Saturday, January 19, 2019

Notes from the Marian Eucharistic Conference: Fr. Frank Pavone

We are praying to end the horror of abortion and for all who are at March for Life in the 50 States as well our nation's Capitol. And it's fitting to post my notes from Father Frank Pavone's lectures from last year's Marian Eucharistic conference. He formed Priests for Life and works tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable in our society--the preborn. He must meet with thousands of people each year and yet he remembered me from the time I met him in Chicago. So I was happy to give him a copy of BOUND, my small contribution to elevate the culture of life.  

Church and Politics

We have dual citizenship--heaven and earth--and have dual responsibility. We were created in the image of God; we belong to Him. You can be a prince, a lord, a king on earth but you are still subordinate to the King of kings, Judge, the Lord of lords--Jesus Christ.

In our Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers wrote about the right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. These rights come from God. The government is there to secure these rights. 

The fundamental human right is the right to life. The Supreme Court took away the rights of the children in the womb on Jan. 22nd, 1973 and this is why the Church focuses on it and has made it a day of penance. The role of the Church is to equip people to govern responsibly. If you cannot have life, then all other rights are moot. The Church protects life from conception to natural death. You can't be right about healthcare or education if you are wrong about abortion. To deprive one class of people of all rights by killing them off is evil. Why have we learned nothing from the horror of the Jewish Holocaust? Or Slavery? 

Mary, The Eucharist, and the Pro-Life Movement

Mary, the Mother of God had an unplanned pregnancy. The level of fear and surprise is unimaginable. "How can this be?" she asks the angel Gabriel. The angel explains it is God's choice. We have free will and there would be no virtue without it. Mary says Yes to God. "Fiat mihi!" Let it be done to me according to Your will. 

God chooses YOU. He's known you from all eternity. In BOUND, Joy says, "God chose me to be a mother." He is her only defense.

Women get abortions because they feel they have no other choice--it's the coercive power of despair. We give hope. Mother and child belong together. Abortion destroys all relationships. 

Some women have 25 abortions because they have psychological problems, the guilt from the first. They feel unworthy. It's a master trauma, this cycle of pregnancy followed by abortion.

Rachel's Vineyard is a healing center for post-abortive women and also men. They are speaking out, telling others they regret their abortion. They are silent no more.

The biggest argument pro-choice people say is that it's fine for you not to believe in abortion, but don't shove it down my throat. But when someone's choice kills another, it *is* our business. We wouldn't talk like that if we saw a child being abused or other crimes. 

Eucharist is a Sacrament of Faith. The consecrated Host looks, feels, tastes the same. In the hymn, Adore te Devote, St. Thomas Aquinas shows that 4/5 senses get it wrong. But our ears know. "This is My Body." In the smallest fragment, you have the entirety of Jesus. The size of something doesn't impact what it is. Mother Teresa said, "As we affirm our faith in the Eucharist, it trains us to see Jesus in the sick, the poor, the baby in the womb."     

The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity. Jesus is drawing everyone to Himself, so we are drawing closer to each other. Everyone receives exactly the same Person, the Risen Christ. He consumes us. The Eucharist brings humanity together. Abortion is diabolical. It severs the central relationship between mother and child. The shockwaves of abortion spread throughout the family--mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings--and to the community.

Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love. It is the most misused word. Eucharist restores the original meaning of this word. St. John, the evangelist points to the Cross. God loves us. He makes a sacrifice of Himself. To Love is to give ourselves away for the good of the other person. Abortion uses the other person for your own perceived good. "This is my body." Same words of Jesus but complete opposite meaning. It's about my will/my choice/my right. 

We are winning. Young people tend to be pro-life. Their first picture is an ultrasound of them in the womb. 

I have spoken before how the end of abortion is the new civil rights issue. Abortion targets Blacks and minorities disproportionately. This week's Catholic Miscellany published Being Pro-Life in the Face of Worst-Case Scenario by Sr. Pamela Smith. I hope that is what BOUND has accomplished.   

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Johnell said...

Thank you for your words. What a great opportunity to share your book.

Faith E. Hough said...

One of the things I loved about your book, Vijaya, was its insistence that WE NEED TO HELP MOTHERS. The whole pro-life mission falls apart without that, but it's often overlooked. I think especially as a mother to girls, I've become more and more sensitive to how our culture treats women as something to be used, and it starts before they are born. People look at me like I'm crazy for having so many daughters, and think my son only exists because we just had to keep trying for that boy. Seeing this attitude in person made the fact that many abortions are for mere gender selection become much more real.

Vijaya said...

Johnell, it's why we write, no? To make a difference.

Faith, thank you. I see the ministries that focus on helping mothers keep their babies and it warms my heart. Adoption should be the last option. Not abortion. But to think that someone might think you keep trying for a boy makes me sad. Because it is true in places like India. There was a family that lived on our street who had six girls. When a little boy was born to them, you should've seen the celebration. I was happy, of course, but I hated that the parents said things like, "Finally!" as if their girls were somehow lesser people. It's that mindset that has made sex-selective abortion common. It's beyond tragic. And now that there aren't enough women to go around, they're going to be used even more. We have a long way to go to remedy the path we've taken. Parce Domine.