A word of comfort after the election results


From the meditation for November 4th in "Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI":

The manna in the desert was to show
that man can live only in dependence on God.  Man is to learn to live
by God, for then he really lives, then he has eternal life, for God is
eternal.  Anyone who lives with him and in dependence on him is already
in that real life which reaches out beyond death. Living in dependence
on God means not being one’s own master, not wanting to take charge of
the world oneself; it means saying good-bye to the dream of autonomy and of being one’s own boss, recognizing that we cannot do it on our own and learning to accept our life day by day from his hands, without anxiety and full of confidence.

The election results we just learned have some of us disappointed, some
of us depressed, and some of us filled with anxiety.  And fairly so –
much of what we have preached, written, worked, and debated about, not
just for the past year or so, but for the last few decades, seems to
have been all but swept away for good.

During this election cycle, many of us have tried our hardest to draw
more attention toward the plight of the unborn – trying to bring
awareness to the fact of being on the precipice of either ending Roe v.
Wade and Doe v. Bolton or cementing it in our legislative and judicial
system for another 2 or 3 decades. 

We have also attempted to bring about awareness of other life issues at
stake, such as embryonic stem cell research.  We have tried to correct
Catholics who were misled by the false teachings of Vice
President-elect Biden and House Speaker Pelosi, who gave scandal by
their interpretations of Church teachings regarding abortion.  Several
of us drew attention to Planned Parenthood by peaceful, prayerful vigil
outside their "clinics".  Several more of us fasted for 40 days, and
many more prayed that Our Lady, the Queen of Victory and Patroness of
the Americas, would guide our country to the fullness of God’s will.

And now we feel let down – that our prayers, fasts, and sacrifices (of time and money) were for naught.

What these words of Pope Benedict tell us is this: the fight is not
ours – it is the Lord’s.  We are not to live in dependence upon our own
actions, our own debates, our own votes – ultimate sovereignty lies
with God, and He is plotting the course.  Whatever we see now as
failure must be viewed through the lens of the Cross.  The death of the
Messiah was viewed as the ultimate failure of Israel – the hope of
Jerusalem was killed by the very same people of Jerusalem.

For us Christians, there is a happy (or rather, glorious) ending to
this story – the Resurrection.  Jesus – the Christ, the Messiah, the
Lord – came back from the dead, not because of the actions of Peter and
the disciples (good or bad), or because of the weeping of the women at
the foot of the cross, or because of the money of Joseph of Arimathea. 
God came back from the dead because it was God’s plan. 

Likewise, in the eternal view of things, the setbacks we faced in this
election are forcing all of us to realize that we must be first of all
dependent upon the manna from Heaven.  We prayed that God’s will be
done, just as Jesus prayed it in Gethsemane.  Now we must believe that
our prayers were heard and are this very minute being answered and
brought to fulfillment in ways we cannot yet see and cannot imagine. 
Now is the time for Easter-like hope, even though we feel a loss akin
to Good Friday.

If our worst fears are realized – if the Mexico City policy is revoked,
the Freedom of Choice Act is put into law, and pro-abortion Supreme
Court Justices are replaced with more pro-abortion Justices (what an
oxymoron that term is) – then we must do as Christians have always
done:  know that bad things happen to good people so that good people
can be moved to do great things.  We must be the good people that do
great things in the time of evil.  We must be the light in the
darkness.  We must be more vigilant in our lives, more bold in
proclaiming the Gospel, and more prayerful in our daily lives.

Amen?

God bless, protect, and keep you all

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40 Days For Life (September 24 – November 2)


40 Days For Life (September 24 –
November 2)

“This kind does not come out, except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21)

            Wednesday,
September 24th, starts the 40
Days for Life
, a national campaign of prayer and fasting to end abortion in
America.  The aim of this campaign is to draw attention
to the evil of abortion and other life issues (such as embryonic stem cell
research, euthanasia, and cloning).  The
timing of this Fall’s campaign is especially critical: it ends on November 2nd,
All Souls Day, which is also the Sunday before Election Day.

            The end
date is significant, not as an attempt to promote one political party over
another, but to draw attention to the fact that the right to life is
foundational to all other rights.  As
Pope Benedict XVI said, “life is the first good received from God and is
fundamental to all others.”  The Holy
Father’s words should have special importance to a country founded on the
belief that all souls “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Without life, there is no freedom
of speech, because there is no speech. 
Without life, there is no freedom of religion.  Without life, there is no right to vote; no
right to a fair trial; no civil rights at all – because there is no life with
which to exercise those rights.

In 1996, when Pope John Paul II found out that his home country had legalized abortion, he prophesied, “A
nation that kills its own children has no future.”  This 40 Days for Life campaign is not just
about the life of the unborn, the elderly, or the handicapped – it is about the
life of our nation.

To participate in the campaign, please pray and fast
during these 40 days that God will turn hearts and minds from a culture of death
to a culture of life.  There will also be
opportunities to participate in prayer vigils outside local abortion
clinics.  For more information, go to http://www.40daysforlife.com/.

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Don’t forget next Tuesday’s primary…


With this election cycle’s early primary/caucus season, something is getting lost in the jumble.
We have already had the Iowa caucus (1/3/08), the Wyoming Republican caucus (1/5/08), and, last Tuesday, the New Hampshire primary (1/8/08).

Coming up this Tuesday, Jan 15th, there is the Michigan primary.
Saturday, Jan 19th is the South Carolina primary & the Nevada caucus.
Tuesday, Jan 29th is the Florida (primary), and Feb 5 is "Super Tuesday", when 22 states will hold their primaries or caucuses.

Looking at the above dates, we see a lot of Tuesday voting going on.  However, there is a big gap between the S.C./Nevada vote and the Florida vote.  10 days is the biggest gap in the entire nomination season.  There is a reason for this gap – next Tuesday is the "Prayer & Fasting Primary".

Jan. 22 is a National Day of prayer and fasting, as called for by the American bishops, because it is the date of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in this country.  This year is the 35th anniversary of the event that sparked the deaths of  nearly 49 million babies.  To put that number into perspective, the total number of people eligible to vote in the primaries and caucuses before Super Tuesday (according to 2004 numbers) was just shy of 27 million – in other words, 81% more people have been aborted than will possibly choose the candidates for President.  Another way of looking at it:  In 2004, John Kerry got 59,028,548 votes (a fifth more votes than the number of aborted babies) and George W. Bush got 62,041,268 votes (about a quarter more votes than the number of aborted babies).  We often hear complaints about the two-party system and how we need a 3rd party.  49 million people is enough to make up a very viable 3rd party in this country. 

Next Tuesday, when we fast as an act of "penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion" and we pray "for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life" (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373), let us make those 47 million voices be heard.

  • Let us pray that God has mercy on our country for killing about 3 million more people than the equivalent number of people who voted in 2004 in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Florida, and California (the 6 most populous states) combined!
  • Let’s offer up our fast so that abortion, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia, and all other sins against life will be driven out of our country.
  • Let’s not allow issues of life to get lost in the jumble of other campaign promises – the abortion issue is already the forgotten step-child of American politics, trotted out once every 4 years to make a candidate look promising, and then locked away in the attic for another 4 years.
  • Let’s make next Tuesday a "Primary of Prayer and Fasting", because "this kind [of demon] is not cast out but by prayer and fasting."  (Matt 17:21)

P.S. If we look at the least populous states, the number of aborted babies is a little more than the total 2004 voters of the following 37 states (nearly 3/4ths of the states) and the District of Columbia :

(State and total votes cast in 2004 election)
Alabama    1,883,415
Alaska    312,598
Arizona    2,012,585
Arkansas    1,054,945
Colorado    2,129,630
Connecticut    1,578,769
Delaware    375,190
District of Columbia    227,586
Hawaii    429,013
Idaho    598,376
Indiana    2,468,002
Iowa    1,506,908
Kansas    1,187,756
Kentucky    1,795,860
Louisiana    1,943,106
Maine    740,752
Maryland    2,386,678
Massachusetts    2,912,388
Minnesota    2,828,387
Mississippi    1,152,365
Missouri    2,731,364
Montana    450,434
Nebraska    778,186
Nevada    829,587
New Hampshire    677,662
New Mexico    756,304
North Dakota    312,833
Oklahoma    1,463,758
Oregon    1,836,782
Rhode Island    437,134
South Carolina    1,617,730
South Dakota    388,215
Tennessee    2,437,319
Utah    927,844
Vermont    312,309
Washington    2,859,084
West Virginia    755,887
Wyoming    243,428

Tags: abortion, 2008 Election, pro-life, primaries, Roe v. Wade, voter turnout, prayer, fasting

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Chinese forced abortions and Amnesty


The Houston Chronicle has an article about Chinese victims of forced abortions fighting back.

QIAN’AN, China — Yang Zhongchen, a small-town businessman, wined and
dined three government officials for permission to become a father.

But the Peking duck and liquor weren’t enough. One night, a couple
of weeks before her date for giving birth, Yang’s wife was dragged from
her bed in a north China town and taken to a clinic, where, she says,
her baby was killed by injection while still inside her.

"Several people held me down, they ripped my clothes aside and the
doctor pushed a large syringe into my stomach," says Jin Yani, a shy,
petite woman with a long ponytail. "It was very painful. … It was all
very rough."

Some 30 years after China decreed a general limit of one child per
family, resentment still brews over the state’s regular and sometimes
brutal intrusion into intimate family matters. Not only are many second
pregnancies aborted, but even to have one’s first child requires a
license.

Seven years after the dead baby was pulled from her body with
forceps, Jin remains traumatized and, the couple and a doctor say,
unable to bear children. Yang and Jin have made the rounds of
government offices pleading for restitution — to no avail.

This year, they took the unusual step of suing the family planning
agency. The judges ruled against them, saying Yang and Jin conceived
out of wedlock. Local family planning officials said Jin consented to
the abortion. The couple’s appeal to a higher court is pending.

The one-child policy applies to most families in this nation of 1.3
billion people, and communist officials, often under pressure to meet
birth quotas set by the government, can be coldly intolerant of
violators.

My question is this:  Where is Amnesty International on this?  What are they doing to help the Chinese people from having their rights (and the rights of their unborn children) violated?  (I mean aside from pushing for abortion to be a "universal right".)

Quick quiz: who said, "Violence cannot be answered by further violence, murder by murder"?  If you answered "Amnesty International", you’re wrong.  These are actually the words of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in response to Amnesty International saying that abortions are needed in Darfur because of the use of rape as a form of torture.  It’s the old "2 wrongs don’t make a right", and abortion is not a right!

[Note: although there has been some press about pro-life rockers and the "Instant Karma" "Relief for Darfur" CD, there is not yet any evidence, one way or the other, that specific artists (like Christina Aguilera or Avril Livigne) are in fact pro-life, offended, or possibly pulling out of the project.]

Tags: abortion, Amnesty International, pro-life, China, Vatican, Christina Aguilera, Avril Livigne

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Twin dies in failed eugenics attempt


Again, I will refer you to G.K. Chesterton’s eerily prescient Eugenics and Other Evils.  If you honestly think abortion is a victimless process, read on.

Botched abortion shocks Italy
August 27, 2007

Rome
– A botched abortion in which a healthy twin foetus was terminated
instead of its sibling with Down syndrome has reignited the abortion
debate in Italy and raised allegations of eugenics.




"The time has come to re-examine the abortion law" that dates back to
1978, wrote leftist Senator Paola Binetti, who is close to the Vatican,
in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.




"What happened in this hospital was not a medical abortion but an
abortion done for the purposes of eugenics," she said, referring to the
belief that the human species can be improved through selective
reproduction.




The abortion was performed on a 38-year-old woman in Milan in June, but
news of its outcome has only recently become public. Doctors blamed the
mistake on movement of the foetuses between the examination and the
abortion. [ed.: How about blaming the mistake on trying to kill a baby in the first place?]



"They
wanted to kill the sick foetus and save the healthy one and what didn’t
work properly in this business was the selection," Binetti wrote.

Tags: abortion, eugenics, pro-life, Italy

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another Terri Schiavo averted


Tell me if you’ve heard this one before:

A married couple has some difficulties in their marriage. One of them ends up in the hospital, diagnosed as "brain dead" (a very subjective term in the "science" of medicine). After being declared brain dead, but kept alive with a feeding tube and air tube, their spouse signs an order to have the tubes removed. The family of the "brain dead" person pleads with the spouse to no avail. They then go to the courts to get the feeding tube replaced.

Am I talking about Terri Schiavo? No, because this person is still alive, because the courts allowed the family to feed him again. He is now awake and communicating.

Injured man’s awakening called ‘miracle’
PHOENIX — Eighteen days after his wife

instructed doctors to disconnect food and water tubes, a Chandler,

Ariz. man is sitting up in his hospice bed, giving the thumbs-up sign

and communicating with visitors.

Jesse Ramirez Jr.’s awakening, which friends

called "a miracle," occurred after his sister, parents and other

relatives went to court and obtained an emergency order for feeding and

hydration tubes to be reinserted, reversing a directive given by his

wife, Rebecca Ramirez.

Judge Paul Katz announced the news Tuesday

during a Maricopa County Superior Court hearing. Relatives had been in

a three-week battle over the 36-year-old postal worker’s fate, and who

should control it. Ramirez suffered brain injuries in a May 30

automobile accident. He regained consciousness on Sunday.

"He is awake," confirmed Judith Morse, an

attorney appointed by Katz to investigate legal, ethical and medical

issues. "He is able to respond to verbal commands. He is aware of who

he is and who his family members are." No further information about

Ramirez’s condition was available.

Morse also announced that Rebecca Ramirez and

her in-laws had reached a settlement in the dispute over Ramirez’s

care. An independent guardian will be appointed to make medical

decisions.

Let’s hope that we, as a society and a culture, learn from the Terri Schaivo mistake and err on the side of life.

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great way to limit abortions


This is a great (and creative) way to limit the number of abortions taking place in our country – regulate them into non-existence!

Abortion Bill Could Force Changes at Planned Parenthood      
Jefferson City, Mo. – Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is studying how it could comply with new abortion requirements.

At issue is a measure that Governor Blunt is expected to sign into law.

It would require any facility that performs more than five first-trimester abortions a month, or any second- or third-trimester abortions, to meet licensure requirements for an "ambulatory surgical center."

That means doors and hallways would have to be wider.

Ambulatory surgical centers also must meet requirements for emergency equipment, infection control, medical staffing and numerous other things.

A Planned Parenthood official says it will cost substantially more than one million dollars at each of its abortion clinics to comply.

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