March for Life Recap

Hard to believe that January kicks off with so many things. One of them for pro-lifers is the annual March for Life in Washington, DC.

Nearly 750,000 people from all across the United States and beyond borders descended upon our nation’s capital to give voice to the voiceless.

Many brought signs with well-known organizations attached to them. Others got creative using a popular hit show or even social media memes to articulate a point.

The highlight of this year’s march is the historic address given by the President of the United States, Donald Trump. He is the first to do so in the march’s history.

“Every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting.” 

Though there were thirty-six counter-demonstrators that tried to foil the fun, it gave the marchers more fuel to continue to give voice to the voiceless. One of them was arrested for trying to trespass. No question and surprise that there were more.

The youth and young adults that were in attendance brought vibrant energy that can easily shake capital hill with their various chants such as the famous, “Hey Hey Ho Ho Roe v Wade has got to go” or “We love babies, Yes, we do. We love babies, how about you?”

The March for Life will forever be a well-attended event. Unfortunately, the mainstream media did not give it fair coverage as it has been the same old, same old since the beginning of the march’s existence.

What to take away?

Though it happens once a year we must march for all life from the moment of conception until natural death every day. Our job is to be present for every human, born and unborn. Whether we are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, or atheist, we have a duty to protect every life. Every life saved is worth the effort.

I long for the day that those who come to Washington every year will not march for the reversal of the Supreme Court. Rather, we offer chants, songs, and prayers in thanksgiving for the end of the scourge of our society known as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and even unjust wars. Let us make it happen by getting involved in our community today.

9 Days for Life Novena- Day 7

9 Days for Life

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

Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, 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 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: for this reason whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself” (EV 9). Let us pray that all who support abortion encounter 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 to share the light of Christ with those most in need of His love and mercy.

Seek the intercession of Our Lady by praying a scriptural Rosary, meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do 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.* What may seem dreary to others, perhaps even unbearable, is actually filled with beauty and color.” Every life is a gift.

March is done. Now what?

Trenton Rally for Life

 

By now, many of us finished marching for life in either DC, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, or even anywhere in our state.

The question now is, “Are we finished?”

No, you have just begun. In fact, you should be pro-life 24/7/365. Yes, being pro-life is not reserved once a year like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Instead, it must be a daily thing.

We are called to be pro-life every day. That will mean taking part in prayer vigils.

I even outlined 10 things you can do that do not have to apply as a yearly thing but a daily routine.

If you are one of those people that think being pro-life is once a year, it is time to start taking a leap of faith.

9 Days for Life Novena- Day 6

9 Days for Life

Intention
May expectant mothers choosing adoption receive grace and support in embracing this loving option.

Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, 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. Like 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? Or do you prefer salty snacks? Pick your favorite kind of treat, and give it up for the day.

Make an act of faith, hope, or love.

Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

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 http://www.usccb.org/adoption-resources.

Roe v Wade at 47. How did we get here? What Can We Do?

It should come as no surprise to many pro-lifers that Roe v Wade is in its 47th year. The question we must ask ourselves is “How did we allow this barbaric decision to make it this far?”

I can give you a myriad of answers, but sadly churches and people of goodwill have been silent. No more. No more apathy. No more silence. It is time to make noise not only from the pulpit but also in the public square.

Yes, there are risks if we cast ourselves out into the deep. However, we have a job that is bigger than ourselves. Far too often I have seen people who have their thinking clouded by radical liberals in the classrooms and college lecture halls. Our job is to be bold in our claim of being pro-life. We cannot stand by and hope people have a change of heart. We need to instruct people where their argument is wrong with love and mercy.

Love and mercy can win over those who have been poorly educated on abortion. It is what we have on our side when it comes to tools for victory and evangelizing to those who live in darkness. That is how we win the debate. Members of Congress or the state office will not help us win. Sure, they may campaign on promises, yet we have seen many not showing a backbone when it comes to defunding Planned Parenthood or even preventing radical abortion laws from ever being law. Abby Johnson reminds us that this debate will be won outside of abortion facilities, college campuses, and even our own homes.

47 years of Roe v Wade has brought nothing but sorrow, agony, and emptiness to our country. I believe that our country is in need of an awakening. I believe a spiritual revival is happening all across the land. Our job has not been an easy one. The abortion lobby may have money, but pro-lifers don’t need a full bank account to combat the diabolic industry. Rather, we have an arsenal of people who are using their talents for something bigger than you and me. These 47 years have only brought a shift in the nation’s attitude on abortion. A majority of America is now pro-life, many of them are young (1/3 of my peers are missing because of his heinous, cold, calculous decision). We have God who has guided many to win many victories for the cause from cradle pro-lifers to former abortion workers.

The question remains: Are you willing to stop another million Americans from being murder due to a false agenda? 61 million Americans, black, white, Latino, Asian, and even mixed were silenced to help women get ahead in life like Michelle Williams and other celebrities. We must be pro-active and step out of our comfort zones. We may think that conveying the message on a digital medium can win everybody. However, as many apologists prove, your “presence” will make a difference to others.

Are you ready to step up to the plate and out of your digital comfort zone?

Going to the March for Life? Staying in D.C. for the Weekend? Here are some events before and after and things you can do.

In a previous post, I shared about things to do if in D.C. for the weekend.

Recently, I discovered events from many pro-life groups national and local. One group is Priests for Life who will have events planned in D.C. and on the West Coast to coincide with Walk for Life in San Francisco.

Here is a list of additional events happening after the March, if you plan to stay for the night or make a weekend out of the largest peaceful demonstration of the country.

  1. Vigil for Life
    1. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will have a night-long vigil for life. Here is information on adoration, night prayer, and the opening and closing masses
  2. Nellie Gray Mass
    1. A mass in the extraordinary form will be celebrated by the community of St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in downtown Washington D.C. This mass has been celebrated in memory of Nellie Gray for the last 8 years.
  3. Pro-Life Karaoke
    1. Rehumanize International and Secular Pro-Life will be hosting an epic karaoke party the night of the March for Life.
    2. This event is a fundraiser. $20 suggested donation at the door for adults. $10 suggested donation for students. $1-5 suggested donations to get on the song-request list. There will also be prizes and a raffle to win some limited edition pro-life merch! Light snacks, beer, wine, and soda will be provided! Email herb@rehumanizeintl.org  for further details.
  4. Students for Life of America Summit
    1. Dr. Monique Ruberu and Richara Krajewski are slated to speak at the annual summit in Washington, D.C. which is expecting 2,000 in attendance.

What to bring and pack

It’s January. It will be cold, so be sure to bundle up, wear layers, and keep warm as best as possible.

Also bear in mind that you will encounter some homeless people living on the streets. Here is what to do.

  1. Give them your leftovers
  2. Give them toiletries (toothbrush, hand sanitizers,
  3. Help them get to a homeless shelter
  4. Give them your pocket change
  5. Give them clothes, gloves, a hat, scarf, and even your time.
  6. Give them a gift card to a fast-food chain.

To me, being Pro-Life does not have to limit us to defending the unborn. Rather, we care about all life. That is from the unborn child in the mother’s womb to the elderly person and everyone in between.

The Pro-life Counter-Witness to Roe v. Wade

The following is a column from the National Right to Life that was published yesterday. Originally it was written by Archbishop Charles J Chaput a week prior to the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade. 

Charles J. Chaput is the Archbishop of Philadelphia, and (as anyone who reads NRL News Today already knows) someone from whom I have learned a great deal and quote frequently. The following is excerpted from his weekly column and was written just prior to the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.


January 22 marks the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, legalizing abortion on demand. Thanks to Roe, abortion has killed more than 57 million unborn children [now over 61 million] over the past four decades – the equivalent of roughly one in six living Americans; an entire generation extinguished. But alongside the killing spree, and despite the contempt of abortion activists and unfriendly media, the pro-life counter-witness of millions of Americans has also continued.

The “March for Life” this January, like every January over the past several decades, reminds the nation that killing an unborn child is never a private matter. Abortion is a uniquely intimate form of violence – but violence with bitter public consequences. Catholics eagerly join the March for Life each year because we believe in the God of life and joy; a God who creates every human being with innate dignity and rights, including above all the right to life.

What we really believe, we conform our lives to. And if we don’t at least try to conform our lives to what we claim to believe, then we’re fooling only ourselves, because God cannot be fooled. When we claim to be “Catholic” but then don’t advance our beliefs about the sanctity of the human person as the basis of law, it means one of two things.

We’re either very confused, or we’re very evasive.

All law involves the imposition of somebody’s beliefs about the nature of truth, charity, and justice on everyone else. That’s the reason we have marches, debates, elections, and Congress–to peacefully turn the struggle of ideas and moral convictions into laws that guide our common life. …

There’s a very old Christian expression that goes like this: “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

Are we troubled enough about what’s wrong with the world — the killing of millions of unborn children through abortion; the neglect of the poor, the disabled and the elderly? Do we really have the courage of our convictions to change those things?

The opposite of hope is cynicism, and cynicism also has two daughters. Their names are indifference and cowardice. In renewing ourselves in our faith, what Catholics need to change most urgently is the lack of courage we find in our own personal lives, in our national political life, and sometimes even within the Church herself.

Every year in these weeks between the end of Christmas and the beginning of Lent, I reflect on what the Church means when she talks about the season of “ordinary time.” Ordinary time is where we spend most of our lives — raising families, doing our jobs, helping others, making the daily choices that shape the world around us. Ordinary time is the space God gives us to make a difference with our lives. What we do with that ordinary time — in our personal choices and in our public actions — matters eternally.

As Alexander Solzhenitsyn once wrote [in “The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956”], “the line separating good and evil runs not through states, nor between classes, nor even between political parties, but right through the center of each human heart, and every human heart.” That includes you and me.

Next week hundreds of thousands of good people will march for life in Washington. It’s an opportunity to prove the strength of our convictions; to show to the world what we really believe about the sanctity of human life. I’ll be there. And I ask you to join me.

Blogger’s Note: If you are planning to be in DC next week and decide to stay for the weekend, here is a post that breaks down a few worthwhile events and additional ones hosted by Priest for Life that are in DC and West Coast. 

Remembering Cardinal John O’Connor at 100

On January 15th, 1920, Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor was born in West Philadelphia. He was ordained a priest for the archdiocese on December 15th, 1945.

His legacy as Cardinal of New York can be described as a small fish in a big pond. Meaning that he was in the heart of a liberal state swamped by a concrete jungle from the mid-80s until his death in May 2000.

He has been an outspoken critic when it came to the destruction of human life from conception until natural death. He spoke out against unjust wars and even Rockefeller drug laws. Following a visit to Dachau concentration camp, 10 miles from Munich, Germany, O’Connor felt called and moved to find a religious institute dedicated to the sanctity of all human life to serve pregnant women and the dying. In 1991, that dream became a reality with the establishment of the Sisters of Life.

The Sisters of Life invite you to a Holy Hour/Mass in his memory at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. Learn more here. 

Join us in Praying the 9 Day Novena for Life

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will once again launch the annual novena for life. This year it runs from January 21st to the 29th.

Voices for Life will have each day of the novena posted to our blog and in turn our social media accounts. You are encouraged to participate and share each reflection of the novena to others.

Learn more about the novena here

Michelle Williams vs Leah Darrow

The talk of the town in the past two days has been Michelle Williams. Truthfully, Rick Gervais deserves a Golden Globe for his epic speech to scare the elite liberals of Hollywood.

One speech that has offended many women that evening came from actress Michelle Williams. In her acceptance speech, she cowardly made the false correlation between her professional decisions and her personal decisions claiming that “Because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice.” She continues, “I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over—sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I had carved with my own hand. And I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose: to choose when to have my children, and with whom.”

Clearly, this line is in the guise of a woman’s right to choose an abortion to fulfill a selfish need. I beg to answer the question that has she ever met women who once had an abortion and later in life regretting that fateful decision that has left them scarred, broken, and filled with a hole in their heart.

Leah Darrow

Leah Darrow

A woman that I believe Williams can learn from is a former runway model who is now an evangelist and sought-after speaker, Leah Darrow. Like Williams, Darrow is a celebrity. She was a contestant for America’s Next Top Model. She recalled how she had a road to Damascus experience, which led her back to the Catholic Church. She shares more about it also in her ground-breaking book, The Other Side of Beauty.

After hearing about the news of Williams and ready to give birth to her fifth child, Leah took it to Instagram to slam Michelle Williams for not only her speech but also how being a mom does not keep women from achieving their dreams. Instead, Leah shares the fact that authentic womanhood makes women better moms every time they give their yes to life.

As of today, Leah is now a proud mom of five beautiful children and the wife of a veteran and firefighter. Leah’s “yes” can teach women that choosing to be a mother to one, two, or even fifteen children does not derail us from our dreams and ambitions. Rather, you are willing to sacrifice the things of the world for the sake of your salvation and your family.

The things of the world cannot help you make achievements. Instead, they leave a deeper hole in our hearts. God calls us to something that is bigger than what the world proposes. He calls us to love those around us and to sacrifice the things that give us pleasure for his greater glory.

On behalf of Voices for Life, we congratulate Leah Darrow and her family on the birth of Valor Joseph who was born on the feast of the epiphany. We thank you for your testimony and hope you inspire other women to follow Christ and her mother by saying “yes” to his will.