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Friday, January 31, 2020

Conversion: Is President Donald Trump Really Pro-Life?

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Our Vocation: Encouraging, Not Instructing

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One day, when St. Antony of the Desert had gone out and all the monks came to him asking to hear discourse, he spoke to them as follows:

"The Scriptures are enough for our instruction. Yet it is well that we should encourage each other in the Faith and stimulate each other with words."

Saint Antony of the Desert
(251-356 A.D.)
By St. Athanasius



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Spiritual Gluttony Suffered By Beginners

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Some beginners, intoxicated by the sweet tidbits they cling to, forget about their own wretchedness and insignificance. They lose touch with their loving dread and awe in the face of God's greatness. They demand that their teachers meet with them all the time. Worse than that, they sometimes dare to engage in sacred rituals without the permission and guidance of those who have earned the privilege to steward souls. They follow their own opinions and conceal the truth. Addicted to self-expression, they express themselves carelessly. So eager to partake of holy rites, they fail to partake with purity and perfection. Between these two extremes, humble resignation is the best.

Saint John of the Cross
Dark Night of the Soul
Chapter 6


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Remember Jesus, Close To Your Side

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"All harm comes to us from not keeping our eyes fixed on You; if we were to look at nothing else but the way, we would soon arrive...Remember Jesus, close to your side...Get used to this practice! Get used to it! I'm not asking you to do anything more than look at Him."

St. Teresa of Avila


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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Sincerest Purity

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When Francis found an abundance of flowers, he preached to them and invited them to praise the Lord as though they were endowed with reason. In the same way he exhorted with the sincerest purity cornfields and vineyards, stones and forests and all the beautiful things of the fields, fountains of water and the green things of the gardens, earth and fire, air and wind, to love God and serve Him willingly.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
Chapter XXIX


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A Creation Of Wood And Color

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Francis said, "An artist who paints our Lord or the Blessed Virgin honors them and recalls them to our mind; nevertheless, the painting claims no other merit than what it is, a creation made of wood and color. God's servant is like a painting: a creature of God, through whom God is honored because of His blessings. He must not lay claim to any more merit than the wood or the color do. The only thing we must retain for ourselves, as long as we live, is shame and confusion, for as long as we live, our flesh is always hostile to the grace of God."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 104


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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

9 Days For Life Novena - Day 9: All Who Defend Life

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Image result for defending life


Intercession:

May all who defend life find strength and renewal in the Holy Spirit.

Prayers:

The Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, the Glory Be

Reflection:

In answering this call, we help to build "a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of truth and of love." (EV77) May the Holy Spirit continually renew us as we strive to faithfully defend God's gift of life. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one):

-   Do you love your cup of tea or coffee? Abstain from caffeine today.
-   "Unplug" for some time and reflect upon how God may be asking you to 
     help build a culture of life in your home, workplace, or Church 
     community.
-   Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance you feel called to 
     do.

One step further:

Watching the news and reading headlines, we may often feel helpless in the face of heartbreaking lack of respect for human life. When our efforts to make a difference feel small, it's important to remember that changing the culture is a process of conversion that begins in our own hearts. It includes a willingness to be instructed by the Holy Spirit and a desire to be close to Jesus, the source of joy and love. "How to Build a Culture of Life" briefly explains where to start. Evangelium vitae (Gospel of Life) no 77


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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

9 Days For Life Novena - Day 8: Civic Leaders

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Left to Right: U.S. Senator Dick Luger, along with the "Three Amigo's" Chris Dickson, Dr. Tom Ringenberg, Mike Pence (who later became U.S. Congressman, Governor, and then Vice President of the United States) Circa 1988


May civic leaders work for the protection of all human life, in every stage and circumstance. 

Prayers:

The Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, the Glory Be

Reflection:

The entire moral vision of our nation is based on respect for the dignity and sanctity of the human person. The Declaration of Independence boldly affirms that first among our inalienable rights is the right to life, given to us by our Creator. Yet despite being so solemnly proclaimed, the right to life is today threatened and often denied, particularly at the moment when life is most fragile. Our laws should, first and foremost, protect life, but currently our laws abandon the most vulnerable and violate our nation's core principles. For "there can be no genuine justice in our society until the truths upon which our nation was founded are more perfectly realized in our culture and law." (Living the Gospel of Life, 14) Laws and policies that legalize or promote an intrinsic evil like abortion violate the virtue of justice. Those who work as public officials and civic leaders have a duty to serve the common good, and therefore have a profound obligation to safeguard this most fundamental right. As Christians, we are called to be leaven in the world, transforming our culture from within. Through our own prayer, witness, and civic participation, we can encourage our leaders to truly answer their call to protect the rights of all people, for "there can be no true democracy without the recognition of every person's dignity and without respect for his or her rights." (Evangeliun vitae 101) 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one):

-     Sacrifice some of your free time to do a small act of service, such as making breakfast for a family member, writing a not of encouragement to a coworker, or praying for the intentions of a friend. Sometimes restrictions on religious freedom constrain our efforts to live out the Gospel of Life. We must be free to live out our Catholic faith in the public square.
-   Offer this prayer Prayer for Religious Liberty, that Christians may always be free to respect, protect, and defend human life.
-    Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today's intention.

One step further:

   In 2004, the U.S. bishops reaffirmed the Church's consistent teaching that abortion is an intrinsic evil and offered guidance to Catholic politicians regarding this fundamental teaching. Read "Catholics in Political Life," in which the bishops outline the responsibility of Catholics in the public square to share in the "Unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times." "Living the Gospel Life," no. 14, Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life), no. 101 


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Monday, January 27, 2020

9 Days For Life Novena - Day 7: All Who Support Abortion

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Image result for down syndrome baby



May those who support abortion experience a conversion of heart. 

Intercession:

May all who support or participate in abortion experience a conversion of heart to seek and receive the Lord's boundless mercy.

Prayers:

The Our father, 3 Hail Mary's, the Glory Be

Reflection:

When God fashioned the human person in His own image and likeness, He destined us for eternal life with Him. Yet, because of the sin of our first parents, death entered into the world. The book of Genesis recounts the first occasion in which a person takes the life of another, as Cain violently kills his brother Abel. This instance of brother rising up against brother "at the very dawn of history is thus a sad witness of how evil spreads with amazing speed." (Evangelium vitae 8) From the time of creation, disregard for human life has continued to spread. When we, like Cain, allow sin to find a place in our hearts, we become blinded to the truth. Sometimes this blindness might be so deep that we fail to recognize the undeniable humanity of unborn children. We may even tragically believe the lie that abortion is an act of compassion. But we know that "life, especially human life, belongs only to God Himself" (EV9) Let us pray that everyone who supports abortion encounters the transforming love of the Father, and with repentant hearts, seek His mercy.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one):

-   Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share the light 
    of Christ
-   Pray the Rosary, reflecting upon the Sorrowful Mysteries
-   Offer some other form of sacrifice, or act of penance for today's 
     intention

One step further:

Our culture is obsessed with perfection (a superficial perfection). Social media, magazines, and television are staged and edited to depict seemingly perfect lives. When life doesn't seem to measure up to these standards, we may be tempted to believe it's not worth living. In "A Perfect Gift," one parent shares about the experience of raising a child with Down Syndrome, contrasting it with what onlookers might perceive: "It's like looking at a stained glass window from the outside: the colors look dark and you can't quite make out the figures. From the inside, however, with the sun shining through it, the effect can be brilliant. From inside our family, love illuminates our life with Charlie (name changed for privacy). What may seem dreary to others, perhaps even unbearable, is actually filled with beauty and color." Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life)


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Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Canticle of the Creatures (il Cantico delle Creature)

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Written By Saint Francis of Assisi
Sung by Angelo Branduardi
(In the Original Umbrian Dialect)


Lyrics:

A te solo Buon Signore
Si confanno gloria e onore
A Te ogni laude et benedizione
A Te solo si confanno
Che laltissimo Tu sei
E nullomo degno e
Te mentovare.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Con le Tue creature
Specialmente Frate Sole
E la sua luce.
Tu ci illumini di lui
Che e bellezza e splendore
Di Te Altissimo Signore
Porta il segno.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per sorelle Luna e Stelle
Che Tu in cielo le hai formate
Chiare e belle.
Si laudato per Frate Vento
Aria, nuvole e maltempo
Che alle Tue creature dan sostentamento.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per sorella nostra Acqua
Ella e casta, molto utile
E preziosa.
Si laudato per Frate Foco
Che ci illumina la notte
Ed e bello, giocondo
E robusto e forte.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per la nostra Madre Terra
Ella e che ci sostenta
E ci governa
Si laudato Mio Signore
Vari frutti lei produce
Molti fiori coloriti
E verde lerba.
Si laudato per coloro
Che perdonano per il Tuo amore
Sopportando infermite
E tribolazione
E beati sian coloro
Che cammineranno in pace
Che da Te Buon Signore
Avran corona.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per la Morte Corporale
Che da lei nesun che vive
Pue scappare
E beati saran quelli
nella Tua volonte
che Sorella Morte
non gli fare male

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9 Days For Life Novena - Day 6: Mothers Choosing Adoption

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May women choosing adoption over abortion receive support for embracing this loving option.

Prayers:

The Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, the Glory Be

Reflection:

Mothers placing their children for adoption often face many challenges along the way. One of the greatest obstacles can be inaccurately perceiving adoption as abandonment. But mothers who place their children for adoption are not abandoning their children. Rather, they are exemplifying the sacrificial love of Christ on the Cross in choosing to do what is best for their children, even at great cost to themselves. Christ, they pour out their bodies and souls for the sake of another. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that, in the face of fears and trials, we can "hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm." (Heb 6:18-19) We pray that all mothers considering adoption would be filled with "the peace of God that surpasses all understanding," (Phil 4:7) and see the beauty of their sacrifice. Let us all cling fast to the anchor of hope for we have received a "spirit of adoption, through which we cry, 'Abba, Father!' (Rom 8:15)  

Acts of Reparation (Choose one):

-  Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you prefer salty snacks? Give it up for the day.
-  Make an act of faith, hope or love.
-  Offer some other sacrifice, prayer., or act of penance you're called to do.

Go one step further:

 "Accompanying Expectant Mothers Considering Adoption" suggests nine ways to offer ongoing support to a woman who is considering placing her unborn child for adoption. Many of the tips given are also helpful for supporting a friend who is experiencing a challenging unexpected pregnancy, even if adoption has not been brought up. Supplemental resources regarding adoption can be found at www.usccb.org/adoption-resources.


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Saturday, January 25, 2020

9 Days For Life Novena - Day 5: For Someone Suffering After Abortion

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May those suffering find hope and healing in Christ. 

If you or someone you know is suffering after abortion, confidential, compassionate help is available. Visit www.hopeafterabortion.org. 

Intercession:

May each person suffering from the loss of a child through abortion find hope and healing in Christ. 

Prayers:

The Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, Glory Be

Reflection:

After more than four decades of legalized abortion, many children's lives have been ended, and many parents and family members suffer that loss, often in silence. Yet God's greatest desire is to forgive. No matter how far we have each strayed from His side, He says to us, "Don't be afraid. Draw close to my heart."  Be assured that it is never too late to seek God's forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Consider the parable of the prodigal son. After repenting of sinning against his father, he returns from far away to seek forgiveness and work as a servant. But the father sees him approaching, runs to warmly embrace him, and hosts a banquet to celebrate his return. So too does God welcome all of his repentant children, no matter how serious the sin. Let us turn confidently to Our Lord who is love and mercy.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one)

- Abstain from meat today.
- Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- Offer some other sacrifice, prayer of act of penance that you feel called to do.

One step further: If a friend confided in you that she had an abortion, would you be able to listen and respond in a way that brings her closer to healing and closer to God?


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Friday, January 24, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence Meets With Pope

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President Trump's Address To 2020 March For Life

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Psalm 139:13-15 


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Catholic sues US bishops for ‘misleading’ faithful to donate millions to ‘fraudulent’ Vatican charity


The suit alleges that US bishops 'actively' misled Catholics into believing their millions of dollars in donations to Peter's Pence would be used to help the poor.

By Lianne Laurence



Image result for pissed off pope francis



RHODE ISLAND, January 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Dallas law firm filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for “unlawful, deceptive and fraudulent practices” in promoting and collecting funds for the papal charity Peter’s Pence.
The suit alleges the American bishops “actively” misled Catholics into believing their millions of dollars in donations to the collection would be used to help “victims of war, oppression, natural disaster, or disease,” when in fact much of the money was funneled into private investments, such as Hollywood’s sexually explicit Elton John biopic, “luxury condominium developments” and “hefty, multi-million dollar commissions” to fund managers. 
Stanley Law Group filed the lawsuit January 22 in the United States District Court in Rhode Island on behalf of David O’Connell, a parishioner at Sacred Heart Church in East Providence, who is seeking a jury trial, it stated in a press release.
“USCCB must come clean and give back the money it took from well-intentioned people who thought they were giving urgently-needed funds to help the destitute around the world,” said lead attorney Mark Stanley.
“It’s regrettable and tragic that such a trusted and well-respected organization has been taking advantage of the generosity of Catholic donors.”
The firm is also asking American residents who contributed to Peter’s Pence between 2013 and 2019 to consider joining the legal action.
The lawsuit alleges that the USCCB is “liable for common law fraud, unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty” for “misleadingly soliciting millions of dollars in charitable donations that were diverted into private investments,” the press release states.
According to the 23-page complaint, Peter’s Pence is a “special collection taken from Catholics every June” and is described by the USCCB as a fund that “supports the Pope’s philanthropy by giving the Holy Father the means to provide emergency assistance to those in need because of natural disaster, war, oppression, and disease.” 
But a bombshell report in the Italian newspaper L’Espresso in October 2019 exposed a very different story.
L’Espresso reported that “secret internal Vatican investigative reports” showed most of Peter’s Pence funds had been “diverted into ‘reckless speculative operations,’ with 77 per cent of the collections” --  “roughly $560 million” -- channeled to the Swiss investment company Credit Suisse, the complaint detailed.
The newspaper also reported that a high-ranking Vatican official asked Italian financier Raffaele Mincione to invest $200 million of the collection, and that Mincione used the money to buy real estate in London “for a luxury apartment development” through a fund he managed, stated the complaint.
When the investment didn’t yield the expected returns, the Vatican pulled out of the fund and bought the property, and Minicone made $170 million on the deal, according to sources cited in the document.
Pope Francis responded in November, stating that the fact that the Vatican invests the money shouldn’t bother anyone, according to Catholic News Services (CNS), the complaint stated.
“The sum of Peter’s Pence arrives and what do I do? Put it in a drawer? No, that’s bad administration. I try to make an investment,” CNS quoted the pope as saying.
That was followed by a further bombshell report in December when Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera broke the news that $1 million of Peter’s Pence donations had been invested in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, and more than $3.6 million in the movie Men in Black: International, the complaint stated.
Moreover, Corriere della Sera reported that “millions of dollars” had been sunk into the Malta-based investment company Centurion Global Fund run by Italian financier Enrioco Crasso, “who received ‘millions of euros in commissions’ while losing 4.61 percent of the fund (approximately two million euros) by the end of 2018.”
The complaint also cited a Wall Street Journal December 2019 report stating that for “at least the past five years, only about 10 percent of the money collected—more than €50 million was raised in 2018—has gone to the sort of charitable causes featured in advertising for the collection.”
Meanwhile, in the summer of 2018, plaintiff O’Donnell’s priest at Sacred Heart made a plea from the pulpit at Sunday Mass for donations to Peter’s Pence, the complaint recounted.
“Nothing [O’Donnell] saw or heard, on that day or beforehand, told him or made him understand that his donations to Peter’s Pence would be used for anything other than emergency assistance to the neediest people around the world.”
The complaint asserted that if O’Donnell had known where the money was going, he would not have donated.
But the USCCB “actively concealed the true character and nature of the Peter’s Pence collection and made misrepresentations about the specified purposes of the collection” that “rendered their statements misleading.”
The USCCB “has always known the difference between a donation for emergency assistance and a donation to defray Vatican expenses” but “hid this distinction in its promotion, oversight, and administration of the Peter’s Pence collection in the United States,” stated the claim.
As a result, the USCCB “has effectively profited at the expense of David O’Connell and members of the public.”
The legal action defines USCCB as “composed of all active and retired members of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States.”
It is asking the district court to certify the proposed class, and for an order enjoining the USCCB “from continuing the unlawful, deceptive, and fraudulent practices alleged in this complaint.” 
The complaint is also seeking “costs, restitution, damages and disgorgement in an amount to be determined at trial,” an order for the USCCB to pay pre- and post-judgement interest interest on any amounts awarded, as well as costs and attorney’s fees.

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President Trump to Speak In Person At The Annual March for Life On Friday, January 24th, 2020

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President Donald Trump becomes the first President of the United States to speak at the Annual March for Life.

We have never had such a Pro-Life President before. In 2019, the president spoke via video to marchers, while Vice President Mike Pence attended in person. “When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, we see the beauty and the human soul and the majesty of God’s creation,” Mr. Trump told the crowd last year. “We know that every life has meaning and that every life is worth protecting.”


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9 Days For Life Novena - Day 4: Expectant Fathers

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May expectant fathers lovingly support the mothers of their children.

Intercession:

May expectant fathers lovingly support the mothers of their children in welcoming new life. 

Prayers:

Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, Glory Be

Reflection:

Fatherhood has its origins in God, who chose to reveal Himself to us as Our Father, sending His only Son for the sake of our salvation. Fathers therefore have a special role "in revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God." (Familiaris consortio 25) Pope St. John Paul II said fathers are called to exhibit "generous responsibility for the life conceived under the heart of the mother." They are uniquely entrusted with the protection and defense of both mother and child, and in this way, in safeguarding the sanctity of human life. As evidenced in our world today, the role of the father is of unique and irreplaceable importance. Often women choose abortion because they do not have the support of the child's father, or even worse, the father of the child pressures her to make the decision to abort. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge with compassion that men can also be overwhelmed by an unexpected pregnancy and that society increasingly tells them that they should have no say in their children's lives. In the face of these false messages, we pray that expectant fathers will find courage in the example of St. Joseph who embraced the role of father amid difficult circumstances and offer loving, life-affirming support to the mothers of their children. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one)

-  Give up sleeping on your pillow or even your bed tonight.
   Offer this small sacrifice for the intention that expectant fathers would 
   courageously answer their call to support both mother and child. 
- Pray a decade of the Rosary for all expectant fathers that through her 
   intercession, Our Lady may inspire in them the virtues of St. Joseph 
-  Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called 
   to do.

Research continues to show that one of the top reasons a woman chooses abortion is due to a lack of financial resources. The absence of fathers greatly contributes to this ongoing, vicious cycle of poverty.


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Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Angelus

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The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary and she conceived of the Holy Spirit

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art though among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary

And the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.

Hail Mary

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnate of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28)

"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Luke 1:42)



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9 Days For Life Novena - Day 3: Expectant Mothers

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May they receive compassionate care and support. 

Intercession:

May every expectant mother receive compassionate care and support as she nurtures the life in her womb. 

Prayers:

The Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, Glory Be

Reflection:

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she opened her heart to receive his message that swhe would conceive the Son of God in her womb. As a young, betrothed, but unmarried woman, Mary knew that her pregnancy presented many challenges. Despite this knowledge, she faithfully responded, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word." (Luke 1:38) Like the Blessed Mother, women who unexpectedly become pregnant often face significant challenges. They, too, are called to place their trust in God and faithfully respond to His gift of new life. Likewise, we are called to walk with them in their time of need. As Jesus taught us, when we love and serve others, we are loving and serving Him. May all expectant mothers be encouraged by Mary's example and receive support and grace in lovingly welcoming their children into the world. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one):

- Abstain from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
- Pray the Angelus today. 
   (You might also consider saying it every day for the next week)
- Offer some other sacrifice, prayer or act of penance for today's intention.

Special note:

When a woman is facing an unexpected pregnancy, the reaction of the first person she tells tends to set the tone for her decision making. Pregnancy can be difficult, but no matter the circumstances, it's important for an expectant mother to feel supported and loved. Your support may be the only support she receives.



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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

9 Days For Life Novena - Day 2

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Day of Prayer for the legal protection of Unborn Children

Did you know? In the Catholic Church in the United States, January 22nd is designated as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children." As Catholics, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practice of prayer, fasting, and/or giving alms. 

Intercession: May all unborn children be protected in law and welcomed in love.

Prayers: the Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, Glory Be.

Today's Reflection:

On this 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn the many children's lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. The Church comes together today to pray for the protection of all unborn children and to make reparation for abortion, trusting that the Lord hears our prayers. Pope Saint John Paul II wrote, "A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the hearts of every believer" (Evangelium vitae, 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in love. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one):

- Fast from one meal today.
- Offer this brief "Prayer for Life for all unborn children whose lives are at risk:
  "Father and maker of all, You adorn all creation with splendor and beauty, and fashion human lives in Your image and likeness. Awaken in every heart a reverence for the work of Your hands, and        renew among Your people a readiness to nurture and sustain Your precious gift of life. Grant this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
- Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today's intention.

More and more women and girls consider abortion that we may not realize. They are our relatives and friends, people who work with us or for us. Even if someone identifies as being pro-life, the shock of an unexpected pregnancy, the devastation of a difficult prenatal diagnosis, shame, pressures, or fears may influence her to consider abortion. If someone shared with you that she was pregnant and hadn't ruled our having a abortion, would you know how to respond in a loving way that is life-affirming for both her and her baby? Learn about the four steps of L.O.V.E.: Approach. Listen and Learn, Open Opinions, Visions and Value, and Extend and Empower. 


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Starting Today! 9 Days For Life Novena

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May the tragic practice of abortion end. Prayers Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's,
Glory Be
Reflection At every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence
by never diminishes the value of a human life. God does not call us to 
perfection of God’s love. The presence of an illness, disability, or other 
challenging situation own lives and the lives of others as true gifts. 
Abortion tragically rejects the appearance or abilities, but to perfection in 
love. Christ invites us to embrace our all those involved. But Christ came 
that we “might have life and have it more truth that every life is a good and
 perfect gift, deserving protection. This violent practice ends the life of a 
human being at its very beginning and horribly wounds opened to the 
incredible beauty of every human life. Acts of Reparation (Choose
abundantly” (John 10:10), taking on human flesh for the sake of our 
redemption. May our culture experience the power of God’s transforming 
love, that all eyes may be one.) Take a break from television and movies 
today. Consider spending some of that cherish and protect this gift, even 
in the midst of fear, pain, and suffering. Give time praying with today’s 
reflection. Pray the short prayer “Every Life is Worth Living,” reflecting 
on the gift of human life. (Also available to order or download.) Heavenly 
Father, thank you for the precious gift of life. Help us to us love for all 
people, especially the most vulnerable, and help us bear witness to you feel
 called to do for today’s intention, 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 and actions, may others encounter
the outstretched hands of Your mercy. We ask this through Christ, our
Lord. Amen.
Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that


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Monday, January 20, 2020

It Is I Who Continues To Crucify Christ

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Even the devils were not solely responsible for crucifying Jesus; it was you who crucified him with them and you continue to crucify him by taking pleasure in your vices and sins.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions




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Holy Humility

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St. Francis, seeing the charity of the brothers and Brother Masseo's humility, gave them a wonderful sermon on holy humility, teaching them that the greater gifts and graces which God gives us, the greater is our obligation to be more humble, because without humility no virtue is acceptable to God.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis



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Vatican Prelate: U.S. Bishops Abandoned Pro-Life Teachings

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Exclusive Interview: Leading Vatican Prelate Says Document of US Bishops Partly to Blame for Election of “Most Pro-Abortion President”

Also says Bishops’ Catholic News Service needs to be given "some new direction"

By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, January 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A document of the US Catholic Bishops is partly to blame for the abandonment of pro-life teachings by voting Catholics and the election of the “most pro-abortion president” in US history, one of the Vatican’s highest officials said in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com.

Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said “led to confusion” among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.

The US bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of "other grave reasons," as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position.

Archbishop Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louis Mo. and recently appointed head of the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, told LifeSiteNews.com that although “there were a greater number of bishops who spoke up very clearly and firmly ... there was also a number who did not.”

But most damaging, he said, was the document “Faithful Citizenship” that “led to confusion” among the voting Catholic population.

“While it stated that the issue of life was the first and most important issue, it went on in some specific areas to say ‘but there are other issues’ that are of comparable importance without making necessary distinctions.”
Archbishop Burke, citing an article by a priest and ethics expert of St. Louis archdiocese, Msgr. Kevin McMahon, who analysed how the bishops’ document actually contributed to the election of Obama, called its proposal “a kind of false thinking, that says, ‘there’s the evil of taking an innocent and defenceless human life but there are other evils and they’re worthy of equal consideration.’

“But they’re not. The economic situation, or opposition to the war in Iraq, or whatever it may be, those things don’t rise to the same level as something that is always and everywhere evil, namely the killing of innocent and defenceless human life.”

Archbishop Burke also cited the work of the official news service of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, that many pro-life observers complained soft-pedalled the newly elected president’s opposition to traditional morality.

“The bishops need to look also at our Catholic News Service, CNS, they need to review their coverage of the whole thing and give some new direction, in my judgement,” he said.



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