UNBORN WORD of the day

August 10, 2007, 7:15 pm
Filed under: The Incarnation


Mother and Child reading the Word—Michael D. O’brien



by Sister M. Linus Coyle, PBVM

When was it, Lord,

    your Mother looked long and,

    oh, so lovingly at You

    as you sat down beside her?

For You had asked so eagerly

    to have her tell you of your birth.

Then did she tell you how she felt

    when Gabriel came?

What it was like to comprehend

    his message or its meaning?

And did she say that

    there she was  — so little, so young..

    her God so great!

She felt that awful sense of being

    emptied out of all that she

    might call “her ” own – so powerless

    but yet so full, so very full of LOVE.

Then did she tell you, too,

    how suddenly she felt compelled

    because of LOVE

    to answer, “Yes!”

Unburdened of all doubt, all fear,

    Open to accept, to choose to be

    in total trust, in total truth,

    Mother of the “Promised One”.

And it was then, it was there

   You grew

Within the silence of

    Her VIRGIN womb. 


Sister M. Linus Coyle belongs to the order of the Sisters of the Presentation. She receives our e-newsletter and sent us this beautiful poem/reflection on the Annunciation.


*Artist Commentary: (about above painting) The mother and the child are not reading letters on a page, but the “word” in each other’s faces. The mother of Christ is the first word Jesus sees, a face in which love and truth are perfectly in harmony. In the face of her son, Mary sees the Word of God incarnate, made from her own flesh.







Christ must be born from every soul, formed in every life
August 9, 2007, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians


Each saint has his special work: one person’s work.
But Our Lady had to include in her vocation, in
her life’s work, the essential thing that was to be
hidden in every other vocation, in every life. She
is not only human; she is humanity. The one thing
that she did and does is the one thing that we all
have to do, namely, to bear Christ into the world.
Christ must be born from every soul, formed in
every life.

Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God.

In the Silence of God – The Renewal of the World
August 8, 2007, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians, The Incarnation


Today, August 9, 2007 is the Feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta ( Edith Stein). Here are two inspiring quotes from her writings:

“The decision for the Redemption was conceived in the eternal silence of the inner divine life. The power of the Holy Spirit came over the Virgin praying alone in the hidden, silent room in Nazareth and brought about the Incarnation of the Savior. Congregated around the silently praying Virgin, the emergent church awaited the promised new outpouring of the Spirit that was to quicken it into inner clarity and fruitful outer effectiveness. In the night of blindness that God laid over his eyes, Saul awaited in solitary prayer the Lord’s answer to his question, “What do you want me to do?” In solitary prayer Peter was prepared for his mission to the Gentiles. And so it has remained all through the centuries. In the silent dialogue with their Lord of souls consecrated to God, the events of church history are prepared that, visible far and wide, renew the face of the earth.”

St. Teresa Benedicta, The Prayer of the Church

“Because hidden souls do not live in isolation, but are a part of the living nexus and have a position in a great divine order, we speak of an invisible church. Their impact and affinity can remain hidden from themselves and others for their entire earthly lives. But it is also possible for some of this to become visible in the external world. This is how it was with the persons and events intertwined in the mystery of the Incarnation. Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, the shepherds and the kings, Simeon and Anna all of these had behind them a solitary life with God and were prepared for their special tasks before they found themselves together in those awesome encounters and events and, in retrospect, could understand how the paths left behind led to this climax. Their astounded adoration in the presence of these great deeds of God is expressed in the songs of praise that have come down to us.”
St. Teresa Benedicta, Three Addresses For the First Profession of Sister Miriam of Little St. Thérèse July 16, 1940

Pro-life work is always tough- going, and at times can even seem futile, but we must persevere and always continue in silent prayer before the Lord to prepare for great things.


August 7, 2007, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II, Pro-life


Pope John Paul II’s Funeral

When I was Director of Education for the Right to Life League of Southern California (1984-87) I worked with an older gentleman by the name of Frank Forve who had been a lawyer in his earlier days. He once told me that way back in 1959 the California Bar Assoc. passed a resolution calling for the liberalization of the abortion laws and consequently he withdrew his membership from that association. He took his first pro-life stand, the first of many, in 1959. But why did he do this? The Church had formed him, had helped him form his conscience and he knew both intuitively and intellectually what Vatican II would proclaim about six years later, in 1965: “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.” (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern world, #51)

Of course the Church has always taught that abortion is gravely, terribly wrong. The Church has consistently taught her children to cherish the gift of human life as a gift from Almighty God. There are thousands upon thousands of examples of how the Church is a good Mother to her children, and particularly by giving them good teaching and direction (in season and out of season) through these past two thousand years.

Which brings us to JPII. I could argue twenty different reasons for distinguishing him as one of the Church’s greatest popes, but here I will mention only one: his Gospel of Life encyclical letter issued in 1995. It is a prophetic teaching for our modern age and is rich in its content. He faces the abortion plague head on, he analyzes society’s contributing problems and weaknesses and presents a resounding call to promoting a Culture of Life. It is a manifesto of sorts for all Christians who are pro-life (which should be all Christians). In the years ahead more and more Christians will come to appreciate it. G.P.

The Meanness of Motive: G.K. Chesterton
August 7, 2007, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians



Here is what G.K. Chesterton had to say about abortion in the 1920’s. The following is from a chapter entitled The Meanness of Motive.

I could fill this book with examples of the universal, unconscious assumption that life and sex must live by the laws of “business” or industrialism, and not vice versa; examples from all the magazines, novels, and newspapers. In order to make it brief and typical, I take one case of a more or less Eugenist sort from a paper that lies open in front of me — a paper that still bears on its forehead the boast of being peculiarly an organ of democracy in revolt. To this a man writes to say that the spread of destitution will never be stopped until we have educated the lower classes in the methods by which the upper classes prevent procreation. The man had the horrible playfulness to sign his letter “Hopeful.” Well, there are certainly many methods by which people in the upper classes prevent procreation; one of them is what used to be called “platonic friendship,” till they found another name for it at the Old Bailey. I do not suppose the hopeful gentleman hopes for this; but some of us find the abortion he does hope for almost as abominable. That, however, is not the curious point. The curious point is that the hopeful one concludes by saying, “When people have large families and small wages, not only is there a high infantile death-rate, but often those who do live to grow up are stunted and weakened by having had to share the family income for a time with those who died early. There would be less unhappiness if there were no unwanted children.” You will observe that he tacitly takes it for granted that the small wages and the income, desperately shared, are the fixed points, like day and night, the conditions of human life. Compared with them marriage and maternity are luxuries, things to be modified to suit the wage market. There are unwanted children; but unwanted by whom? This man does not really mean that the parents do not want to have them. He means that the employers do not want to pay them properly. Doubtless, if you said to him directly, “Are you in favour of low wages?” he would say, “No.” But I am not, in this chapter, talking about the effect on such modern minds of a cross-examination to which they do not subject themselves. I am talking about the way their minds work, the instinctive trick and turn of their thoughts, the things they assume before argument, and the way they faintly feel that the world is going. And, frankly, the turn of their mind is to tell the child he is not wanted, as the turn of my mind is to tell the profiteer he is not wanted. Motherhood, they feel, and a full childhood, and the beauty of brothers and sisters, are good things in their way, but not so good as a bad wage. About the mutilation of womanhood and the massacre of men unborn, he signs himself “Hopeful.” He is hopeful of female indignity, hopeful of human annihilation. But about improving the small bad wage he signs himself “Hopeless.”
G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils, 1922

what unknown wonders, of whose existence we cannot dream, because they are so far down in God
August 5, 2007, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus


Today, August 6, is the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Through much of His life Jesus preferred to remain hidden. Even the three short years that He preached and performed miracles were done in a way that seemed in many ways ordinary. The Transfiguration stands alone as a moment when Jesus allowed the veil between heaven and earth to drop, letting us see a measure of His glory generally hidden during His life on earth.

Father Faber comments on the hiddeness and glory of Christ before birth:

“Yet how wonderful are those few samples of the occupations of the Nine Months which we have been allowed to see! If these are few, and superficial, and not in their true depth comprehended by us, what must have been the works of that active and contemplative life, so full of reality, energy, substance, and accomplishment, as we have already seen it to be! What must they have been in multitude, since these were momentary; what in grandeur, since these lie within our reach; what in unknown wonders, of whose existence we cannot dream, because they are so far down in God.

Almost always we may be sure that what we see of God is less grand than what we do not see. He shows us what we can bear, and strengthens us to see much which our weak nature could never bear; and yet after all it is little better than the surface of His brightness, the back of His glory, as Moses calls it, which we see. Even the grandeur, which we see, we do not see in its real greatness, its absolute and essential gloriousness.”

From Bethlehem by Father Faber


true and courageous prophecy
August 4, 2007, 9:04 pm
Filed under: John Paul II


The family founded on marriage is truly the sanctuary of life, ‘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’. Its role in promoting and building the culture of life against “the possibility of a destructive ‘anti-civilization’, as so many present trends and situations confirm”, is decisive and irreplaceable.

Christian families have then, in virtue of the sacrament received, a particular mission that makes them witnesses and proclaimers of the Gospel of life. This is a commitment which in society takes on the value of true and courageous prophecy. It is for this reason that ‘serving the Gospel of life … means that the family, particularly through its membership in family associations, works to ensure that the laws and institutions of the State in no way violate the right to life, from conception to natural death, but rather protect and promote it’.”

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, #231.


Wisdom building a house for itself.
August 3, 2007, 11:01 pm
Filed under: The Incarnation


John Everett Millais, Christ in the House of His Parents

“Scripture describes Wisdom as gloriously beautiful. (Wisdom 7:22) In her teaching role Lady Wisdom builds herself a house and invites the unwise or simple to her rich feast (Prv 9: 1-6) In a reading assigned to 17 December, Pope Leo the Great (Epistola 31.2-3) not only writes of the ‘Word become Flesh” in Mary’s womb but also draws on Proverbs to picture the Unborn Jesus as ‘Wisdom building a house for itself.'”

From All Things New: Promise of Advent, Christmas and the New Year By Gerald O’Collins

Harry Potter, Beatrix Potter, Venerable Mary Potter: Who will we quote?
August 2, 2007, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus


Recently two Potters have been in the spotlight. Harry Potter with a new book and movie and Beatrix Potter with the movie Miss Potter (which by the way, I thought was a really charming movie). But for us the Potter of distinction is Venerable Mary Potter who founded the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary on July 2, 1877. Here is quote which she directs to Mary:

“…Jesus, Body and Soul, rested in peaceful repose within your pure womb, and was wholly yours. Rapturous joy thrilled through your soul as your Immaculate Heart gave the Eternal Word His mortal life, His Precious Blood, and “the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt within you.” Great was your joy, O Mary, for you didst joy in the joy of your God, of your Son, and greater far than this joy was the joy of Jesus within you, as to your heart He spoke a voiceless word, and that word was Mother.”

from the book The Path of Mary


we could not go to God; God came to us
August 1, 2007, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus



Today August 2, 2007 is the feast day of St. Peter Julian Eymard. In the following passage he reflects on the Gospel scene recorded in Luke 1:39-56.

“St. John’s first grace was one of adoration. The Word was in Mary’s womb. He inspired His mother to visit Elizabeth; Mary carried to John his Master and King. John could not come, for his mother was too old to undertake that journey; Jesus Christ went to him. He did the same for us; we could not go to God; God came to us.

When Mary “saluted” Elizabeth, she loosened the power of her divine Son….How good our Lord was to John! He wanted to bless him and make Himself known to him from his mother’s womb. How pleasing to Him the adoration of His precursor must have been! It was so spontaneous!

Jesus stayed with him three months. They were both hidden within the maternal tabernacle. John constantly adored his God; he felt His hidden presence. Join in St. John’s adoration, which was so real and heartfelt in spite of the veils and barriers that separated him from his Lord.”