Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday, December 06, 2012

David Bereit at 40 Days for Life Rally

Aloha Faithful Warriors!
We are so delighted to report that 40 Days for Life National Director David Bereit and his wife Margaret joined us for our closing Victory Rally on November 4. It was a wonderful event with a good turnout. David encouraged us with his message to keep up the fight whether we see the results or not. God sees and God acts.

Attached are a few photos of the rally and of David and Margaret enjoying our refreshing shaved ice at Waioli. They spent the rest of the week on the Big Island with the 40 Days group there and also celebrating the opening of a pregnancy center in Kailua-Kona. 

God showered His favor on us with this visit! 
Praise His Name!

God bless you all,
40 Days for Life Honolulu Team








Saturday, October 06, 2012

Day Nine - Last Day of the Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation

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Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. – Rev. 11:19–12:1

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

In his homilies on Our Blessed Mother, St. Francis de Sales preached that Mary was perfectly one with Christ on Calvary in his worship of the Father. She offered him lovingly back to the Father and she offered her sufferings for her children. The Saint tells us that Mary would have died with Christ on Calvary had her Son not prevented her. Jesus willed that she stay for some time with the Church on earth after his ascension into heaven and share in his death of love later.

When the time willed by God arrived, Mary died a natural death – but a death that was consciously an act of worshipful love. The Mother of God longed with her whole being to be with Jesus in his Kingdom. When the moment of death came, she offered herself as Jesus had offered himself to the Father at the moment of his death. Entrusting herself into his embrace, Mary, on fire with the Holy Spirit, transformed her death into an act of love of the Father – a Eucharistic act of worship in, through and with Christ.

Preserved from the corruption of the grave, Mary was raised from the dead by Christ and taken, body and soul, into the glory of heaven. In 1950, Pope Pius XII solemnly defined that the Assumption of Mary is an integral part of the Christian Revelation: By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

Mary’s dormition, that is, her death, resurrection, and assumption into glory, are a source of hope for Christians who believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught: As the Mother of Jesus, glorified in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth (Lumen Gentium 68). From her place in Heaven, Mary intercedes with and through Christ for all of the needs of her children on earth.

Prayer

Mary, Mother of God and our dear Mother, be with us at the hour of our death. Help us understand that, by dying for us, your Son transformed death into an act of worship of the Father – a sacred moment of passage from this life to the next; a moment determined by God alone. Fortified by the sacraments of the Church, help us to die as you did – in an act of love and self-offering for the salvation of others. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Adapted from Tessera of the Legion of Mary)
Day Nine of the Novena

Day Eight -Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation

Our Lady of Victory

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For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. – 1 Cor. 15:3-7

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

Saturday is Mary’s day. The origin of this custom seems to be the sense among Christians that Mary alone believed firmly in Christ’s resurrection from the dead once his body was laid in the tomb on Holy Saturday. All of the other disciples were, at best, distraught and confused by Jesus’ promise that he would rise from the dead. Mary alone did not falter in her faith. It is precisely this faith that the Church honors each Saturday of the year.

Blessed John Paul II explained in a General Audience Address that Mary was very likely the first disciple to see and embrace the risen Lord:

Indeed, it is legitimate to think that the Mother was probably the first person to whom the risen Jesus appeared. Could not Mary’s absence from the group of women who went to the tomb at dawn (cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1) indicate that she had already met Jesus? This inference would also be confirmed by the fact that the first witnesses of the Resurrection, by Jesus’ will, were the women who had remained faithful at the foot of the Cross and therefore were more steadfast in faith. Indeed, the Risen One entrusts to one of them, Mary Magdalene, the message to be passed on to the Apostles (cf. Jn. 20:17-18). Perhaps this fact too allows us to think that Jesus showed himself first to his Mother, who had been the most faithful and had kept her faith intact when put to the test. Lastly, the unique and special character of the Blessed Virgin’s presence at Calvary and her perfect union with the Son in his suffering on the Cross seem to postulate a very particular sharing on her part in the mystery of the Resurrection. (21 May 1997)

The Scriptures tell us that after Christ ascended into heaven, Mary remained with the Apostles as they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). She was with the Twelve on Pentecost and, with them, received the Holy Spirit. The Twelve received the Spirit for their work of preaching the Gospel and baptizing people of every nation. Mary received the Holy Spirit for her mission as mother of Christ’s disciples. Until the end of the world Mary, Mother of the Church, will help her children live by faith, spread the faith, and work tirelessly for the conversion of all men and women to Christ.

St. Louis de Montfort in his masterpiece, True Devotion to Mary, explains that Mary, assumed into Heaven, shares her faith with her children on earth:

Mary will share her faith with you. Her faith on earth was stronger than that of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and saints. Now that she is reigning in heaven she no longer has this faith, since she sees everything clearly in God by the light of glory. However, with the consent of almighty God she did not lose it when entering heaven. She has preserved it for her faithful servants in the Church militant. Therefore the more you gain the friendship of this faithful Virgin the more you will be inspired by faith in your daily life (214).

Catholics today need to be strengthened by Mary to stand firm in the fight for the protection of human life from conception to natural death and the preservation of the religious freedom guaranteed to American citizens by the Constitution. May she who has been chosen by God to crush the head of the ancient serpent (Gen. 3:15), accomplish the renewal of faith and apostolic zeal in our land through the labor of Catholics dedicated to the Gospel.

Prayer

Confer, O Lord, on us, who serve beneath the standard of Mary, that fullness of faith in you, and trust in her, to which it is given to conquer the world. Grant us a lively faith, animated by charity, which will enable us to perform all our actions from the motive of pure love of you, and ever to see you and serve you in our neighbor; a faith, firm and immovable as a rock, through which we shall rest tranquil and steadfast amid the crosses, toils and disappointments of life; a courageous faith which will inspire us to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for your glory and for the salvation of souls; a faith which will be our Pillar of Fire – to lead us forth united – to kindle everywhere the fires of divine love – to enlighten those who are in darkness and in the shadow of death – to inflame those who are lukewarm – to bring back life to those who are dead in sin; and which will guide our own feet in the way of peace; so that when the battle of life is over, all of Mary's children without the loss of any one, may be gathered together in the kingdom of Your love and glory. Amen.
(Adapted from Tessera of the Legion of Mary)


Day Eight of the Novena

Friday, October 05, 2012

Day Seven - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation

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Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother,"Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. – John 19:25-27

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

As Mary stood close to her crucified son, she suffered everything he suffered in her heart. God asked a great deal of Mary on Calvary. He asked her to believe, even though there was not human reason to believe, what he had spoken to her through the Angel Gabriel thirty years earlier: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:32-33).

God asked the Blessed Mother to consent to the sacrifice of Christ by offering Jesus to the Father in an act of worship, and in joining her own sufferings to his for our salvation. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council beautifully described Mary’s maternal work on Calvary: In a wholly singular way Mary cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior restoring supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace (Lumen Gentium 61).

To reveal that Mary at the foot of the Cross was in labor, giving birth to the Church, Jesus said: WomanBehold your son. And to the Beloved Disciple who represented each of us: Behold your mother. The ancient Christian writer Origen of Alexandria wrote: For if Mary, as those declare who with sound mind extol her, had no other son but Jesus, and yet Jesus says to His mother “Woman, behold your son” and not “Behold you have this son also,”  then He virtually said to her “Behold, this is Jesus, whom you bore.” Is it not the case that everyone who is perfect lives himself no longer, but Christ lives in him, if Christ lives in him, then it is said of him to Mary, “Behold your son Christ.” (Origen, On John, Bk. 1, ch. 6)

St. John then observes, from that hour the disciple took her to his home. Scripture scholars note that the text could be translated literally as from that hour the disciple took her into his own. Christ wants all his beloved disciples to enter into a son-mother, daughter-mother relationship with his mother, the first and most perfect of his disciples. The disciple takes her into his intimacy, asking her to teach him the ways of Christ. Blessed Jiohn Paul II based his understanding of consecration to Jesus through Mary on this one verse of Scripture: "The disciple took her into his own". St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximilian Kolbe had taught him the importance of total consecration to Jesus through Mary. These three holy priests will also help us to give everything to Jesus through Mary.

It is so important in our perilous times to make an act of total Consecration of oneself to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin. Through this act of self-offering, the Christian gives Christ everything through Mary: body, soul, all material possessions and occupations, and every spiritual gift. Through consecration, the Christian freely becomes Mary’s servant and slave so as to belong totally to Jesus. Unlike the slavery to sin, this freely chosen slavery is the only bondage that brings true freedom and peace. By giving everything to Christ through Mary, the Christian is confident that the Holy Spirit will use him to crush the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15) and prepare for the Reign of Jesus Christ.

Prayer

Prayer of Consecration of St. Maximilian Kolbe

O Immaculate Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.

If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and, “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.” Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for intro­ducing and increasing your glory to the maxi­mum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holi­ness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies. Amen

Day Seven of the Novena

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Day Six - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation

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On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. – John 2:1-11

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

The first explicit mention of the Mother of Jesus in St. John’s Gospel is at a wedding feast. Mary arrived at the week-long celebration before Jesus. When he arrived Mary immediately brought him a concern:They have no wine. She wanted everyone, especially the newlyweds and their families and friends, to enjoy the Wedding celebration. Certainly Mary felt the embarrassment of the young couple and was confident in bringing their need to Jesus. He responded to her intercession – yes, this is a powerful instance of Mary’s maternal mediation. Changing water into wine, Jesus performed the first great miracle of his public ministry.

St. John notes that Jesus acted to witness to his divinity for the Apostles: This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. Before the miracle the Apostles thought of Jesus as a rabbi, a kind of professor ofTorah. Seeing the water turn into wine before their eyes, the Apostles experienced Jesus’ glory as Messiah and Lord and began to believe in him. By her intercession, Mary obtained saving faith for those chosen to be the first priests of the Church. Mary, even then, understood her right to bring every human and spiritual need into the presence of her Son. Then in Cana, and now in Heaven, the Mother of God desires her Son to reveal his power as Messiah and Lord of all creation and to save his people.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church connects the first miracle of Jesus and the Sacrament of Matrimony: On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign – at his mother’s request – during a wedding feast. The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence (CCC 1613). Mary in Heaven continues to bring the human and spiritual needs of families into the radius of Christ’s messianic power.

Prayer

Mother Mary, at Cana you showed that you are the mother of many children. You understood the pain felt by the poor and turned to your Son for help. Filled with the Spirit of God, you also wanted Jesus' Apostles to share your faith in him. You understood that the absence of faith is the worst poverty any person ever experiences. You also knew that only God can give the gift of faith. Bringing these needs to Jesus in prayer, rich wine flowed through the small village of Cana and the strong wine of faith flooded the hearts of the Apostles.

Mary, we all have needs, great and small. We are poor in material resources and in spiritual goods. We beg you to bring all of our needs to Jesus. You never ask for anything that will harm your children. Jesus never refuses any request you bring to him. Pray especially for our families that are torn apart by marital infidelity, domestic violence, flaws in parental love, and the pain caused by contraception, sterilization, and abortion. Help all to understand that the Sacrament of Matrimony was instituted by your Son so that man and wife, in loving one another, may encounter his grace and bring forth children for the kingdom. Pray for your sons and daughters who bear the heavy burden of same-sex attraction. Help them discover the freedom chastity imparts and its beauty. Mary, pray that our families may live in harmony and love as you lived with Jesus and Joseph in your home in Nazareth. Mary, we need you to be our mother, the mother of all families. Amen.
Day Six of the Novena

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Day Five - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation


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Lo, the star which the Wise Men had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. – Matthew 2: 9-11

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore from 1877 to 1921, explained to his flock why Catholics delight to honor Mary with the title Mother of God:

When we call the Blessed Virgin the Mother of God, we assert our belief in two things: First – That her Son, Jesus Christ, is true man, else she were not a mother. Second – That He is true God, else she were not the Mother of God. In other words, we affirm that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word of God, who in His divine nature is from all eternity begotten of the Father, consubstantial with Him. He was in the fullness of time again begotten, by being born of the Virgin, thus taking to Himself, from her maternal womb, a human nature of the same substance with hers.

But it may be said the Blessed Virgin is not the Mother of the Divinity. She had not, and she could not have, any part in the generation of the Word of God, for that generation is eternal; her maternity is temporal. He is her Creator; she is His creature. Style her, if you will, the Mother of the man Jesus or even of the human nature of the Son of God, but not the Mother of God.

I shall answer this objection by putting a question. Did the mother who bore us have any part in the production of our soul? Was not this nobler part of our being the work of God alone? And yet who would for a moment dream of saying “the mother of my body,” and not “my mother?”

The comparison teaches us that the terms parent and child, mother and son, refer to the persons and not to the parts or elements of which the persons are composed. Hence no one says: “The mother of my body,” “the mother of my soul”; but in all propriety “my mother,” the mother of I who live and breathe, think and act, one in my personality, though uniting in it a soul directly created by God, and a material body directly derived from the maternal womb. In like manner, as far as the sublime mystery of the Incarnation can be reflected in the natural order, the Blessed Virgin, under the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, by communicating to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, as mothers do, a true human nature of the same substance with her own, is thereby really and truly His Mother.

It is in this sense that the title of Mother of God, denied by Nestorius, was vindicated to her by the General Council of Ephesus, in 431; in this sense, and in no other, has the Church called her by that title.

Prayer

God, our Almighty Father, by becoming a man your Son revealed the goodness and holiness of human conception, pregnancy, and birth. With tender maternal love, the Virgin Mary conceived your eternal Son, carried him beneath her heart, and brought him to birth. No intervention of yours in human history illustrates more clearly the greatness and dignity of woman than the Incarnation. May Mary help all to believe that the man she bore, Jesus Christ, is truly your eternal Son-made-man. May she help all to appreciate the wonder of conception, pregnancy, and birth. Draw all women in our society to her motherly embrace. Help them understand that their children are created by you at the moment of their conception and belong to you in this life and in the next. Father, protect all women from attacks against their maternal fecundity. Guard them from those who war against them and their dignity through the promotion of contraception, sterilization, and abortion. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Day Five of the Novena

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Day Four - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation


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The Visitation
Airs live Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 at 8 AM ET

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior. – Luke 1:39-47

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

Mary, carrying the eternal Son of God in her womb, went with hasteto visit her aged relative, Elizabeth, and her husband, Zechariah. The Angel Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth was also pregnant:Behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1: 36-37).

St. Luke, it would seem, saw 2 Samuel 6, the Old Testament account of King David’s transfer of the Ark of the Covenant from the from the hill country of Judah to Jerusalem, fulfilled in the Visitation account. St. Luke’s intention was to present Mary, making the journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth, as the true Ark of the Covenant – the new dwelling place of God among his people.

Here are some points of comparison: When Jewish people came into the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, they would let out a joyful shout, a certain holy noise reserved exclusively to honor God’s presence in the Ark. When Mary entered her kinswoman’s house and greeted her, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry. Elizabeth used almost the exact words that King David had used when he realized the significance of the Ark coming to his house: And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Finally, whereas David danced and leaped before the old Ark of the Covenant, it was John the Baptist in his mother’s womb who danced and leaped before the presence of God in his new Ark of the Covenant, Mary!

This text casts brilliant light on the meaning of the Annunciation and Mary’s fiat. Through Mary’s assent of faith to the word of the Angel, the eternal Son of God came down from Heaven to dwell in her womb. The Ark of the Covenant constructed at God’s command by Moses and Aaron is only a type – a foreshadowing of Mary, the true dwelling place of God. Elizabeth, Zechariah, and the unborn John the Baptist are blessed by Jesus living in Mary. Elizabeth blessed Son and Mother three times: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Prayer

Almighty and Ever-Living God, the Virgin Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant. During the nine months of her pregnancy, she carried your Son-made-man in her virginal womb. From his Royal Throne, Christ began to bring his people salvation. After his birth, which did not diminish His mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it, he continued to dwell in Mary through grace and charity with an unparalleled intensity. Father, we beg you to send Mary to visit the United States, calling all to faith in Christ's Gospel of Life and conversion from sin. May she help all to understand that her conception of Christ in Nazareth, and her wondrous childbirth in Bethlehem, point to the inviolable sanctity of every conception and birth. May she help those women who have had abortions to find God's forgiveness and healing. Father, turn the hearts of all advocates of contraception and abortion to Christ, the Lord of Life. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Day Four of the Novena

Monday, October 01, 2012

Day Three - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation

"The Annunciation" by Antoniazzo Roman, 1485

The Annunciation
Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 at 8 AM ET

And Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaid
of the Lord;
Let it be done to me according to your word.
– Luke 1:38

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

Scholars speculate that Mary was likely a teenager when Gabriel came from Heaven with God’s message of salvation. That day, God revealed to Mary her vocation, and her role in the salvation of the world. He revealed to her that he had a Son who would come into the world to save all people from sin, death, and the dominion of Satan. God asked Mary, the New Eve, to be the virgin mother of his eternal Son. His plan depended on her “Yes!” God willed to open the floodgates of mercy for the human race through Mary’s consent to be the virgin Mother of God-made-man. God, who needs no one to accomplish his purposes, willed to send his Son to us through Mary’s assent of faith.

Mary stood before God as representative of the People of Israel and, indeed, of the entire human race. At that moment, everything depended upon her fiat; her Yes, let it be done unto to me according to your will. At the Second Vatican Council, the Church stressed Mary’s active participation in the redemption of the world. The Council Fathers recalled the words of St. Irenaeus of Lyon, a bishop of the 2nd century.

Mary, a daughter of Adam, consenting to the divine Word, became the mother of Jesus, the one and only Mediator. Embracing God’s salvific will with a full heart and impeded by no sin, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son, under Him and with Him, by the grace of almighty God, serving the mystery of redemption. Rightly therefore the Holy Fathers see her as used by God not merely in a passive way, but as freely cooperating in the work of human salvation through faith and obedience. For, as St. Irenaeus says, she, “being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert in their preaching, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience; what the virgin Eve bound through her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.” Comparing Mary with Eve, they call her “the Mother of the living,” and still more often they say: “death through Eve, life through Mary” (Lumen Gentium 56).

Through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit Mary embraced Christ first in her mind through faith, then in her heart through hope and charity, and finally in her body by a miracle that only God could accomplish. She eagerly consented to her virginal motherhood with the full awareness that her child would be named  Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Through her fiat, Mary gave us Jesus and is, therefore, in God’s plan, the human cause of our salvation. We owe everything good in our lives to Mary, theCause of our Joy.

Prayer

God, Almighty Father, when Mary surrendered herself to your Word, she conceived Christ first in her mind through faith, in her heart through hope and love, and finally in her body through the marvelous operation of your Holy Spirit. By her eagerness to be the mother of your Son, she opened the floodgates of your merciful love for all men and women. May she help all people to live by faith, hope, love, and obedience to your will. May she remind us always that you want to bring salvation to our brothers and sisters through our faith and good works. Help us to accept fully our responsibility to combat the culture of death and foster the culture of life in our American society. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Day Three Novena for Religious Liberties

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day Two - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation



Mary's Desire for Virginity
Airs live Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 at 8 AM ET

And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I have no husband? – Luke 1:34

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

Long before the Angel Gabriel brought Mary the message that God had chosen her to be the mother of his Son, she had resolved to give herself entirely and exclusively – in the gift of perpetual virginity. Mary knew that God had entered into a Covenant – a family bond – with the People of Israel on Mount Sinai. Although the Lord had remained faithful to the Covenant promises, Israel had not. By repeatedly breaking the Commandments of God, her people had shown herself to be an adulterous spouse. Mary, painfully aware of the history of Israel as told by the Prophets, yearned to make reparation for the sins of her people by loving God as his faithful bride.

Here is Pope John Paul II's description of Mary's desire to remain a virgin throughout her life:

Mary herself wanted to be the personal image of that absolutely faithful bride, totally devoted to the divine Bridegroom, and therefore she became the beginning of the new Israel in her spousal heart.... She confirms and strengthens a consecration already in effect, which becomes the abiding condition of her life. She in fact replies to the Angel of the Annunciation: "How will this come about, since I am a virgin?" (Lk. 1:34); as if to say: I am a virgin devoted to God, and I do not intend to leave my spouse, because I do not think that God wills it – He who is so jealous of Israel, so severe with anyone who betrays him, so persistent in his merciful call to reconciliation! Mary is well aware of her people's infidelity, and she wants personally to be a bride who is faithful to her most beloved divine Spouse.

God sent the Angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth to tell Mary that he had accepted her desire to belong exclusively to him and, in fact, was the source of that desire. Mary's longing for a life of virginity was, in fact, a response to God's faithful love. The Angel tells Mary that she would conceive God's son as a virgin through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. She is to be simultaneously a virgin, bride, and mother. Her freely chosen virginity allowed Mary to belong totally to Christ as his mother and totally to each of us as our loving mother. The Blessed Virgin Mary witnesses that the beautiful value of virginity is always for the sake of spousal love and motherhood!

Prayer

Almighty and Ever-Living God, Mary gave herself to you unreservedly through the gift of her virginity. As she loved Jesus with an undivided heart, she continues to love and serve all of her children on earth. Through her example, instill in all the members of your Church a deeper appreciation of the value of virginity. Help all to understand that virginity is the perfect gift that spouses give to each other on their wedding day. Inspire many young men and women to embrace a life of consecrated celibacy or virginity in the priesthood and consecrated life. Teach us all the meaning of your Son's words:Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Mt. 5:8). We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.


Day Two Novena

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day One - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation


The Immaculate Conception of  the Mother of God


You are wholly beautiful, my beloved, and without a 
blemish. – Song of Songs 4:7
Prayer
We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in 
our necessities,
But ever deliver us from 
all dangers,
O glorious and blessed 
Virgin.
Reflection

Since God creates an immortal soul through the conjugal union of man and woman, the conception of
every human person is sacred. God loves every person into being – even when the conception is an act of lust or violence.

When the Virgin Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, God created her immortal soul and filled
her with his divine life. In the Immaculate Conception, God uniquely redeemed Mary by preserving her from
Original Sin through the foreseen merits of Christ, the Savior. From the first moment of her life, Mary was
wholly beautiful, full of grace (Lk. 1:28), without any trace of self-centeredness, any inclination to sin and
with unparalleled freedom to love God and all other people. In her conception, God armed Mary to destroy
the kingdom of Satan (Gen. 3:15). The charity of Christ filled Mary from the first moment of her existence – in the safety of her mother’s womb.


Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in these words: We declare, pronounce,
and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her
conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ,
the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God
and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

The good news of the Immaculate Conception is that 14 15 there is more love in Mary’s sinless soul than there is evil in the world. In her  Immaculate Conception, God empowered Mary to say  yes freely to his plan of salvation in Christ and to help us, her sons and daughters, to say yes too.

Prayer

God, Almighty Father, at the moment of our 
conception you loved each of us into life. You 
loved Mary wondrously in her  Immaculate 
Conception, preserving her from inheriting the sin 
of Adam through the foreseen merits of the Savior. 
You prepared Mary in her conception to be the Mother 
and partner of your Son and our loving mother. Give 
all people an ever deeper reverence for your presence 
and creative action in human conception. Help all to 
recognize the evil of abortion and contraception, and all 
sins which offend our Creator God. In Mary’s maternal 
embrace, may every American foster reverence for 
human life in our nation. We ask this through Jesus 
Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Novena Source

Monday, July 23, 2012

AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD: 'CLOSE YOUR DOORS FOREVER!'


Washington, D.C. - Chicago Sun Times reports the death of another young woman at a Planned Parenthood facility. American Life League demands that Planned Parenthood end its culture of death, and calls on the nation to join in putting a stop to these nefarious activities.

"Another woman has died at Planned Parenthood," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. "It's time for it to close its doors." Sedlak was reacting to the news, reported by the Chicago Sun Times, that Tonya Reaves, 24, was pronounced dead at 11:20 p.m. Friday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. According to the newspaper, Reaves was taken to the hospital from the Planned Parenthood clinic at 18 S. Michigan Ave, where she had had an abortion.

"Tonya joins Holly Patterson, Diana Lopez, and many other women who went into a Planned Parenthood facility and did not survive," said Sedlak. He continued, "These deaths of healthy women are, of course, in addition to the 450 preborn female human beings who die at Planned Parenthood every day."

Sedlak says American Life League, and its STOPP International project, are calling on Planned Parenthood to close its doors all across America. "Americans have made it clear that they do not want Planned Parenthood to exist any longer," Sedlak continued. "It is closing down clinics for lack of money and customers; losing donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations; and seeing its taxpayer funding cut off in state after state, as well as in the House of Representatives. Planned Parenthood has been able to survive only through the erroneous intervention of judges in the funding process, its bullying tactics, and its own political muscle."

"Any organization that only exists through fear and intimidation," Sedlak concluded, "will not be able to exist for long. Planned Parenthood needs to do the right thing and close down all its facilities now."

PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT LOSES INSPIRING YOUNG LEADER


American Life League joins the Moore family and Crossroads to mourn the untimely death of Thomas Aquinas student fatally injured during cross-country walk
Washington, D.C. - American Life League joins the Moore family, Thomas Aquinas College, Crossroads, and the entire pro-life movement in mourning the untimely death of a young and inspiring son, student, and leader. Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued the following statement:
The news of the sudden and untimely death of Andrew Moore was received with profound sadness by American Life League. We applaud the exemplary commitment by this young leader during his lifetime, and pray that the works that he began by joining Crossroads, praying for preborn lives, and actively counseling will come to fruition.

According to the Crossroads website, 20-year-old Andrew Moore testified that his decision to play such an active role in saving all of God's children was also a way to serve his God. His selflessness demonstrated a remarkable strength of character.

We have lost a dedicated and inspiring budding leader in Andrew. May he find rest in God's perfect peace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Violence against Pro-Lifers: Evil and Predictable


Violence against Pro-Lifers: Evil and Predictable
By Judie Brown

It is not only sad, but terrifying, that there are people today who would get so enraged with those who are pro-life that they would attempt to frighten or even harm them. Yet that is exactly what has happened in Colorado. Today's commentary addresses two such instances and offers encouragement for anyone who may be discouraged by these actions. 
 
A shocking chain of events unfolded in the state of Colorado recently. For those unfamiliar with the details, it is my sad obligation to enlighten you.

It all started with an in-depth Newsweek  article about Keith and Jennifer Mason, founders ofPersonhood USA. Mason, who is never at a loss for words, was only too happy to explain to the reporter why he and his entire family are so committed to protecting the vulnerable preborn, saying, "As long as I have arms, I'm gonna be swinging them."
 
Several days after the interview appeared, in the middle of the night, the glass of Mason's front door was shattered with a huge rock while he and his entire family were sleeping inside. Vulgarities were spray painted on the house. Naturally, Mason, his pregnant wife, and their three small children were traumatized by the event. The next day Mason issued a statement in which he  said, "It is shocking to consider that someone would be so cruel and heartless to attack a home with a pregnant woman and small children inside. Apparently, the pro-choice crowd has no more compassion for born children than they do for the preborn."
 
A few days later, a volunteer for Personhood USA, 69-year-old Everett Stadig, was assaulted and thrown to the ground, sustaining a broken hip and other injuries. Stadig was asking passers-by to sign a personhood petition for the 2012 ballot when one man reacted violently. "Stadig toldLifeSiteNews the unnamed man declined to sign the petition and began 'yelling, swearing, and proclaiming' that he was pro-choice." Stadig contends that he attempted to explain why supporting abortion is wrong, but the six-foot-tall assailant would not listen. The man walked away from the confrontation, but returned a few seconds later to continue his "rant." At that point the man allegedly threw Stadig to the ground, injuring him.
 
Stadig is currently recovering and, as Life Issues Institute reports, is smiling from ear to ear, and using his recovery time to gather signatures from his hospital bed for the personhood initiative.

We are grateful that everyone is safe, but have to suggest that such actions truly come as no surprise. The people who defend life are, by their very presence and the work they do, a threat to the proponents of abortion, contraception, and euthanasia. Because we possess the truth in Christ and are unapologetic for proclaiming it from the rooftops, there are many instances where lack of tolerance for our message of hope turns ugly.
 
While there are, thankfully, few physical attacks on sincere pro-lifers, there are verbal assaults, acts of fanaticism, and disdain in abundance. This is why we should recall that, just as Christ suffered for us, so will we experience suffering at some level. That is the price of discipleship.
 
Father Roger Landry wrote a few years ago that God calls each of us to discipleship: "In the face of the greatest project God has ever given us----being His faithful disciple all the way into eternal life"----we must prepare and be faithful no matter what the cost.
 
Yes, what happened to the Masons and dear Mr. Stadig are part of that price we pay, but in the end the devil will not be the victor if we remain steadfast in our commitment to being Christ's willing disciples. When Archbishop Charles Chaput closed his Fortnight for Freedom homily, hesaid,

We need to "speak out," not only for religious liberty and the ideals of the nation we love, but for the sacredness of life and the dignity of the human person----in other words, for the truth of what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God.
  
We need to be witnesses of that truth not only in word, but also in deed. In the end, we're missionaries of Jesus Christ, or we're nothing at all. And we can't share with others what we don't live faithfully and joyfully ourselves.
  
So let us remember these words as we proclaim the truth in our daily lives. We cannot let the evil actions of others keep us from doing Our Lord's work. For, if fear sustains us, the devil's work will crush us.
 
 
Judie Brown is president and cofounder of American Life League

Thursday, June 28, 2012

AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE MORNS WITH THE NATION

American Life League Declares a Sad Day in the History of Our Nation as
the Supreme Court Brings to Naught Our Hopes of Freedom
(Washington, D.C.) - American Life League expresses profound disappointment and joins fellow Americans in condemning the Supreme Court of the United States in its decision to uphold Obamacare as law. Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued the following statement:

This is indeed a sad day for the people of this once great nation where liberty has always been equated with freedom of religion, freedom from oppression, and freedom of speech. The government's draconian healthcare law denies so many rights that the true result is yet unknown, but surely liberty has been trounced in unbelievable fashion.

Let us pray for our nation. We must remember in these dark days that, while we are proud to be Americans, our primary loyalty is to God, not man and surely not the government. Civil disobedience appears to be one of the few options we have, and we say bring it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A.L.L. SUPPORTS BISHOPS' WARNINGS ON OBAMA MANDATE

American Life League Stands with Catholics Bishops in Steadfast Opposition
to Obama Mandate on Religious Freedom
(Washington, DC) - American Life League supports the fight for religious freedom. Paul E. Rondeau, executive director of American Life League, issued the following statement:

American Life League supports the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) call for the June 21-July 4, 2012, "Fortnight for Freedom" event. We urge Christians nationwide to heed the call and make a difference. This event sponsored by the USCCB will serve as a battle cry for all in the fight for religious freedom.

American Life League recognizes that the Obama HHS mandate is not only a slap in the face to Catholics but all people of faith.  It is a clear violation of the conscience rights of all; the mandate betrays the United States Constitution and the citizens of America.  Obama's edict replaces God's morality with the latest fad of government imposed values.

As faithful Catholics, we have the Constitutional right to refuse to participate in acts defined by our faith as immoral. We stand with the bishops and demand that President Obama cease and desist his attacks on religious freedom and personal liberty.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Obama's Gendercide Hypocrisy

By Judie Brown


In 1973, the Supreme Court told the citizens of our country that it's legal to kill a preborn child. Now, with the ability to determine if that preborn child is a boy or a girl, our citizens are being told it is legal to kill that child if the parents are not happy with the sex of the baby. So a child can be murdered just because she is a girl or he is a boy. Gone are the days of being overjoyed with the news of a baby or feeling that each and every baby is a blessing. If our country is to thrive again, we must return to the belief that family is of utmost importance----and that includes all children. Today's commentary addresses the disgusting new philosophy that, if we are not careful, may be a new trend.

President Obama's positions on "social issues" have never been known as consistent or logical. This can be said about many questions including the human rights of innocent and less fortunate human beings. One current example is the contrast between how the White House handled its opposition to a ban on sex selection abortions versus its position on a toxic poison that was added to drinking water being consumed by Afghan female students in Takhar Province, Afghanistan.

Late last week the United States House of Representatives, under a special rule, voted on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act----a proposal that would have allegedly banned efforts to abort a baby based on that child's gender. President Obama was among those who opposed the proposed law. Apparently Obama does not view sex selection abortion as discriminatory.

As the White House press office stated: "The administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision. . . . The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way."

Such double-talk is designed to muddy the waters. Actually, the White House is telling the public that it defends abortionists. Their deadly practices need to be protected because aborting a baby because of its gender is a "medical decision" and a "private family matter."

The White House is saying that the administration does not want the government intruding when the lives of innocent preborn boys and girls are at risk, even when little girl babies are being killed because the parents want a boy instead of a girl.

However, not all gendercide is equally to be defended by the Obama administration. Barely a month ago, when the first cases of poisoned drinking water at a girl's school in Rustaq, Afghanistan, became public, the Obama administration's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, "said the incident was a reminder of the need to retain hard earned human rights in Afghanistan as security duties were handed over to Kabul."

These mysterious poisonings have resulted in up to 150 young girls being hospitalized because of a toxic chemical being added to their drinking water. The report suggests that this act was perpetrated by a regime that is unbelievably inhumane, barbaric, and symptomatic of some in the Afghani culture who abhor the education of women.

But the double standard that Obama and his minions have chosen to employ in these two cases is madness personified.

How can it be that young women on foreign soil who are being discriminated against and whose lives are being threatened by a cruel regime invite sympathy and expressions of outrage from the Obama administration, while female preborn children in America are summarily denied their human rights without the batting of an eye?

Such inconsistency is symptomatic of the grave problem America faces as society grows increasingly callous to the demands and propaganda of the abortion cartel. Perhaps it is because Americans are ignorant, perhaps it is because they simply do not care or, worst of all, perhaps "human rights" has become a malleable term that applies in some cases and not in others.

No matter the cause, the result is a war on the innocent with a toll so large that the nation and its economy are crumbling. Gendercide, aborticide, national suicide. You decide.   

Judie Brown is president and cofounder of American Life League and a three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life.