Friday, January 22, 2021
ROE vs. WADE-VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA
Psalm 85, verse 9-11:
9 I will listen for what God, the LORD, has to say; surely, he will speak of peace to his people and to his faithful. May they not turn to foolishness! 10 Near indeed is his salvation for those who FEAR him; glory will dwell in our land. 11 Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.
Christ by his birth has given us peace, faith, love and hope. We are compelled to rejoice just as Mary did in her Canticle of Praise when she entered the house of Zechariah.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
The Law of Love
Our Lord Jesus himself clearly taught us the first principles of Catholic morality: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Mt 22:37-40) Love, or charity, is the great commandment of the Lord. Love of God and love of neighbor are the source & summary of Catholic morality. “All the law and the prophets” flow from this starting point. This means that what love requires is the essence of all moral rules, all of the Ten Commandments, and all aspects of morality spoken of by the prophets and even by Christ himself. The only things needed are those things which love makes necessary. It is also important to say that love does, indeed, require many things! In fact, it takes only a few simple steps of logic to deduce the Ten Commandments and most of the rest of Catholic morality from this starting point. Those moral precepts describe the minimum that love requires.
“What do you mean the
Catholic morality’s basic moral code describes the minimum necessary to live in union with Christ. If we fall below that level, then the life of Christ cannot live within us. That’s the meaning of mortal sin: an action which shows God that we refuse his offer to become “children of God” (John 1:12) and “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4). So, if that’s the minimum, then what’s the maximum that love requires?
Again, Jesus provides the answer: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) The maximum, then, is to completely give ourselves for others, even as Christ did for us. To put it more simply: there is no maximum! We’ll always find that we can give more.
Roe vs. Wade Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
January 22 is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the day established by the Church of penance for abortion, has been formally named as the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.” On this day your parish, school or religious formation program may celebrate the Mass for Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life. This Mass, found in our newly translated Missal, may now be used on occasions to celebrate the dignity of human life. In addition to this special Mass on this day, perhaps your parish, school or religious formation program could encourage traditional forms of penance, host pro-life and chastity speakers, lead informative projects that will directly build up the culture of life, show a pro-life film, raise funds for local crisis pregnancy centers or offer additional prayer services.
Attend Mass today.
Celebration of Life Day is when we take a step back and truly appreciate our children and grandchildren. Granted, some may do this on an everyday basis, but it’s an opportunity to look at our young ones’ lives from a different angle, think about what it is that makes them truly special, and of course, to lavish treats upon them if we so wish, be it an ice cream or a trip to Disneyland. It can be easy to forget that our children and grandchildren are people in their own right. You’ve helped them to discover themselves over the years, but you can’t take all the credit. Their life choices are ultimately down to them; sometimes they’ll do you proud, and other times, as is the case with us all, they’ll make mistakes. So be the one who’s there to offer congratulations, or encouragement to pick themselves up when they fall. And above all else, as cheesy as it may sound, show that you love them.
The Love of Life
Love is not merely a feeling but is rather the desire for the best possible good for those whom we love. Through our natural intelligence and through Divine Revelation we become aware of the value of this most basic of all gifts which is life. Mere reason leads us to comprehend that it is better to be alive than never have had been in existence. The knowledge of the value of life that comes through revelation leads us to understand better this gift and to appreciate it: as a result, we worship and love more and more the Giver of this gift. This love is what moves us to protect the life of the unborn or any who might be unjustly treated. We are also led to protect women that might feel tempted or forced to commit abortion, as we know the devastating consequences that abortion will have in their lives.
Last but not least we have to love, even if most of them seem to be utterly unlovable, the many perpetrators of abortion: medical personnel, and pro-abortion activists and politicians. We have to do everything that we can to convince them of their errors so that they repent and change their ways, both for their own benefit and for the benefit of society. All human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Using a traditional scholastic term, we can state that He is the exemplary cause of every human being, in other words, He is the model on which all human beings are created. He looked upon himself and wished that other beings would share in His own happiness.
So, if we reflect upon ourselves, we can begin to understand our participation in the greatness of our Creator. This participation on His greatness leads us to comprehend that He has brought us out of nothing with a purpose, because knowing His intelligence and His loving nature it is clear that all His actions are always guided by a magnificent purpose.
The first intention for which He has created us is that we should enjoy for an eternity His loving company in Heaven. All human persons are called to this eternal and loving company, no one is excluded, save those who, through their own actions, exclude themselves. This manner of creation brings us to understand the unique essential dignity of every human being. A dignity that is not lost for any deprivation of the many external perfections that we might expect to find in a human person. A person might be born with a disability, or may suffer disability through injury or disease, but these deprivations do not affect his basic dignity.
A Christian also has the hope that one day when the doors of Paradise will be opened for those children, all their human imperfections will be healed, and they will enjoy forever the beatific vision that we all long for.
We are also created to be collaborators in the salvation of the World. The Lord normally does not intervene directly in the world; He does it through our free collaboration in his plans of salvation. He gives to us the saving truths through Holy Scripture, our natural reason and the mediation of the Church and we have to manifest them in our daily lives. If we love those truths, we should be impelled to share them with all whom the Lord places in front of us.
So, when we speak with love and conviction of those truths, we cannot be accused of carrying out an exaggerated rhetoric when we defend human life from its biological beginning until natural death. Nobody in his right mind can call it "vitriolic rhetoric" when we denounce that millions upon millions of unborn babies have been killed in the womb in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. It is literally a question of life and death, for the victim, for the mother of the baby and for the perpetrator of abortion, assisted suicide or euthanasia. The victim will have his earthly life terminated; the mother will suffer greatly for her actions, and the perpetrator and the mother will live under the shadow of the unhappiness of having rejected the loving truths of their Creator and certainly they will place their eternal salvation in jeopardy. Our main solidarity has to be always with the victim of the crime, because if the conscience of the nation is not moved by this growing injustice, we know that a growing number will be victimized in the future. Our solidarity is also with the mothers of those babies because often they have been misled or forced into committing this terrible action.
Last but not least we wish and pray that all abortionists will understand the terrible consequences of their actions and be converted.
Life First 9 Days for Life
9 Days for Life is a "digital pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different intention each day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions. Join to receive the novena through the 9 Days for Life app, daily emails, or daily texts. See below for information on how else you can get involved! #9DaysforLife #OurPrayersMatter
Intercession: May all people embrace the truth that every life is a good and perfect gift and is worth living.
Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be
Reflection: At every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence by God’s love. The presence of an illness, disability, or other challenging circumstance never diminishes the value of a human life. For God does not call us to perfection of appearance or abilities, but to perfection in love. Christ invites us to embrace the lives we have been given, for as long as they are given, as true gifts. Our relationships on this earth are meant to help us grow in God’s perfect love. Everyone we encounter is a gift, not because of what they can do or accomplish, but because of who they are—a beloved child of God. May each of us experience the power of God’s transforming love, that our eyes may be opened to the incredible beauty of the people the Lord places in our lives.
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)
Take a break from television, movies, and social
media today. Consider spending some of that time reflecting on today’s message.
· Pray the short prayer “Every Life is Worth Living,” reflecting on how you can bring Christ’s love to others today. (The prayer is also available at www.usccb.org/worth-living.)
for the precious gift of life.
Help us to cherish
this gift, even in the midst of fear,
pain, and suffering.
Give us love for
especially the most vulnerable,
and help us bear witness to the
truth that every life is worth living.
Grant us the
humility to accept
help when we are in need,
and teach us to be merciful to all.
Through our words
may others encounter the
of Your mercy.
We ask this
Christ, our Lord.
· Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.
St. Vincent of Saragossa
I became acquainted with Saint Vincent during a time I was suffering with a half inch burst in the last disk in my back. I was almost paralyzed, and the pain was intense with a burning sensation below the knee on my left leg. I was considering treatment using a VAC-D table that was then a new treatment, yet I was hesitant. After reading the story of St. Vincent I asked for his help with my struggle-it then occurred to me to go get stretched on the rack, which VAC-D resembles as St. Vincent was. After 25 treatments my disk has now been healed and I have recovered to 90% before the rupture. I thank the intersession of St. Vincent.
Vincent of Saragossa was one of the Church's three most illustrious deacons, the other two being Stephen and Lawrence. He is also Spain's most renowned martyr. Ordained deacon by Bishop Valerius of Saragossa, he was taken in chains to Valencia during the Diocletian persecution and put to death. From legend we have the following details of his martyrdom. After brutal scourging in the presence of many witnesses, he was stretched on the rack; but neither torture nor blandishments nor threats could undermine the strength and courage of his faith. Next, he was cast on a heated grating, lacerated with iron hooks, and seared with hot metal plates. Then he was returned to prison, where the floor was heavily strewn with pieces of broken glass. A heavenly brightness flooded the entire dungeon, filling all who saw it with greatest awe.
After this he was placed on a soft bed in the hope that lenient treatment would induce apostasy, since torture had proven ineffective. But strengthened by faith in Christ Jesus and the hope of everlasting life, Vincent maintained an invincible spirit and overcame all efforts, whether by fire, sword, rack, or torture to induce defection. He persevered to the end and gained the heavenly crown of martyrdom.
Be a good husbandman
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Mt. 4:19)
Others are called to the single life and they may serve the Lord via their work and there are those who are called to the married life, but all are husbandmen. What makes a good husbandman?
Let us look at St. Joseph as an example of a good husbandman.
· St. Joseph in all his dealings was humble.
· He was the provider and protector of Mary and Jesus
· full of zeal and great courage,
· Obedient to the will of God. Yet he was not rash; and with prudence pondered
· His decisions trusting in divine providence.
· He was a model of workers and
· an example of married life and chaste love.
· He valued prayer and the hidden life.
· He was ready for the call of a neighbor or to the call of God;
· He gave an immediate response.
· His was a life of sacrifice; his was a life of simplicity.
To be a good husbandman is to:
“Do the ordinary in an extraordinary way.”