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Sanctification in Daily Work
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The “Tebow Ad”, Parts 1 and 2

In case you missed them. Here’s the first Focus on the Family that aired during the Super Bowl pre-game show – very classy:

And here is the ad that aired during the first quarter of the game. LOL, think N.O.W. will start complaining that the ad promotes violence against women? Well done!:

Both ads are also available on the Focus on the Family website, which features a more in-depth interview with Tim’s parents Bob and Pam and their choice for life.

You can read my final thoughts on the “controversial” commercial over at Reflections of a Paralytic.

Let’s Respect Life This Sunday

Respect LifeIt is Respect Life Sunday and our Associate Pastor at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Fr. Ben Nwosu, preached a powerful sermon on the subject. He was well prepared with scriptural quotes and references to the subject.

I liked him quoting Mother Teresa of Calcutta as saying that when a couple adopts a child they are welcoming Jesus into their home but when they abort a baby they are shutting Jesus out. I don’t have the exact quote but that’s close enough.

You can see a photo of Fr. Ben after today’s Mass from my Twitter account.

Here’s part of the statement on Respect Life Sunday (pdf) by Cardinal Justin Rigali:

Respect Life Sunday, this year celebrated on October 4th is a day set aside for Catholics in the United States to reflect with gratitude on God’s priceless gift of human life. It is also an occasion to examine how well we, as a nation and individually, are living up to our obligation to protect the rights of those who, due to age, dependency, poverty or other circumstances, are at risk of their very lives.

In the current debate over health care reform, it has become evident that a number of Americans believe that the lives and health of only some people are worth safeguarding, while other classes of people are viewed as not deserving the same protection. Such an attitude is deplorable, all the more so in the context of health care. Sanctioning discrimination in the quality of care given to different groups of people has no place in medicine, and directly contravenes the ethical norms under which Catholic hospitals and health care providers operate.

Unborn children remain the persons whose lives are most at risk in America: Over one million children each year die in abortion facilities. The Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 rendered states powerless to halt this killing. Thankfully Congress and most states acted to prevent public funding of abortions (with narrowly defined exceptions). Yet despite the opposition of 67% of Americans to taxpayer-funded abortion, all current health care proposals being considered by Congress would allow or mandate abortion funding, either through premiums paid into government programs or out of federal revenues.

The Time for Complacency is Over

This is a great motivational video for all Catholics defending the sanctity of all human life, especially those heading to the March for Life this week. It’s time to follow in the footsteps of the Lord:

When you call on your congressmen to fight FOCA don’t forget to also encourage them to oppose expanding funding for embryonic stem cell research! And pray for the conversion of our pro-abortion Catholic politicians!

The Month of the Rosary

October is the Month of the Holy Rosary. Bishop Finn had an excellent homily on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (Oct. 6.) The Mass was broadcast live on EWTN (video covers the procession through Bishop Finn’s homily):

Or read the homily online. And excerpt:

Hail Mary! We cry out again and again at her invitation. We persevere in trusting prayer – through the rhythms of the rosary – because she is Mother of God and our Mother. She who through the merciful plan of the Eternal Father gave the world its Redeemer wants us to know and love her Son. The mysteries of her life, of Jesus’ life, and of our lives are all intertwined. In the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ, God made man, unites Himself in some way to every man, and reveals to us who we are, and what is our high calling. (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22)

Mary’s rosary is our picture book of faith, hope, and love. Here in the unfolding images of Christ life: In His joys, through His luminous love, in His sorrows, in His glories; he prepares us for everything that will take place. The will of God is being realized in each event of Christ’s life, in Mary’s life, and in our life. And Mary will help us say “Yes,” and give our free and full assent to His divine plan.

October is also Respect Life Month. Be sure to especially pray the rosary for life this month – and for the election of good pro-life politicians in two weeks!! From Bishop’s homily:

Every day human life is under attack. If it were not enough that our elected leaders and judges too often have failed to stand up for vulnerable pre-born babies, or the disabled or the dying, every election campaign seems to be a referendum on the dignity and value of human life. Candidates who would stand with us valiantly against abortion or assisted suicide are labeled “extreme” and fanatical. Mary, we will not abandon your dear children, but we know that the proponents of these evils will not give up without a fight. Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Life: Win among us the battle we cannot win without your help. Turn back the culture of death in our nation. Save us from the tyranny and deceit of Choice. Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Pray for us sinners.

A Perfect Pro-Life Prayer

Last week’s Our Sunday Visitor had an excellent article (subscribers only) on the nullAngelus prayer and its possible contribution to the “pro-life arsenal.” The Angelus is a prayer typically repeated three times a day – 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. – recalling the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. Says OSV:

As people pray the Angelus, perhaps they will come to understand better the value of any human conception as they remember and honor the greatest conception of all time.

The words of the prayer:

    Leader: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
    Response: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
    Hail Mary . . .
    Leader: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
    Response: Be it done unto me according to your word.
    Hail Mary
    Leader: And the Word was made flesh,
    Response: And dwelt among us.
    Hail Mary . . .
    Leader: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
    Response: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
    Leader: Let us pray.
    Response: Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.
    Amen.

nullJP II’s favorite passage from Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes 22, says that, “only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light.” Indeed, as the document goes on to explain, by His incarnation, Christ has united himself with every man and therefore fully reveals man to himself. Christ not only became man, but chose to identify totally with all humankind, even in its weakest and most vulnerable state. The more we meditate on the profound mystery of the Word made flesh, the more we come to understand and appreciate the dignity of every human person, born and unborn.

Note: during Easter the Regina Caeli is said in place of the Angelus.

Justice is Served in Missouri!

sacred-heart.jpgThanks be to God! Just got word today that Judge Joyce upheld the challenge by Missouri Cures Without Cloning to Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s inaccurate and blatantly biased ballot summary for a constitutional amendment to truly ban human cloning in Missouri. I am incredibly pleased and quite frankly surprised at the ruling. The revised language is much closer to the purpose of the actual Amendment than Carnahan’s disgraceful language.

Because of the lawsuit, progress has been delayed for quite some time. So we still have very hard work ahead of us if we are to have any chance of getting this on the ballot in November, especially if the opposition decides to appeal in an effort to halt the signature gathering process. Please keep us in your prayers so that we can finally, truly ban human cloning in Missouri!

Try this one:
Rosary Crusade Safeguarding Embryonic Human Life

March For Life Day in DC

March For LifeIt’s March For Life day in Washington, DC. Judging from the looks of the people I’ve seen on EWTN which is doing live coverage, it’s pretty cold there. That doesn’t deter these people. We’ve got quite a few, including high school students, from our area there.

In case you haven’t visited it, there is a March For Life website.

I listened to some of the prolife politicians talk on a lunch break. While it’s sad that we can’t have laws in our society that protect life from conception to natural death it’s also inspiring to see how many people are willing to work so hard to try to create a culture of life here in our country. That Supreme Court decision 35 years ago is one of the worst ever made and those who have a reckless disregard for the life of others revel in it still.

I remember when I got more involved in prolife activities when I went to work for the Vitae Caring Foundation (not working there now). The founder, Carl Landwehr told me that if you think about what has happened and is happening every day you can literally go crazy. It’s hard to believe how many babies have been killed in this country. The number is staggering. I hope and pray every day that there will be an end to abortion. We need a change of hearts though. Many times I’ve said that if our hearts and our culture respected life and people didn’t have abortions, the laws would become irrelevant.

But they do need to be changed.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

nullToday is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn and the Mother of the Americas. May our nation be helped by her intercession this coming election year on behalf of all those who have no voice.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, we turn to you who are the protectress of unborn children and ask that you intercede for us, so that we may more firmly resolve to join you in protecting all human life. Let our prayers be united to your perpetual motherly intercession on behalf of those whose lives are threatened, be they in the womb of their mother, on the bed of infirmity, or in the latter years of their life. May our prayers also be coupled with peaceful action which witnesses to the goodness and dignity of all human life, so that our firmness of purpose may give courage to those who are fearful and bring light to those who are blinded by sin.
(from a prayer said at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on January 22, 1999)

    Prayer for Victims of Abortion

Holy Mother of God and of the Church, our Lady of Guadalupe, you were chosen by the Father for the Son through the Holy Spirit.

You are the Woman clothed with the sun who labors to give birth to Christ while Satan, the Red Dragon, waits to voraciously devour your child.

O Help of Christians, we beg you to protect all mothers of the unborn and the children within their wombs. We plead with you for your help to end the holocaust of abortion. Melt hearts so that life may be revered!

Holy Mother, we pray to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart for all mothers and all unborn children that they may have life here on earth and by the most Precious Blood shed by your Son that they may have eternal life with Him in heaven. We also pray to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart for all abortionists and all abortion supporters that they may be converted and accept your Son, Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior. Defend all of your children in the battle against Satan and all of the evil spirits in this present darkness.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, hear our pleas and accept this cry from our hearts!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn, Pray for us!

More on Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Immaculate Conception

nullAs I was reflecting on today’s feast day, it struck me what a really pro-life feast we are actually celebrating today (and yes it was a Holy Day of Obligation in the U.S. even though it’s a Saturday since, as a country, we are consecrated to Mary as the Immaculate Conception). God did not choose to purify the womb that would carry His son at some random point in her development outside the womb like, say, her presentation and dedication in the temple or at the Annunciation, both of of which would have seemed appropriate or reasonable. Rather, he chose to preserve the sinlessness of the Mother of God from the very moment of her conception inside the womb of St. Anne. This, like the Incarnation itself and the scene at the Visitation when the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in the womb of St. Elizabeth, illustrates the significance and the sacredness of life before birth. Let us pray on this day that such innocent life may once again be preserved and protected in our Nation through the intercession of this Immaculate Mother, Patroness of our Land.

From my Guadalupe Novena (which is now on day 7):

“Merciful Jesus, I beseech You through the intercession of Your dearest Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, who nurtured You from childhood, bless my native land. I beg You, Jesus, look not on our sins, but on the tears of little children, on the hunger and cold they suffer. Jesus, for the sake of these innocent ones, grant me the grace that I am asking of You for my country.”
Amen

Guadalupe Novena

nullI am making up my own Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn and Patroness of the Americas, asking for her intercession for next year’s election. Primaries start in JANUARY!! I am adapting this from an entry I found in the Diary of St. Faustina. Please pray with me for the next nine days:

“Merciful Jesus, I beseech You through the intercession of Your dearest Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, who nurtured You from childhood, bless my native land. I beg You, Jesus, look not on our sins, but on the tears of little children, on the hunger and cold they suffer. Jesus, for the sake of these innocent ones, grant me the grace that I am asking of You for my country.”

Amen

Look on the Tears of Little Children

Do unborn children have tears? I don’t know, but this will be my prayer for our country from now until election day. It comes from a passage I recently came across in the Diary of St. Faustina:

Once after an adoration for our country, a pain pierced my soul, and I began to pray in this way: “Most merciful Jesus, I beseech You through the intercession of Your dearest Mother who nurtured You from childhood, bless my native land. I beg You, Jesus, look not on our sins, but on the tears of little children, on the hunger and cold they suffer. Jesus, for the sake of these innocent ones, grant me the grace that I am asking of You for my country.” At that moment, I saw the Lord Jesus, His eyes filled with tears, and He said to me, You see, My daughter, what great compassion I have for them. Know that it is they who uphold the world.

Love as God Loves

See my latest blog entry at Reflections of a Paralytic: Reclaiming the Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality

Regarding the WHO abortion study that I mentioned in Wednesday’s post another conclusion that many come to upon seeing the numbers of abortions carried out world wide is that something must be done to prevent so many “unwanted pregnancies” in the first place. Now that is a rational conclusion. What is irrational, however, is the promotion of contraception as a solution when the underlying problem is immoral sexual behavior to begin with. Now they want to offer birth control to 11 year olds?! We are really failing our children if this is the best we can do. How about teaching them to love and respect their bodies and live out their sexuality in the manner in which God intended? We must reclaim the truth and meaning of human sexuality (which does not include condoms or birth control) if we are to ever dream of having an impact on abortion numbers.

Christopher West boldly asserts that, in the final analysis, the abortion debate is not really about when life begins, but the meaning of sex. Naturally, people don’t advocate abortion because they believe they have a right to kill their own offspring, but because they want to have the right to have sex without limit or consequence. In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, JPII says,

It is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not help the young to accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection (n. 97)

So what is this “true meaning” of sexuality? Here’s what I told a group of Confirmation students a few weeks ago…

Read more

Get Out Your Rosaries

We just got some disappointing news concerning our efforts against human cloning in Missouri. The Secretary of State, yesterday, approved the ballot language for a constitutional amendment to ban human cloning submitted by the Missouri Coalition for Cures Without Cloning. The language completely misrepresents the intention of the amendment and is unacceptable, falsely claiming that the amendment will

repeal the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning and to limit Missouri patients’ access to stem cell research, therapies and cures approved by voters in November 2006

Meanwhile the actual amendment says nothing about repealing anything, but only seeks to accurately define and prohibit the creation of human embryos from the one-cell stage onward. The language approved by the SOS is just a bunch of pro-cloning talking points designed, no doubt, to discourage us from moving forward with this cloning ban. I don’t know what we’re going to do about it, but there is no way we can go to voters with this awful language. After all, who would want to sign a petition for an amendment with this name:

Constitutional Amendment to Add Article III, Section 38(e), Relating to Limiting Stem Cell Research, 2008-014

Perhaps it’s time to renew the Rosary Crusade to Safeguard Embryonic Human Life which was started last year by the archdiocese of St. Louis to defeat Amendment 2. It looks like we will be facing an even tougher battle than we did last year.

The Pope on Political Priorities

This kind of goes with yesterday’s post on the importance of voting pro-life because abortion is, above all, a human rights issue.
Pope BenedictIn a speech addressed to the members of the Democratic International of the Centre and the Christian Democrats Pope Benedict said (my emphasis added):

‘There are those who legitimize the elimination of the human life in its pre-birth and terminal phases. The crisis of the family is also worrying, it is the fundamental cell of society founded on indissoluble marriage by man or woman. The central role of the person and respect for human rights, the commitment to peace and the promotion of justice for everyone are the values and the ideals that should lead the political commitment of the Catholics.’

Preserving America’s Freedom

“A Nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope” – JP II

Read my latest blog entry on the importance of voting pro-life: Preserving America’s Freedom

ultrasound“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first mement of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), No. 2270)

Also, my parents will be on their way back home from Japan early tomorrow morning. They were able to go to Mass a few times, including this Sunday morning (it’s Sunday over there right now), so hopefully Dad got some good pics of the church in Japan to post on here soon. Say a prayer for them, please! It will be a looong flight.