Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

Your “yes” can change the world

February 4, 2009

The site http://unbornwordoftheday.com has many beautiful reflections as well as artwork depicting the unborn Child Jesus in the womb of His mother Mary.

Today that site has a particularly good point for meditation in its post titled “Let It Be Done To Me According To Thy Word” which talks about how Mary’s “yes” led to the world’s transformation:

Let us ponder the power and grace that flooded the world when Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb. At the one cell stage, Christ fundamentally changed the world.

Christ wanted to show humanity how special that one cell stage is by fundamentally changing the world at that beginning point of His Incarnate life.

He raised that moment in each person’s life to a dignity and beauty that we will never fully comprehend.

Each of us can carry that message to others, as we urge others to say “yes” to the Culture of Life in our local communities, our nation, and our world. (You can read the full posting at http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2009/02/04/let-it-be-it-done-to-me-according-to-thy-word/.)

Here is one example of the artwork (part of the January 31 posting) on that blog. In this case, the image is a photo taken during the March for Life, rather than the art directly.

The caption given with the photo says:

From the ByzanTEENS at the March for Life this year, an icon of the Visitation, showing not only Mary and Elizabeth, but John the Baptist and Jesus in their mothers’ wombs. Notice that John is kneeling and Jesus is blessing him.

(You can click the photo to enlarge it and see the details better.)

Finally, their December 31, 2008 post is titled “2000 Years Marks 42 Years of Prophetic Pro-Life Witness in America” and can be read at http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2008/12/31/2009-marks-40-years-of-prophetic-pro-%e2%80%93-life-witness-in-america/. The words there may encourage you to persevere in your pro-life work as St. Paul said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith” (in 2 Timothy 4:7).

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Our Help is in the Name of the Lord …

January 20, 2009

… who made Heaven and Earth! ( Psalm 124:8 )

Remembering that is what will get us through this day of mourning. Mourning not for the loss of an election, but mourning for the lives of the babies who are now at much greater risk than ever before. Mourning for the women (and girls) who will be misled by the rhetoric of “choice” rather than be properly advised about the truths of what abortion is and will do in their lives. Mourning for the families and friends of those women and girls, who won’t always know how to help. Mourning for the country of my birth, that is now being led by people who don’t value the sanctity of human life and who won’t uphold marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman. May God have mercy on us all!

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  ( Philippians 2:9-11 )

The following article ( “Alien Nation” by Doreen Truesdell ) has some good points, as do some of the comments made at the source site: http://catholicexchange.com/2009/01/20/115155/

The universal struggle between good and evil, between Christ and His enemies has now taken center stage in this nation. For decades most American Catholics have lived relatively comfortably by accepting shades of gray. Little by little the grays became darker as more of the Church’s moral teachings were questioned, ignored and rejected. Now, the gray areas have turned to blackness. It is no longer possible for lukewarm Catholics to remain faithful. The gray areas are gone. American Catholics will either embrace the white light of Truth or accept the darkness.

So where does this leave aliens like me? Totally reliant upon God, and for many of us it will be the first time in our lives. I used to define myself as an American Catholic, but now I realize I am a Catholic in America. The nation I used to depend upon to accept my spiritual composition is gone. No longer does our citizenship agree that our laws are, and should be, based on Judeo-Christian concepts. No longer can a Christian assume his moral beliefs will be given fair representation or even toleration in the public forum.

As aliens, we have an important role to play as keepers of the faith on hostile soil. Here’s our opportunity to get off the fence on every controversial issue that offends God and start pulling our weight as Catholics in America. Many Catholics already are very publicly defending Christ and His Gospel truths. Most aren’t. Are you defending Christ in America? Am I?

This era, just beginning, represents our time in the long history of the Catholic Church to accept suffering, offer prayers and penance, and do battle in the public forum so that the voice of Christ can be heard. It is our turn to live as Catholics who look only to the magisterium of the Church for instruction on true human dignity and authentic social justice.

We will join Catholics from around the world who “lost” their countries long ago — Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Chinese, Russians and others who have already inured themselves to the agonies of living in an atheistic nation, one that they used to love with patriotic fervor but now are estranged from. We will lean on the rich Catholic tradition of the Church Militant and go on living in an alien nation while fortifying ourselves with the Word Made Flesh, He who makes His dwelling among aliens the world over.

Are you up to this challenge? As Americans, we’ve grown undisciplined, flabby and unused to suffering. We can’t bear the pain of unpopularity; how will we bear persecution? And it is coming. With this new administration we have the makings of unprecedented Christian persecutions in our nation that will make martyrs and saints of many who stand up for Truth. You won’t have to be a political activist to have it thrust upon you: parents, clergy, health care providers, teachers, workers of all kinds will find themselves facing moral issues that assault the foundations of the Catholic faith. Which issue will be the one that forces Catholics like you and me to confront how shallow our relationship with Christ has been? Which issue will finally inspire us to make the commitment to “put out into the deep,” whatever the cost?

Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, after visiting our great nation years ago, said she pitied us our “poverty.” She understood the seriousness of the spiritual poverty that the U.S. suffered. We may be on the brink of changing that poverty, one Catholic, one Christian at a time.

The history of the Church is one of suffering and triumph. From that perspective, the Obama presidency could be the beginning of a great renewal of Christianity in America, if each of us lives the faith the way Christ calls us to. So in an important way, this article is not about losing a nation, so much as gaining a deeper relationship with Jesus, the King of all nations. We, who have always assumed that our nation would validate our faith, now find it must be validated only by God.

“[T]he new age has begun; and…much must now pass away,” Gandalf says in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Let it pass. With prayerful renewal and faithful responses, we can find that God alone will suffice. Then maybe, in small ways that have great power, we can work to bring our beloved nation back to God.

It seems fitting to insert here the prayer often referred to as St. Teresa of Avila’s “Bookmark” prayer:

This thought was found after St. Teresa’s death on a prayer card in her breviary.

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God.
God alone suffices.

(I didn’t find a definitive version of that prayer. Nearly every site I checked has different wording. The one I’m including is found at
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=874.)

Biblical clues about when human life begins

December 30, 2008

Here’s a link to an article that describes how the Gospel written by St. Luke provides clues to the point in time when a human person’s life begins.

http://www.lifenews.com/nat4676.html

I don’t know if the Church has any comment about the writer’s views, but hope that what the author wrote provides you with thoughts for reflection during this Christmas season — and on the long road ahead as our country prepares for a new administration that does not show evidence of valuing unborn human life.

Unborn Jesus

December 22, 2008

Here’s a reminder about a site that is available all year long, but has a theme especially notable at this time.

http://unbornwordoftheday.com/

(I’m not pointing out any particular post there, just thought it would be good to note it before Advent ends!)

The subtitle of the site says, “Honoring the Unborn Christ Child, promoting  the Gospel of Life, one day at a time… .”