UNBORN WORD of the day


Advent – a great time to pray for the unborn
November 20, 2007, 10:47 am
Filed under: Advent, Pro-life

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“Redeemer in the Womb”

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini church in Crestline*

Yesterday, we had a post – The End of Advent. We are trying to encourage others as well as ourselves – not to let the superficial ‘Christmas gobble up Advent’ this year. We also are offering free pro-life prayer cards. As these cards have an Advent theme they are a way to connect this Advent with prayer for the Unborn. Just click the icon below to request a free set of these cards (in English or Spanish).

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*MARY WALKS IN CRESTLINE. This statue (above)of the Virgin Mary was dedicated on Gaudete Sunday, December 15, 2003 at St. Francis Xavier Cabrini church in Crestline. The statue, called “Redeemer in the Womb,” was commissioned by the parish’s pastor, the Rev. Amaro Saumell; it portrays Mary, at full term of pregnancy, as if she were walking through the church garden. The statue was meant to convey a pro-life message. “The Redeemer in the Womb,” Father Saumell told the December 19-25 Alpenhorn News, “is a statement of pro-life, the value of life in all of life’s stages, even in the womb.”




The end of Advent
November 19, 2007, 9:34 am
Filed under: Advent, The Incarnation

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Our Lady of the New Advent
by Fr. William McNichols

On December 2, the season of Advent begins. I think as Christians we have to begin to think of a way to circumvent the madness of the ‘Christmas season’ and return to the quiet, prayerful and waiting season of Advent.

In the recent issue of First Things Magazine, Joseph Bottoms has an article entitled The End of Advent. It begins:

“Christmas had devoured Advent, gobbled it up with the turkey giblets and the goblets of the season. Every secularized holiday tends to loose the context it had in the liturgical year…Easter has hopped across Lent, Halloween has frightened away All Saints, and New Years has drunk up Epiphany. Still the disappearance of Advent seems seems especially disturbing…”

I think if we are to live Advent well, it requires careful planning. To have a strategy – even now it’s not too late to try and get some of the busy work of Christmas out of the way before Advent begins. As we do this, we can thoughtfully plan to live a prayerful Advent season so that Christmas will be a reliving of the joyful birth of our Savior.

In his blog, Abbey-Roads2, Terry Nelson offers a great suggestion – a novena to the Infant Jesus that he prays each month starting on the 17 and ending on the 25th. He prepares for Christmas all year. WOW!

At ‘UNBORN WORD of the day’, we will be offering prayerful short Advent meditations starting on December 2 till Christmas. Beginning with the waiting of the chosen people for the Messiah, we will then follow the Unborn Christ Child’s time of waiting from conception to birth. This will be our small contribution to help put Advent back in Christmas.



‘Behold I will do a new thing’
November 16, 2007, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

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‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, 1 will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?’ Isaiah 43:18-19

November 14, 2007 will go down as a great day for the unborn – in the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship the Bishops of the U.S. have placed the Right to Life as the preeminent issue for Catholic voters to consider.

Some might complain that it wasn’t done sooner. Yes, we all know that past statements by the Bishops while pro-life were more ambiguous but many of us also had parents and fellow-parishioners who while sincerely against abortion – just didn’t get it. What didn’t they get – that with the legalization of abortion our world had fundamentally changed.

But God says: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.’

And He also says: ‘Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?’

In the last two weeks I have encountered two people (sincere Catholics) who have recently decided to place the unborn at the top of their list when it came to voting. I could see the Holy Spirit working in the lives of these people and now with the Bishop’s statement I honestly believe’ a new thing’ is happening.

Here are a few quotes from the Bishops statement:

1. ‘There are some things that we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. These intrinsically evil acts must always be rejected and never supported. A preeminent example is the intentional taking of human life through abortion.’

2. ‘A legal system that allows the right to life to be violated on grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.’

3. ‘Similarly, direct threats to the dignity of human life such as euthanasia, human cloning, and destructive research on human embryos are always intrinsically evil and must be opposed.’

4. ‘As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.’

The bishops have issued similar documents prior to each presidential election since 1976, but this year decided to place a special emphasis on the importance of opposition to abortion and by the way the document was supported by 221 of the 226 bishops who voted.

Of course I have picked things out of the document. Other issues like immigration, poverty, and war are highlighted (as they should be) in the document. But ‘something new’ has definitely happened – the right to life has been given first place.



China’s Pro-life Hero
November 15, 2007, 12:59 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders

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We are highlighting two men who are real heroes for the unborn: Yesterday, we drew attention to Elias Biscet, today we will feature Chen Guangcheng.

 

On August 24, 2006 Chen Guangcheng was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment. The official charge was for disrupting traffic and damaging property, charges his wife, Yuan Weijing, and critics say were concocted by officials angry at his exposure of forced late-term abortions in his hometown in Shandong province.

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Hannah Beech in her two articles Chen Guangcheng and Blind Justice describes the real reason pro-life hero Chen Guangcheng was arrested:

“He may have lost his sight as a child, but Chen Guangcheng’s legal vision has helped illuminate the plight of thousands of Chinese villagers. Last year officials initiated a forced abortion and sterilization campaign against women in Shandong province who were deemed ineligible to bear another child under China’s strict family-planning policy. Even though national regulations prohibit such brutal measures, no one except Chen was willing to confront local officials, who may have felt that lowering the number of extra births would help their political careers. By filing a lawsuit on the women’s behalf, he became a hero in Shandong and an important player in China’s nascent civil society. “Someone has to fight for people with no voice,” he said last fall. ‘I guess that person is me.'”

“Distraught citizens (had) asked him if he could do anything about the coerced abortions and sterilizations. At least two women had been forced to abort their babies just days before their due dates. Chen traveled to Beijing to see what he could do. His drumbeat advocacy prompted the usually reticent State Family Planning Commission to call for the arrest of any officials who break the law.”

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Since his arrest, his wife Yuan Weijung, has been harassed, detained and under 24 hour surveillance. Here she was attempting to fly to the Philippines to pick up a Magsaysay award – sometimes referred to as Asia’s Nobel prize – on behalf of her husband. She was not allowed to leave the country.

 

Let us keep Chen Guangcheng and his family in our prayers.

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Cuba’s Pro-life Hero!
November 14, 2007, 12:23 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders

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We would like to highlight two men who are real heroes for the unborn: Today we will highlight Elias Biscet, tomorrow we will feature Chen Guangcheng.

 

 

On November 5, 2007 the Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded by President George Bush to pro-life activist, Dr. Elias Biscet. Elias Biscet is a doctor in Cuba who is presently serving 22 years in prison for his ‘anti-government views’.

The well known journalist, Jeff Jacoby, in a Boston Globe editorial, A Hero in Castro’s Gulag (11/4/07), describes one of the real reasons Biscet was thrown in prison:

“A prolife Christian physician, Biscet first ran afoul of the Castro regime in the 1990s, when he investigated Cuban abortion techniques – Cuba has by far the highest abortion rates in the Western Hemisphere – and revealed that numerous infants had been killed after being delivered alive.”

LifeNews.com elaborates:

“Biscet was arrested and served three years in a prison camp after publishing an article condemning abortion. After he was released, Biscet was again arrested and is serving 22 years in prison for ‘anti-government views’.”

He has been beaten and is living in a prison cell in Combinado del Este, a prison Jacoby describes as a “hellhole”.

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A replica of the solitary cell similar to the one Oscar Elias Biscet is kept in. (AFP/Getty Images via Newscom)

To learn more about Dr. Elias Biscet visit these websites:

Freedom for Dr. Biscet

Freedom for Dr. Biscet in Cuba!

Let us keep Dr. Biscet and his wife Elsa Morejon, who has also been persecuted by the Cuban government, in our prayers.



Psalm 139 and the Gospel of Life
November 12, 2007, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae

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You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! (Psalm 139)

Yesterday, November 12, the Psalm read at Mass was Psalm 139. John Paul II meditates on this Psalm in his encyclical The Gospel of Life.

  • Like the Psalmist, we too, in our daily prayer as individuals and as a community, praise and bless God our Father, who knitted us together in our mother’s womb, and saw and loved us while we were still without form (cf. Ps 139:13, 15-16). We exclaim with overwhelming joy: “I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. You know me through and through” (Ps 139:14). Indeed, “despite its hardships, its hidden mysteries, its suffering and its inevitable frailty, this mortal life is a most beautiful thing, a marvel ever new and moving, an event worthy of being exalted in joy and glory”. #84
  • Human life is sacred and inviolable at every moment of existence, including the initial phase which precedes birth. All human beings, from their mothers’ womb, belong to God who searches them and knows them, who forms them and knits them together with his own hands, who gazes on them when they are tiny shapeless embryos and already sees in them the adults of tomorrow whose days are numbered and whose vocation is even now written in the “book of life” (cf. Ps 139: 1, 13-16). There too, when they are still in their mothers’ womb – as many passages of the Bible bear witness – they are the personal objects of God’s loving and fatherly providence. #61
  • Because we have been sent into the world as a “people for life”, our proclamation must also become a genuine celebration of the Gospel of life. This celebration, with the evocative power of its gestures, symbols and rites, should become a precious and significant setting in which the beauty and grandeur of this Gospel is handed on. For this to happen, we need first of all to foster, in ourselves and in others, a contemplative outlook. Such an outlook arises from faith in the God of life, who has created every individual as a “wonder” (cf. Ps 139:14). #83


St. Leo the Great
November 10, 2007, 12:30 am
Filed under: Fathers of the Church

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Vatican City: Vatican Museum: St Leo the Great’s Meeting with Attila in 452 (1511-1514, Raphael and assistants)

Today, November 10th is the feast day of St. Leo the Great (A.D. 400?-461). He is regarded as one of the most important of the Western Fathers of the Church and was declared a “Doctor of the Church” by Pope Benedict XIV. He is one of only three Popes in two thousand years to be called “the Great.”. Not only was Leo a great teacher, he is credited with saving Rome.

The Picture above depicts St. Leo persuading Attila, called the Scourge of God, to spare the city. Attila said that while Leo was talking to him, he saw a person in priestly robes who stood nearby with bared sword, threatening his life should he disobey Leo’s commands.

Here are a few quotes from St. Leo about the life of the Unborn Christ Child:

“Nothing could contain his greatness, yet he allowed himself to be enclosed in his mother’s womb.” The Binding of the Strong Man.

“…the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that within her spotless womb Wisdom might build itself a house and the Word become flesh.” Creator of Time is Born in Time

“…when at her greeting, John (in the womb of Elizabeth and not yet born) was stirred with prophetic exaltation-as if even in his mother’s womb he were already crying out, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, behold the one who takes away the sins of the world’.” Sermon 35