- Vote and Act Pro-Life (Helpful Hints for Life)
- Martin Luther King Delivered Message of Faith Hope and Love (Belleville News and BEYOND)
- Stories of God's Love (Catholic Website of the Week under laptop)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Roe vs. Wade: 48 Years of Bad News
"Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because
her children are no more."
While this is no one's favorite topic, it is a reality in which we live. And when we look for good news, we do not look here.
On January 22, 1973, seven Supreme Court Justices declared that it was legal to be able to kill children in the womb during all nine months of pregnancy. When no previous institution or group ever acted when the presence of a human being was in question, the Supreme Court also said, we do not know when human life begins, but whatever is in the womb, it can be killed.
Even science states that human life begins at conception as there is not other discernable moment before and after which one can point to and say there was not human life before, and now there is human life. Even pro-abortion advocates do not deny this. They focus on a woman's 'right to choose' abortion. Some people say, 'I am against abortion, but I can't keep a woman from choosing abortion.'
However, a woman does not have the right to choose to end the life a child. In this, there is a conflict of rights: a child's right to life and the woman's right to choose things for herself. Life is always the prior, or first right. All other choices are dependent upon it. A child's right to life is above a woman's right to choose for herself only after a child is present. So do not be confused by this 'right to choose.'
Over 60 million human lives slaughtered in the womb in the last 48 years LEGALLY! Where are the others of my generation? Let us pray for the healing and converting of our land. Let us work and vote for an end to our modern day slaughter of the human innocents. And let us give true help and assistance to women and children in need, giving life options instead of enshrining in law that which kills the baby and wounds the mother.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This Sunday is the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time . The readings can be found at: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB
b) invoking the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
c) anointing with oil
d) only (a) and (b)
257. Who can receive Baptism? (CCC 1246-1252)
a) only the perfect
b) only babies
c) every person who does something big for God
d) every person not yet baptized
258. Why does the Church baptize infants? (CCC 1250)
a) it is what they did in the Old Testament
b) because Jesus said to do so
c) because they are born with original sin
d) because parents in the early Church begged them to do so
259. What is required of one who is to be baptized? (CCC 1253-1255)
a) to make a profession of faith
b) that one be clothed in white
c) that one pass a faith test
d) to make up for past sins first
(Answers at end)
- the distinctive qualities of each human being as a unique individual
[The human individual, made in the image of God; not some thing but some one, a unity of spirit and matter, soul and body, capable of knowledge, self-possession, and freedom, who can enter into communion with other persons and with God. The human person needs to live in society, which is a group of persons bound together organically by a principle of unity that goes beyond each one of them.]
–prayer of Saint Augustine of Hippo
Some will claim that a persons should not be a single issue voter as if voting for someone who protect human life in law is just one issue among many. Some things are so critical and essential simply by their nature that they set themselves apart or become the non-negotiable that must be present in a decision.
For example suppose someone running for a political office said, I believe and will promote a terrorist's right to crash planes into buildings. Not too many voters, if any, are going to say, 'well I disagree with that politician on terrorists, but I really like his economic plan and ideas on other matters and will vote for him based on that. Some truths must always be present.
The next time we are called to vote and act, let us make sure we are focused on the critical and the essential.
"Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. (Didache 2,2:SCh 248,148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19,5:PG 2 777; Ad Diognetum 5,6:PG 2,1173; Tertullian, Apol. 9:PL 1,319-320.)
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2271
Stories of God's Love
Welcome to Stories of God’s Love! This site supports our terrific new religion readiness program that helps children take their first steps on their journey of faith. Stories of God’s Love teaches Scripture stories and connects them to children’s lives through an easy to understand, real-life story. This website is designed as a dynamic resource for teachers, catechists and parents so enjoy your visit and dive right in!
Check here for the latest information and updates related to the Stories of God’s Love program. You’ll find information on the ten seasonal lessons that introduce children to holy days and the liturgical seasons, tips on building catholic identity, stories, activities, prayers, and a bunch of other ways to extend the celebrations into your home. Check back often as content is updated regularly!
“When I remember my uncle during the Martin Luther King holiday week, I think about his messages of faith, hope and love,” she said, adding that in ”all of his life, he exemplified solutions that were nonviolent and Bible-based.”
King remembered that her uncle used to say that faith is “like climbing a staircase; you take one step at a time and the faith builds. And so he was very sure that if he continued to trust in the Lord and to have faith and hope and love, then he could carry a message that God had given him to carry.”
"My uncle was a nonviolent man. He believed that we were one human race … God made all people to live together on the face of the earth. And as one human race, we really could learn to live together as brothers and sisters and not perish together as fools. All of his sermons and his messages led us to understand that our answers would come from God and that we must unite and learn to get along,” King also said.
She also recalled that Martin Luther King Jr. “decided to stick with love.”
"Hate is too difficult a burden to bear. And then we bear each other's burdens and concerns, seeing each other as human beings, regardless of skin color. We could see skin color, of course, we really are not colorblind. We could see, but we should see ethnicity as something to be celebrated, not to be fought over,” she said.
“Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life of service and love,” said his niece in closing.
“If he were here today, he would be praying for us and with us and encouraging us to set aside strife and to come together in love. And as we do that, we can surely be blessed, and 2021 will be a very different year than 2020 turned out to be.”
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year. The holiday was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 but was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.
“That’s why St. Paul speaks of Christian life as a struggle: a daily struggle. A fight!” he said Jan. 19. “That’s why Jesus came: ‘to destroy Satan's empire, the empire of evil.’”
In his homily at Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on how the day's Gospel from St. Mark talks about crowds of people following Jesus.
“Why were the crowds attracted?” the Pope asked.
In the Gospels it tells us that some are sick and want to be healed, he said. There were also some who liked to listen to Jesus’ preaching. But another answer is that they followed the Lord because the Father always leads us to his Son.
Jesus was moved by these people he saw as sheep without a shepherd, Francis said, these people who are being led to him by the Holy Spirit.
“May the Lord give us the grace to know how to discern what is going on in our hearts and to choose the right path upon which the Father draws us to Jesus.”
Commenting on the end of the Gospel, the Pope quoted the passage that says, “Whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, 'you are the Son of God.’”
Frequently, when we try to approach God, “unclean spirits” try to stop us, he said, and “wage a war against us” through the temptation to sin.
But this temptation is an ordinary part of living a Christian life, he said. “A Christian life without temptations is not Christian. It is ideological, it is Gnostic, but it is not Christian.”
How to join the US bishops in 9 Days for Life
Washington D.C., Jan 16 / 01:49 pm (EWTN News/CNA) - The U.S. bishops hope a new pro-life prayer campaign will unite Catholics against not only abortion, but other threats to human fulfilment and life as well.
“Pope Francis reminds us constantly of the loving concern Christians have for all people at any stage of life who’ve been cast aside or forgotten by society,” stated Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“The 9 Days for Life novena offers a chance to join in prayer and solidarity with the unborn, victims of violence, those suffering from addiction, and those whose hearts ache to be part of a family.”
The novena bookends the 41st annual March for Life, and runs from Saturday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 29. Through “prayer, penance, and pilgrimage,” Catholics can join in solidarity with all victims of abortion, domestic abuse, addiction, and other evils.
The message is about being pro-life for all ages, including the unborn.
There are multiple ways Catholics can take part in the novena. Daily prayers and meditations can be sent through e-mail and text message updates, a downloadable app, or distributed print materials. In addition, parishes and local groups can meet to pray for reparation for abortion and for all those affected by it.
The novena is sorely needed with the prevalence of violence in the U.S., said Anne McGuire, the assistant director for education and outreach for the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, in an interview with EWTN News.
“An increasing number of states are considering doctor-assisted suicide,” McGuire noted. “75 percent of Americans are reported to know a victim of domestic violence. There have been over 56 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, and massive numbers of mothers and fathers suffer the aftermath of those abortions, along with siblings, grandparents, those who work in the abortion industry and others.”
McGuire hopes that the novena will ignite year-round prayer and awareness for these problems.
“We do hope that this novena increases the awareness of each person to be recognized as someone made in the image and likeness of God,” she said, pointing to the theme “each person is a masterpiece of God’s creation.”
“We know that God hears our prayers and we hope that many graces are given in response to our petitions,” she continued.
The website 9daysforlife.com presents a myriad of resources to participants, as does the program’s app. Leaders of prayer groups can access pro-life prayer intentions and print promotional material for their parish. Daily meditations can be shared through social media. Pro-life articles can be printed for distribution.
The whole novena is a “digital pilgrimage,” the Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities insists. Even though “we can't trek 30 miles per day, we can still undertake a pilgrimage,” stated a message from the secretariat, “a prayerful and sacrificial journey for a special intention.”
“One important aspect of pilgrimages is that the participant grows spiritually and perhaps even develops some resolutions by the pilgrimage's completion,” the message added.
"9 Days for Life" will take place January 17-25 (the nine days surrounding the anniversary of Roe v. Wade). To participate, visit www.9daysforlife.com and sign up for daily alerts (accessible via email, text message, or an app) or download and print the novena.
"From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #2274
A bit of humor…
The night we took our three young sons to an upscale restaurant for the first time, my husband ordered a bottle of wine. The server brought it over, began the ritual uncorking, and poured a small amount for me to taste.
My six-year-old piped up, "Mom usually drinks a lot more than that."
My mother is always trying to understand what motivates people, especially those in her family. One day she and my sister were talking about one relative’s bad luck. "Why do you suppose she changed jobs?" Mother asked my sister. "Maybe she has a subconscious desire not to succeed."
"Or maybe it just happened," said my sister, exasperated. "Do you know you analyze everything to death?"
Mother was silent for a moment. "That’s true," she said. "Why do you think I do that?"
'Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world.
There are those who wake up in the morning and say, 'Good morning, Lord,' and there
are those who wake up in the morning and say,' Good Lord, it's morning.'
A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and
couldn't find a space with a meter. Then he puts a note under the windshield wiper that read:
'I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.'
When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note '
I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.'
Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence."
–Catechism of the Catholic Church #2274
Sunday Mass Readings and Questions
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, January 17, 2020
The First Reading - 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was. The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.” Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” “I did not call you, “ Eli said. “Go back to sleep.” So he went back to sleep. Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. “Here I am, “ he said. “You called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.” At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
In this Reading, Samuel provides us an example of growth in faith. Many of us are “cradle Catholics” or at least “cradle Christians”—we grew up raised in Christian homes, learning to pray and worship from childhood. Yet for each of us, there comes a time when we have to embrace a personal relationship with God, a direct relationship no longer mediated by our parents or others who may have raised us. We have to come to an awareness that God has a unique call and purpose for our lives, and we have to embrace that vocation. If we never make this transition, we end up losing the faith or simply “going through the motions” for the rest of our lives. At the beginning of this Reading, Samuel’s relationship to God is mediated through his adopted father, the priest Eli. But by the end of the narrative, Samuel has learned to hear God for himself and submit to God’s will for his life.
Adults - Do you make time in prayer to listen for God’s voice?
Teens - Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions of the faith? How can you go deeper with your faith?
Kids - How do you make your faith in Jesus first in your life?
Responsorial- Psalm 40:2,4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
R.Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
David was remembered in Israel’s history for the intensity of his relationship with the LORD, an intensity captured in the deeply personal and emotional language of so many of the psalms. David uses strong language to emphasize that merely going through the formalities of worship does not satisfy God’s will for us. The words are not to be taken strictly literally—both Samuel and David worshipped God in the public liturgy and offered sacrifices as prescribed by Moses. But this is typical Hebrew hyperbole to express the idea that external worship is not pleasing without the interior and personal consent of our will. Obedience to God’s will, the embrace of his purpose for our life—these are fundamental. How do you listen for God’s will for you?
The Second Reading- 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Brothers and sisters: The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
Reflection - In this Second Reading, St. Paul calls us away from all immorality, and encourages us to examine our lives in light of the Lord.
-Do you think of yourself as a Temple of the Holy Spirit? How can you be more aware of this?
The Holy Gospel according to John 1:35-42
John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —, “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.
Reflection he idea of a “new name” given by Christ expresses the intimacy of our relationship with him. In today’s Gospel, Jesus does not call some random person to be the foundational “Rock” of his Church. He calls Simon, son of John, a fisherman in first century Galilee with a strong personality and impulsive temperament. He accepts him with all the virtues, foibles, and peculiarities that make him unique, that make him “Peter.” God is no impersonal “Force.” He is the person, Jesus Christ. He comes to us in this Mass and gives his body for and to each one of us. He calls us by name and commissions us for a path of service unique to each one. May we each respond, “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.”
Adults - Do you feel that you know God personally? If not, how can you grow closer to Him in this way?
Teens - Spend some time meditating on the ways God shows you that He loves you.
Kids - What does it mean to do God’s will?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - We can see clearly the divine wisdom governing Christ's choice of Apostles! Had his message of salvation been spread and promulgated by men of learning and social standing, the cry would soon go up on all sides: "This religion is the invention of philosophers; it is a clever plan of the upper classes to keep the poor and humble workers in subjection." But it was the poor and working classes who spread Christ's message, and who suffered imprisonment and death itself at the hands of the educated and upper classes for so doing.
Today, let us thank our blessed Lord who provided so humanly—and yet so divinely for our eternal welfare. In the Church, which he founded on the lowly but solid foundation of simple fishermen of Galilee, he erected an institution against which the gates of hell, the power of all the enemies of our salvation, cannot prevail, for his divine guidance and help will be with it forever. It has had enemies and opposition from the beginning; they may be more numerous and more destructive than ever today. But the promise of Christ still holds good, his word cannot fail. Therefore, neither the opposition of materialistic enemies from without, nor the even more insidious attacks from faint-hearted and worldly-minded members from within, can affect the safety and permanence of the building which Christ built on the Rock. "If God is with us," it matters not "who is against us." — Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
256. In what does the essential rite of Baptism consist? d) only (a) and (b)
The essential rite of this sacrament consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water over his or her head while invoking the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
257. Who can receive Baptism?d) every person not yet baptized
Every person not yet baptized is able to receive Baptism.
258. Why does the Church baptize infants?c) because they are born with original sin
The Church baptizes infants because they are born with original sin. They need to be freed from the power of the Evil One and brought into that realm of freedom which belongs to the children of God.
259. What is required of one who is to be baptized?a) to make a profession of faith
Everyone who is to be baptized is required to make a profession of faith. This is done personally in the case of an adult or by the parents and by the Church in the case of infants. Also the godfather or the godmother and the whole ecclesial community share the responsibility for baptismal preparation (catechumenate) as well as for the development and safeguarding of the faith and grace given at baptism.