The present form of the world passes away, and there remains only the joy of having used this world to establish God’s rule here. All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish capitalism, all the false successes of life will pass with the world’s form. All of that passes away. What does not pass away is love. When one has turned money, property, work in one’s calling into service of others, then the joy of sharing and the feeling that all are one’s family does not pass away. In the evening of life you will be judged on love. ~Archbishop Oscar Romero, Martyr
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something, if we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. ~Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train
Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious, to believe that the world could still change for the better. And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, “What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.” Yes, evil often seems to surpass good by far. But then, in spite of us, and without our permission, there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts. One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw. And so I still have hope. ~Vincent van Gogh, from The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
May the light and love of Christ shine in His people in the darkness of this world, leading individuals and societies to reject the evil of abortion.
Let us also pray…
…for mothers with unexpected pregnancies; …for spiritual, emotional, psychological and material support for women who choose life under difficult circumstances; …for healing for women who have chosen abortion; …for the conversion of those family members and others whose actions have led to women choosing abortion (or undergoing it through no choice of their own); and for the conversion of all who support or work in the abortion industry.
This last statement–that we act very much like God when we love, forgive, and make peace–might require some unpacking. This is basically another way of saying that God doesn’t lie to us and that if we take the dogma of the Incarnation seriously, that God became a human being like us, then how God acts as a human–loving the unlovable, forgiving the unforgivable, and bringing a peace the world cannot give (Jn 14:27)–is the most clear indication of how God intends for all humans to act. Jesus isn’t just the fullest revelation of who God is but also the fullest revelation of who we are as women and men created in the image and likeness of God! ~Excerpt from The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton, by Fr. Daniel P. Horan, OFM
The most important thing of all to [St. Paul], however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honored.
To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments; the pain of that loss would alone have been hell, and endless, unbearable torture.
So too, in being loved by Christ he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise and countless blessings. Apart from that love nothing saddened or delighted him; for nothing earthly did he regard as bitter or sweet.
Paul set no store by the things that fill our visible world, any more than a man sets value on the withered grass of the field. As for tyrannical rulers or the people enraged against him, he paid them no more heed than gnats. Death itself and pain and whatever torments might come were but child’s play to him, provided that thereby he might bear some burden for the sake of Christ. ~From a sermon by St John Chrysostom, bishop
The greatest need in the world is the transformation of human nature. We need a new heart that will not have lust and greed and hate in it. We need a heart filled with love and peace and joy, and that is why Jesus came into the world. ~Rev Dr. Billy Graham
A clear mark of the man of God, of the woman of God, is the peace in their souls: they have peace and they give peace to the people they have dealings with. ~St. Josemaria Escriva; The Forge, #649
O God, our Creator, all life is in your hands from conception until death. Help us to cherish our children and to reverence the awesome privilege of our share in creation. May all people live and die in dignity and love. Bless all those who defend the rights of the unborn, the handicapped and the aged. Enlighten and be merciful toward those who fail to love, and give them peace. Let freedom be tempered by responsibility, integrity and morality. Amen