UNBORN WORD of the day


WE WELCOME THE YEAR OF ST PAUL – “CHRIST IS ALL, AND IN ALL”!
June 29, 2008, 7:03 am
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Religion, Saints

The Papal Basilica Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls

Pope Benedict has inaugurated “The Year of St Paul”, beginning on June 29, 2008, at the first Vespers of the traditional Church Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Last night I watched some of the liturgical celebrations live from the Vatican (on EWTN) to usher in this extraordinary Pauline year of grace.

In keeping with the spirit of this special day, we offer the following short quote from UNBORN JESUS OUR HOPE concerning the mystical nature of Mary’s pregnancy and words from Paul (and Peter) which help to throw light on it:

“She is the first Christian missionary. She carries the Christ across the land from this town to that. But He dwells within her ‑ within and beneath her heart. The mystery of this particular heart‑to‑Heart, body‑to‑Body communion between mother and Child, Christian and Christ, is impossible to fathom. Many years later both Saints Peter and Paul described their own sense of oneness with Christ in words that may help us in our appreciation of Mary’s experience. Reflecting on his own personal identification with Christ’s death on the cross, St. Paul would say; “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” (Gal 2:20).

But what of Mary’s intimate identification with our Lord’s Incarnation, the singular experience of Mary’s maternity? Her sentiments may have resembled those of St. Paul; paraphrasing now: “I have been conceived with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” And as each day passed, did she not sense that she was becoming, as St. Peter would later say, a partaker “of the divine nature” (II Pet 1:4)? No other human soul has experienced the wonder and grace of this mystical passage from youthful human simplicity into the eternal mystery of mothering God! Words fail us here: ” Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:11).”

Every Christian must discover for himself or herself, and repeatedly, just how “Christ is all, and in all” for him and for her. In a unique way, during her nine month pregnancy, Mary must have pondered within her heart – in an archetypical manner – the Incarnational mystery that “Christ is all, and in all”. He certainly was “all and in all” in her! Following baptism and the onset of the life of God within each Christian soul, it is true on the spiritual level – a mystical truth and reality grasped and taught well by St Paul – that “Christ is all, and in all”! And just as the pregnant Mary saw intimate signs of Christ’s life within her own and desired to live well her nine months for Him, so too today’s Christian recognizes personal signs of Christ’s life within his or her heart and must strive to live well all his or her days for Christ.



John Paul II, “the Pope of the family”
May 19, 2008, 10:55 pm
Filed under: John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI recently called John Paul II, “the Pope of the family”. He pointed out that John Paul II said that “the future of humanity passes by way of the family.”


In Centesimus Annus 38, 39, John Paul II said:


In addition to the irrational destruction of the natural environment, we must also mention the more serious destruction of the human environment…The first and fundamental structure for “human ecology” is the family, in which man receives his first formative ideas about truth and goodness, and learns what it means to love and to be loved, and thus what it actually means to be a person. Here we mean the family founded on marriage, in which the mutual gift of self by husband and wife creates an environment in which children can be born and develop their potentialities…”


Throughout his time as Pope, John Paul II repeatedly tried to reach out to families:


Here are links to just a very few of John Paul’s writings on the Family.

Original Unity of Man and Woman
“Catechesis on the Book of Genesis”
(1979-1980)

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO 1981

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE JOHN PAUL II INSTITUTE
FOR STUDIES ON MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
2001

Just days after the misguided California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage Pope Benedict spoke out on this subject:

“The union of love, based on matrimony between a man and a woman, which makes up the family, represents a good for all society that can not be substituted by, confused with, or compared to other types of unions.”

Pope Reaffirms Truth about Marriage and Family 5/17/2008

The good news is that there is a group in California that has collected enough signatures to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot this November to overturn this ruling by the California Supreme Court. Of course, they need our help. Here is a link to an article about the current status of this proposed ballot initiative:

California court may not have the last word on marriage
by Maggie Gallagher | 16 May 2008

To see how you can help – go directly to this group’s website:

National Organization for Marriage



eucharistic consistency and the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia
May 1, 2008, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Kelly Clark had an interesting post concerning the recent discussion in the news about pro-abortion politicians receiving communion. Her title was: Bishops: I know you were busy with the Papal visit and all but Communion is…serious

We thought the following quotes and links would contribute to the ongoing discussion:

The following two quotes are taken from a memorandum sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in his capacity as Prefect for the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in June 2004 to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (who at that time was exercising leadership in the U. S. Conference of Bishops concerning matters of domestic policy). The memorandum is entitled Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion – General Principles:

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

In Sacramentum Caritatis an Apostolic Exhortation issued by Pope Benedict on February 22, 2007 we find this:

“Here it is important to consider what the Synod Fathers described as Eucharistic consistency, … Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (230). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (231). There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them (232).”

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, in an essay entitled A Twelve Step Program for Bishops said:

If the Penal Canons of the Code are now to be dusted off and brought out of the cupboard within which they have lain dormant for almost half-a-century, it is because the balm of mercy and discretion of measure have failed to heal the growing infection of error and scandal inside the Church and the genocide increasing daily in the world around us. The time for half-measures and fear of reprisal, loss of position, temporal advantage, or career opportunity is over – the time for action in now.”

To bring into focus the application of canon law to this topic, we highly recommend the recent scholarly article by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke entitled The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin (Periodica De Re Canonica, Vol. 96, 2007) and the interview with Archbishop Burke conducted by Barbara Kralis entitled: Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, the new ‘John Fisher’ by Barbara Kralis August 5, 2004.



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.”