Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Pray

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflect

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ended the nearly fifty-year nationwide reign of abortion on demand that was ushered in by Roe v. Wade in 1973. In this monumental legal victory, the Supreme Court rightly concluded that there is nothing in the Constitution’s text, history, American legal tradition, or the Court’s precedents that prevents the government from protecting preborn children in the womb from the violence of abortion. Dobbs returned the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives at the federal and state levels; therefore, continuing work is needed in the coming months and years to protect children, women, and families from the tragedy of abortion.


The overturning of Roe is a long-awaited answer to prayer. And for those of us who have prayed for this moment to arrive, it is the time for a renewal and rededication of our efforts to build a culture of life and a civilization of love. Now is a critical moment to advocate for pro-life laws and policies, especially at the state and local levels. While it will take time for the Dobbs decision to play out, abortion is legal in more states than not, with many working to expand and enshrine abortion protections. In addition to our efforts to protect human life in law, we must also redouble our efforts to serve women facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, offering them the compassionate support they need to lovingly welcome the gift of their children. We must recommit ourselves to doing whatever we can in every sphere to ensure the flourishing of both mothers and their children throughout life’s journey.

Act (Choose one.)

  • Sign up to join Catholics across the country in praying for the end to all abortion during the 9 Days for Life novena from January 19-27.



  • Participate in a local, state, or national pro-life event during the month of January to advocate and pray for the protection of preborn life. (Check with your parish and diocese for information about events in your area.)


  • Offer some other sacrifice or prayer that you feel called to do for this month’s intention.

One Step Further

Learn more about how Catholics can respond to Dobbs in “Building a Culture of Life in a Post-Roe World.” Stay informed about key federal legislation and the voting records of your elected representatives by visiting humanlifeaction.org and usccb.org/prolife. Get updates on state issues by signing up to receive information from your state Catholic conference or diocesan Respect Life office.

saint Anthony, abbot 

Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 11-12

11 We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of HOPE until the end, 12 so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

 

Do not give up hope. Do all you can to preserve life from conception to natural death. Do not sway from the truth that we are all sons of God and cherished children, but we are free to choose, without choice there is no love. Love life love others liberty and work hard to build a kingdom for our God.

 

Sons of Liberty[1]

 

Today, Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706. As a founding father of this nation, one wonders would he question if Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are Still Self-Evident Rights? Whether it is self-evident or not, it is the philosophical belief in the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that helped make America both great and good. Thomas Jefferson stated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


 

Jefferson’s argument is not that the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to pursue happiness originate in government, but that these rights have a divine origin.  Jefferson argued that the job of all governments was to “secure” rights that God had already granted.  In other words, the rights to life and liberty do not come into being with the force of government fiat; life and liberty are pre-political rights already granted by God.  Today, we have lost that concept.  Almost a quarter-millennia later, these rights are no longer considered self-evident, and neither is a Creator.  Once God and the natural law are disassociated from rights—once the idea of justice and goodness are separated from rights—we are left with a political environment in which anything could be considered a right, or nothing could be considered a right.

 

As Pope John Paul II said in Denver, Colorado at World Youth Day in 1993: When the Founding Fathers of this great nation enshrined certain inalienable rights in the Constitution…they did so because they recognized the existence of a ‘law’ – a series of rights and duties – engraved by the Creator on each person’s heart and conscience. In much of contemporary thinking, any reference to a ‘law’ guaranteed by the Creator is absent. There remains only each individual’s choice of this or that objective as convenient or useful in a given set of circumstances. No longer is anything considered intrinsically "good" and "universally binding". Rights are affirmed but, because they are without any reference to an objective truth, they are deprived of any solid basis. Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to "create" opinion and impose it on others.

 

Pope John Paul II saw and foresaw, once rights are viewed as mere arbitrary constructs with no relation or reference to our Creator, rights become a mere matter of whimsy—subject no longer to God, but to the fickle winds of public opinion.  Today, we are often told that it is not life and liberty, but their opposites that are self-evident.  We are told that the right to abortion and euthanasia are self-evident, and that religious liberties and liberties of conscience have no validation in law. The founding fathers generally recognized that human laws and rights should reflect each other, largely because they have the same origin.  Just as human law must come from divine law, so do rights ultimately come from God and from justice.  Rights flow from justice, and if a right cannot be traced to justice, it is no right at all.  Once a right, however, is traced to justice—the right to life, for instance—it has the “solid basis” about which Pope Saint John Paul II spoke. 

 

Indeed, as Jefferson noted all those July 4th’s ago, men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”  Whether it is self-evident or not, it is the philosophical belief in the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that helped make America both great and good.  Let’s continue to promote and defend all three.

 

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (Ps. 19:10)

 

Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Ps. 19:15)

 

Catholic Recipe: Saint Antony of the Desert Soup[2]


 

Saint Antony, called the Great, lived in Egypt between A.D. 251 and 356. At age 18, the gospel text "If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all that you have and then follow me" so moved him that he left everything behind and retired to an inaccessible place in the wilderness where he dedicated his life to God in manual work and continual prayer. In his old age, he imparted wisdom to his disciples and encouraged them to lead a monastic life. Because he was the first Christian to retire to a monastic life, he is considered to be the first monk and also the father of all monks. His feast is celebrated on January 17. Try this simple, healthy recipe in honor of Saint Antony the hermit.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

3 tablespoons oil of choice

1 cup barley

1 carrot, finely grated

2 leeks, sliced

1 bay leaf

1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced

Salt to taste

7 cups water

1 bouillon cube, if desired

Chopped mushrooms, if desired

 

DIRECTIONS

 

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the barley, stirring continuously for one minute. Immediately add the carrot, leeks, bay leaf, parsley, salt, and water.

2. Cook the soup over low to medium heat, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes, until the barley is tender. Add more water if needed. For extra taste, add the bouillon and the mushrooms during the last 20 minutes of simmering. Remove the bay leaf. Serve hot.

 

Recipe Source: From a Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette, Gramercy Books, 1997 



Catechism of the Catholic Church

 

IV. OFFENSES AGAINST THE DIGNITY OF MARRIAGE

 

Other offenses against the dignity of marriage

 

2387 The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the Gospel, is obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he has shared years of conjugal life, is understandable. However, polygamy is not in accord with the moral law." [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive." The Christian who has previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.

 

2388 Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you for a man is living with his father's wife. In the name of the Lord Jesus you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh." Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.

 

2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.

 

2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy. The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future? The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.

 

2391 Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another. 

Daily Devotions 

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Individuals with Mental Illness


  Day 3


God the Father loves you.


·       Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·       Pray Day 8 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·       The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity-Day 1

·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Plan winter fun:

o   Soak in hot springs

o   Hit the snow slopes

o   Ride a snowmobile

o   Go for a dog sled ride

o   Ride a hot air balloon




[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-01-17

                                            

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