UNBORN WORD of the day


“Abortion need not be an ‘answer’ in this Archdiocese”
January 14, 2008, 12:30 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders
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I was born in Maryland so I have a special fondness for the state. Maryland has a unique history.

In early March 1634, the Ark and Dove (the two ships the Catholic settlers used to travel from England) reached Chesapeake Bay, bound for the Potomac River and Maryland. The Ark and Dove arrived at Maryland on March 3, 1634. On March 25, they came ashore on St. Clements Island to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation (with a Mass). Consequently, March 25 is the ‘State Day’ holiday in Maryland. A Memorial Cross was built on St. Clements Island in 1934 dedicated to the memory of the first landing of the Maryland Colonists.

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On July 12, 2007 Most Rev. Edwin Frederick O’Brien was appointed the new Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland. Here is an inspiring excerpt from a homily he gave at his Mass of Installation on October 1, 2007.

“The right to life is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. This is the issue that will determine whether America remains a hospitable society – committed to caring for women in crisis and their unborn children, committed to caring for those with special needs, committed to caring for the elderly and the dying – or whether America betrays our heritage and the truths on which its Founders staked their claim to independence.

In addressing these issues of life over the past four decades, the Catholic bishops of the United States have not – repeat, not – made “sectarian arguments.” The bishops have made moral arguments that can be known by anyone willing to think through the first principles of justice. It is worse than a tragedy, it is a scandal, that too many of our fellow-citizens, including our Catholic fellow-citizens, seem not to have grasped these first principles of justice or have turned their backs on them.

I pledge that I shall make every possible effort to continue and intensify the defense of the right to life that has been waged by my predecessors.

And I pledge more. No one has to have an abortion. To all of those in crisis pregnancies, I pledge our support and our financial help. Come to the Catholic Church. Let us walk with you through your time of trouble. Let us help you affirm life. Let us help you find a new life with your child, or let us help you place that child in a loving home. But please, I beg you: let us help you affirm life. Abortion need not be an “answer” in this Archdiocese.”



HOW ARE WE TO HONOR UNBORN JESUS?
January 13, 2008, 1:11 am
Filed under: Unborn Jesus

There are countless ways to honor Christ Unborn. But one way to consider this question is to reflect on the eight people and one angel mentioned in the Gospels as particularly honoring Jesus during His 9 months in the womb. These 9 are: the Archangel Gabriel, Mary, Unborn John the Baptist, Elizabeth and Zechariah (John’s parents), Joseph and finally the 3 wise men.

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The Archangel Gabriel honors Unborn Jesus through the profound reverence with which he announces His entrance into the world (Lk 1:5-17, 26-38).

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Mary honored Unborn Jesus by accepting wholeheartedly the Plan and invitation of God to be mother to the Messiah/Savior and by then loving Him (Lk 1:38).

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Unborn John honored Unborn Jesus by expressing joy at His Presence (Lk 1:44).

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Elizabeth honored Unborn Jesus by recognizing Him and then blessing Him and His mother (Lk 1:42-43,45). Zechariah honored Unborn Jesus by blessing Him, testifying to Him and rejoicing in His mission of Salvation (Lk 1:67-79). Elizabeth & Zechariah together honored Unborn Jesus by welcoming Him and His mother into their home for three months (Lk 1:56).

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Joseph honored Unborn Jesus by welcoming Him and His mother into his home, by his obedience to the angel of the Lord, his doing God’s will, and especially by loving Unborn Jesus as his own Son (Mt 1:.24).

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The 3 wise men honored Unborn Jesus from afar by seeking Him and searching for Him, passionately and diligently, and by rejoicing in anticipation (Mt 2:1-10).

How do we honor Unborn Jesus? Certainly, He wants us to honor Him through a loving acceptance of those unborn children entering our world today. But we can also honor Him by testifying to the great mystery of His Holy Infancy – even before His Birth, and we can bless Him, that is, praise Him in His Unborn Presence (just as we can praise Him in every stage of His life on earth and following His resurrection and Ascension). “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.” (Mt 18:5)



“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”
January 11, 2008, 11:13 pm
Filed under: The Incarnation

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Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26)

I find this verse in the Bible very meaningful. As a teenager (as many teenagers do) I went through a period of questioning not only my faith but life itself. The road that I traveled to Christ was the realization that the human person has an intrinsic greatness within. Because of that sense of man’s greatness I never, even then, thought that abortion was right. Here are three quotes that amplify the meaning of Genesis and this greatness that God has given to each person.

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“…. as if, in a special way, He drew man from the mystery of His own Being. That is understandable, because it is not a question just of Being, but of the Image. The image must “reflect”, it must, in a certain way, almost reproduce “the substance” of its Prototype. The Creator says, furthermore, “after our likeness”. It is clear that it must not be understood as a “portrait”, but as a living being, who will live a life similar to that of God.” General Audience Dec. 6, 1978, John Paul II

“But the fact that man is made in the pattern of the Son and that Christ’s image is woven into his very being has certain consequences: in the merely natural effort to be more fully himself, to be all that he should be, he collides, so to speak, with Christ, not knowing what he is in contact with, but stirred, all the same, by shadowings of that unrealized Presence.” A Rocking Horse Catholic by Caryll Houselander

“All the ages of Christ on earth must be continually manifest in men: infancy, babyhood, boyhood, adolescence, manhood; also the life in the womb, the three days dead, the risen life…”
The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander



The Church reaches out to women who have had abortions
January 8, 2008, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae

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The last post was on the wonderful work that is being done to help pregnant women in crisis. The volunteers in pregnancy resource centers not only try to help women decide not to choose abortion but increasingly are trying to reach out to women who have had abortions.

Pope John Paul II in his encyclical on the Gospel of Life extends the Church’s hand to help these women find the peace of Christ.

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.” #99



THE THREE KINGS REMIND US OF THOSE OFFERING PRO-LIFE SERVICES
January 6, 2008, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

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Yesterday was the feast day of Epiphany which recalls the visit of the three kings to the newborn baby Jesus in Bethlehem (Mt 2:1-18). The visit of the three kings to the newborn baby and His parents reminds me of the people I have met over the years who have been involved with helping distressed pregnant women in need of medical, social and other Pro-Life services. From the early 1970’s to the present day there have been hundreds of thousands of people who have tried to help pregnant women in need, particularly women ambivalent about the pregnancy, those contemplating abortion or those actually going into abortion facilities to obtain abortions. Primarily, these pro-life volunteers have worked in Pregnancy Counseling Centers (and with their pregnancy hotlines) or have been sidewalk counselors who peacefully congregate in front of abortion facilities to try and reach out to those about to kill their unborn children.

Let’s look at the Gospel story. First we have three differing types of Kings: Jesus “king of the Jews” (verse 2), king Herod who wants Jesus killed (v. 13) and the three kings who come to give homage to Jesus (v. 2, 11). So kingship is defined by its relationship to the innocent baby. Consider the following:

The three kings are inspired by God and led by a Star as they seek the Holy Child. – Those in Pro-Life services are led by the Spirit of God to help the unborn child.

The kings are inspired to seek and worship the promised Child even before His birth. – Those in Pro-Life services are inspired to reverence the dignity of every unborn child.

The kings are filled with awe and genuine excitement at the prospect of seeing the Child. – Those in Pro-Life services have humility & good will as they turn to the unborn child.

The kings are opposed and deceived by the Government of Herod and society’s leaders. – Those in Pro-Life services are hindered in their good works by Government and others.

The kings protect the Child from Herod and this Government that is hostile to children. – Those in Pro-Life services protect unborn children from hostile Government and others.

The kings offer the Child (and His parents) gifts of “gold, frankincense and myrrh”. – Those in Pro-Life services offer unborn children and their parents resources, time & love.

The three kings of olden days are as patron saints and models to those today who take up the mission to unborn and newborn babies and their parents, through the holy ministry of Pro-Life services. If you are one of these chosen Pro-Life volunteers, know that you have been guided by Divine Light to where you are today, and give thanks to God for the privilege of serving – and trying to save the lives – of His little ones at risk and in need.

Thanks be to God for the three kings and Pro-Life Services volunteers!!!



The Epiphany: the triumph of simplicity
January 5, 2008, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Quotes from Great Christians
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“The Epiphany” Giotto di Bondone 1266/76–1337

“The wise men passed onwards to the humble village. Again the star shone out in the blue heavens, and slowly sank earthward over the Cave of Bethlehem, and presently the devout Kings were at the feet of Jesus.

…The babe, it seems, will move the heights of the world as well as the lowlands. He will now call wisdom to His crib, as He has but lately called simplicity.

Yet how different is His call! For wise men and for Kings some signs were wanted, and, because they were wise Kings, scientific signs.

As the sweet patience and obscure hardships of a lowly life prepared the souls of the Shepherds, so too the Kings their years of oriental wisdom were as the preparation of the gospel.

Yet true science has also its child-like spirit, its beautiful simplicity. Learning makes children of its professors, when their hearts are humble and their lives pure.

It was a simple thing of them to leave their homes, their latticed palaces or their royal tents. They were simple too, when they were in their trouble at Jerusalem, because of the disappearance of the star.

But when the end of all broke upon them, when the star left them at that half stable and half cave, and they beheld a Child of abject poverty, lying in a manger upon straw between an ox and an ass, with, as the world would speak, an old artisan of the lower class to represent His father, and a girlish, ill- assorted Mother, then was the triumph of their simplicity.

They hesitated not for one moment.”

From Bethlehem by Father F. W. Faber



Walk for Life West Coast
January 3, 2008, 10:45 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

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Most of you know that on January 22 each year there is an annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.. Having lived in Canada and California for much of my adult life I was only able to attend one March for Life. In 1980, right after Ronald Reagan became President, and when I was six months pregnant with my first daughter, I flew to D.C. for the March. (Since my husband worked full-time in the right to life movement in Montreal and we couldn’t afford a hotel room I flew back home that night.) We were so excited to have a pro-life president that George and I decided that one of us just had to go.

It was a fantastic event, and as luck would have it, I ran into my parents next door neighbors from Virginia and spent the day with them.

It is really great that we now have a Walk for Life on the West Coast. Last year I attended the Walk for Life in San Francisco. I was able to hitch a ride on a chartered bus with a terrific group started in the Philippines called Couples for Christ. They were the perfect group to travel with – positive, fun and very organized and even though I don’t belong to their organization I felt really welcomed by them.

It was a wonderful event, the city is really beautiful and the walk is right through the historic wharf district. The speakers were inspiring and I ran into a number of people I knew from Southern California. It is always really encouraging to be with fellow pro-lifers. (Unfortunately, there was a much smaller counter-demonstration by the weirdest group of pro-abortion protesters that I have ever seen.)

Each year the Walk for Life has grown and they had about 20,000 come out last year. This year the Walk for Life in San Francisco will be on SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 2008. (mark your calendars)

The speakers this year will be:

Dr. Alveda King, of the Martin Luther King, Jr. family and Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life

Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor

Rev. Clenard Childress, Director of LEARN

Jesse Romero,Radio Host and Evangelist

Fr. Frank Pavone from Priests for Life

And special invited speaker: Eduardo Verástegui, star of Bella

I want to thank the organizers of the Walk for Life for giving us this opportunity on the west coast to march in solidarity with the unborn as we remember that sad day, January 22, 1973, when unborn children were stripped of their human rights.