​Read Today’s Daily Pro-Life Reflection: Receiving a Child

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” (Matthew 18:5).

Reflection: How do we welcome Jesus? His answer is, by receiving a child. The Lord identifies himself with the helplessness of a child, and with the relationship of giving that a child brings forth. The first “receiving” of the child is from the parents, but it does not stop there. We are all called to “receive” every child who is conceived.

Prayer: Lord, as you bring forth new life each day into our world, bring it forth also in our hearts, and enable us to receive every life, knowing that thereby we receive you. Amen.

​Read Today’s Daily Pro-Life Reflection: Season of Life

“My righteous servant will justify many and he will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)

Reflection: Lent is a season of life. The passion, death, and resurrection of Christ have brought us the new life we now live. We commit ourselves to join all our suffering to his for our own salvation and that of the whole world.

Prayer: Jesus, you are the Suffering Servant of the Father. Your passion took away my guilt; your death brought me life. I offer you all my sufferings, that they may be borne in union with your cross and may help bring about a Culture of Life, starting in me. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection: Joseph is a model for all fathers …

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This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Arise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt” (Matthew 2:13).

Reflection: St. Joseph is the just man who was entrusted with the care of Jesus and Mary. Joseph is a model for all fathers in his example of faithfulness and protection for his family. Thousands of times a day, children are aborted, not because of a choice of the mother, but because of the choice of a father, who fails to show that faithfulness and willingness to protect the child he has helped conceive.

Prayer: Lord, bless fathers. When their child is unexpected, may they welcome that child and encourage the child’s mother to say yes to life. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection: Lent is a season of life.

170318 Lent Wordle

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“My righteous servant will justify many and he will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)

Reflection: Lent is a season of life. The passion, death, and resurrection of Christ have brought us the new life we now live. We commit ourselves to join all our suffering to his for our own salvation and that of the whole world.

Prayer: Jesus, you are the Suffering Servant of the Father. Your passion took away my guilt; your death brought me life. I offer you all my sufferings, that they may be borne in union with your cross and may help bring about a Culture of Life, starting in me. Amen.

Read Today’s Daily Pro-Life Reflection: Abide with Us

If anyone is rich in worldly possessions and sees a brother in need but refuses to open his heart, how can the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17).

Reflection: Our relationship with God depends on how well we tend to the needs of others. If this applies to the need others have for material possessions, how much more does it apply to the need others have for life itself? God’s love cannot survive in us if we turn our backs on the unborn and all whose lives are in danger.

Prayer: Abide with us, Lord, for we do see those in need and our hearts are open to them. Amen.

Read Today’s Daily Pro-Life Reflection: Child Sacrifice

“They mutilated their sons and daughters by fire…till the Lord, in his great anger against Israel, put them away out of his sight” (2 Kings 17:17-18).

Reflection: The people of God inherited the Holy Land according to God’s promise but then offended him. Therefore, the Assyrians, swept through the land and brought them into exile. The shedding of innocent blood by child-sacrifice was one of the major reasons that this occurred.

Prayer: Lord, taught your people that their destiny on the land depended upon their fidelity to your covenant. Keep us faithful in our day, and free of the guilt of child sacrifice. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection: The shedding of innocent blood by child-sacrifice…

Baby Gift

This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“They mutilated their sons and daughters by fire…till the Lord, in his great anger against Israel, put them away out of his sight” (2 Kings 17:17-18).

Reflection: The people of God inherited the Holy Land according to God’s promise but then offended him. Therefore, the Assyrians, swept through the land and brought them into exile. The shedding of innocent blood by child-sacrifice was one of the major reasons that this occurred.

Prayer: Lord, you taught your people that their destiny on the land depended upon their fidelity to your covenant. Keep us faithful in our day, and free of the guilt of child sacrifice. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection: Turn away from sin…

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This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” (Liturgy of Ash Wednesday)

Reflection: Lent is the time when we learn more deeply why we are pro-life. Turning away from sin means we put God above our “freedom of choice.” Believing in the Gospel means we believe in life, and reject the forces of death, including abortion.

Prayer: Lord, I fully repent of all the times I have given my choices more weight than yours. This Lent, renew my fidelity to you. May I be a living example of what it means to choose life, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My Lenten Resolution This Year: To Say “I’m Sorry” More Often

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

March 10, 2017

You may recall the “Love Story” catchphrase, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Actually, that’s not true.

There is no such thing as a relationship that no longer requires attention, work, and effort. Any relationship on auto-pilot is a relationship in decline. And part of the work required in any relationship is the readiness to apologize when that is called for.

And this starts, of course, with our relationship with God Himself. That’s why we have Lent — a season in which we perfect our ability to recognize when we have offended God, and make amends through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

But we cannot love the God we do not see if we fail to love the brothers and sisters we do see. And therefore, our ability to say “I’m sorry” to one another is essential to the love of God and neighbor.

I always try to follow the lessons I learned from my mentor, Cardinal John O’Connor, who ordained me and released me to do my fulltime work with Priests for Life. Every Christmas night, after his televised Midnight Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he would offer a heartfelt apology to anyone whom he had offended in the course of his ministry as Archbishop of New York.

The first time I heard this, I wondered if it didn’t soften his clear and uncompromising adherence to and proclamation of the truth of the Catholic Faith and its moral demands. After all, Scripture tells us to preach the word “in season and out of season, welcome and unwelcome” (see 2 Tim. 4:2)

But it does not soften or compromise that fidelity at all, because an essential element of that truth and those moral demands is that we truly seek the good of those who hear us, and those we serve, and that we realize our own imperfections, sins, and failures as we seek to carry out that service. We know that the Word we proclaim is perfect, but the messengers are not. One of my favorite images that captures this is “the golden coin in the dirty hand.” We hold and pass on the golden coin of doctrinal and moral truth, but we ourselves are soiled by sin.

So yes, love and fidelity sometimes require us to say, “I’m sorry.” We apologize — not for the difficult demands of the Gospel or for the sting that the truth often brings us — but rather for our own carelessness in bearing witness to that truth.

And we must never confuse the two. To apologize for the Gospel itself would be scandalous. Our hearts must always say with Saint Paul, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel” (Romans 1:15). And we must never lack the courage to be “offensive,” as Jesus Himself was, in bearing witness to truth and justice.

As we do this, we also follow the Biblical admonition, “Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble'” (1 Peter 5:5). And therefore I came to look forward each year to Cardinal O’Connor’s heartfelt apology, and I began doing the same thing in the parish where I was serving.

So, as I was preparing for this year’s Lenten journey, and trying to figure out what kind of penance would most benefit me, I decided it would not be to give up chocolate (which I like) or raw clams (which I like even more!). I decided, instead, that it would be to say “I’m sorry” more often to all whom I serve in the course of my ministry.

In fact, in the coming weeks of Lent, I would like to specify particular groups of people whom I may have inadvertently offended in the course of doing my work — or maybe because in particular instances I failed to do my work as I should. Often I feel that my busy-ness doesn’t allow me to respond to people as rapidly as I should — and that will be the first group of people to whom I will apologize. I will put separate messages here on my website, and I ask that we all deepen our efforts to seek reconciliation with God, and with one another, and intensify our prayers for each other, so that when we do hurt each other — even when we don’t mean to — we may quickly do what love, truth and fidelity require us to do, and say “I’m sorry.”

Have a Blessed Lent, everybody!

http://www.priestsforlife.org/library/7291-my-lenten-resolution-this-year-to-say-im-sorry-more-often

Read Today’s Daily Pro-Life Reflection: Victory of Life

“Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).

Reflection: At the start of Lent, we receive the ashes that remind us of the power of sin and death, which return us to dust. Yet we wear the ashes in the form of a cross, professing that Christ has conquered death and restored life. We repent of sin, and prepare to renew the vows of our baptism at Easter. Lent prepares us to share the victory of Life and to live as the People of Life!

Prayer: Father, I repent of all my sins. Turn me away from death, and toward life, that I may find freedom in Jesus the Lord. Amen.