On the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Celebrate the Craziness of Life

Today we recount the story of Herod, a man who had no problem with killing others because he perceived them a threat to his throne. He put to death his own children for this reason, and we hear today from the Gospel of Luke he ordered the death of a whole town’s population of boys under the age of two:

The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.  (Matthew 2:13-18)

Yes, there was much lamenting that night in Bethlehem. The loss of the life of an innocent child is a heartbreak to the parents. Yet, as a society, are we failing to protect them? Particularly those in the womb? We allow a mother to end the life of her own child on demand, and the number of children who are no more is approaching 57 million in the United States since 1973; and 40 million in the world this year alone.

On this day we commemorate the Holy Innocents who lost their lives at the whim of one man who saw a threat to his reign in the fulfillment of foretold prophecy of the Messiah (Jesus Christ). In a way, we are still killing the innocent because they are a perceived threat to our freedom; seen as a burden; we feel we are not prepared to nurture them; … the list goes on.

So, what are we to do? Let us begin by praying for the end of abortion, and if you are on Twitter, use the hashtag #PraytoEndAbortion. Let us remind each other that life is to be celebrated in its very messiness; and that in doing so, we will find joy.

Here is a great video that shows the pretty real messiness of being young parents, and what it means to embrace the craziness new life can bring. Enjoy.

May the Holy Innocents assist us to bring about an end to abortion, and embrace a culture of life. Amen.


Barely Saved

What would it be like to go to a doctor’s office for a check-up only to be told, “Sorry, the chances that you will overcome your current diagnosis are slim. I highly suggest you euthanize yourself.”

Foolish to think this way? Yes.

Would you get another opinion? Of course.

And yet, one mother experienced a similar situation when she was pregnant with her sixth child. She had German Measles (Rubella) and the doctor’s diagnosis wasn’t pretty. The child was to be born mentally challenged, with a cleft pallet, respiratory problems, blind and deaf. He suggested it would be better if she terminate her pregnancy. 

“Think about your other children and the burden this child would cause (both in time and money),”  he counselled. 

Foolish to think this way? Our society says, “No. It’s very reasonable. After all, she can have other children, right? She had five other children at home to think about.”

Should she get a second opinion? Or a third? Our society would ask, “What for? You’ve heard the outcome. The child has no hope for a normal life.”

The woman is confronted with a serious decision that threatens her conscience. She was taught that life is sacred. Could she simply choose to end the life that had begun in her by God’s grace? Isn’t God aware of the circumstances in His omniscience? 

Many women today are the battle ground between their conscience and public opinion. For 40 years, public opinion has won out, with the conscience numbed by the decision of Roe versus Wade, and the legalization of abortion in the United States. And, over the last 40 years, we have seen 59,477,972 (and counting by the minute) children’s lives terminated in the United States. This severance of life has flowed over the borders of America to the death of how many more children around the world in countries that followed suit in their policies, under the guise of ‘women’s health’? 

Is our society better off since then? The words of Pope Paul VI come back to us as a haunting prophecy. After mentioning how abortion is an illegal (by laws of the Church and man’s conscience) means of regulating children, he lists other unacceptable forms, including sterilization and contraception, and goes on to list the consequences if society does not heed this ‘warning’:

“Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.”

Humanae Vitae, Number 17, 1968

I ask again, Has our society become a better place since January 22, 1973? Are we better off with the absence of such a large percentage of the generations under 40 who lost their lives due to legally being slain in the womb of their mothers? 

No, our society is not better. Mother Teresa of Calcutta understood this well in her defense of the unborn:

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of hatred…If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?”

Have we as a society lost all disregard for life that it is only valued if it doesn’t create burden to us? Where ‘mercy’ is re-defined as putting one to death because their prognosis suggests they cannot have a ‘full life’?  Who will judge? Who determines the fullness of another’s life? Who will protect the smallest, most vulnerable of our society?

And what about the woman in the story above? She did get a second opinion and was told the same. She would be better off aborting her child. She chose, rather, to listen to her conscience and to preserve her trust in God.

That woman is my mother. My life was saved because she didn’t follow the voice of ‘professionals’, but rather to the voice of her motherly heart.

Thank you Mom! 


What can we do to overturn the tide of the closed heart?

1.  Pray and Fast for the end of abortion, and for the change of mentality about life in all its stages, that it is worth protecting. Some suggestions by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

2.  Use science to understand the truth of the development of the life in the womb. Here are some amazing pictures that may inspire you.

3. Show your support for life by joining one of the many ‘Walks for Life’ around the country. 

4. Know what the battle is about. Read this story about New York Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make late-term abortions unlimited and on demand. Yes, it’s come to this.

5. Pray some more, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

God bless you. 

All the Saints of God, Pray for Us

What a vision to behold…to imagine…the Saints, the holy ones of heaven! And today, that is exactly what the liturgy concentrates on; To recall the great gift we have in the many luminous examples of the Christian Life that have gone before us to share in the heavenly reward with Christ. It is often argued, no one knows for sure who is in heaven and who is not. In her wisdom, the Church has put forth good examples from every walk of life of holy men and women, so to inspire the faithful towards holiness.

I mention only a few who have been beacons of light in my life.

Blessed Chiara ‘Luce’ Badano, pray for us

Deep union with the Lord in her suffering.


Blessed Margaret of Castello, pray for us

Loving her parents who didn’t want her.

I propose her to be patroness of the unborn.


St Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us

Gave her life for the birth of her child. I propose her to be patroness of expectant mothers.

St Josephine Bakhita, pray for us

Canossian Daughter of Charity known for forgiveness.

When we are persecuted, let us learn forgiveness.


St Magdalene of Canossa, pray for us

Foundress of the Canossian Daughters of Charity, Servant of the Poor

Let us learn from her zeal for our Lord in His passion.

St Augustine of Hippo

Patron of those struggling with vices.


The list could go on forever…St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, St Paul of the Cross, St Francis Xavier, St Dominic, St Catherine, St Francis, St Clare, …

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

May all the Saints of heaven, pray for us. Omnium Sanctorum, Orate pro nobis.

If you have a favorite saint, why not add it in the comments. Let us honor them today. Here are some suggestions from the comments:

Assorted Joys added:

St Maximilian Kolbe, Pray for Us!
St Anthony of Padua, Pray for Us!
St Jude, Pray for Us!

Greg added:

St Pio of Petricina, Pray for Us!
St Therese of the Child Jesus, Pray for Us!
Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati, Pray for Us!

Ellen added:

St Thomas More, Pray for Us!
St Philip Howard, Pray for Us!
St Edmund Campion, Pray for Us!
Ven Elizabeth Lesseur, Pray for Us!
Ven Pierre Toussaint, Pray for Us!

EricaTwitts added:

St Bernadette Soubirous, Pray for Us!

Sylvie adds:

St Brother André, Pray for Us!


More ways of honoring the Saints:

Gardenia shares a way of honoring the Saints, making stained glass candles at My Little Flower.

Charlotte made a St Bakhita costume for her daughter at Waltzing Matilda.

The Anchoress shares some beautiful pictures of Saint statues from St Peter’s Basilica – Rome, and the difficult reality of the Christian Life – Syrian Catholics killed yesterday in Baghdad during Mass.

Colleen Hammond reminds us of how our prayers during the month of November can obtain indulgences for the faithful departed souls (November 2nd is the Feast of All Souls).

If you’re interested in knowing where to add your favorite Saint in the Litany of Saints, Adoremus has a post on that.

40 Days for Life – Hope

Since September 22, people have been praying and fasting to bring about the end of the culture of death in our country and the world as part of the annual campaign 40 Days for Life. There have been times that our prayer has seemed to be in vain, but not today. Prayer is powerful, and is always secretly working even when we feel nothing is going right.

From today’s Post by Shawn Carney, Campaign Director for 40 Days for Life:

A 40 Days for Life coordinator received a call from a woman who was in tears. She is pregnant with her sixth child and her husband had been laid off from work.  They’re struggling financially, trying to care for their five children in a two-bedroom apartment. “She felt like her only option was to have an abortion,” said Wynette in Sacramento, “but her husband lovingly
encouraged her to call the number he found on our 40 Days for Life flier, which had been given to him at church the previous Sunday. He did not want his wife to abort their child.” This woman immediately connected with the 40 Days for Life volunteer — who also has five children … and her husband also hasn’t been able to find work lately. “This turned a challenge into a mutual blessing,” Wynette said.
“The woman, who was strongly considering abortion, changed her mind and has chosen life, while also gaining a new friend in the 40 Days for Life volunteer … all the result of volunteers simply distributing 40 Days for Life fliers at local churches!”
To see photos of the 40 Days for Life vigil in Sacramento, please check out the: 40 Days Blog
The key to changing our culture from one of death to one of life is PRAYER. Please join us in these last days of the campaign.
God bless!

Give the Children to Me

In 1979, Blessed M. Teresa of Calcutta made the case for the unborn, pleading with her listeners, “please don’t destroy the child, we will take the child.” Today, there is a new Mother Teresa in the making in Vietnam. A contractor has taken in more than eighty infants that would otherwise have been aborted:

Tong Phuoc Phuc began his work as an act of thanksgiving to God in answer to his prayer. His wife and unborn child were in danger due to complications of the pregnancy; he prayed they might be spared. He promised that if they survived, he would do something good for others. He began noticing that pregnant women were going into the delivery room and coming out alone, and he then went to the hospital staff and asked for the aborted fetuses, to bury them. The video shows the garden he developed into a cemetery for the unborn, where more than nine-thousand unborn are laid to rest. This in itself is a wondrous work, but it is only the beginning.

His real work is his outreach to at-risk pregnancies, offering women a choice to bring their babies to full term, he takes in the unwanted children as his own. To date, more than eighty babies have been brought to him. Beautifully, out of that eighty, thirty were taken back by their mothers as they were able to care for them.

This man is a shining example for us of what it means to live out our faith. He has taken the Gospel and put it into action in a life-giving way. It is as though he was present in Oslo, Norway to listen personally to the address by Mother Teresa:

“And so here I am talking with you – I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people. And find out about your next-door neighbour – do you know who they are?…Because I believe that love begins at home, and if we can create a home for the poor – I think that more and more love will spread. And we will be able through this understanding love to bring peace, be the good news to the poor. The poor in our own family first, in our country and in the world.”

It is clear that Tong Phuoc Phuc understood Mother Teresa’s message perfectly. That in his care for the least of these, he is caring for Christ himself.


‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:37-40

The Reality of the Rare Abortion

Today in an interview in Albuquerque, New Mexico, President Obama made the following statement when asked about his view of abortion: ““This is where Bill Clinton had the right formulation a couple of decades ago, that abortion should be safe, legal and rare.”

Rare? What does that mean? Which child shall be denied life? How many should be allowed to be killed?

So, I did some homework to see for myself how rare an abortion is today. And you know what? It isn’t rare at all.

Doing a little simple numbers crunching, this is what the population growth looks like since 1973, along with the number or reported live births, and the number of reported abortions (click image to view larger):

That number in the little yellow box – 35% – is the percentile of the population from 1973 to 2003 in the United States that has never seen the light of day. One out of every three children.

Is that what you mean be ‘rare’  Mr. President?


Lifenews summarizes well the  President’s record in creating ‘rare abortions’ during his first two years in office. The record is deplorable, as he has helped fast-track abortion funding not only in the healthcare bill, but oversees as well.

To know more about the generational genocide since Roe vs Wade, you can go to http://www.survivors.la/. You may want to support their efforts, if not financially, with your prayers.

You can help end abortion, too, by participating during these ‘40 Days for Life‘ of prayer and fasting.

40 Days for Life – Update

UPDATE: From Life NewsDay 15 – 138 known lives saved from abortion.

The national 40 Days for Life campaign continues producing live-saving dividends for the hundreds of cities where local pro-life people are praying and helping women outside abortion centers find alternatives. Organizers say that they can confirm 138 babies have been spared from abortion so far.
“Thus far during this current 40 Days for Life campaign, we have reports of 138 lives that have been saved from abortion — that we know of,” organizer Shawn Carney said in an email to LifeNews.com and participants.

Carney goes on to give examples of how lives saved were contributed to the prayers of the 40 Days to Life prayer volunteers. This campaign continues through the end of October. A lot more prayers are needed. Read on to see how you can help. God bless!


Having been out of the States for nearly nine years, I was pleasantly surprised to find this growing movement of prayer for the unborn.

The website announces the next wave of the prayer campaign, 40 Days for Life starts September 22 in 238 locations”.

So, I googled ’40 days’ and my county and found a local website for the national campaign, with local campaign activities, including the prayer schedule where participants sign up for hours of prayer before abortion clinics. The mission of the 40 Days for Life project is listed on the website:

The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion in America.

To accomplish this aim, the project emphasizes three points:

  • Prayer and fasting
  • Constant vigil
  • Community outreach

During the 40 days, each participating location will have peaceful prayer vigils outside an assigned abortion clinic and/or Planned Parenthood. These days are also accompanied with fasting for the end of abortion, and reaching out to educate the facts of abortion. After registering with my local site, I promptly received the following email:

Thanks for signing up to receive prayer requests, breaking news, and updates about 40 Days for Life.

By participating in this history-making effort, you have a unique opportunity to make a lifesaving impact across America.

The internationally coordinated 40 Days for Life is happening from September 22 – October 31.

Watch your e-mail inbox over the coming days, and
please pray for God’s will to be done throughout
America as a result of this effort.

Here are some great resources to learn more:

1.) Visit the national 40 Days for Life web site: http://www.40daysforlife.com

2.) Read endorsements from prominent national leaders: http://40daysforlife.com/about.cfm?selected=endorsements

3.) Read some of the 40 Days for Life news coverage: http://www.40daysforlife.com/news.cfm

4.) Watch the award-winning documentary about 40 Days for Life that aired on EWTN’s global television network: http://www.40daysforlife.com/show.cfm

5.) Read some of the exciting 40 Days for Life updates: http://40daysforlife.com/blog

We can’t wait to see what God has in store this fall!

In Christ,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

I ask all that care for life to participate in this project. And if you don’t have a 40 Days project near you, make a point to adopt a project and accompany their efforts in prayer and fasting. Together, may our voices and our actions intercede for the women who find themselves considering abortion; may God grant them courage to bring the child in their womb to life.

God bless!