Archive for category Gospel of Life

A little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6

A structure of sin or social sin is first described by Blessed John Paul II in #36 of his 1987 Encyclical, “On Social Concern.”   He introduces the concept that an accumulation of personal sin creates social structures and norms that trivialize and depend on continuing this sin in the lives of countless succeeding individuals.  These structures of sin are exceptionally difficult to remove.  Created by individual sin, they can only be removed through personal acts of virtue and these are born from a pursuit of personal holiness.

 

The culture of America, as we now know it, is very dependent on people’s reliance on contraception, sterilization, and surgical abortion.  Fear of over-extending oneself in family size leads many to disregard or reject altogether the notion of God’s Providential care for those who honor and obey His laws.  The consequences of losing sight of God include the malady of a people who have now lost sight of the value of man.  This concept was also first advanced by Blessed John Paul II.

 

The “imperfect” person is not only seen as without value, but is actually not to be tolerated by many in our society.  This attitude, encouraged by our medical, legal and political communities, put a sense of stigma or blame on parents for bringing such “imperfect” people to term and birth.  In the precise cases where the greatness of a people who value all people for whom they are, we now find America failing severely with fatal consequences for truly countless numbers of human persons.  It is common knowledge that 90% of persons diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are surgically aborted in the womb.  Parents who stand-up to these betrayals from those in these professional fields who maintain the structures of sin will soon enough contend with family, friends and strangers who see selfishness in the parents fulfillment of their God given calling and duty in preserving the life of their child.

 

One couple, Lacey and Chritian Buchanan, are among those of us who are “imperfect” and they saw the perfection of God in their child and have grown in their sharing of divine love for him and others.  Children really do teach us and give us the opportunity to practice love for another person.  This couple’s story is shared with us via youtube.com.  We can be grateful for their practice of virtue over fear.  Please take the time to see and read the sub-titles of this video, because it is worth it.  Let’s keep in our prayers all parents with such trust in God’s wisdom and Divine Providence.  And let’s pray there are as many such parents as there are persons conceived because we all know everyone but God is a little bit imperfect.

The Buchanan’s original youtube.com link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWCbkyR0cy0

Their posting and contact information include the following:

Published on Mar  9, 2012

This is my plea to anyone considering abortion. Rethink your decision, no matter the circumstances. I am so glad I chose life!
The Buchanans can be reached via blog (http://christianbuchanan.blogspot.com/) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lacey-a…).
Music: Fernando Ortega “Give Me Jesus”; Chris Tomlin “How Great is Our God”

The Vocation of Motherhood

On the subject of motherhood, the soon to be canonized, Pope John Paul II offered the following insight in his 1995 Encyclical entitled, Evangelium Vitae, section 99:

In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a “new feminism” which rejects the temptation of imitating models of “male domination”, in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.

Making my own the words of the concluding message of the Second Vatican Council, I address to women this urgent appeal: “Reconcile people with life”.133 You are called to bear witness to the meaning of genuine love, of that gift of self and of that acceptance of others which are present in a special way in the relationship of husband and wife, but which ought also to be at the heart of every other interpersonal relationship. The experience of motherhood makes you acutely aware of the other person and, at the same time, confers on you a particular task: “Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman’s womb … This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings not only towards her own child, but every human being, which profoundly marks the woman’s personality”.134 A mother welcomes and carries in herself another human being, enabling it to grow inside her, giving it room, respecting it in its otherness. Women first learn and then teach others that human relations are authentic if they are open to accepting the other person: a person who is recognized and loved because of the dignity which comes from being a person and not from other considerations, such as usefulness, strength, intelligence, beauty or health. This is the fundamental contribution which the Church and humanity expect from women. And it is the indispensable prerequisite for an authentic cultural change.

The Wholeness of a Person

From First Communion classes,  Catholics learn that the Eucharist is the whole of Christ Sacramentally.  Through Consecration, the substance of the bread was destroyed and has

supernaturally become Jesus Christ.  It is not a matter of sensory perception as all that remains of the bread is its accidents which we sense while the substance has been destroyed.  This is a matter of faith.  That faith may often be best described as an acceptance of this teaching as true until a personal relationship with Jesus is perceived by the faithful.

 

Catholics are also taught that a single speck of the Eucharist, once separated from the whole in itself becomes the whole of Jesus Christ.  This may be as difficult a teaching as the transubstantiation that takes place during the Sacrament of Consecration where the bread is destroyed and the substance is now Jesus Christ.

 

These teachings form a firm foundation for the Catholic to then recognize the totality of a human being, a person in the form of a single cell, a zygote.  From the conception, be it through the joining of a sperm and an egg or twinning through cell division, that resulting single human cell can be wholly different from a single human cell from the skin or other organ.  The former single human cell is the total person, whereas the skin cell is a mere part of a person.  The recognition that an entire person can be contained within the form of a single cell is analogous to the single speck of Eucharist that is in substance the whole of Jesus Christ.  When it comes to God, things are ever more wonderful than the earthly analogy that gives us the glimpse into the reality of God.

 

Considering the treatment that the preborn human person receives throughout the world, one can ponder which maybe more challenging: Imparting the teaching of Catholic Church of the Eucharist or of teaching the wholeness of a person that comprises the person’s first body of a single cell?

The Core of the Gospel of Life

On this anniversary of Roe v Wade, many polls are telling us that we are a prolife nation. The difficulty here is that we each get to decide what constitutes prolife beliefs and we self-assign this label if we choose. These polls do not include objective criteria on definitions.
Let’s consider what Pope John Paul II wrote in his Gospel of Life in 1995 in section 81 on what the core of the Gospel of Life is:

1. It is the proclamation of a living God who is close to us,
2. who calls us to profound communion with himself and
3. awakens in us the certain hope of eternal life.
4. It is the affirmation of the inseparable connection between the person, his life and his bodiliness.
5. It is the presentation of human life as a life of relationship,
6. a gift of God,
7. the fruit and sign of his love.
8. It is the proclamation that Jesus has a unique relationship with every person,
9. which enables us to see in every human face the face of Christ.
10. It is the call for a “sincere gift of self” as the fullest way to realize our personal freedom.
The prolife movement would be well-served if we were each well versed in this summary.

Motherhood in Light of Bearing the Preborn Christ

As St. Francis of Assisi highlighted in his Letter to All the Faithful, “We are His mothers when we bear Him in our heart and in our body through pure love and a clean conscience and we bring Him forth by holy work which ought to shine as an example to others.” (Matt 12:50) It is awesome to think that we may be mothers to Christ, bearing the one whom we obey as Master because He is the one who can save souls. But this grace is also a concern of responsibility. What is a mother and how does one fulfill the role of mother for those who do the will of Father?
For today, let us consider what John Paul II has written on motherhood from Evangelium Vitae, Section 99:

In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a “new feminism” which rejects the temptation of imitating models of “male domination”, in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.

Making my own the words of the concluding message of the Second Vatican Council, I address to women this urgent appeal: “Reconcile people with life”.133 You are called to bear witness to the meaning of genuine love, of that gift of self and of that acceptance of others which are present in a special way in the relationship of husband and wife, but which ought also to be at the heart of every other interpersonal relationship. The experience of motherhood makes you acutely aware of the other person and, at the same time, confers on you a particular task: “Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman’s womb … This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings not only towards her own child, but every human being, which profoundly marks the woman’s personality”.134 A mother welcomes and carries in herself another human being, enabling it to grow inside her, giving it room, respecting it in its otherness. Women first learn and then teach others that human relations are authentic if they are open to accepting the other person: a person who is recognized and loved because of the dignity which comes from being a person and not from other considerations, such as usefulness, strength, intelligence, beauty or health. This is the fundamental contribution which the Church and humanity expect from women. And it is the indispensable prerequisite for an authentic cultural change.