The Pope Said What Now?

Update: This article is not about the pope’s recent statements in America magazine and commented on in the Huffington Post and New York Times.  It is about something he wrote in an Italian newspaper a few weeks ago.  But don’t worry, I’ll discuss the America magazine article in an upcoming post.

A few days ago, Pope Francis wrote a lengthy article responding to some questions proposed by Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder of the newspaper La Repubblica and an atheist. First of all, I find it amazing that the pope can even find the time to read an editorial in a local newspaper, let alone respond to it. I think it shows just how well Pope Francis understands modern tactics of evangelization. He knows that encyclicals are great for diving deep into questions of the Catholic Faith, but if you really want to connect with people you need to communicate in a more casual way using popular media. He might have done more good and educated more people about the Catholic faith in his letter to Mr. Scalfari than what he would have done in ten encyclicals.

The main purpose of Pope Francis’ letter was to address how the Church views atheists regarding their salvation and entrance into Heaven. The pope wrote:

First of all, you ask if the God of the Christians forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith. Given that – and this is fundamental – God’s mercy has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience. In fact, listening and obeying it, means deciding about what is perceived to be good or to be evil. The goodness or the wickedness of our behavior depends on this decision.

Now the popular media jumped all over this statement essentially declaring the pope said something like “all atheists go to Heaven” or that He reversed some doctrine; neither which is true. This isn’t the first time the media completely misreported the pope’s comments and certainly won’t be the last. The pope did not unveil a new doctrine, but only reiterated what the Church has taught for generations. The fact that this seems new to everyone, including many Catholics, shows just how little we understand about the Catholic faith.

The Church has always taught that there is no way any of us here on Earth know who will go to Heaven and who will end up in Hell. Yes, we have a lot of guidelines, teachings, and commandments passed on from God through the prophets, His son Jesus Christ, and Church tradition. But there is always that unknown factor that the pope mentions — God’s infinite mercy. We just cannot know who God forgives and why.

Remember, the Church teaches that non-Catholics can go to Heaven if they’ve never had an opportunity to know God’s Church but live according to the natural laws of morality. When we think about this scenario, we often think of some isolated tribe out on a tropical island somewhere who have never seen a bible. But what about the person who never went to Mass growing up? What about the person who is surrounded by people who actively hate the Church or just don’t place any value on organized religion? What about the person whose view of the Church comes solely from sources that misreport the Church’s teachings? What about the fallen away Catholic who just went to Sunday Mass out of obligation but never really participated? Aren’t these also people who never really “knew” God’s Church? The Catholic faith has always taught that these people, including atheists, are also able to find mercy and forgiveness just like the stereotypical “isolated native” that has never seen a church or opened a bible.

Whenever I think about our ultimate fate, I’m reminded of the Second Glorious Mystery — Jesus’ Ascension. When I pray and meditate on that rosary mystery, I remember that Jesus took His rightful place in Heaven at the right hand of God and acts as our final judge. We know that our actions, combined with God’s mercy, will decide whether we spend eternity in God’s kingdom or Hell. We should be thankful that God is infinitely merciful and that whether we end up in Heaven isn’t an in/out, true/false, on/off proposition. Because if it were, I dare say that most people would probably fall short of meeting the requirements to enter Heaven. We all have our failings, but it’s God’s mercy, both through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and at our final judgement, that allow us to live for eternity in His kingdom.

But why must we understand and live by the Catholic teachings when the pope said anyone, including atheists, can go to Heaven? Are devout Catholics just suckers wasting their time going to Mass and receiving the sacraments? Far from it. Remember, the pope said that God’s mercy is infinite, but not automatic. Ask yourself, do you want to rely solely on God’s mercy to enter into His kingdom? Or would you like to actually increase your odds, as it were, by following His Word? Let’s put it another way. Suppose there was a way to learn the winning numbers in the lottery ahead of time. But to learn those numbers, you have to put in years of hard work. Would you do it? After all, you could always avoid the work and just leave it up to chance. Maybe you will get lucky and guess the right numbers. The same goes for salvation, but the stakes are much higher since it’s dealing with our eternal souls. Are you going to leave such an important decision solely on God’s mercy or do you want to put forth the effort now to really earn your place in God’s kingdom?

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Expecting the Unexpected — How God Answers Our Prayers

Lately I have contemplated prayers, intentions, and how God answers our requests for help.  On the Catholic Answers forums, I see so many people angry or saddened because they feel so distant from God and they wonder if He isn’t hearing their prayers.  I understand how easy it is to feel discouraged when the news headlines are filled with stories of violent crimes, wars, and civil unrest not to mention the unreported hardships we all face about our jobs, family, finances, relationships, etc.  You look at all the problems in this world and it is easy to conclude that God just doesn’t care.  However, what I think happens more often is that we fixate on a specific solution and completely miss how God actually answers our prayers.

Here’s an example of God answering prayers in unexpected ways taken from my own experiences.  Like many people, I pray in a general sense that I may be stronger in the seven virtues of chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.  But how do I know God hears me and answers my requests to be a better person?  After all, nothing really seems to change in my day-to-day life that indicates that I’m stronger in any of those areas.  I don’t wake up and say, “Thanks God!  I feel more diligent today!”  So how does God answer my prayers?

I remember all the days and nights I spend with my 1.5 year old son.  I play with him when I come home from work although I’m tired and just want to relax in front of the television.  I try to read his favorite books to him for the hundredth time with the same excitement as the first time.  It’s exhausting work at times.  But then it hits me.  All those times when I pulled out a little more energy to be there for my family, I was demonstrating acts of patience, kindness, and charity.  I asked God for strength and He answered by giving me an opportunity to exercise virtue.

I would say that one can only dream babies acted liked angels, but that assumes a parent could ever get some sleep.

Next, let’s look at a story that made the news rounds lately.  There is a picture circulating around the internet of a wife carrying her double-amputee husband on her back.  Jesse Cottle lost both his legs after stepping on an IED while serving in the Marines in Afghanistan.  In rehab, he met his wife, Kelly.  In an interview on Good Morning America, Jesse said that he wouldn’t change anything that happened to him because if he hadn’t lost his legs to that IED, he never would have met the love of his life.

God always answers our prayers but not always in ways we expect.

I’m not sure whether Jesse is an overtly praying man, but I’m sure he must have had some very low moments after his injury and asked God to somehow improve his situation.  But God just didn’t miraculously grow Jesse’s legs back or change the IED blast so he didn’t lose them in the first place.  I’m sure many of us in Jesse’s situation would look for those specific answers from God if we were in that situation.  And we would probably be saddened when God didn’t physical heal us.  But God often answers prayers in unexpected, but better ways.  Sure, God could have physically healed Jesse.  But then Jesse never would have met Kelly in rehab.  While what happened to Jesse was tragic, God brought about a greater good by touching the hearts of two people, instead of healing the legs of one.

What RosaryMeds Do I Need?

What rosary mystery doesn’t involve God working in some unexpected way?  The whole New Testament is the account of Jesus saying and doing unexpected things.  Sometimes He did the unexpected to great fanfare like performing miracles.  And other times Jesus’ unexpected nature upset people, especially the scribes and pharisees when He challenged their practices and authority.  When you pray the rosary, meditate that God’s ways aren’t always our ways.  When it comes to God, expect the unexpected.  For example:

  • The Annunciation (First Joyful Mystery): God chose an unwed teenager to be the Mother of God.  Mary may have been physically poor, but God raised her up to be rich in spirit.
  • The Nativity (Third Joyful Mystery): The King of Kings was born in a stable.  Like His ministry, Jesus’ birth was marked not by earthly power, but by humility.
  • The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven (Third Luminous Mystery): When Jesus proclaimed that He was the Word made flesh, people chased him out of town.  How many times do we get upset when God shows Himself in unexpected ways in our lives?
  • The Crucifixion (Fifth Sorrowful Mystery): Jesus died and redeemed us all.  People challenged Him by saying that if He was really the Son of God, He could save himself.  But Jesus knew that it was far more important to save our souls than save His body.
The Annunciation, by Francesco Albani.
The Annunciation, by Francesco Albani. “How can this be, for I know not man?”, Luke 1:34 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember, God’s ways are not our ways.  But that should be a reason to rejoice, not for disappointment.  God sees the big picture.  So shouldn’t we rejoice that someone who sees and knows everything is looking out for us?   Do you have any stories to tell of how God answered your prayers in unexpected, but ultimately better ways?  Leave a comment.

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Praying the Rosary: A Formula for Success

A US Marine Doing Pull-ups.
Any goal worth achieving takes energy and persistence.

I follow a lot of blogs and news sites covering topics ranging from technology, to personal finance, humor, and fitness.  Nerd Fitness is one of my favorite exercise and health blogs I visit.  Steve Kamb started the site when he decided to start a blog on a topic that is important to him.  It started out small with some posts and ebooks but he now has a small fitness empire where each of his posts reaches thousands of people and receive hundreds of comments.  His blog does for fitness what I hope RosaryMeds does for rosary prayer and meditation (he has apparently had more luck finding a large audience so far).  I like his articles because he doesn’t promise miracles or “six-pack abs in six days” type of exercises.  He understands that to achieve meaningful results one has to put in a lot of time and hard work.  That is similar to the how I feel about rosary prayer — it’s a long process and not a “quick fix.”  He recently published a guide on success and happiness which has a lot of parallels to what I’ve said about rosary meditation.

Steve mentions the progress principle meaning that “we love making progress so much that we actually enjoy it more than getting the thing we wanted in the first place!”  The progress principle fits nicely in areas where there are measurable results such as fitness, diet, work, and school.  But it’s hard to measure progress when it comes to prayer and spirituality.  There is no blood test you can take to measure how far you are in God‘s grace.  You can’t hop on a scale and see how many sins your soul has gained.  There is no report card and annual review from “the boss.”  But that doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress in your spiritual life when you pray the rosary daily.  The changes are just more subtle.  In my book on rosary meditation, I explain that praying regularly gives me perspective on life.  When you spend quality time with God, what He values starts to rub off on you and they become your values.  You just start to treat life in different ways whether it is not sweating the small stuff or feeling a little more confident when facing difficult challenges because you have faith that God knows you can handle it.

I’m going to skip to the end of the Nerd Fitness article.  The beginning is worth a read as he talks about money and happiness.  But the real crossover with rosary prayer comes when he talks about “being in the zone:”

When we are productive and happy, Haidt defines this as “flow,” or in “the zone”: a state where you are incredibly immersed in the task at hand while incredibly productive and happy.

Find a way to make time for these things as often as possible. Challenge yourself to make room for them in a busy day, for we all know that “I don’t have time” is a big fat lie.

In terms of rosary meditation, the concept of “being in the zone” should sound familiar to anyone who has read my book.  Praying the rosary is all about finding that zone where you lose yourself in prayer.  Like exercise, you have to put in some effort to find the zone where you get the most benefit out of praying.  You don’t get physically fit doing a single push up daily.  And you don’t get spiritually fit with a few, disjointed prayers either.  And while some prayers are better than nothing (just like some exercise is better than none at all), you really want to push yourself to find your prayer zone.  That zone is where you will make the most progress finding the true happiness to which God calls you.

English: A Discalced Carmelite nun sits in her...
Finding happiness through prayer also takes effort and discipline.

Finally, the Nerd Fitness article ends by offering a free tool that willincrease your happiness, energy, confidence, emotional balance, fertility, and immunity…while reducing stress, loneliness, inflammation, and risk for disease.”  And if you’re a regular reader of RosaryMeds, you already know this tool — meditation, specifically rosary meditation.  Steve writes:

When we learn to meditate, we can teach ourselves to ignore the stuff we can’t control and focus instead on the things we CAN control.  We can recognize our negative thoughts for what they are, and focus on the thoughts or lessons learned that make us happier.  Along with that, meditation can improve your attention span and self-regulation and can even lead to a longer life.

Science backs up the physical benefits of rosary meditation.  As I wrote in the physical benefits of rosary meditation about an Italian medical study:

Luciano Bernardi, associate professor of internal medicine at Pavia University, recorded breathing rates in 23 healthy adults during normal talking, recitation of the rosary, yoga mantras, and six minutes of controlled breathing.

Breathing was markedly more regular during the rosary and the mantra and was slowed to about six breathes a minute.  The results mean yoga enhances ‘aspects’ of heart and lung function and might be viewed as a health practice as well as a religious practice, he said.

The takeaway from all of this — develop a rosary meditation routine so that you can find your “zone” and make progress towards leading a healthier and happy life.  Your body and soul will thank you.

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Are You Feeding Your Soul Junk Food?

Summer is here which means it’s county fair season. For me the county fair bring two treats — watching my son see farm animals that he has only seen in picture books and indulging in some fattening foods. This year I tried a fried Twinkie for the first time. For those who don’t know, it’s a Twinkie (actually, an off-brand imitation since Hostess has not restarted production yet) dipped in batter, fried, and then covered in powdered sugar. It was like eating a freshly made donut with warm cream filling only it’s the size of a corndog. And as good as it tasted at the time, my body paid for it later. First, it sat like a brick in my stomach and I just felt sluggish and tired.  Later I experienced a total sugar crash followed by the guilt that I really didn’t do my body any favors partaking in that temporary culinary indulgence.

A Real Deep-fried Twinkie
Fried Twinkies… so bad and yet soooo good.

My fried Twinkie experience reminded me that God designed the human body to expect a certain type of food for energy. He didn’t design the body to gracefully process mountains of fat, sugar, and chemicals that is certainly present in foods like my fried Twinkie. Eating unhealthy food is actually a double-whammy health-wise because you are not only dealing with the insurgence of fat and sugar, but you’re also missing an opportunity to give your body something beneficial. When you treat your body in a way contrary to how God intended for you to use it, you (sugar) crash and burn.

Much like how our physical bodies are designed to act a certain way, so are our souls. And when we move outside the limits of a healthy spiritual diet we also crash and burn by losing God’s grace. First of all, what is a healthy spiritual diet? I see it as a life centered around living key virtues such as chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. We find the strength to live those virtues by centering our lives around prayer and meditation because those are the times we dialogue with God and learn His will. A healthy soul is one that lives according to the golden rule and is motivated to do good works out of a love for God and others.  A healthy soul needs periodic feeding through prayer and attending Mass.

Unfortunately, similar to how much of society suffers from a physical health epidemic, we also have a societal spiritual decay. Vices such as lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride fuel this spiritual decay. And we see these vices everywhere in society as we’ve normalized pre-marital sex, single parent households, pornography, cheating, stealing, killing, abortion, euthanasia, illegal drug use, excessive drinking, and just a general disregard for treating others respectfully and the dignity of the human person. Much like a donut occupying space that could otherwise be filled with vegetables, all these vices occupy space in our souls and leave no room for God’s grace. Many of us are consuming spiritual junk food that is destroying our soul’s health. And we aren’t eating our spiritual “vegetables” that keep our souls strong and healthy. Just look at the empty pews at Mass, the short lines at the confessional, and society’s general apathy and hostility towards anything spiritual. Like how fast food has replaced a balanced meal, vices have replaced virtues as a normal way of life for an increasing number of people.

What RosaryMeds Do I Need?

I have a feeling fighting the spiritual obesity epidemic will need prayer and meditation on all 20 mysteries of the rosary. The rosary walks through the Gospel and the Gospel is Jesus and Jesus’ love is what our souls crave. Praying any mystery and taking its message to heart is a step towards God’s grace and a step away from sin. You can’t be both sinning and living virtuously at the same time. So the more time you spend doing things that are virtuous, the less opportunity you have to sin. And what could be more virtuous than praying relentlessly and then letting those prayers manifest into good works?

Medjugorje : Confession as it should be.

But for those who really need a specific mystery to meditate on, try the First Luminous Mystery, Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan. We should remember two important aspects about the Sacrament of Baptism. First we should remember our baptismal vows that we periodically renew during Mass — to reject sin and to believe in the Holy Trinity. Acting virtuously and spiritually isn’t something reserved for priests and nuns, but something all Catholics profess and promise to live by. Secondly, baptism is about renewal and getting a clean start. No matter how badly and often we sin, we can always get a second chance through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Using the diet analogy, we sometimes fail to eat healthy foods and give into moments of weakness. After all, who can resist picking up a little treat at the market or a fried Twinkie at the fair? But just because you have those moments of weakness doesn’t lock you into a lifetime of eating nothing but junk food. You can always reset and refocus to live and eat healthier. The same goes for our faith. We may have moments of weakness and sin, but that doesn’t prevent us from confessing them, getting a clean slate, and trying to live more virtuously in the future.

So pray vigorously, avoid sin, and for Heaven’s sake share fried Twinkies with friends because they are just too much for any single person. Your soul and your body will thank you.

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Catholics, Souls of Steel

Anyone who knows me knows that I love movies. We are now entering the summer blockbuster season and there are many films that look promising. I think the movie I’m most looking forward to is the next Superman movie titled Man of Steel. Here’s the trailer for the movie that I’m going to reference in this article. Note the biblical undertones.

The latest Superman movie, Man of Steel, puts a spin on the iconic super hero. Other movies in the franchise show a Superman who jumps at every opportunity to use his powers in service of helping humanity. He is essentially a boy scout with super powers. This new movie asks, what if Superman doesn’t want to be Superman but instead chooses a life as an anonymous human being? The trailer presents two possible outcomes if he reveals his super human nature. He might be rejected, feared, and made an outcast because he doesn’t fit in (he is an alien after all). Or he will be seen as a role model that humanity strives to imitate. From the trailer, it looks like he initially believes the former idea and tries his best to hide his super nature by living off the grid as a fisherman.

Let’s look past the obvious biblical references in the trailer such as the voiceover saying how Superman will be like a god to humans, how he is seen as a “guardian angel”, or that he chooses to work as a fisherman. I want to focus on Superman’s choice to hide his powers and try to live a “regular” life. Can you blame him? After all, look at the other Superman movies where the world expects him to protect humanity from ourselves. He becomes responsible for stopping anything bad from happening whether it be bank robberies, car brake failures, plane crashes, or nuclear armageddon. Would you want to be the person the world relies on to prevent all misfortune 24/7?

Holy Spirit painting

We, as Catholics, are very much like this new Superman. We too are given tremendous gifts and powers. Okay, we cannot fly, have x-ray vision, or outrun a train. But we do have other powers that transcend mere physical capabilities. We have power from the Holy Spirit and God’s grace. That manifests itself in the knowledge to know good from evil and the strength to choose the good even when evil seems easier or more attractive. We have the power to keep going, to keep trying, to keep forgiving, and to keep loving regardless of how hard life tries to knock us down.

We also have the super powers of hope and faith. We have hope that we will one day find eternal happiness in Heaven by living in God’s grace here on earth. We have faith that there is more to our lives that what we experience in this world and it’s worth enduring trials and hardship since we will find comfort in Heaven. It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us strength to live for God‘s kingdom. Superman may have limitless physical abilities. But Christians have limitless spiritual abilities.

Much like Superman hiding his physical power in Man of Steel, we often want to hide our spiritual gifts and just “fit in” with everyone else. Because using those gifts to live as people of God will often make us outcasts in society. For example, when we use our knowledge of good and evil to call attention to the evils of abortion, the world condemns us as hate-filled, uncompassionate, and tyrannical. Or we have a gift of knowledge that tells us that cheating, lying, stealing, being greedy, or lustful are evils that should be avoided. But we so often want to pretend that we do not have that gift of knowledge so that we can do whatever we want. Like Superman, we don’t want to stand out because we are afraid that with great power comes great responsibility (I know that quotation is from Spiderman, not Superman, but it fits well).

What RosaryMeds Do I Need?

Jesus is my Super Hero

When we pray the rosary, think of the Third Glorious Mystery, The Coming of the Holy Spirit, as Christianity’s superhero origin story. It was the Holy Spirit that transformed the apostles from scared deniers of Christ into evangelists who would lay down their lives to spread Jesus’ teachings. Pray for an openness to the incredible power the Holy Spirit gives us to live according to God’s Will and Jesus’ teachings. Jesus taught that a lamp isn’t meant to be hidden under a basket, but put out on the table to illuminate the world around it.  And superheroes aren’t meant to keep their abilities bottled up.  We are spiritual superheros!  And so we are called to be that shining example of God’s love to the world. We pray for the strength to live according to God’s Will especially when it seems easier not to. Because deep down we know that following the path God lays before us will always lead somewhere good. Maybe we won’t find that goodness in this life, but we will certainly find it in God’s heavenly kingdom.

We also should meditate on the Fourth Joyful Mystery, The Presentation in the Temple. Remember, Simeon is a perfect example of how our faith is a type of spiritual super power.  He waited and prayed in the temple his entire life on faith  because the Holy Spirity told him that he would one day cast his eyes on the Savior. And when Jesus came for His presentation in the temple, that promise was fulfilled. I like to think that it wasn’t Simeon’s own abilities that gave him the will to come to the temple every day for many fruitless years. Instead, it was his faith and openness to God’s grace that allowed him to persistently look and wait for Jesus. When we earnestly pray for that same strength, God will surely give it to us. All we have to do is ask. Of course, God may also throw some challenges our way too just to show us that we do, in fact, have the strength to overcome life’s obstacles. After all, what good are super powers if we don’t have super challenges to test them?

Still Looking for those Rosary Meditations

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Random Thoughts on Pro-Life Week

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which made abortion legal at the federal level.  Because of that tragic decision, the pro-life community makes the week of January 22nd Pro-life week.  This week features prayer novenas, talks and lectures, special programs, and of course, marches throughout the United States.  Pro-life week is bitter sweet for me.  On one hand it is great to see the enthusiasm and faith of the pro-life movement as people come out and march in the tens of thousands both on our nation’s capitol and on the West Coast.  But it’s unfortunate that we need to assemble at all to remind our government and society of the value of human life.  Below are just some random thoughts about the pro-life movement, government, and abortions.  I hope this gets you thinking, but more importantly, I hope it gets you praying and acting.

English: Personhood Now! banner in front of th...

Pro-life week reminds me a little of Mothers’ Day.  People always say how it’s unfortunate that we dedicate one day to mothers since every day should be a mother’s day.  Similarly, it’s unfortunate that we dedicate one week or one day to acting on our pro-life convictions.  Every day should be a pro-life day!  However, there is one startling difference between the two events.  When you forget to call your mom or send her a card on Mothers’ Day, you have one upset person.  But she’ll live.  When you don’t stand up for the value of life, you have 330,000+ aborted human beings per year in the United States alone.  So remember your mom, but also remember your commitment as a Catholic (and as a member of the human race) to promote the value of all human life all year long.

To put into perspective the scale of the modern-day holocaust which is abortion, consider this.  Twenty six people were murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting.  That tragedy sparked a massive response from politicians in comforting speeches and calls for new gun laws.  Now take Planned Parenthood‘s abortion number of 330,000 a year or roughly 37 abortions every hour.  That means the same number of lives as the Sandy Hook shooting are murdered by abortions every 42 minutes, 24/7!  And yet, the response from the political class is silent.  No speeches, no national dialogue, no executive orders, and no one saying, “Not one more child!”  Politicians were saying that they would do whatever it takes to reduce the likelihood of another Sandy Hook.  Where’s the “doing whatever it takes” to protect an unborn life from being murdered every 90 seconds?

When Planned Parenthood boasts its yearly 330,000 abortions performed (which you, the taxpayer, help fund), that doesn’t take into account the 330,000 additional lives that are also shattered — those of the mother’s.  For every life that is murdered by abortion, there is someone who has to live with the consequences of that decision.  And you also have to throw in the fathers as well since many of them also have to deal with the reality of the abortion.  If you are taking into account other people negatively affected by abortions, you might as well consider the doctors and nurses that do the procedures.  Sure, the mother, father, and doctors’ lives may not suffer any consequences immediately.  But there is plenty of data and testimonies that show the long-term damage abortions have on parents both mentally and physically.  And then there is the long-term damage abortion has on society as we devalue human life in our laws and public consciousness.

Anti abortion rally in Washington, D.C. Decemb...

We live in a society where government is playing a larger role in our lives.  I’m not going to get into why I think that’s a bad idea in this post.  But think about all the money government spends.  We are in year five of trillion dollar deficits.  The government spends money on food stamps, cell phones, health care, backing mortgages, investing in “green” technology, bailing out industries, foreign aid, and thousands of other ways that will supposedly move the United States to stability and prosperity.  And yet, not a dime from those trillions is spent to provide solutions to handling unexpected pregnancies except for abortions.  Imagine the support we could provide those surprised expecting mothers if we took the funds to Planned Parenthood and wasteful government programs and spent that on pre-natal care, mental and spiritual support, housing, and whatever else is needed to foster the new life, not kill it.  And while I loath government getting involved in so many aspects of our lives, at least we wouldn’t be funding intrinsically evil acts.  If the government is going to take my money and spend it, it might as well be to support life, not destroy it.

In light of all these realities, your rosaries should be on fire from all the prayers that are needed.  Pray the rosary daily and remember your commitment to be pro-life.  And that doesn’t mean to be pro-life one week out of the year, but every day.  That also doesn’t mean starting a fight with your pro-choice co-workers or arguing with a pro-choice relative.  But it does mean that you defend and promote the value of life when you can.  We are all called in different ways to show God’s glory and the beauty of His creation.  For some it might be side walk counselling or praying in front of abortion clinics.  For others, it means giving to pro-life charities.  It might mean participating in the Walk for Life (West Coasters, see you Saturday in San Francisco).  Don’t know what your part is in this war?  That’s where praying the rosary daily will help.  Ask God for guidance and He’ll show you the way.


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