UNBORN WORD of the day


Jesus: A babe in a cave, a servant in a shop, a criminal on a cross
July 31, 2007, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Incarnation, Quotes from Great Christians

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Today, August 1, 2007 is the feast day of St Alphonsus de Ligouri (1696-1787). Below are a reflection and an excerpt from a prayer written by Alphonsus:

“Consider that the Eternal Father addressed these words to the Infant Jesus at the instant of His conception: ‘I have given Thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation’ (Isa 49:6). My Son, I have given Thee to the world for the light and life of all people, in order that Thou mightest procure for them their salvation, which I have as much at heart as if it were my own. Thou must therefore employ Thyself entirely for the well-being of men: ‘Wholly given to man, Thou must be wholly spent in his service’ (St. Bernard). Thou must therefore, at Thy birth, suffer extreme poverty, in order that men may become rich, ‘that Thou mayest enrich them by Thy poverty’”. (Meditation I, Novena for Christmas)

“O Divine Word, become man for me, though I behold Thee thus humbled and become a little infant in the womb of Mary, yet I confess and acknowledge Thee for my Lord and King, but a king of love…Ah, my infant King, how could I so often rebel against Thee, and live so long Thy enemy, deprived of Thy grace, when, to oblige me to love Thee, Thou hast put off Thy divine majesty, and hast humbled Thyself even to appearing, first, as a babe in a cave; then as a servant in a shop; then as a criminal on a cross?” (Meditation, 1st Wednesday of Advent)

From THE INCARNATION, BIRTH AND INFANCY OF JESUS CHRIST by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.



Patience = Eternity + 9 months + 30 years
July 29, 2007, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

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Today, July 30, 2007 is our 30th wedding anniversary, so I thought it would be appropriate to repeat this previous post.  

Here is a quote about the patience of Christ from Mother St. Paul’s book Ortus Christi (published in 1921) .

“Patience is a twofold grace, that of waiting and that of suffering, both are a great aid to zeal. The Eternal Word’s zeal for the salvation of men had existed in all its perfection and all its fullness from all eternity, yet think how long He waited! When the conditions were changed and He had at length become incarnate, He still waited patiently for nine months, and after that He waited for thirty years! This was zeal, zeal in its perfection. Is my zeal tempered with patience?”

Yesterday Caryll Houselander was quoted reflecting on “the habit of Advent”. Part of this “habit” is living the virtue of patience. Through the decades the pro-life movement has had to be patient while trying to promote a Culture of Life. Many disappointments, trials and setbacks have been experienced. Those who are pro-life must persevere and patiently trust in God.



“This is the lesson the Child yet unborn would teach.”
July 28, 2007, 11:14 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus

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Mother St. Paul wrote this of the unborn Christ Child who rested in His mother’s womb.

“Come, my little King, Who art nevertheless the Eternal Wisdom, come and teach me this heavenly prudence….”

“…and in my own life when things seem, as they sometimes do inexplicable and beyond human ken. Oh! come and teach me that the way of prudence is to lie still like a little child in its mother’s arms, not to try to fathom nor to understand, but to say: I am in the Arms of the Eternal Wisdom, Who can do all things, Who loves me with an infinite love and Who is disposing all things sweetly, gently, mercifully for my sake. This is the lesson the Child (Christ) yet unborn would teach.”

Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi, 1921



Worship alone is power
July 27, 2007, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus

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“A cloistered life among men may cover the whole earth with its activity, if it is a life of worship, while the conqueror, the statesmen, or the man of letters have at most but a circle which they only influence partially, and in which their influence is but one of many influences. Worship alone is power, intellectual power and moral power, the power of worldwide change and all beneficent revolution.

We not only learn this lesson from the life of confinement, which the Incarnate Word led in Mary’s (Womb), but it is that life which gives our life power to become universal like itself.”

Father F.W. Faber, (1814-1863) Bethlehem



Today living the 10 commandments demands heroic virtue
July 26, 2007, 11:46 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

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Today Friday, July 27, the first reading at Mass is about the 10 commandments (Genesis 20: 1-7).

In his biography about St. John Fisher, published in 1935, the inspirational Father Vincent McNabb writes:

“In reading the authentic records of how the Bishop (St. John Fisher) bore himself in his bishopric we are perhaps surprised to find him praised for qualities which might be expected of any good bishop. But as there are times of general moral depression when the average layman’s practice of the ten commandments demands heroic virtue, so there are circumstances when a bishop’s fidelity to the ordinary duties of his office argues the saint.”

Many of the 10 commandments are at the forefront of our society’s most grave battles – moral battles about the dignity and value of human life and marriage. We can see that the 10 commandments were a divine gift intended to elevate human living and direct it towards God and virtue. So today, for believers to live according to the 10 commandments, in this time of moral crisis, is no small accomplishment. Let us encourage each other continually to meet this challenge of our time, seeking opportunities to lift up these and other noble moral principles which point towards the Culture of Life. And let us pray for our families and our children.



We have an Infant Christ to gaze upon. We have a Gospel of Life to listen to.
July 25, 2007, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

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Today July 26, 2007, is the feast day of St. Joachim and St. Anne – the grandparents of Jesus (Mary’s parents), according to reliable early Church tradition.

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus hearkens back to the words of Isaiah: “You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see…” Then Jesus says to His disciples: “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Mt 13:10-17

Just as Joachim and Anne passed on the Sacred Traditions of their faith to their daughter Mary, so those of us who are Pro – Life are indebted to God and people around us (our parents, our grandparents and others) who witnessed to Pro – Life teaching and lived it, enabling us to see and hear the beautiful mystery of human life which wells up around us. We are blessed to have received this sacred message concerning the dignity of human life from our Church, especially in this modern time of moral turbulence and uncertainty. We have an Infant Christ to gaze upon. We have a Gospel of Life to listen to.

Thank You Lord for guiding Your Church through the moral confusion of our time towards our true and lasting heritage; A Holy Culture of Life.



Breath of Heaven…A prayer
July 24, 2007, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

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Picture by Sherrill Knaggs

 

A Prayer by Caryll Houselander

Breath of Heaven,
carry us on the impulse
of Christ’s love,
as easily as thistledown
is carried on the wind;
that in the Advent season of our souls,
while He is formed in us,
in secret and in silence-
the Creator
in the hands of his creatures,
as the Host
in the hands of the priest-
we may carry Him forth
to wherever He wishes to be,
as Mary carried Him over the hills
on an errand of love,
to the house of Elizabeth.

From the Splendor of the Rosary by Maisie Ward

with prayers by

Caryll Houselander



Grace overflowing
July 24, 2007, 12:26 am
Filed under: Incarnation, Quotes from Great Christians

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And from His fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

“St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that Mary’s fulness of grace increased notably at the Incarnation through the presence of the Word of God made flesh.”

“…Mary was, of all creatures, the one who entered into closest contact with Him in His humanity since He took flesh in her womb. Hence, it was appropriate that she should have received a notable increase of grace at the Incarnation.”

“Speaking of the time when the Body of the Saviour was formed in Mary’s virginal womb, Fr. Hugon says: ‘She must have made uninterrupted progress in grace during those nine months – ex opere operato, as it were – through her permanent contact with the Author of holiness. If her plentitude of grace is incomprehensible at the time of the Incarnation, what must it have been at the Nativity…'”

“As we have said, grace is an effect of God’s active love for his creature…Hence His love for her produces grace in her soul – such an abundance of grace as to be capable of overflowing on souls.”

Father Reginald Garrigou-LaGrange, O.P., The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life, 1948



I begin every new day which is like a new creation
July 22, 2007, 9:44 pm
Filed under: The Incarnation

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“…The Angel Gabriel brought the message of a new creation. Gabriel may have well remembered the message that was given to the created angels. He would recall that the creation of man was not followed by his acceptance of God’s message to him. Created angels rebelled; Created Adam rebelled. Now the message of the greatest creation, the creation of God-Man with the cooperation of Mary was announced.

…He gave to angels and to men a heart free to love. Without that freedom there is no true love. Alas, abusing the God-given freedom, the angels cried, “We will not serve,” and man cried, “I will not obey”. What then is Gabriel’s joy on the morn of this new creation when Mary answers with full love, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”

God’s greatest creation, the Incarnation of Jesus, is consummated by the consent of Mary. With gratitude to both (Mary and Jesus) I begin every new day which is like a new creation, and I welcome Mary’s Son who comes to dwell with me today.”

Francis P. Donnelly, S.J. The Heart of the Angelus and of The Hail Mary, 1947



He was incarnate for me in the womb of the Blessed Virgin
July 21, 2007, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

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“God added to the natural gifts with which He endowed man supernatural ones, summed up in the gift of grace. What is that? A participation in His own life, something which makes us “partakers of the Divine nature”. (2 Pet. 1, 4) He created man thus in the beginning, for He meant man always to possess supernatural as well as natural gifts. He meant always to live with man and talk and walk with him in the paradise of his soul but Adam chased out the Divine Guest and lost this miraculous privilege for all his children.

God, however, could not rest content to be outside the souls which He had created solely that He might live in them, and He devised a way (the first Coming of Christ) by which He might get back to the dwelling which He cherished so much….

…He gave His only begotten Son to be incarnate for the world…He came to be Emmanuel, God with us and what His Father asks is that we should not shun Him and live far away from Him but that we should dwell with Him….He was incarnate for me in the womb of the Blessed Virgin but He is incarnate in me in a more special and personal way each time that I receive Him in Holy Communion. By means of my Communions and their effects I can dwell always without interruption in the tabernacle of the Most High, for it is of me (each of us) that the Eternal Wisdom speaks when He says: ‘My Father will love him, and We will come to him and will make Our abode with him.’ (John 14, 23)”

Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi, 1921



“Longest meaningful sentence” contest: JP II’s entry
July 20, 2007, 11:53 pm
Filed under: John Paul II

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Among the most important of these rights, mention must be made of the right to life, an integral part of which is the right of the child to develop in the mother’s womb from the moment of conception; the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child’s personality; the right to develop one’s intelligence and freedom in seeking and knowing the truth; the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth’s material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one’s dependents; and the right freely to establish a family, to have and to rear children through the responsible exercise of one’s sexuality.

Also from the same document section:

The Church respects the legitimate autonomy of the democratic order and is not entitled to express preferences for this or that institutional or constitutional solution. Her contribution to the political order is precisely her vision of the dignity of the person revealed in all its fulness in the mystery of the Incarnate Word.

John Paul II, Centesimus annus, #47, (1991)



“Human ecology”: Let’s start a new environmental movement
July 19, 2007, 7:43 pm
Filed under: John Paul II

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Everyone seems interested in preserving the natural habitats of different species while the natural habitat of the human species (the family) is being systematically destroyed. We need to start a new environmental movement to save the human species and its natural habitat. We’ll call it the “Human Ecology” Movement. See what John Paul II said about this:

“In addition to the irrational destruction of the natural environment, we must also mention the more serious destruction of the human environment, something which is by no means receiving the attention it deserves. Although people are rightly worried — though much less than they should be — about preserving the natural habitats of the various animal species threatened with extinction, because they realize that each of these species makes its particular contribution to the balance of nature in general, too little effort is made to safeguard the moral conditions for an authentic “human ecology”.

The first and fundamental structure for “human ecology” is the family, in which man receives his first formative ideas about truth and goodness, and learns what it means to love and to be loved, and thus what it actually means to be a person. Here we mean the family founded on marriage, in which the mutual gift of self by husband and wife creates an environment in which children can be born and develop their potentialities, become aware of their dignity and prepare to face their unique and individual destiny….

It is necessary to go back to seeing the family as the sanctuary of life. The family is indeed sacred: it is the place in which life — the gift of God — can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life….

Human ingenuity seems to be directed more towards limiting, suppressing or destroying the sources of life — including recourse to abortion, which unfortunately is so widespread in the world — than towards defending and opening up the possibilities of life.”

John Paul II, Centesimus annus, 38, 39



She taught two fathers of the church – her two younger brothers!
July 18, 2007, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Fathers of the Church

For a brief pro-life reflection on today’s Gospel reading:Mathew 11: 28-30

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Today, July 19 is the feast day of St. Macrina the Younger
Born about 330; died 379. She was the eldest child of Basil and Elder Emmelia, and the sister of the two Fathers of the Church, St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa.

“Her parents are also recognized as saints. They saw to it that she was very well educated. Macrina in turn became the teacher of her younger brothers Basil, later bishop of Caesarea, and Gregory, later bishop of Nyssa. These brothers themselves became two of the greatest teachers in the Universal Church. There is every reason to believe—based on their own testimony—that if Macrina had not attended to their education, and later, their spiritual growth, we would not know them today.”

St. Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-394), saw the fetus as a complete human being from the time of conception, and specifically rejected theories based upon formation or quickening: “There is no question about that which is bred in the uterus, both growing, and moving from place to place. It remains, therefore, that we must think that the point of commencement of existence is one and the same for body and soul.”
St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and the Resurrection.

St. Basil the Great (c.330-379) was unequivocal: “A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder.”
St. Basil the Great, supra note, 10



The Culture of Life will prevail!
July 17, 2007, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

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St. Paul said “Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” (Gal. 2:20). Caryll Houselander calls the attitude that we must have as Christ forms in us “the Habit of Advent” which emulates the quiet nine months that Christ spent in Mary’s womb. Below she relates suffering to this “season of Advent”.

“People sometimes get disheartened because they have read that suffering ennobles and have met people who seem to have come out of the crucible like pure silver, made beautiful by suffering; but it seems to them that in their own case it is quite the opposite. They find that however hard they try not to be, they are irritable; that astonishing stabs of bitterness afflict them, that far from being more sympathetic, more understanding, there is a numbness, a chill in their emotions; they cannot respond to anyone anymore…

They say that in their case suffering is certainly a failure.

The truth is that they are too impatient to wait for the season of Advent in sorrow to run its course; a seed contains all the life and loveliness of the flower, but is contains it in a little hard black pip of a thing which the glorious sun will not enliven unless it is buried under the earth.

There must be a period of gestation before anything can flower.

If only those who suffer would be patient with their early humiliations and realize that Advent is not only the time of growth but also of darkness and hiding and waiting, they would trust, and trust rightly, that Christ is growing in their sorrow, and in due season all the fret and strain and tension of it will give place to a splendor of peace.”

Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God, 1944



“abortion has within itself the seed of destruction of our society…”
July 16, 2007, 9:08 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

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Yesterday we quoted Bishop Vaughan from Bishop John Elya’s Address to the 7th Annual National Memorial for the Pre-Born and their Mothers and Fathers on Monday, January 22, 2001.

Bishop Elya made some good points in his address so I thought we would quote from it again:

“Once upon a time, a Christian congregation, spiritually alive formed a committee to find a preacher for their flock of believers. After a long search, the committee found a preacher who really impressed and inspired them. That preacher was called to serve that congregation. On the first Sunday the new preacher gave an eloquent and inspiring sermon, and the committee was happy and proud that they had made the right choice. On the next Sunday, the church was filled to capacity with standing room only. People were eager to hear our fiery preacher. Our fiery preacher gave exactly the same sermon as the week before. That puzzled the listeners. Then on the third and on the fourth Sundays he repeated the same sermon. A group came to him and asked him when he would give another sermon. The preacher replied: ‘What do you expect? I am going to give the same sermon again and again until you learn it. I will give a second sermon as soon as I have seen that you have paid attention to the first one.’

For 28 years now, we have been decrying the evils of abortion. We have been preaching the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. But abortion is still legal. We are in the right. We hope that, eventually, enough people will not only realize that we are right but also will take action to end this shameful period of our country’s history. So I feel privileged to address your distinguished group today. But I wonder what new things shall I tell you and tell our American people, except to repeat the same sermon. We have to keep shouting, ‘abortion has within itself the seed of destruction of our society… We must give witness to the value of each and every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.’



Bishop Vaughan: “Any effort of ours to save even a single life is worthwhile.”
July 15, 2007, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

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Linda Kaul Robertson The Child Among the Reeds

This week the Old Testament readings at Mass concern Moses, beginning with Pharaoh’s proclamation: “Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews…”(Ex 1:22) We all are familiar with the story of his mother placing baby Moses in a watertight basket among the reeds along the river bank where he would be found.

In a speech given on January 22, 2001, Bishop John Elya shares a quote from his friend and fellow Bishop, recently deceased, Austin Vaughan, who had been arrested many times for peacefully protesting in front of abortion facilities. The quote relates to the Exodus readings of this week. The following is from Bishop Elya’s speech:

“I was brought to tears, ten years ago, when I heard a classmate of mine, Bishop Austin Vaughan , Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York, of blessed memory. At a meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, He said:

‘Among the slaughters of innocent persons in the history of mankind, two slaughters stand out: the slaughter of Hebrew children by the Pharaoh, and the slaughter of the infants by Herod after the birth of our Lord. One infant saved from the earlier killing was Moses; the infant saved from Herod’s slaughter was Jesus. Any effort of ours to save even a single life is worthwhile.



“I send you like sheep…beware of false prophets”
July 14, 2007, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

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“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” This was what Jesus told His followers (and this was from the Gospel reading at Mass last Friday, Mt 10:16-23). Today’s reading, Sunday, July 15, 2007, is about the “Good Samaritan” (Lk 10:25-37). All Pro- Life workers and sympathizers who pray – that is the first responders to the “culture of death” surrounding us – would do well to remember these four images: “like sheep”, “shrewd as serpents”, “simple as doves” and “Good Samaritans”. These four images tell us a lot about what the Pro – Life movement has to be in order to be effective.

Yes, the “culture of death” fits the wolf description. Even more, it is well-described by another image from Jesus: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt 7:15). False prophets are definitely ravenous wolves. In his Gospel of Life encyclical John Paul II spoke about these “false prophets” and their “objective ‘conspiracy against life’ involving even international institutions…the mass media are often implicated…” (#17).

On the other hand, the “sheep” know the Good Shepherd’s voice and He calls to them, guiding them, encouraging them, protecting them. The “shrewd serpent” is shrewd on offense and on defense, on offense when going out to build up the “Culture of Life” and on defense when protecting the innocent and vulnerable. “Simple doves” are focused on their mission and intent upon accomplishing it, without detour or distraction, and according to the clear and abiding “will of God”. And the “Good Samaritan” has a good heart and does what is right, with love, consideration and without counting the cost. All four images are linked to living by faith; faith in the One who became man for our sake so that He would be with us always, and in all ways except sin. These four images can give us perspective and like the four legs of a table can support us in this difficult assignment.

Just as the “Good Samaritan” is an image of healing, so the pro-life movement is meant for healing – “for the healing of the nations” (Rev 22.2).