Thursday, January 26, 2012

March for Life 2012

Homily of Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan

7:30 a.m., Monday, January 23, 2012

Closing Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

You have just spent the night in your mother’s homes!

You have “kept vigil” that cherished tradition so frequently found in the Bible, and now we commence this somber anniversary her in our Mother’s home, our National Shrine, in the best possible way, through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I welcome all of you!
I whisper “good morning” to so many of you who have kept vigil here for the noble cause of life;
I thank you for the radiant inspiration you give all of us.

That radiant inspiration we need indeed as we persevere in this now two-score years of promoting a recovery of the culture of life gravely threatened by unlimited abortion.

Simply put, we are often tempted to give up hope that we can even turn it around.

In this morning’s Gospel, Jesus mentions some mysterious “unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit.” What is it?

Wise men and women, saints and scholars, tell us that Jesus is teaching that, really, the only unforgiveable sin…is to believe that there is any sin which cannot be forgiven, that God’s mercy is limited.

Nope! God’s mercy, God’s grace, God’s power is unlimited! There is no evil, no horror, no sin that is exempt from the healing rays of His grace.

Not even the horrors of the culture of death!

From a human point of view, we may be tempted to surrender;

When our government places conception, pregnancy and birth under the “Center for Disease Control”;

When chemically blocking conception or aborting the baby in the womb is considered a “right” to be subsidized by others who abhor it;

When the ability of feeding, housing, and healing the struggling of the world is curtailed and impeded if one does not also help women abort their babies;

One can hardly be faulted for being tempted to the “sin against the Holy Spirit” and just consider all as lost.

Not us! Not for thousands who have stayed up all night in prayer in this, the home of a pregnant woman;

Not for hundreds of thousands who will march today with the words of “We Shall Overcome” ringing in our ears;

Not for those of us who whisper “Thanks be to God” as we behold untold numbers of young people with passion for the Culture of Life, those of us old enough to recall thirty-nine years ago when sophisticated voices told us that the “pro-life movement” was just a momentary fad that would soon crash upon the shores of a “brave new world.” We veterans who now smile as the pro-life cause is acknowledged as today’s premiere civil rights movement still, in spite of editorial pages and chic tsk-tsk the most pivotal, burning issue on the campaign trail.

Yes, like David in our reading from God’s word this morning, the pro-life movement has been dismissed by the Goliath of the well-oiled, well-inked, glitterati-crowded pro-abortion one…. But, Goliath the Giant didn’t win, did he? Trusting, shrewd,
Faithful, confident, energetic little David did!

Thank you, David…for the radiant inspiration you give us!

Here is Cardinal Di Nardo's homily from the Sunday evening before the March.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

". . . an unprecedented line in the sand."

Just last Friday, the Obama administration rendered its decision on religious organizations receiving a wider exemption regarding coverage of sterilization and contraception in health care plans.  They won't.  Archbishop Dolan has responded with this article in the Wall Street Journal and has also commented that "never has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience."

Some related articles can be found here and here.  Archbishop Dolan offers this video as well.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The New Evangelization

If  you're a Catholic, you're probably familiar with the phrase by now. In this Zenit article, Father Cantalamessa gives a readable account of the whys and wherefors of the new evangelization called for by Pope Benedict.  This article is actually the fourth in a series of Advent reflections which I only followed sketchily, but since this one helps put the others in better context,  it will be worthwhile to read the others as well. 

The previous evangelizations pertained to the Graeco-Roman world, the barbarian world and the new world.  The current wave, says Father Cantalamessa (and the Pope, of course), is directed "to the western world that has been secularized and in some respects is post-Christian. This analysis, which already appeared in the writings of Blessed John Paul II, has become explicit in the teaching of the Holy Father Benedict XVI."

Fr. Cantalamessa says that the western world is characterized by "scientism, secularism, and rationalism -- the three mindsets that lead to a common result, relativism."

I've only highlighted a few opening paragraphs of the article. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Manifest Your Power, O God

Pope Benedict's Christmas Eve homily can be read here.  The Pope describes how we can approach God, by leaving our own "enlightened" reason behind. 
Today, anyone wishing to enter the Church of Jesus’ Nativity in Bethlehem will find that the doorway five and a half metres high, through which emperors and caliphs used to enter the building, is now largely walled up. Only a low opening of one and a half metres has remained. The intention was probably to provide the church with better protection from attack, but above all to prevent people from entering God’s house on horseback. Anyone wishing to enter the place of Jesus’ birth has to bend down. It seems to me that a deeper truth is revealed here, which should touch our hearts on this holy night: if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our "enlightened" reason. 
The Pope also expresses some of the human doubts we may give in to in the face of a world that seems unable to resolve its conflicts and recognize the dignity of the person.  Benedict speaks of the "oppressors’ rods and bloodstained cloaks" and says: 
we cry out to the Lord: O mighty God, you have appeared as a child and you have revealed yourself to us as the One who loves us, the One through whom love will triumph. And you have shown us that we must be peacemakers with you. We love your childish estate, your powerlessness, but we suffer from the continuing presence of violence in the world, and so we also ask you: manifest your power, O God. In this time of ours, in this world of ours, cause the oppressors’ rods, the cloaks rolled in blood and the footgear of battle to be burned, so that your peace may triumph in this world of ours.