UNBORN WORD of the day


The Visitation 1310, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
December 6, 2012, 12:31 am
Filed under: Advent, Pro-life, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

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The Visitation This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 304

Soon after the Virgin Mary learned of her miraculous conception of Jesus, she visited her kinswoman Elizabeth, who was also expecting a child, John the Baptist. This representation of their joyous meeting comes from the Dominican convent of Katharinenthal, in the Lake Constance region of present-day Switzerland.

Carved of walnut, with the original paint and gilding almost completely preserved, the figures of Mary and Elizabeth are each inset with crystal-covered cavities through which images of their infants may originally have been seen. The representation of the Visitation incorporating images of the unborn Christ and John the Baptist, found with some frequency in contemporary works from German-speaking lands, emphasizes the moment when, according to “The Golden Legend,” Saint John, being unable “to manifest his joy with his tongue,” leapt “with joy in his mother’s womb.” The Virgin tenderly places her hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder, while her cousin raises her arm to her breast in reference to her declaration, “Who am I, that the mother of the Lord should visit me?” (Luke 1:43).

Bishop Austin Vaughn (1927-2000), formerly Auxiliary Bishop of New York, who himself was arrested a number of times for prayerfully protesting in front of abortion facilities once wrote  in an article entitled The Catholic Duty to Be Pro – Life:  “It is not an accident, I think, that in the scriptures the first person, after Mary, who adored Jesus when He came into the world was St. John the Baptist….The second person who ever worshipped Jesus, after Mary, was an unborn baby, and I think God made it that way to tell us in our day and age the worth and importance of every individual right from the very beginning of life”.



ANOTHER ADVENT TRADITION YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD ABOUT – Iglesia de San Martín de Tours de Sevilla
December 2, 2012, 11:38 am
Filed under: Advent, Christmas, How are we to honor Unborn Jesus, Incarnation, Pro-life

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Our Lady of Hope, is renowned for her beauty. The image is from the second half of the 16th century but later restorations (one by Castillo Lastrucci), added to it‘s beauty and unmistakable Sevillian style. The Virgin wears a green coat with sterling silver lining, highlighting her magnificent crown. All year – except Advent – Mary holds the infant Jesus with her left hand and arm.

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Below the statue (see above photos), in front of the basket appears an oval  “O” iconographic detail of the Unborn Christ Child (reminiscent of the Advent “O” antiphons). 

During Advent, the oval with the Unborn Christ is placed upon the Virgin, in front of her womb. (The infant Jesus is taken down from Mary’s left hand during Advent and placed in an ornate casing.) See photos below.

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Then, on Christmas day the unborn Christ oval is returned to its place below the statue and the infant Jesus returned to Mary’s hand. These rituals give a unique charm to this statue and the Incarnation event.

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Iglesia de San Martín de Tours de Sevilla

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HOW ARE WE TO HONOR UNBORN JESUS (AND ALL UNBORN BABIES MADE IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS)? – CONSIDER ELIZABETH AND ZECHARIAH

Mary in the House of Elizabeth , Robert Anning Bell 1863-1933

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).

 “…We know nothing of what went on during those three months, but we may presume that things continued as they began. It is not likely that Elizabeth said her ‘Ave’ only once, and only once spoke of the honour she considered it to have the Mother of God in her house…. ”

“…And we must not forget the head of the household, Zachary. He, at any rate after the birth of his son, knew the secret too, for he spoke in his song of praise of the “Orient from on High (which) hath visited us.” (St Luke i. 78.) He had been ‘unable to speak,’ but Mary with her Son had been sojourning in his house, with the result that his doubts had all disappeared, and that he under stood already something of the ‘joy and gladness’ which Gabriel had promised should be his…”

From Mater Christi : meditations on Our Lady (1920). Mother St. Paul

We like Elizabeth and Zechariah should welcome Unborn Jesus with joy and faith – opening our hearts to the graces he wishes to give us. Our attitude towards all mothers and their unborn babies should also be open and joyous – we should welcome them into our lives and help them in their needs.

Mary in the House of Elizabeth , Robert Anning Bell 1863-1933



HOW ARE WE TO HONOR UNBORN JESUS (AND ALL UNBORN BABIES MADE IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS)? – CONSIDER MARY
July 3, 2012, 10:49 pm
Filed under: How are we to honor Unborn Jesus, Incarnation, Mary, Pro-life

 

Annunciation Mosaic from Redemptoris Mater Chapel (Vatican)

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).

“In all these days, my gaze has necessarily focused on this depiction of the Annunciation of Mary (see above). What fascinated me is this: the Archangel Gabriel holds a scroll in his hand, which I believe is the symbol of Scripture, of the Word of God. And Mary is kneeling within the scroll; that is, she lives her whole life in the Word of God. It is as though she were steeped in the Word. Thus, all her thoughts, her will and her actions are imbued with and formed by the Word.

Since she herself dwells in the Word, she can also become the new “Dwelling Place” of the Word in the world.”

Pope Benedict XVI Redemptoris Mater Chapel Saturday, 11 March 2006

“The Virgin is involved with Jesus and she is the only one in the whole world involved with Jesus. Thus she is the only one in the whole world adoring the mystery of the Incarnation, which was brought about on earth for the earth but unknown to the earth. She is the only one adoring Jesus. The more that she is the only one captivated by such a great subject, the greater is her involvement. She is devoted to it with all her faculties. All her senses are brought to bear on it, for it is a tangible mystery and tangible within her. All her senses should pay homage to her God made tangible for human nature. Her whole mind is concentrated on it. And the Spirit of Jesus, which enlivens this little divinized body, enlivens the spirit and body of the Virgin as well, through grace, love and a holy, gentle influence.”

Cardinal Berulle (1575-1629) – writing about Mary’s attitude in the hours and days after the Annunciation.

We can imitate Mary in honoring Unborn Jesus by living his word and welcoming Him into our lives and by loving Him with our whole heart, mind and will. We also honor Unborn Jesus when we welcome unborn children into our world by our witness to their sacredness and by giving loving help to their mothers.



The Archangel Gabriel – HOW ARE WE TO HONOR UNBORN JESUS (AND ALL UNBORN BABIES MADE IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS)?

The Annunciation by Nicolas Poussin

How did the Archangel Gabriel honor unborn Jesus:

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).

Gabriel was sent to a nobody, who had next to nothing, and who lived in the middle of nowhere. Or so it would seem. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Why would an angel show such reverence towards a human being? Why would Gabriel, whom the bible tells us stands “in the presence of God” (Lk.1:19), speak in this way? He himself answers the question: because she had “found favor with God” (Lk.1:30).

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He also honors Unborn Jesus by the respect and adoration he shows the Unborn Word of God.

 “Mary said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy word.” What happened at that moment? The Holy Ghost overshadowed her, the Body of Our Lord was formed from her pure blood, God created the human Soul to dwell in it, and by the act of the Incarnation that Soul and Body became the Soul and Body of the Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity ; Mary became the Mother of God and Gabriel worshipped before the Tabernacle of the Word made flesh.” Ortus ChristiMother St. Paul

 

Like Gabriel we too can worship the Unborn Christ Child and show great reverence to his mother. We can also honor Unborn Jesus by the respect and reverence we give to each unborn baby made in His image and likeness and by the love and support we give to their mothers.



How are we to honor Unborn Jesus (and all unborn babies made in his image and likeness)?

Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth by Marx Reichlich, Austrian painter (b. 1460, Salzburg, d. 1520, Salzburg) Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Sunday was the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist. In honor of St. John we are posting a short series entitled:

How are we to honor Unborn Jesus (and all unborn babies made in his image and likeness)?

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.

We would like to start with 2 quotes about unborn John who stands in the place of all unborn babies – who in a sense is every unborn baby.

Cardinal Bérulle (1575 – 1629) wrote extensively on the Unborn Christ Child. Here he reflects on the Visitation when the unborn John the Baptist leaps with joy:

God has become a child, and so he wants first to be known and adored by a child, and this is one of the first emanations of the childhood of God, manifesting himself to the universe. God is a child, the world ignores, heaven adores, and a child is the first person in the universe to recognize and adore him, and he does so by the homage and secret operation of God himself, who wants to act upon children. He wants to honor himself as child by giving the first knowledge of himself to a child in the world, making him his prophet in the universe. Thus the Infant-God is recognized and manifested, not by and angel, but by a child. So his first prophet is a child, just as shortly his first martyrs will be children.”

Bishop Austin Vaughan (1927-2000), Auxiliary Bishop of New York, who was arrested many times for peacefully praying and protesting in front of abortion facilities, wrote an article called  “The Catholic Duty to be Pro-Life” in which he reflected:

“It is not an accident, I think, that in the Scriptures the first person, after Mary, who adored Jesus when he came into the world was St. John the Baptist…The second person who ever worshipped Jesus after Mary was an unborn baby and I think God made it that way to tell us in our day and age the worth and importance of every individual right from the very beginning of life.”



The Life of Jesus in the Womb: A Meditation and a Prayer
April 27, 2012, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Pro-life, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

There is a very worthwhile apostolate called One More Soul. On their website they describe themselves as “a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading the truth about the blessings of children and the harms of contraception.”

They have many outstanding pamphlets and  DVD’s on different subjects – chastity, infertility/fertility, contraception etc. Recently they came out with a pamphlet about the Unborn Christ Child.

The 12 page booklet entitled The Life of Jesus in the Womb – A Meditation and a Prayer by Kathleen Curren Sweeney is a loving and beautiful tribute to the pre-born Christ Child.  In this booklet, the author describes the ordinary growth that each child in the womb experiences but that Our Lord himself sanctified during those wonderful nine months. We see Christ being prepared for the work of Salvation. “The whole destiny of the world is held in your tiny form.” (p.4)

Throughout the booklet, Kathleen Sweeney has a prayerful love and understanding of the Pre-born Christ’s solidarity with all pre-born babies especially those who are most vulnerable today. This is a perfect pamphlet for Respect Life groups to order for their parishes. To order this booklet click here.

Kathleen Sweeney has worked for National Right to Life for many years.  In 2001, she began the master’s degree in theology at the John Paul II Institute and completed it in 2004.  Since then, she has been writing articles on the theology of marriage and family, bioethics and pro-life topics.  She is  now working only as a free-lance writer. An article she wrote on the Holy Family will be published by the Homiletic and Pastoral review this fall.


The concerted attack on Conscience
February 2, 2012, 7:31 pm
Filed under: Pro-life, Religion

Stop the Birth Control Mandate Petition

My youngest daughter goes to a Catholic University on the east coast. I would not call this college a conservative Catholic institution. It is like many other Catholic institutions – some conservative and some liberal elements can be found there.

I also know quite a bit about health insurance  – so a couple of years ago I went through the health care plan that this college provides for its students. It took some digging – wading through the paperwork online etc. but I was happily surprised that the health plan they offered did not cover contraceptives. In fact I was overjoyed by this fact.

Recently, as  most of you have heard the Obama Administration (with the help of renegade Catholic Kathleen Sebilieus) has found a way to force Catholic institutions to cover contraceptives/many of which are also abortifacient – through the new health care legislation.

Our Bishops have asked us to pray and fast as well as to call our Legislators and other government officials to protest this attack on Catholics and the Catholic Church. Here is an article about this recent decision.

Catholic Bishop Blasts Obama Admin. for Contraception Mandate

This is just one more way that this administration is attacking religious institutions and people. Here are a couple of other decisions that have been made by this administration that directly attacks Christians.

Feb. 2011 – The Obama administration rescinded most of a federal regulations designed to protect those who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds.  Here is an article on this topic:

Pro-Life Groups Upset by Obama’s Weakening Conscience Rights

Another article on this decision at Life News. Obama Admin Weakens Protections for Pro-Life Medical Workers

September 2011 – “The Obama administration through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ceased funding for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) work with victims of sex slavery and trafficking. The USCCB had been granted this funding since 2006 and …A Washington Post investigation found that USCCB lost the grant competition despite having received higher scores of effectiveness than other grant competitors.” Why – because the USCCB did not refer those they helped to get abortion or contraception.

Here are 2 articles on this topic.

Obama Administration Puts Politics Before Trafficking Victims?

Anti-Catholic bias by Obama administration debated at House hearing

Finally I would recommend the following article that summarizes the attack by this adminstration on Catholics.

Obama turns his back on Catholics  by Michael Gerson



The Helper in Childbirth
October 23, 2011, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Mother of the Lord, Pro-life, Unborn Jesus

The Helper in Childbirth

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have this beautiful icon at this location

Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel
Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
199 Colonel Brown Rd
Griswold CT 06351

An explanation of this icon is found on their website.

“This icon of the Mother of God is called “The Helper in Childbirth“. The first prototypes of this icon appeared in Western Russia, in the early 19th century. It was made for a very practical and urgent need – the difficulties in conceiving and giving birth.

A variation of the ancient and famous icon of Our Lady of the Sign, this icon differs by showing the Mother of God folding her hands in prayer over her heart, instead of holding them outstretched to the sides. Under the protective arch of her hands, we can see the newly conceived Christ Child, emanating from inside her womb in an almond shaped-halo of light. To show He is the “Logos“, or Word of God incarnate, He holds a small white scroll. She is filled and radiant with light from inside.”

To read more about this icon and the Franciscan Friars click here

Here are 3 other icons in this tradition. Click on each  icon  – to see full view.




THE CHURCH TURNS TO GOD FOR ANSWERS & GUIDANCE!
September 12, 2011, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer, Pro-life

This Sunday at Mass we heard a deep teaching of Jesus about forgiveness; Mt 18: 21-35. But look at how it all starts: “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  As many as seven times?”

This is a great question! Sure, some sophisticated know-it-alls may choose to dismiss Peter’s question and demean him, but to me this was a real and legitimate question to pose to the Lord. And of course, the answer was even better, much better!!

So today, Peter’s successor the Pope, and the Bishops as well, ask God many questions and listen attentively for His wonderful guiding responses. And the laity of course prays for our Pope and Bishops, to support them in their prayers and listening before God.

A few years ago I was quite surprised when I re-read the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, issued by Vatican Council II. There was a reference that appeared several times which was at once surprising but very profound and beautiful:

“Guiding the Church in the way of all truth (cf. Jn 16:13) and unifying her in communion and in the works of ministry, he bestows upon her varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her; and he adorns her with his fruits (cf. Eph 4:11-12; I Cor 12:4; Gal 5:22).”  LG #4  Hierarchic gifts – given to the apostles and their successors for the good of the Church!

Which brings us back to Peter. It is critical to ask God the right questions, to persevere in prayer seeking the truth. Our Popes and Bishops do this. (No they haven’t been perfect – just human, but generally with wonderful results.)  A great testimony to this reality of the Church’s life is the solid defense given by the Church on behalf of unborn children.

From the 1st century A.D., when the Didache states: “You shall not put a child to death by abortion nor kill it once it is born…”, to Vatican II (Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, #51), to The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, written by John Paul II), the Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit to teach soundly on respect for human life, right from the moment of conception.

But this guidance came through prayer, asking God the right questions, like Peter did 2,000 years ago, and like Benedict XVI and his fellow Bishops do today. Last Advent, 2010, Pope Benedict introduced a profound new tradition on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent; he celebrated a Vigil for the Unborn, linking it to Advent when we contemplate Christ in the womb, about to born. Surely this too was the fruit of prayer, of seeking God’s inspiration and guidance. Thanks be to God!



AMERICA! AMERICA! GOD MEND THINE EV’RY FLAW
July 3, 2011, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

Robert Anning Bell - Mary in the House of Elizabeth (Mary and Elizabeth sewing and mending during three month visit!)

America the Beautiful is one of my favorite patriotic songs because it gracefully weaves together noble religious sentiments with a humble pure patriotism. One of my favorite lines in the song is: “God mend thine ev’ry flaw. Confirm thy soul with self-control, Thy liberty in law.”

As the saying goes, “Nobody’s perfect”… same too with organizations, groups, families, communities, nations.  America has flaws. People of good will need  to try and ‘mend them’.

But one flaw surely stands out – as more than a mere “flaw”; abortion, virtually on demand (that is, no reason or rationale need be given), literally up to the ninth month.

The current law of the land foisted upon us by neglectful judges is an “unjust law”; more than a flaw! When we sing the prayer line “God mend thine ev’ry flaw”, we should remember our greatest flaw; an unjust law.

The hollow and meaningless slogan “freedom of choice” is a ‘supposed liberty’ which needs to be curtailed by a just law.

The soul of America is sorely weakened, in large part by the deadly wound of killing its own unborn children. Its soul will be strengthened and confirmed, when a just law in the land protects the innocent unborn in the womb.

Sing and pray for unborn souls and just laws!

America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.



WE BELIEVE, HELP OUR UNBELIEF! WE ARE BORN, HELP OUR UNBORN!
April 18, 2011, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Prayer, Pro-life

Station – Jesus meets the weeping women  in Pfefferschlag He blesses those who are pregnant and the children in the square in front of the historic village church.

He would be a disciple of Jesus… “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mk 9.24). Let us call him “the disciple of human struggle”, the disciple of our human weakness and striving. His words were spoken directly to Jesus in a moment of desperation.

God is All Good, we are good in small measures and irregularly. God is omniscient, we are ignorant and confused much of the time. God is omnipotent, we are consummate weakness. God is Love, we are self-centered much of the time, we like sometimes, we love imperfectly. But, “I believe Lord; help my unbelief!”

This is a cry of hope. “I hope Lord; help my hopelessness.” A cry for strength. “I have courage Lord, help my discouragement!”

And so, when a despondent, discouraged pregnant woman considers having her unborn child aborted, humanity senses her anguish though we have not walked in her steps. We sense her confusion and weakness. We sense too the prayer that she should try to make. “I believe Lord; help my unbelief! I am born Lord; but help my unborn!”

God help us to help her and in our world’s time of need to make this our prayer too. “We believe Lord; help our unbelief! We are born Lord; help our unborn!”



Jesus: Suffering Servant in the Womb
April 12, 2011, 9:30 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Pro-life, Quotes from Great Christians, Saints
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I recognize that not everyone will like this picture and I myself used it with some hesitancy. But it highlights a theme that quite a few saints and spiritual authors have written about which actually seems very relevant in our time (because of abortion), namely that Christ’s time in the womb was a time of suffering for our sins. Here are four quotes for our Lenten meditation:

Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb… John Donne, The Annunciation

“The third characteristic then of the obedience of Christ is that it was tried by suffering and humiliations. To accomplish the Will of His heavenly Father, the Infant Christ, with the full use of every faculty, consented to be enclosed for nine months in the dark prison of His Mother’s womb. Other infants feel not this privation as they have not the use of reason, but Christ had the use of reason and must have dreaded the confinement in the narrow womb, even of her whom He had chosen to be His Mother.

Through obedience to His Father, and from the love He bore to man, He overcame this dread, and the Church says: ‘When Thou didst take upon Thee to deliver Man, Thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.’ Again, our dear Lord needed no small amount of patience and humility, to assume the manners and the weaknesses of a child, when He was not only wiser than Solomon, but was the Man ‘in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ ” St. Robert Bellarmine, The Seven Words on the Cross

“Consider the painful life that Jesus Christ led in the womb of his Mother, and the long‑confined and dark imprisonment that he suffered there for nine months. Other infants are indeed in the same state; but they do not feel the miseries of it, because they do not know them. But Jesus knew them well, because from the first moment of his life he had the perfect use of reason….The womb of Mary was therefore, to our Redeemer a voluntary prison, because it was a prison of love. But it was also not an unjust prison: he was indeed innocent himself, but he had offered himself to pay our debts and to satisfy for our crimes. It was therefore only reasonable for the divine justice to keep him thus imprisoned, and so begin to exact from him the due satisfaction.

Behold the state to which the Son of God reduces himself for the love of men, he deprives himself of his liberty and puts himself in chains, to deliver us from the chains of hell.” St. Alphonsus de Liguori,The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ

“He was filled with compassion for all the miseries of creation, and this never left Him henceforward; and most of all did He feel for sin, the greatest and the truest of our miseries, and He distinctly and separately pitied the sins of each one of us in particular.

He surrendered Himself as a prisoner in His Mother s womb, for crime, for debt, and as a prisoner of war, as if He were a delinquent threefold by all those three liabilities. He only left His prison to suffer and to expiate, and it seems as though He loved it so, that He repeats His state of imprisonment in the Blessed Sacrament.” Father Faber, The Blessed Sacrament

When I think of Christ suffering in the womb for our sins it gives me great hope. Hope that He has obtained for us a special grace during His time of suffering in the womb – a grace that will enable us to overcome abortion in our time.



The Incredible and True Story of Tom Thumb
February 27, 2011, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Pro-life, Quotes from Great Christians

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“At the true age of one month, a human being is four and a half millimeters long. Its tiny heart has already been beating for a week, its arms, legs, head, brain are already recognizable. At two months old, from head to the tip of its bottom, the human embryo is about three centimeters long. It could fit curled up inside a walnut shell. Inside a clenched fist, it would be invisible, and the clenched fist would crush it accidentally without even noticing.

But open your hand, the embryo is almost complete, hands, feet, head, organs, brain, everything is in its place and from now on will merely grow. Look more closely , you can already read the life lines in its palms and predict its good fortunes. Look closer still, with an ordinary microscope, and you can see its fingerprints. Everything is already there and it would be possible to issue its identity card.”

“The incredible Tom Thumb, the man no bigger than my thumb, actually exists ; not the one in the fairy tale, but the one which every one of us once was.”

Quote from:  Dr. Jerome LeJeune (the great pro-life scientist who discovered the cause of Down Syndrome)



PLANNED PARENTHOOD “SHAKING IN THEIR BOOTS”
January 27, 2011, 6:24 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

On Saturday, January 22, 2011, our sponsoring organization Unborn Word Alliance had an exhibitor booth at the 7th annual WALK FOR LIFE WEST COAST which took place in San Francisco. An estimated 40,000 people participated in the Walk.

The Walk began at 11:00 a.m., but at 8:00 a.m. there was a Mass at the Catholic Cathedral in San Francisco, thereby linking praying & walking for Life; a good way to start.  The large Cathedral Church was full. But what surprised us was the number of young people attending this 8:00 a.m. Mass on a Saturday morning. At least 50% of the congregation looked to be under 30, and probably 2/3 of the congregation was under 35. (Note: To get there for 8:00 a.m., they had to get up at probably 6:30 a.m. or earlier – on a Saturday!)

For those of us….over 39….this was inspiring. Dude, it was awesome!!!

One of the keynote speakers before the Walk was Abby Johnson, the former Director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility, turned Pro – Life. As she looked out over the Young crowd, she spoke out enthusiastically:

“You are the new generation of pro-lifers and let me tell you something friends, Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice movement, they are shaking in their boots…. They are terrified because there are so many more pro – life young adults than pro – choice young adults….You guys 30 years of age and younger, you guys, you’re the movement. You’re the next generation. This is our time; make it count.



A NEW GOOD SAMARITAN IN THE CULTURE OF DEATH
January 26, 2011, 12:30 am
Filed under: Pro-life

A young woman was walking along the public sidewalk towards one of the  city’s assembly line abortion facilities. Her head was bowed beneath the double burden she was carrying; 1.) she was pregnant and felt completely incapable of continuing on with the pregnancy and then caring for this unplanned baby, and 2.) she had refused to listen to her conscience during this time of stress and confusion. And she was frightened.

Her boyfriend had soured on their relationship soon after he found out she was pregnant. She had confided in a longtime friend about her dilemma, but the friend had a meeting to go to and just told her to do whatever she thought was best for her future. She phoned her brother and he immediately told her to abort ‘it’. She contacted Planned Parenthood and they told her it would be over in an hour and she would be back to normal within a few hours. Finally, she called her aunt – who she suspected may have had an abortion many years ago. Her aunt couldn’t say enough good things about abortion, and also encouraged her to abort ‘it’.

So the young woman approached the abortion facility, ill at ease (not from morning sickness, but due to heart sickness). Suddenly she heard a soft voice calling out to her, “There’s a better way you know…” Startled from her sad misgivings, she looked up and saw a teenage girl – younger than she was – standing by the sidewalk’s edge and looking straight at her with a tempered, tender smile. She stopped, and without thinking replied “What do you mean?”

The teenager answered, with a little more enthusiasm than may have been ‘appropriate’ for such a delicate situation, “I know a whole bunch of people who would love to help you! We would consider it an honor if we could be of help…” The young woman froze, she tightened, then a tear trickled down her cheek, immediately followed by a stream of quiet tears. The teenager leaned forward and hugged her…. and…. She hugged back.

A hundred yards away, they sat together sipping coffee. The teenager had one character trait, a gift, that was rather striking – sincerity, a loving, caring sincerity. She explained to the young woman that she knew of a Pregnancy Counseling Clinic nearby with medical personnel on staff who could meet with her anytime – right now if she liked – and that the charitable organization that operated this clinic helped young woman with unplanned or problem pregnancies… right through the nine months and even after, as needed.

The young woman listened in awe, for as the teenage girl spoke, she could also hear her conscience breaking free, longing to assert itself. Here was the first person who had reached out to her, to help. A complete stranger, but a caring person.

“Which of these…proved neighbor to the (young woman who was pregnant)”?



God’s touch
January 20, 2011, 1:04 am
Filed under: Papal Quotes, Pro-life, Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus

God has always been reaching out to us! Today He is reaching out personally to you!

Michaelangelo captured the scene in his famous painting of  God the Creator Father reaching out to Adam who represents humanity.

Mother St. Paul explains how God the Father reached down to touch each of  us at our creation:

“Our Lord Touched us when He created us to His own image; He could have created us to the image of the angels but no, He created us to His own – it was a touch.” Virginibus Christi p. 25

Interior Of The Mezquita Cathedral Virgin Mary Icon

From Mary’s womb Unborn Jesus was reaching out to us, but we couldn’t see. Perhaps in a Michaelangelo moment, in Mary’s womb He extended His tiny unborn arm, hand, and finger towards each  of us.

Pope Pius XII tells us:

But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming loveOn the Mystical Body of Christ, #75

As we remember this sad anniversary of Roe v Wade, let us realize that in the silent cries of the unborn He is reaching out to touch our hearts.

Let us reach out to touch Him for as St. Mark tells us:

As many as touched Him were made whole”  (Mk 6:56)