UNBORN WORD of the day


Newly conceived Jesus acknowledged by John the Baptist
April 24, 2008, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Unborn Jesus

In his address to the conference on The Human Embryo in the Pre-Implantation Phase, Pope Benedict XVI points out that at the Visitation, when Jesus had been conceived only a few days earlier (therefore in the pre-implantation phase) His presence was perceived by another unborn baby, John the Baptist.

“As it is easy to see, neither Sacred Scripture nor the oldest Christian Tradition can contain any explicit treatment of your theme. St Luke, nevertheless, testifies to the active, though hidden, presence of the two infants.

He recounts the meeting of the Mother of Jesus, who had conceived him in her virginal womb only a few days earlier, with the mother of John the Baptist, who was already in the sixth month of her pregnancy: ‘When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb’ (Lk 1: 41).

St Ambrose comments: Elizabeth ‘perceived the arrival of Mary, he (John) perceived the arrival of the Lord, the woman the arrival of the Woman, the child, the arrival of the Child’ (Comm. in Luc. 2: 19, 22-26).”

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE 12th GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE AND CONGRESS ON “THE HUMAN EMBRYO IN THE PRE-IMPLANTATION PHASE”

Clementine Hall
Monday, 27 February 2006



“…it is the God who has become small who appeals to us.”
April 23, 2008, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life, The Incarnation

Christ is the hope of the pro-life movement. Pope Benedict reminded us at Midnight Mass on December 24 , 2006 that hope for the pro-life movement can be drawn from the saving work of Jesus Christ – even his saving work as an infant.

“The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn…. In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us…”

“God has become one of us, so that we can be with him and become like him. As a sign, he chose the Child lying in the manger: this is how God is. This is how we come to know him. And on every child shines something of the splendor of that “today”, of that closeness of God which we ought to love and to which we must yield – it shines on every child, even on those still unborn.” Pope Benedict XVI – Midnight Mass Homily – Christmas Eve 2006.



“I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body” Psalm 132:11
April 22, 2008, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Fathers of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI

“The Lord has sworn in truth to David…’I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body'” Psalm 132:11

In the following passage Pope Benedict XVI comments on Psalm 132:11 by using a lengthy quote from St. Irenaeus:

“Let us end by remembering that the beginning of this second part of Psalm 132 was commonly used by the Fathers of the Church to describe the Incarnation of the Word in the Virgin Mary’s womb. St Irenaeus, referring to the prophecy of Isaiah about the Virgin in labour, had already explained:”

“The words: ‘Listen, then, O house of David!’ (Is 7: 13), indicate that the eternal King, whom God had promised David would be ‘the fruit of [his] body’ (Ps 132:11), was the same One, born of the Virgin and descended from David.Thus, God promised him that a king would be born who was ‘the fruit of [his] body’, a description that indicates a pregnant virgin. Scripture, therefore…sets down and affirms the fruit of the womb to proclaim that the One to come would be begotten of the Virgin. Likewise, Elizabeth herself, filled with the Holy Spirit, testified, saying to Mary: ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb’ (Lk 1:42). In this way the Holy Spirit points out to those who want to hear him that in the Virgin’s, that is, Mary’s, giving birth is fulfilled God’s promise to David that he would raise up a king born of his body” (Contro le Eresie, 3, 21, 5: “Già e Non Ancora”, CCCXX, Milan, 1997, p. 285).

BENEDICT XVI
GENERAL AUDIENCE
Wednesday, 21 September 2005



“The proclamation of life, life in abundance, must be the heart of the new evangelization.”
April 21, 2008, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Benedict XVI meeting with disabled youth at St. Joseph‘s Seminary in Yonkers, NY.

How exciting for us to have had Pope Benedict XVI visit the United States with the message of Christ Our Hope. We all need hope in this world. Benedict spoke on many wonderful topics and it will take time to really digest his message. Following are 5 pro-life quotes by Benedict given at 4 different New York venues.

While at St. Patrick’s Cathedral he said:

The Church…is called to proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life….The proclamation of life, life in abundance, must be the heart of the new evangelization.”

In his meeting with disabled children at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers he expressed God’s love for them:

“God has blessed you with life, and with differing talents and gifts….God’s unconditional love, which bathes every human individual, points to a meaning and purpose for all human life.”

At the final Mass at Yankee Stadium he told us that Christ’s truth supports us in our respect for human life (at this point the crowd broke into applause).

“May you find the courage to proclaim Christ, “the same, yesterday, and today and for ever” and the unchanging truths which have their foundation in him (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10; Heb 13:8). These are the truths that set us free! They are the truths which alone can guarantee respect for the inalienable dignity and rights of each man, woman and child in our world – including the most defenseless of all human beings, the unborn child in the mother’s womb.”

And he praised Catholics in this country:

“In our day too, the Catholic community in this nation has been outstanding in its prophetic witness in the defense of life…”

We know that one of the arduous tasks of our generation is to fight for the unborn. In his Address at the U.N, Pope Benedict reminded us that each generation has had it’s own arduous fight for justice.

“In my recent Encyclical, Spe Salvi, I indicated that “every generation has the task of engaging anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs” (no. 25). For Christians, this task is motivated by the hope drawn from the saving work of Jesus Christ.”



At Mass today, Pope Benedict praises the heroic pro-life efforts of the late Cardinals Cooke and O’Connor
April 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Saturday. Shannon Stapleton / AP

Stating that the Church is called to “proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral today Pope Benedict paid tribute to two great Pro-life leaders, Cardinal Cooke and Cardinal O’Connor.

“The Church, as “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Spirit” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 4), is called to proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life. Here in this cathedral, our thoughts turn naturally to the heroic witness to the Gospel of life borne by the late Cardinals Cooke and O’Connor. The proclamation of life, life in abundance, must be the heart of the new evangelization. For true life – our salvation – can only be found in the reconciliation, freedom and love which are God’s gracious gift.”

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York
Saturday, 19 April 2008

We would like to document some of the pro-life efforts of these two great men who were early and courageous defenders of the unborn.

Terence Cardinal Cooke

In a May 22, 1972 article in Time magazine, entitled, The Abortion Issue, Cardinal Cooke’s early efforts to repeal the abortion law in New York are detailed. Issuing his own letter in New York against abortion from all of the pulpits in 1972, he supported New York citizens who were fighting this law. He also published a pro-life letter that President Nixon sent to him. The letter, endorsing the repeal (pro-life) movement and calling it a “noble endeavor,” was released by the Cardinal’s office-with tacit, if not explicit, White House approval. In 1972, Terence Cardinal Cooke was one of the first to describe abortion as “slaughter of the innocent unborn”.

Cardinal Cooke’s final letter read on October 8 and 9th, 1983, the weekend after his death was a letter on the sanctity of the gift of life.

And as many of you know, his successor, Cardinal O’Connor took up the pro-life cause and became another hero for the pro-life movement.

John Cardinal O’Connor

EWTN has a wonderful tribute to Cardinal O’Connor on his death which details many of his wonderful efforts on behalf of the unborn.

1. He was committed to the right to life and showed his concern by wearing on the lapel of his black clerical suit a tiny red rose with its stem spelling out “life“.

2. He participated at the annual Right to Life March held in Washington, DC.

3. He formed a religious community, the Sisters of Life who are dedicated to protecting the sacredness of all human life beginning with the infant in the womb to those vulnerable to the threat of euthanasia.

4. In addition, he repeated an offer many times to any woman in need: “go to him for help rather than abort her child”. The Archdiocese of New York and Catholic charities responded by providing hundreds of women with medical assistance, housing, adoption and legal services, as well as, the Cardinal himself counseling women in difficult situations.

These are the two men whom Pope Benedict held up as authentic pro-life heroes when he called on the Church to “proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life”.



Pope Benedict: “The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself.”
April 15, 2008, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Pope Benedict is scheduled to visit U.N. headquarters on Friday to meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and to address the General Assembly. Archbishop Celestine Migliore, the Holy See’s U.N. observer, said the pope is coming to the U.N. as “a pilgrim of peace” to promote cultural and religious dialogue based on fundamental human rights that are non-negotiable.

In an Address given last September in Hofburg Germany Benedict said this:

“The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right – it is the very opposite. It is “a deep wound in society”, as the late Cardinal Franz König never tired of repeating.

In stating this, I am not expressing a specifically ecclesial concern. Rather, I wish to act as an advocate for a profoundly human need, speaking out on behalf of those unborn children who have no voice. In doing so, I do not close my eyes to the difficulties and the conflicts which many women are experiencing, and I realize that the credibility of what we say also depends on what the Church herself is doing to help women in trouble.

In this context, then, I appeal to political leaders not to allow children to be considered as a form of illness…”



Joseph Ratzinger had a cousin born with Down Syndrome
April 14, 2008, 10:25 am
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Joseph Ratzinger, far left, is seen with his family,father Josef, sister Maria, mother Maria, brother Georg. 1938 (AP Photo / German Catholic News Agency KNA)

LifeNews had an interesting biographical note about Pope Benedict this week:

“An author writing a new biography on Pope Benedict XVI says genocide during the Nazi regime in World War II played a key role in shaping the pro-life views of the Catholic leader. Author Brennan Pursell relates the story in his upcoming book Benedict of Bavaria.

Pursell learned of the tragic story while compiling material for the book. He found out that, as a 14-year-old boy, Joseph Ratzinger had a cousin born with Down Syndrome who was just a couple years younger. In 1941, German “therapists” arrived at the boy’s home and took him away — possibly telling his parents of the new governmental regulation against mentally disabled children living at home. Despite pleas from the boy’s family, German officials took him away and he very likely became a victim of the genocide that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives during the war.

“This was Joseph Ratzinger’s first experience of a murderous philosophy that asserts that some people are disposable,” Pursell explains. Because of the terrible incident, Pope Benedict presents a consistently pro-life world view that opposes abortion as well as euthanasia and assisted suicide. Full story at LifeNews.com.”

Here is a quote from Pope Benedict that relates to this subject:

Life, which is a work of God, should not be denied to anyone, even the tiniest and most defenseless unborn child, and far less to a child with serious disabilities. At the same time, echoing the Pastors of the Church in Italy, I advise you not to fall into the deceptive trap of thinking that life can be disposed of, to the point of ‘legitimizing its interruption with euthanasia, even if it is masked by a veil of human compassion’

Benedict XVI, Angelus

St Peter’s Square
Sunday, 4 February 2007



“Yes, Christ is the face of God present among us.”
April 11, 2008, 9:18 am
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Pope Benedict will be visiting America in a few days. The above quote is taken from the Message of The Holy Father Benedict XVI to Catholics and People of the United States of America on the Occasion of the Upcoming Apostolic Journey.

When I think about our Holy Father’s words ‘Christ is the face of God present among us’, I think of how Christ was conceived, lived nine months in the womb, was born and lived an ordinary life for 30 years, as a baby, toddler, young boy, teenager and adult. He had a mother, an adoptive father – he went to school, synagogue, had friends and worked as a laborer. St. Francis of Assisi once said “Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words”. Christ first showed us the face of God by being present among us in ordinary life. He showed us that each stage of life is precious – precious enough for God to participate in each of these stages.

Then he preached and taught in the most wonderful way. He showed us his love in his actions and words.

On April 5 at a conference in Rome Benedict XVI spoke these words about how the Church should approach those who have participated in abortion:

“The Church has the primary duty to approach these people with love and delicacy, with kindness and maternal concern, in order to announce the merciful closeness of God and Jesus Christ. … Yes, the gospel of love and of life is also always the gospel of mercy.”

The Holy Father asks us to pray for his visit. He and the Bishops have picked as the theme of this visit, ‘Christ Our Hope”. Let us pray that Pope Benedict is able to help reveal the ‘face of Christ’ to our nation. Let us pray to Christ our hope that the Gospel of Life which Benedict referred to as the Gospel of Mercy will touch our nation this April. Pope Benedict reminds us: “I am convinced that without the power of prayer, without that intimate union with the Lord, our human endeavours would achieve very little.”



The Annunciation
April 1, 2008, 12:30 am
Filed under: Fathers of the Church, Incarnation, Pope Benedict XVI

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The Annunciation by Nicholas Poussin

Here are some excerpts from a homily that Pope Benedict XVI gave on March 25, 2006.

“In the Incarnation of the Son of God, in fact, we recognize the origins of the Church. Everything began from there.

Every historical realization of the Church and every one of her institutions must be shaped by that primordial wellspring. They must be shaped by Christ, the incarnate Word of God. It is he that we are constantly celebrating: Emmanuel, God-with-us, through whom the saving will of God the Father has been accomplished.

And yet – today of all days we contemplate this aspect of the Mystery – the divine wellspring flows through a privileged channel: the Virgin Mary.

St Bernard speaks of this using the eloquent image of aquaeductus (cf. Sermo in Nativitate B.V. Mariae: PL 183, 437-448). In celebrating the Incarnation of the Son, therefore, we cannot fail to honour his Mother. The Angel’s proclamation was addressed to her; she accepted it, and when she responded from the depths of her heart: “Here I am… let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1: 38), at that moment the eternal Word began to exist as a human being in time.

From generation to generation, the wonder evoked by this ineffable mystery never ceases. St Augustine imagines a dialogue between himself and the Angel of the Annunciation, in which he asks: “Tell me, O Angel, why did this happen in Mary?”. The answer, says the Messenger, is contained in the very words of the greeting: “Hail, full of grace” (cf. Sermo 291: 6).

In fact, the Angel, “appearing to her”, does not call her by her earthly name, Mary, but by her divine name, as she has always been seen and characterized by God: “Full of grace – gratia plena“, which in the original Greek is 6,P”D4JTµXv0, “full of grace”, and the grace is none other than the love of God; thus, in the end, we can translate this word: “beloved” of God (cf. Lk 1: 28). Origen observes that no such title had ever been given to a human being, and that it is unparalleled in all of Sacred Scripture (cf. In Lucam 6: 7)…

In the Second Reading, we heard the wonderful passage in which the author of the Letter to the Hebrews interprets Psalm 39 in the light of Christ’s Incarnation: “When Christ came into the world, he said: …”Here I am, I have come to do your will, O God'” (Heb 10: 5-7). Before the mystery of these two “Here I am” statements, the “Here I am” of the Son and the “Here I am” of the Mother, each of which is reflected in the other, forming a single Amen to God’s loving will, we are filled with wonder and thanksgiving, and we bow down in adoration.”

 

 



Defend the unborn with confidence
March 29, 2008, 12:20 am
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, Pope Benedict XVI

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We have a son who participated in debate in high school and college. Sometimes in the ordinary routine of college life he  was called upon to defend the Catholic faith. I asked him if being in debate helped him. He told me that he found defending the faith a lot easier and more fun than debate because as he put it, it is always easy to defend the truth. I think when we are defending the rights of the unborn – we should remember this. Something that Pope Benedict said in a speech given to the Pontifical Academy for Life on February 22, 2007 made me remember what my son had said:

“It is a right that must be sustained by all, because it is the first fundamental right of all human rights. The Encyclical Evangelium Vitae strongly affirms this:  “Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2: 14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and the political community itself are founded” (n. 2).

The same Encyclical recalls that “believers in Christ must defend and promote this right, aware as they are of the wonderful truth recalled by the Second Vatican Council:  “By his Incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being’ (Gaudium et Spes, n. 22). This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless love of God who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son’ (Jn 3: 16), but also the incomparable value of every human person” (ibid.).

Therefore, the Christian is continually called to be ever alert in order to face the multiple attacks to which the right to life is exposed. In this he knows that he can count on motives that are deeply rooted in the natural law and that can therefore be shared by every person of upright conscience.

After saying this Pope Benedict went on to elaborate in detail all of the difficulties we encounter when defending life in our society. Still, when I think about turth being the natural impulse of the human soul it helps me defend the unborn with confidence.



She hastened with holy joy across the mountains – she carries the hope of the world in her womb
February 20, 2008, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI

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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



THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM SHONE IN GOD’S SKY AS CHRIST GREW IN HIS MOTHER’S WOMB
February 2, 2008, 9:13 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Pope Benedict XVI, Unborn Jesus

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Today I received my weekly issue of the Vatican Newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and read the Pope’s Homily for the Feast Day of Epiphany (1/6/08). Here is a short excerpt:

“…the birth of the King of the Jews had been announced by the rising of a star, visible from afar…Once again heaven and earth, the cosmos and history, call to each other and respond. The ancient prophecies find confirmation in the language of the stars…‘A star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel’ (Nm 24:17), announced Balaam, the pagan seer, when he was summoned to curse the people of Israel, whom he instead blessed because, as God had revealed to him, ‘they are blessed’ (Nm 22:12).
In his commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, Cromatius of Aquileia establishes a connection between Balaam and the Magi: ‘He prophesied that Christ would come; they saw him with the eyes of faith…The star was seen by everyone but not everyone understood its meaning. Likewise, our Lord and Saviour was born for everyone, but not everyone has welcomed him’ (4:1-2).”

The three wise men – pagans all – saw the star and were spiritually enlightened. Their intellects were illumined by it and their wills ignited; they set out on a journey to locate a baby King . But when they first saw the star the baby was still unborn, on His own journey, growing within the womb. A prophetic convergence would eventually take place when the unborn baby would come out from the dark womb to shine in His manger/cave and the wise men would arrive to behold this purer holier light, and even hold it in their arms.

We have decided to use our UNBORN WORD ALLIANCE logo as our visual image (above) for this post because it captures this sentiment: a star, containing within it a heart (which symbolizes the Word of God coming to us) as the star touches the earth, the Word goes forth to the very ends of the earth.



Join Pope Benedict XVI’s Prayer for life
October 31, 2007, 11:39 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life, Quotes from Great Christians

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General view of the open-air mass conducted by Pope Benedict XVI in the vast explanade of the National Sanctuary of Aparecida, in Aparecida do Norte, Brazil.

Popes have been using the Apostleship of Prayer as a dedicated prayer group for about 120 years. . Each month this group encourages us to pray for the monthly intentions of the Holy Father

Pope Benedict’s intention for November, 2007 is Respect for Life. That medical researchers and legislators may have a deep respect for human life from its beginning to its natural conclusion.

Each month the Apostleship of Prayer offers a monthly reflection on the the Holy Fathers intentions:

Something that many parents will appreciate is that they offer a reflection for children each month too.

The Apostleship of Prayer also encourages the morning offering. Their motto is a simple profound way of life. Father Raoul Plus, S. J. in his book Christ in Our Time explains:

“As all activity is offered to God in the morning, with occasional renewals during the day, all work is undertaken solely for the Glory of the Master, and rises to Heaven like a prayer…To pray always-that is what it means. That is not to say that the soul should always be in the act of prayer, but rather that it should live in a state of elevation. It is to live always with the implicit desire strongly formed in the soul to render to God, in every passing moment the glory which is His due.”



Antidote for a “child-poor” Europe
September 10, 2007, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI

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In a homily on September 8, 2007, Pope Benedict made this startling remark:

“Europe has become child-poor: we want everything for ourselves, and place little trust in the future. Yet the earth will be deprived of a future only when the forces of the human heart and of reason illuminated by the heart are extinguished – when the face of God no longer shines upon the earth. Where God is, there is the future.

This is how he put it to a group of diplomats on Sept. 7, 2007:

“Rather, I wish to act as an advocate for a profoundly human need, speaking out on behalf of those unborn children who have no voice. In doing so, I do not close my eyes to the difficulties and the conflicts which many women are experiencing, and I realize that the credibility of what we say also depends on what the Church herself is doing to help women in trouble.

In this context, then, I appeal to political leaders not to allow children to be considered as a form of illness, nor to abolish in practice your legal system’s acknowledgment that abortion is wrong. I say this out of a concern for humanity. But that is only one side of this disturbing problem. The other is the need to do everything possible to make European countries once again open to welcoming children. Encourage young married couple to establish new families and to become mothers and fathers! You will not only assist them, but you will benefit society as a whole. I also decisively support you in your political efforts to favour conditions enabling young couples to raise children. Yet all this will be pointless, unless we can succeed in creating once again in our countries a climate of joy and confidence in life, a climate in which children are not seen as a burden, but rather as a gift for all.

Following are some articles that give statistics on birth trends and children in Europe an elsewhere in the world. (While I don’t always agree with the analysis given in some of these articles – I have linked to them to show that those on all sides of the spectrum agree that there is a dramatic decrease in birth-rates, especially in Western nations) One website even stated: We read things like the fact that the current fertility rate in 15 European nations is so low, that the United Nations has decided it is “unprecedented in human history.”

It’s the Demography, Stupid:The real reason the West is in danger of extinction. BY Mark Steyn (January 4, 2006)

Crude Birth and Death Rates for Selected Countries
(per 1,000 population) from Infoplease

Live Births and Birth Rates, by Year from Infoplease

It Will Be a Smaller World After All By Ben J. Wattenberg, New York Times, March 8, 2003

 



Show us Jesus – He comes first as a child
September 9, 2007, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI

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“ ‘Show us Jesus!’ Let us make this prayer today with our whole heart; let us make this prayer above and beyond the present moment, as we inwardly seek the Face of the Redeemer. ‘Show us Jesus!’ Mary responds, showing him to us in the first instance as a child. God has made himself small for us. God comes not with external force, but he comes in the powerlessness of his love, which is where his true strength lies. He places himself in our hands. He asks for our love. He invites us to become small ourselves, to come down from our high thrones and to learn to be childlike before God. He speaks to us informally. He asks us to trust him and thus to learn how to live in truth and love.

The child Jesus naturally reminds us also of all the children in the world, in whom he wishes to come to us. Children who live in poverty; who are exploited as soldiers; who have never been able to experience the love of parents; sick and suffering children, but also those who are joyful and healthy.”

From a homily given by Pope Benedict XVI on September 8, 2007

Pope Benedict went on to say: Europe has become child-poor… See tomorrow’s post on that topic



Wanted! Young hearts for God
September 5, 2007, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI

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On September 2, Pope Benedict celebrated the Eucharist in Loreto, Italy with about half million young people.

In his homily Benedict XVI affirmed that “Jesus Christ, God made man, in Mary assumed our own flesh, took part in our lives and wished to share in our history. In order to accomplish this Covenant, God sought a young heart and found it in Mary.”

“Even today God continues to seek young hearts, He seeks young people with great hearts who are capable of making space for Him in their lives in order to become protagonists of the New Covenant.” …

In Loreto, said the Pope, “our thoughts naturally go to the Holy House of Nazareth which is the shrine of humility: the humility of God Who became flesh and the humility of Mary who accepted Him in her womb; the humility of the Creator and the humility of the creature.”

Today, he continued, “the humble are seen as resigned and defeated, as people who have nothing to say to the world. Yet the truth is that humility is the best way, and not only because it is a great human virtue but also, and primarily, because it is God’s own way of acting.”

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PRO LIFE DOCTORS – HEROES IN OUR MODERN AGE!
September 2, 2007, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Medical/Bioethical Issues, Pope Benedict XVI

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Norman Rockwell “Doctor and Boy Looking at Thermometer,” 1954

Our last post was on the Hippocratic oath and some modern day “imposter oaths” which are hypocritical. Today let’s focus on the most honorable doctors – Pro-Life doctors who maintain the moral consistency of: cherishing life, serving life and protecting/saving life. This triple test of medical morality is, in the sometimes swirling events of life, a difficult challenge which perhaps every doctor will find at times troublesome or confusing. The times of triage can be moral and emotional as well as medical. Pro-life doctors take the above triple test and add one more key element to it: promoting life!

Pro-Life doctors dedicate themselves to worthy principles and struggle for perfection, not only in their professional lives but also in their personal lives: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48) That is why the rest of us everyday pro-lifers have such admiration for them and for all health care professionals who take their commitment to human life so profoundly.

In February 2007 Pope Benedict XVI gave an important address to the Pontifical Academy for Life about the importance of conscience. He called the “right to life” not only the “first fundamental right of all human rights”, but he also pointed out that “the future of humanity” depends upon us guaranteeing this right. Here are a few striking quotes from Benedict’s address:

When the value of human life is at stake, this harmony between the magisterial function and the committed laity becomes singularly important: life is the first good received from God and is fundamental to all others; to guarantee the right to life for all and in an equal manner for all is the duty upon which the future of humanity depends.

Therefore, I ask the Lord to send among you, dear brothers and sisters, and among those dedicated to science, medicine, law and politics, witnesses endowed with true and upright consciences in order to defend and promote the “splendour of the truth” and to sustain the gift and mystery of life.

I trust in your help dearest professionals, philosophers, theologians, scientists and doctors. In a society at times chaotic and violent, with your cultural qualifications, by teaching and by example, you can contribute to awakening in many hearts the eloquent and clear voice of conscience.

Here are a few of the Pro-life Doctors Organizations around the world:

World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life
Doctors For Life International
Association of Pro-Life Physicians
Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Pro-Life Maternal-Fetal Medicine
British Section of the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life
MaterCare International