Pray that when those representing Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups see volunteers for 40 Days for Life, they see ambassadors of Christ, and may each volunteer be consciously aware at all times we represent Him.
I...beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness, and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love.
-- Ephesians 4:1-2
When a former abortionist and post-abortive woman, Carol Everett, was asked what turned her heart from death to life in Christ, she replied, "It was unconditional love" shown by a man who prayed daily for her in front of the facility where she worked.
He told Carol that "God had sent him" because there was someone in there that God wanted out. She left 27 days later and now serves as Christ's ambassador to help others. We too have been sent by Christ as an ambassador to love unconditionally those God seeks to "get out" of their bondage and sin.
In his book, "Fishers of Men," Dr. Sumner Wemp describes what it means to be an ambassador of Christ, the King of Kings:
* God has chosen us (John 15:16)
* We are sent into a world that is not our home (1 Peter 2:11)
* Our walk must match our talk (1 Timothy 3:7)
* We must abide in Him for daily instruction (John 15:5)
* Know our purpose -- to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10)
* We are to reconcile others to God with His authority (Matthew 28:19-20)
* Our service is to be grounded and rooted in love (Ephesians 3:17)
Pray that we each will walk worthy of the calling with which we were called!
Dear Heavenly Father, we are humbled that you have called us and appointed us to be ambassadors of Christ in a world that is not our home. It is a calling much higher and grander than our finite minds can imagine.
We pray that your Holy Spirit will empower us to walk worthy of the calling. We pray that Your unconditional love will flow through us onto those who desperately need Your saving grace. In the name of Christ who is worthy, amen.
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show
40 Days For Life
Let us affirm the unborn by our language.
Anyone who says to his brother, "Raca," is answerable to the Sanhedrin; anyone who says, "You fool!" will be in danger of the fire of hell.
-- Matthew 5:22
Before the schoolyard bully beats up his victim, he calls him names. This is a way to dehumanize the victim, and therefore make it easier to justify attacking him.
In this verse from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that using dehumanizing language is sinful. "Raca" was an Aramaic term of contempt. The respect and love we are called to have for other human lives is not limited to action alone; it also has to manifest itself in language.
Professor William Brennan, in his book Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives, traces the dehumanizing language used to oppress various groups of people in history, such as our African-American brothers and sisters, or our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Holocaust.
He then shows that the same kind of dehumanizing language is used against the unborn, who have been called "parasites," "tissue," and "medical waste," among other things.
What are we to do instead? We are to affirm one another, including the unborn, with ennobling language that inspires respect and love. The unborn are precious children, they are our brothers and sisters, they are the image of God. Let us multiply the language of affirmation, as we hasten to the day of their protection!
Lord, we ask your forgiveness for any times our words have dehumanized our brothers and sisters. We also ask you to send your grace to those who speak and write in degrading terms about the children in the womb. Convert those who do not see the dignity of these children. Loosen the tongues of those who do not know how to acknowledge the humanity and sacredness of these tiny lives. Keep us all aware of the power of language, and help us to use it rightly in the cause of life and justice. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and President, National Pro-life Religious Council
40 Days For Life
May we grow in joy, knowing we serve a living God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
-- John 1:14
The Word of God came to us in human form in Jesus Christ. Every time I contemplate this fact I get chills! And I think it is something that we, as Christians, tend to gloss over. I can only imagine how the first disciples felt when they were looking into the eyes of the one and only Almighty God who created them.
The first disciples developed a close relationship with Him as they daily walked and talked with Him. They ate with Him, prayed with Him and rested when He rested. As they listened to the Word of God, who was and is Jesus….they believed and "beheld His glory."
Today, this is something we can still do because we serve a living God. Remember, Jesus died on the cross but rose from the dead in victory! Jesus is every bit as real and alive for all of us as He was to the first disciples. He wants us to develop a close relationship with Him in the very same way. Jesus wants us to know Him personally. He wants us to walk with Him and talk with Him on a daily basis.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love and saving grace in Christ Jesus. Help us to realize every day the great blessing we have in our Savior. I pray that we will rise every morning with excitement and zeal, looking forward to walking another day in your footsteps fully knowing that you continue to dwell among us. Amen.
President, National Black Pro-life Union
40 Days For Life
May the spirit and example of the Good Samaritan fill the hearts and minds of all our citizens.
Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
-- Luke 10:30-37
Here Jesus commands us to show mercy to the victims of the culture of violence and death.
But why did the priest and Levite fail to show mercy? Perhaps they feared that the robbers were hiding just around the next corner to attack them. They asked themselves, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"
The Samaritan, however, reversed the question, and asked, "If I don't stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
In working to save the unborn, let's not worry about what will happen to us if we act; let's worry about what will happen to the unborn if we don't.
Father, we are moved by the lesson of the Good Samaritan, who allowed compassion to influence him more than fear. Give us the same heart. Grant that we may never count the cost of standing up and speaking out for the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
40 Days For Life
Remember those 'Wendy's' commercials asking "Where's the beef"? Catholic prolife writer Suzanne Fortin has an answer for Canadian (and other) Catholics:
(h/t SoCon Or Bust)
Serious Catholics have come to trust blogs and websites – and not the church elite – because they deliver the real goods: the spiritual heritage of the Church, a heritage that most priests won’t touch: The encyclicals, the Fathers, the Doctors, the Councils, and the razor-sharp insights of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose philosophy is essential in properly understanding Church teaching. When Magisterial Catholics are challenged on what they say, they prove with authority. What they say does not rest on their opinion, but on the doctrine of the universal Church....
...The Church’s efforts to convert souls and to ultimately establish the culture of life will always be undermined by the culture of dissent that is permitted to flourish in the chanceries, in the seminaries, in the offices of pastoral animators and in official church publications. As the Bible says, the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. When the elites contradict divine precepts, they’re not being righteous. Their prayer for a growing church and the right to life will be hampered by their own spiritual alienation. If the Church wants to grow, it must stop treating the Word of God as if it’s tentatively true. It must embrace it, and then live by it, and act like the salvation of souls is at stake. So long as it does not take its primary job seriously – that of Guardian of Truth – it will never be able to come out of its spiritual crisis. And Catholics who want the meat of true faith will continue to ignore them as credible sources of Catholic doctrine.
(h/t SoCon Or Bust)
I am 48 years old. Since I was 8 or 9, I have known that UNICEF supports the promotion of abortion. My children have known this all their lives. Why does the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops not know this?
The CCCB has reaffirmed their support of UNICEF, in spite of the Vatican's example, in spite of good information about UNICEF's abortion promotion activities, in spite of the good work of many of their parishioners to battle abortion in Canada,perhaps just in spite, decided that they have the special ability to 'earmark' funds given to UNICEF. Everyone else knows this is not really possible. The CCCB is clearly not concerned that it is collecting funds that ultimately kill babies.
This is not to say that Canadian Bishops should all be tarred with the CCCB brush. Some Bishops know their responsibility to their flock, and they do not rely on the non-authority of the CCCB . Perhaps these good shepherds could find a way of stifling the ill caused by the CCCB as it digs a deeper and deeper hole for itself with backwardness and dissidence.
The only way I can think of to respond, is to never put a dime into a 'second collection' that the CCCB would get their hands on. My donations go directly to reputable groups.
May we have a heart and a zeal to save the poor and release the oppressed.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
-- Luke 4:18-19
This passage is a very familiar one. It has been preached on many occasions, even made popular in books and songs. Though the quote is about Jesus, all Christians take this commission seriously as a directive on how to reach the world with the gospel. We, like our Savior, are to bring the good news to the poor, the broken hearted, those in captivity, those who cannot see, and the oppressed.
The commission given to us in this passage is clearly a charge to care for those for whom God cares the most. I wonder though, whom do we look for to be touched by the Holy Spirit as we go out into the world?
Who are the poor, if not those unborn children who have been abandoned by their parents before they ever leave the womb? Who are the broken hearted, if not those unborn children whose only example of love is having their mother take them to an abortion clinic to be destroyed, or the mother of a child who has been deceived by everyone around her into believing that what she is doing is best for her and her child? Who are the captives, if not those unborn children who are bound over to death by the "choice" of abortion? Who is more blind than an unborn child in the darkness of a womb that has become a waiting room for their death? And who is more oppressed than those unborn children whose oppression has been legitimized by their government, their church and even their family and loved ones.
Lord, You empower us with Your Spirit to do your will in the earth. Send us to the poorest, the most broken, the most captive, the most blind and the most oppressed in the world, the innocent pre-born children in their mother's wombs that are scheduled for destruction. Help us to bring them healing, liberty, sight and justice through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Fr. Terry Gensemer
National Director, Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life
40 Days For Life