As anyone who reads this blog knows we have a lot of respect for Father Pavone. Recently (Feb. 11, 2008) Father Pavone wrote the following on the upcoming election (8 months away). We felt it was an important statement and would clear up some of the questions and concerns that many people have posed during this election cycle. Here are links to both this particular statement as well as to Father’s blog.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
What’s this I hear from some people that they might “sit out” the Presidential election because they aren’t comfortable with the likely choice of candidates?
Since when are elections supposed to make us “comfortable?” Since when do we exercise that right to vote, for which people fought and died, only when it’s easy and clear-cut, and our choices are just the way we want them to be?
At Mass we pray, “I confess to Almighty God…that I have sinned…in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do…“
What we fail to do can make us just as guilty as what we do. A sin is a wrong choice, and to decide not to do something is just as much of a choice as to decide to do something.
A sin of omission is still a sin – and we are still responsible for the results.
What, then, makes us think that we are more responsible for the results of voting than for the results of not voting?
A vote is not a philosophical statement. It is a transfer of power. It is a pragmatic act to preserve, as much as possible under the circumstances, the common good, and to limit the evils that threaten it.
And in the pragmatic matter of elections, what matters is not how closely a candidate measures up to my preferences and convictions. Instead, it’s a question of who can and will actually get elected. It does little good if the person I felt most comfortable supporting doesn’t get to actually govern and implement those positions I like so much.
The vote can be used just as much to keep someone out of office as to put someone in.
If we fail to use that tool, however, and as a result the person who gets elected is far worse and does far more damage than the other person we did not like, then we still share responsibility for the damage that will be done.
Elections have seasons. In the earliest phases, the field is wide open. We can recruit candidates, or decide to run ourselves. We build up the name recognition and base of support for the person or people who would make the best candidate. This takes years of work.
Then the season of primaries arrives, during which voters choose between the candidates who have been recruited and who have been building up their strength.
Then the general election season arrives, and we may find that we don’t like any of the names on the ballot. At that point, we have to shift our thinking and focus on “better” rather than “best.” The reality usually is that one of several unsatisfactory candidates will in fact be elected. So we use our vote to create the better outcome and to limit the damage. That’s the shift that some fail to make.
And we are still responsible for what we fail to do.
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae
We are excited to announce the completion of our latest project: a set of ten beautiful Gospel of Life cards – each card on a different topic – which feature quotes from John Paul II’s prophetic Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, issued March 25, 1995.
WHY DID WE DO IT? For years we have been big fans of John Paul’s inspiring Letter. But it is not “an easy read”. We thought these cards would be a “user friendly” way to introduce people to the important message and great ideas contained in this Church document. The cards feature ten important topics and present a total of 56 quotes from the document (averaging 5.5 quotes per card). Click on picture below to see snapshot photos of the ten cards.
THE TEN TOPICS CONSIDERED ARE:
- THE GOSPEL OF LIFE 101
- HOPE & JOY AND THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- PRAYER & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- CHURCH TEACHING & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- PSALM 139 & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- THE TWO CULTURES & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- UNBORN JESUS & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- WOMEN OF THE BIBLE & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- WOMEN TODAY & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- THE CHRISTIAN & THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
The set of ten “Quote Cards” or “Topic Cards” provides a cross section of key concepts and teachings found in this important Letter to the Church of our time. The teachings are compelling and inspirational, yet at the same time consoling to Pro – Life Christians struggling to promote a genuine Culture of Life within a world often embracing the culture of death.
It is our sincere desire that thousands of Christians will find these cards to be a welcome introduction to one of the most prophetic works of our time: THE GOSPEL OF LIFE by Pope John Paul II.
To learn more about obtaining these cards click here.
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II, Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus
“Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you .”
These wonderful words were the words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego when she appeared to him in 1531.
These words are still relevant today as Archbishop Burke reminded us in a homily he gave in 2005 at the new Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe that he has helped establish in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Here are some interesting quotes from this homily.
“…our late and most beloved Pope John Paul II placed the mission of the Church in America, at the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium, under the protection of the Virgin of Guadalupe and commended her to us as the Star to lead us to Christ and, in Christ, to the conversion of our personal lives and the transformation of our world.”
Archbishop Burke calls this apparition “the mystery of the Visitation as it was experienced on our continent in 1531. The woman clothed with the sun, bearing the Infant Savior, the Anointed, in her womb, appeared to Saint Juan Diego, from December 9 to 12, 1531, in order that a chapel be built in which she might manifest the all-generous and never-failing merciful love of God for us, incarnate in her womb and alive for us in the Church, above all, in the Sacrament of the Real Presence, the Holy Eucharist.”
He reminds us that “…she has desired to remain with us always, in order that the mystery of the Visitation might be always new for us. She has miraculously left her living image on the tilma or mantle of Saint Juan Diego. In the magnificent basilica built to her honor, in which the tilma of Saint Juan Diego is enthroned, the Mother of God continues to visit pilgrims and to announce to them the great mystery of God’s all-loving and never-failing mercy.”
And that just as “… in 1531, she inspired her sons and daughters to abandon the horror of human sacrifice and to respect the inviolable dignity of every man, both the Native American and the European, so now she inspires us to be tireless disciples of the Gospel of Life, working to end the horror of procured abortion and so-called “mercy-killing,” and to promote the respect for the dignity of every human life from the moment of inception to the moment of natural death.”
This is relevant because “Pope John Paul II commended the Virgin of Guadalupe to us as the Mother of America and the Star of the New Evangelization.”
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI
On November 30, 2007 Pope Benedict issued the encyclical letter, “SPE SALVI facti sumus“-in hope we were saved. Here is an excerpt from this, his second Encyclical letter.
“So we cry to her: Holy Mary, you belonged to the humble and great souls of Israel who, like Simeon, were ‘looking for the consolation of Israel’ (Lk 2:25) and hoping, like Anna, ‘for the redemption of Jerusalem’ (Lk 2:38).
Your life was thoroughly imbued with the sacred scriptures of Israel which spoke of hope, of the promise made to Abraham and his descendants (cf. Lk 1:55).
In this way we can appreciate the holy fear that overcame you when the angel of the Lord appeared to you and told you that you would give birth to the One who was the hope of Israel, the One awaited by the world. Through you, through your “yes”, the hope of the ages became reality, entering this world and its history. You bowed low before the greatness of this task and gave your consent: ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word’ (Lk 1:38).
When you hastened with holy joy across the mountains of Judea to see your cousin Elizabeth, you became the image of the Church to come, which carries the hope of the world in her womb across the mountains of history.” #50
SPE SALVI, BENEDICT XVI
Giotto ca. 1267 – 1337
When Mary and Joseph were leaving the Temple with their newborn baby Jesus after the rite of purification had been celebrated according to the law of Moses, they encountered a man inspired by the Holy Spirit named Simeon (Lk 2:22-35). The evangelist Luke introduces Simeon this way: “this man was righteous and devout looking for the consolation of Israel”. Thanks be to God, Simeon realized then and there that the baby Jesus was “the consolation of Israel“! Yes, and “the hope of Israel“!
Similarly, for Pro Life people, we can look at Unborn Jesus and discover tremendous reasons for hope. Unborn Jesus is “the consolation of the Pro Life Movement”! If you contemplate Unborn Jesus, you see Him in solidarity with all unborn children. Just as a beautiful prism reveals glorious reflections, so unborn children when viewed through the prism-like life of the Unborn Christ, are seen anew in their sacred dignity. The image and likeness of God is beautifully magnified within these tiny persons.
When the adult Jesus wanted to capture the attention of the fisherman by the shores of Galilee he told them to cast their nets out and they were suddenly inundated by fish to the point of their nets breaking and their boats sinking (Lk 5:4-11). Well, one way Jesus captures the attention of Pro Life people is simply by coming to us as an unborn baby Himself. And He brings consolation, encouragement and hope to all who are Pro Life, so that we can imitate the faith of Abraham: “Hoping against hope, he believed…(Rom 4:18).”
Hoping against hope, the Pro – Life Movement prays and works for Life.
Here is a quote from Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
” ‘He saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband’ (Rv 21:2 and 9ff.). As Christ himself descended to earth from heaven, so too his Bride, the holy church, originated in heaven. She is born of the grace of God, indeed descended with the Son of God himself; she is inextricably bound to him. She is built of living stones; her cornerstone was laid when the Word of God assumed our human nature in the womb of the Virgin. At that time there was woven between the soul of the divine Child and the soul of the Virgin Mother the bond of the most intimate unity which we call betrothal…”
Marriage of the Lamb, For September 14, 1940
“Like the Church, Mary too had to live her motherhood amid suffering: ‘This child is set … for a sign that is spoken against – and a sword will pierce through your own soul also – that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed’ (Lk 2:34-35). The words which Simeon addresses to Mary at the very beginning of the Saviour’s earthly life sum up and prefigure the rejection of Jesus, and with him of Mary, a rejection which will reach its culmination on Calvary.
‘Standing by the cross of Jesus’ (Jn 19:25), Mary shares in the gift which the Son makes of himself: she offers Jesus, gives him over, and begets him to the end for our sake.
The ‘yes’ spoken on the day of the Annunciation reaches full maturity on the day of the Cross, when the time comes for Mary to receive and beget as her children all those who become disciples, pouring out upon them the saving love of her Son: ‘When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son!’ (Jn 19:26).” Evangelium Vitae, #103
Mary was called in a special way and her heart was pierced in a way that we can never fathom. Among women, only she had a heart anointed, for her mission to love all as her children.
But don’t you also feel a sword pierce your heart when you look upon these innocent children who are aborted? Don’t you sense Christ calling you to love these little ones in a special way?
Note: First Eve was called ‘Woman’ (Gen 2:23 and also in Chapter 3). John the Evangelist records Jesus calling His mother by the title ‘Woman’ two times: during the marriage feast at Cana (Jn 2:4) and during His crucifixion (Jn 19:26). John also refers to Mary by the title ‘Woman’ (the ‘Second Eve’ as the Fathers of the Church also called her) many times in Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelations.
P.S. I obtained the bumper sticker featured above from Kara Vereault when I was at the March for Life January 22, 2008. She and Kim Achorn of Shepherd’s Path had the bumper stickers made up.