Faith for the Journey of Life

My Thoughts on Faith, Life, and 2,000+ Years of Catholicism / Christianity

23 January 2007

Prayer for the Canonization of Father Michael J. McGivney

In 1881, God called a young parish priest in Connecticut to form an organization of Catholic men to help the less fortunate and support the Church. Today, that priest's vision is an international organization with millions of dedicated members. The organization is the Knights of Columbus; the priest was Father Michael J. McGivney.

As a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, I humbly post the prayer for Father McGivney's canonization. This prayer is often prayed at Knights functions that I attend and I encourage you to pray this as well...

"God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor. Through the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast. We humbly ask that you glorify your servant Father Michael J. McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will. Through his intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request). Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be."

(Courtesy of Father Michael J. McGivney Guild website)

22 January 2007

Random Thoughts on Life Issues

Today in Washington DC and numerous places around the country, the defenders of life have gathered on the occasion of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to remind America of the evils of abortion. On this occasion, I offer my random thoughts on life issues.

"Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward(Psalm 127:3)." No further comment is necessary.

In college, I, like many other well-meaning people, was opposed to abortion but supported a woman's right to choose. Then a close friend of mine aborted her pre-born baby. Her experience taught me that you cannot be against abortion and for choice. Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes and leading me onto the right side of this issue.

Following Bill Clinton's election to the Presidency in November 1992, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz authored a most inspiring prayer for life. (See my previous posting.) Now as a new anti-life majority led by pseudo-Catholic Nancy Pelosi takes over in Congress, let us re-visit this prayer in the hopes that the Holy Spirit may lead them to defend life.

When presented with a choice between her life and the life of her pre-born baby, St. Gianna Molla chose not to abort her baby. Doing so cost St. Gianna her life but spared the life of her child. May St. Gianna pray for all expectant mothers that their choices may be for the good of their pre-born children.

On the issue of slavery, Thomas Jefferson once wrote..."I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that is justice cannot sleep forever." I find those words most alarming when I reflect that abortion is no less evil than slavery was in Jefferson's time.

I participated in my first March for Life in January 1995 and have attended several since then. At each of the Marches for Life that I have participated in, I have marvelled at the diversity of the participants. People of all ages, faiths, ethnicity, socio-economic background and home states gathering together for the rights of unborn children. Thank God for the freedoms we enjoy to public proclaim life and petition our elected officials on life issues.

I note with great concern that since Roe v. Wade, the forces of choice have chosen to expand their attacks on life in disturbing directions: partial birth abortions, euthanasia, cloning, stem cell research, using abortion for population control, birth control, the infamous "morning after" pill RU-486, etc.

Several years ago, I attended a Rosary prayer session outside an abortion clinic in coastal New Jersey. The clinic chose to close for the day rather than have their clients / victims face a large group of people praying for the lives of pre-born babies and their mothers.

And in conclusion...Lord, please have mercy!

Daily Prayer for Life

In honor of today's March for Life in Washington DC today, I offer the inspiring prayer written by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz...

"Heavenly Father, as the author of life, touch with compassion the hearts of those women and men who with Your help, have conceived human life and now think of abortion, not parenthood. Help them to understand that their newly created child and all children are made in Your image and likeness, made for eternal life.

Dispel their fears and helplessness and give them true and generous hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a parent alone can give. And when Your children turn away from You through abortion, penetrate their hearts to seek Your loving forgiveness and healing power.

Finally Lord, soften the hearts of the abortionists, and enlighten all elected officials, particularly our current President, to accept Your loving grace and to recognize and protect the inviolability and sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Amen."

Bishop Bruskewitz wrote this prayer a couple weeks after Bill Clinton was elected President. You will note that the Bishop's prayer refers to the anti-life / pro-choice Clinton.

20 January 2007

The Heavens Declare

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the sky proclaims its builder's craft.
One day to the next conveys that message;
one night to the next imparts that knowledge.
There is no word or sound;
no voice is heard;
yet their report goes forth through all the earth,
their message to the ends of the world.
God has pitched a tent there for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber,
and like an athlete joyfully runs its course.
From one end of the heavens it comes forth;
its course runs through to the other;
nothing escapes its heat."

Psalm 19:1-7

[Photo taken Oceanside, California, November 2005]

14 January 2007

A New Year for Divine Mercy

My Knights of Columbus council recently hosted a Holy Hour with a Divine Mercy icon. Our Supreme headquarters circulates this icon amongst Knights councils to inspire greater devotion to Divine Mercy. The Holy Hour featured Gospel readings, hymns, a Homily on Divine Mercy, the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the praying of the Divine Mercy Litany.

If you are not familiar with the Divine Mercy devotion, please allow me to offer a brief overview. The Divine Mercy devotion is based upon the private revelations of our Lord and Savior to a Polish nun in the 1930s - St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. As the world was precariously perched between world wars, our Most Merciful Father saw fit to bless mankind by reminding us of His great mercy and deliver us a message of great hope amidst the impending horrors of renewed war and totalitarian oppression. Over the period of several years, Jesus delivered numerous messages to St. Faustina about God's mercy and instructed her in several ways to promote and honors his mercy. This includes the Divine Mercy Chaplet (said on the Rosary), Divine Mercy Sunday (the first Sunday after Easter), the Divine Mercy Novena and the Divine Mercy image.

The Divine Mercy image (which the aforementioned Knights icon depicts) shows a resurrected Jesus with rays emanating from his chest. The best description comes from St. Faustina's own diary...

"The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him (299). By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. (742)."

Jesus spoke these descriptive words to St. Faustina and as the dutiful recorder that she was, St. Faustina conveys His words to us to remind us of God's great mercy for us all.

Today, we do not need look to very far in this world to see why we are all in such great need for God's mercy. Anti-family advocates are ramming gay marriage through courts and legislatures in New Jersey and other states. Babies continue to be killed in the womb in the publicly stated name of "choice" and the publicly denied name of "profit" and "convenience." War rages in various parts of the globe. Christians and Jews are persecuted for their faith. Islamo-fascism threatens the lives of millions of innocent people. Our culture's pop icons are promoting licentiousness and greed amongst our young people. And so on and so forth...

In spite of all the millions of ways in which we provoke God's justice and push His patience, God still loves us and provides us with the means to make amends. Through His Son's Cross and His incomprehensible love and mercy, eternal damnation need not be our ultimate fate. As Jesus's personal secretary of Divine Mercy, St. Faustina reminds us of that.

Divine Mercy, Crown of All God's Handiwork...I place all my trust in You!