus. We might say that there is a cure for restlessness, the deep Divine “rest” which we discover within the Heart of Jesus Christ, a heart which He Himself describes as “gentle and lowly”. And the “cure” involves “learning”, as Jesus Himself explains: “…learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart…” and what? “and you will find rest for your souls”. Christ is recommending a heart-to-Heart spiritual therapy.
One example of a person who learned this lesson well is St John the Evangelist who, at the Last Supper, “was lying close to the breast of Jesus” (Jn 13:23), and who, at the death of Jesus, witnessed the soldier’s spear piercing the Lord’s heart (Jn 19:34-35). We find in John’s writings a profound mystical understanding of God’s Heart and God’s Love.
By observing the Lord’s Day, Sunday, the day of rest, and incorporating times of prayer rest and meditative rest into our daily routines we will also discover the rest that is in God. Just as exercise and oxygen effects the body’s physical resting heart rate, so exercising our faith along with docility to God’s Spirit effects the soul’s spiritual resting heart rate. With spiritual rest comes personal and moral stability – which is greatly needed during our present time of cultural upheaval.
God values your rested heart and peace of soul so much that He gave us a day devoted to spiritual rest and He gave us His own Heart to rest upon! Just what the Divine Physician ordered!
George A. Peate, August 2, 2008