Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Year of Faith, The New Evangelization

From time to time I have been posting something that relates to the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization. By our Baptism and Confirmation we are all called to spread the Gospel. This is a most urgent need as we are living in a culture that is contrary to our beliefs in so many ways. As Francis says, and if I may paraphrase – we are to preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary to use words.

Family, friends, neighbors and our co-workers should know we are practicing Catholics. We should not be afraid to mention our faith or church teachings to others, we can mention it in normal social conversations, we can teach others our beliefs in conversations about issues. We do not need to brow-beat others, but by example urge them to consider their relationship with God. If we show how much our faith means to us, they just might get it.

We cannot evangelize/attract others if we do not show them our enthusiasm, our joy in our faith. We will not attract anyone if we are dour or overly pious. We need to show them we are real people who are searching and messing things up just as they. We can’t just preach to the choir. At times we need to get our hands dirty and break bread, as Jesus did, with tax collectors and prostitutes; read the un-churched, the pro-abortionists, the hedonists, materialists, individualists, etc.

The new evangelization does not take us on missionary journeys to the far reaches of the world, but occurs in our workplaces, social gatherings, backyards, and even in our own homes; and perhaps as important, within ourselves. For we need to evaluate and ask ourselves, “Am I living the gospel life?” Are we shy in bringing up our faith in our own families? We need to educate ourselves not only with scripture reading, but we need to know and relearn our catechism and church teachings. If not, we will not be able to add to conversations especially in the areas of morals and values.

More is accomplished over a dinner table, or a group discussion than that of any number of dignitaries and experts meeting for weeks to issue documents and statements of position.

If we truly care about our brothers, sisters, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – and we are taught our enemies as well – then we must be willing to share our faith and help bring them to everlasting life.

Below is an excerpt from article by Cardinal Wuerl on the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization I ran across in Our Sunday Visitor. I hope it has some meaning for you.

Experiencing Christ through the sacraments
The Church and its sacraments are a continual reminder to us of God, God’s love and God’s place in our lives
By Cardinal Donald Wuerl - OSV Newsweekly, 1/27/2013

Each year, couples from all over the archdiocese gather at a Mass in which we recognize their anniversaries, ranging from 25th to 50th and beyond. On rare occasions we have celebrated 70th wedding anniversaries. 

[ Deleted upon request....]
Read the rest of the article here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

2 Tough Questions


Question 1: 
If you knew a woman who was pregnant, 
Who had 8 kids already, 
Three who were deaf, 
Two who were blind, 
One mentally retarded, 
And she had syphilis, 
Would you recommend that she undergoes an abortion? 

Read the next question before looking at the response for this one. 

Question 2: 
It is time to elect a new world leader, and only your vote counts.. 
Here are the facts about the three candidates. 
Candidate A: 
Associates with crooked politi cians, and consults with astrologists. 
He's had two mistresses. 
He also chain smokes 
And drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day. 
Candidate B: 
He was kicked out of office twice, 
Sleeps until noon, 
Used opium in college 
And drinks a quart of whiskey every evening. 
Candidate C: 
He is a decorated war hero, 
He's a vegetarian, 
Doesn't smoke, 
Drinks an occasional beer 
And never committed adultery. 
Which of these candidates would be your choice? 
Decide first ... No peeking, and then scroll down for the response. 
Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt. 
Candidate B is Winston Churchill. Candidate C is Adolph Hitler. 
And, by the way, on your answer to the abortion question: 
If you said YES, you just killed Beethoven. 
Pretty interesting isn't it? 
Makes a person think before judging someone. 
Amateurs ... Built the ark. 
Professionals ... Built the Titanic 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Endless Love

I ran across this article in the current issue of National Right to Life News and thought I would share it. It is now 40 years since Roe vs. Wade legalizing abortion. Perhaps this year you can make an effort to support the Pro-Life efforts and perhaps make a donation to a pro-life organization like the National Right to Life Committee,, or a crisis pregnancy center. We have seen, we feel the effects abortion on demand has had on the devaluing of human life; each life formed in the image of God, each life a gift from God, each life of equal value and you or I.

NRL News
Page 3
Winter 2013
Volume 40
Issue 1
Endless Love

By Carol Tobias

As the right-to-life movement enters the 40th year of legalized abortion on demand in our country, it’s appropriate to look at the current state of affairs. Fifty-five million children have been killed by abortion. It’s difficult to comprehend that number. Almost 18% of our entire population, that number is equal to the population of the entire middle portion of the country. It’s almost the population of New York and California.

How different our country would be today if those 20- and 30-somethings were working, maybe creating jobs for others, getting married and raising children of their own. Grandchildren are missing, having been erased from the family tree. Women are hurting, knowing they cannot reverse the decision that took from them a part of their own life.

Our loss of respect for the innocent human life of that, oh so little, unborn child has created a mindset that no human life is special. If some elderly person is taking up necessary space in a hospital or nursing home, let’s determine that food and water are medical treatment and consider them to be unnecessary. Is a disabled person taking up too many medical resources and not giving enough back to the state? Deny him or her treatment.

Sometimes it seems that our society cares more about animals than people. Witness the television commercials asking for support to save abused dogs and cats. Don’t humans deserve as much compassion? Shouldn’t humans get even more?

As pro-lifers, how do we respond? As I look at who we are and what we do, I think that can be summed up in one word—LOVE.

The right-to-life movement is the movement of love. Most of us have attended a wedding where those famous words from 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, are read:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

While those words are wonderful for a couple looking to spend the rest of their lives together, how much more appropriate are they for those who seek to help and protect others simply because those others exist.

We work to save people we will never meet. Whether those persons are unborn babies saved from abortion, or elderly and disabled persons saved from euthanasia, they may never know that our efforts and our intervention made it possible for them to live. What a beautiful expression of love.

That love is also endless in that we will never give up. We sometimes have setbacks, like the one we experienced in November when this country re-elected the most pro-abortion president ever, but we keep on because love doesn’t give up, it doesn’t end.

Everything we do, we do because of and with love. We work to better inform our friends and neighbors, our community and our states about the precious gift of human life; that each and every human life has value, and is deserving of dignity and respect. We will talk about the fact that 22 days after fertilization, an unborn child’s heart begins to beat—with her own blood, not her mother’s. By five weeks, eyes, legs, and hands are developing. By six weeks, brain waves can be detected and fingers are forming. At 20 weeks, that unborn child can feel pain.

We work with young people to help them understand that ALL human beings, no matter how small or how (im)perfect, have the right to live.

Pro-lifers work with pregnant women who aren’t looking with excitement and joy at the new life growing inside them. This child is coming at an inopportune time in her life. We offer support, encouragement, and practical help as she works through the situation.

We work with legislators to pass legislation that will protect unborn children to the extent possibly allowed under current Supreme Court rulings. We work with them to save those vulnerable to death by the withholding of medical care, and even the withholding of food and water. We oppose the rationing of lifesaving medical care. It would be easier to watch TV, take a walk in the park, or visit with friends, but organizing support for protective legislation is important. Again—trying to save fellow human beings we will likely never meet.

And yes, we will continue to work in the political arena to elect candidates who will work with us to protect innocent human life.

The late Bob Casey, former governor of Pennsylvania, said, “In the long term, our cultural unease with abortion, this refusal to drop the subject, is our most hopeful sign of health. Other countries, sadly, have more or less learned to live with it; they don’t see it as anything to get worked up about. But not here. This thing—this horrible thing, so contrary to our ideals, our inclusiveness, our kindness, our love for one another—has been grafted onto American society. But it is not a functioning organ ... . It won’t take. It won’t heal. The body rejects it.”

You are the reason America is still uneasy about abortion. You have kept abortion at the top of the “social issues” list. There are estimates that at least one million people are alive today, who otherwise would have been aborted, because of your work.

The right-to-life movement loves, not in word or talk, but in deed and in truth. May God bless us all as we continue this work of love.