Filed under: Evangelium Vitae
“We have been sent. For us, being at the service of life is not a boast but rather a duty…We have been sent as a people. Everyone has an obligation to be at the service of life. This is a properly “ecclesial” responsibility, which requires concerted and generous action by all the members and by all sectors of the Christian community….Together we all sense our duty to preach the Gospel of life…” Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, #79.
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians
“Life has a very long history, but each individual has a very neat beginning — the moment of conception.”
“I see no difference between the early person that you were at conception and the late person you are now. You were, and are, a human being. It is hard to believe, although beyond any possible doubt, that the whole genetic information necessary and sufficient to build our body and even our brain, the most powerful problem-solving device, even able to analyze the laws of the universe, could be epitomized so that its material substratum could fit neatly on the point of a needle!” – World renowned geneticist, the late Dr. Jerome LeJeune
Filed under: Papal Quotes
Look at the love of Jesus Christ – according to Pope Pius XII, He was loving us even at the first moment of His conception:
“But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love.”
Pope Pius XII
Mystici Corporis, The Mystical Body Of Christ And Our Union In It With Christ #75 June 29, 1943
When one sees this large crowd from the March for Life, one can almost picture Christ embracing them with His redeeming Love. Contrast the love that filled Christ’s heart when He was first conceived to the indifference of the world that wants to destroy newly conceived human beings soon after their conception for convenience and “research”. He embraced us with His redeeming Love, let us embrace these little ones with our love and commitment.
Father Frederick W. Faber was born in England, June 28, 1814. A famous convert to the Catholic faith – he wrote 150 hymns, the most famous being “Faith of Our Fathers”and “There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy”. We are honoring him on his birthday because he has written extensively about Unborn Jesus and has tried to help us all appreciate those early months of the Incarnation. He wrote the following in his book entitled The Blessed Sacrament.
“The Incarnation is as much the world in which we live as the globe on which we tread, with its earth, air, fire and water, its sun, moon and stars, its animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. If we look at our souls, their present wants and eternal expectations, their life, strength, health and maladies, the Incarnation is as indispensable to them, and as indispensable every hour of the day, as the heat and cold, the air and light, are to our natural subsistence. We live and move in the Incarnation. We are what we are, through it. It covers us, underlies us, and is all around us. It is incessantly affecting us in almost numberless ways, both within and without. We cannot get beyond the reach of its blessed influence, even by disbelieving it or dishonoring it.”
Look at what John Paul II said:
” Creation is thus completed by the Incarnation and since that moment is permeated by the powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation.”
Pope John Paul II
Dominum Et Vivificantem, The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World (#52)
Take heart all you who are trying to build a Culture of Life!
Filed under: Fathers of the Church
Today June 27 is the Feast day of St. Cyril of Alexandria
St. Cyril of Alexandria was an eloquent and outspoken defender of Mary as the Mother of God at the Council of Ephesus in 431. At one time He wrote “That anyone could doubt the right of the Holy Virgin to be called Mother of God fills me with astonishment. Surely she must be the Mother of God if our Lord Jesus Christ is God and she gave birth to him.”
Below are some excerpts from a famous homily (Homily 4) delivered by St. Cyril when he was presiding over the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D.:
“Hail Mary, seat of Him who in no place can be contained. In your womb you contained the Only Begotten Word of God…”
“Hail Mary, Mother of God, for whom John, yet still in his natural womb, jumped for joy and adored the luminary of eternal light.”
“Hail to You, who in your holy and virginal womb have enclosed the Immense and the Incomprehensible.”
*We took our heading for today’s post from the following quote from Cyril:
“Christ, as I have said, was also God in his humanity, permitting human nature to use its laws while nonetheless conserving also the purity of divinity. For in this way and in no other is God to be understood both what was born by nature, and those things which the virgin mother produced not only of flesh and blood in the same way that other mothers do, but (the flesh and blood) of the Lord and of God imbued with our likeness.” Paschal Homilies, No. 17:2 MG 77, 776
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians
Today June 26 is the Feast Day of St. Josemaria Escriva.
St Josemaria Escriva was asked a question by a social worker during one of the many talks he gave around the world. She wanted to know how to talk to the poor women who came to her as a social worker and as a Catholic when they were distressed after becoming pregnant – she wanted advice about what to say to them.
His responded in part: “Tell them they should be proud of the confidence God has in them, giving a baby to the world who is a child of God even while still in the womb. So, they should not be dismayed. No, they should give thanks to God for making them instruments of such a marvelous thing, an extraordinary miracle, this participation in the creative power of God. “
He went on to tell them the true story about a wise Chinese doctor whom he knew. This man worked in a very poor area. A woman came to him (a non-Christian) who was distressed because she was pregnant with her ninth child. She told him she wanted an abortion because there was not enough food to feed this child. He told her he could not kill her child but then he had an idea and asked her about her oldest child. She told him about her oldest child – a son. He pointed out quite logically that if having enough food was the problem it was this son who ate the most – a Solomon-like leading comment- No, she said he’s my child I could never harm one of my children. He then, gently pointed out that the one in her womb was also one of her children.
Today June 25, 2007 is the memorial of the death of a truly inspirational man, Bishop Austin Vaughan. My husband and I were inspired by Bishop Vaughan’s witness as a Bishop and as a pro-life leader.
John Burger in his tribute to Bishop Vaughan writes: “In December 1987 Bishop Vaughan received an invitation to join Operation Rescue, which had just begun its nonviolent protests aimed at shutting down abortion clinics.
He did not respond immediately, but, after a virtual blackout of the abortion debate during the 1988 presidential primary campaign in New York, he decided that he had to do something to make abortion an issue for voters and candidates. Along with New York Giants star Mark Bavaro and 500 others, he was arrested at an upper East Side Manhattan abortion clinic in May 1988. He went on to be arrested at least eight other times in Dobbs Ferry, Albany, Amherst, N.Y., Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as the Netherlands and Belgium. He served prison sentences of up to 10 days for the actions.”
Father Frank Pavone writes about Bishop Vaughan’s decision to be involved in these rescues:
“I have never broken the law. I have never been arrested. Yet I often think of Bishop Austin Vaughan, auxiliary bishop of New York, who in the last years of his life of faithful service to the Church, was arrested and imprisoned many times for rescuing unborn babies. He saw what Christians were doing across the country as they peacefully blocked the doors of abortion mills to put their bodies between the babies and the instruments of death. Then one day he looked at his episcopal ring, and realized that the three figures on it — St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Lord Jesus — had all been arrested and imprisoned! He no longer hesitated to do so too, if it was the price to pay for saving lives.”
Bishop Vaughan was also known for his tireless defense of the faith. For instance, after Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, many voices both outside and sadly inside the Church spoke out against him and this teaching. Bishop Vaughan was one of a small group of Theologians who frequently defended Pope Paul and this teaching. There were numerous other instances of his strong defense of the faith.
Here are three links to help us remember this kind man whose favorite saying was “Whatever God Sends” and who lived by this motto: “To Jesus through Mary”.
We received the following note from Kathy Reilly: Fr. Thomas Morrette has begun the cause for his canonization, but you know how slow things like this can go. It is our hope to obtain letters of testimony from people who knew him, worked with him and were imprisoned with him. He truly was a saintly man of the clothe, a saint who humbly walked among us.
She gave us an address that you can write to for prayer cards – I’m sure you could send any testimonies that you might have to this address too:
Bishop Vaughan Prayer Cards
11 J Street
Schenectady, NY 12305-1133