Monday, October 24, 2011

Death Shall Be No More

"It is from the blood of Christ that all draw the strength to commit themselves to promoting life. It is precisely this blood that is the most powerful source of hope, indeed, it is the foundation of the absolute certitude that in God's plan life will be victorious. 'And death shall be no more', exclaims the powerful voice which comes from the throne of God in the Heavenly Jerusalem." ~Evangelium Vitae 1

The newly formed Respect Life Committee at St. Matthias Parish (of which my husband and oldest son and I are members) has been very busy during this month of October which is dedicated to Respect for Life in an effort to draw attention to and pray for the sanctity of life. We gathered with 35 members of our parish on October 2nd to prayerfully hold signs and witness to the sanctity of life along a busy highway as part of the Life Chain and then, later in the month, seven of us took a trip to the local abortion mill to pray on an unusually blustery and cold Saturday morning. The cold made our prayerful time there feel extra sacrificial. My daughter, ever so sweet, wrapped her arms around me in an effort to keep me from shivering and someone took our picture.





















But for me, the highlight came this past Sunday when our committee sponsored a Holy Hour for Life at our parish. Including my family of seven, there were 25 people in attendance. Yes, some of my teens complained about going and I was ready to let them off the hook but my husband held fast and insisted that they participate. It was joyfully surprising to see how quickly their complaints turned to prayer as they actively participated in the Holy Hour. We listened to scripture and a reading of a portion of Pope John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae. Fr. Paul spoke powerfully about how the lack of trust in God is the source of humanity's failure to respect life and he said that if we would only draw our strength from the Eucharist we would find the power to combat the evils of abortion, the death penalty, disrespect for the disabled and euthanasia.

After a period of silence, I was honored to lead the rosary. While preparing for the Holy Hour, I had looked online for some nice pro-life meditations for the Glorious Mysteries but was unable to find any that I liked, so I wrote my own. They are at the end of this post-feel free to copy and use them if they move your heart.

Our Holy Hour ended, like all Holy Hours do, with benediction. The monstrance that belongs to St. Matthias Parish is the most ornate monstrance that I have ever seen. It's such a pity that it's rarely used, in fact, in the 19 years that my husband and I have been parishioners there, this was only the third time that I've seen the monstrance. I think that if that gorgeous monstrance could think and feel emotions, it would be beside itself with joy to realize that it contains the Body of our Precious Lord. So too, should we all be, for although we may not all be as ornate as a monstrance of gold, we all contain the Body of Christ within us. We are all monstrances, including the sweet little babies growing within their mother's wombs, the criminals serving time in prison, the disabled who depend upon others for their daily care and the elderly living out their last days on earth. What precious life! How glorious to see Christ in others! How tragic that we can't realize and accept the glory of God that resides within all human life.

So, I pray that our Holy Hour for life was only the first of many occasions where we honor our Eucharistic Lord in adoration at my home parish and that more and more people will feel drawn to attend and honor Jesus in the Eucharist and beg Him to bring about an end to the inhumane destruction of human life that is so ingrained in society today until that final day when death shall be no more.

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The Rosary for Life-Glorious Mysteries

The First Glorious Mystery-The Resurrection

Christ, having lain in the dark, cold tomb for three days, rose again to eternal life and with that rising gave us the hope that we too, will rise again in eternal joy and happiness with our Creator. But that hope of the resurrection only comes after a full life lived in his service. How can we attain that eternal reward if our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ are prematurely diminished before our natural end, the end which God alone can determine?

The Second Glorious Mystery-The Ascension

Christ ascends to Glory. Our souls also long for glory. We know that in God’s plan our souls were meant to ascend, to rise, not to fall into the decay of sin. By protecting God’s precious gift of life from the first instant of conception until natural death, we hope to see all life ascend to our heavenly Father.

The Third Glorious Mystery-The Descent of the Holy Spirit

That breath of life that filled the twelve apostles with the love and wisdom of God fills each of us as well. Each human life has received the breath of the Holy Spirit making all life holy. Who are we to snuff that Spirit out through the sins of abortion, the death penalty, and euthanasia?

The Fourth Glorious Mystery-The Assumption

The Blessed Mother first carried our Savior within her womb and now, in this mystery, He carries her within His arms on that sacred trip to heaven. Mary fulfilled God’s desire on earth spoken so beautifully in her fiat-“Let it be done unto me according to Thy word.” Like His mother in the Assumption, He longs to carry us as well, to bring us to glory with all of the angels and saints and his beautiful mother after we have fulfilled God’s purpose for our lives here on earth. May all human life be blessed with the gift of respect as we strive to serve Him well as He desires.

The Fifth Glorious Mystery-The Coronation

Mary, our Mother, always humbly took her place in this world whether that place was in a stable, at the foot of the cross or now, as Queen of Heaven. We are also called to humbly take our place in His service, and whichever place we are called to be, however we are called to serve Him, it begins with the gift of life at conception and ends with our natural deaths.

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