July 7th FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
For young mothers and fathers
who labor in love for the children of their youth,
that God might give them rest
for the good work they do in his name;
We pray to the Lord:
July 14th FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
For all who refuse to live the Gospel of Life,
that God might open their eyes to the infant's smile,
open their ears to a little child's song,
and open their hearts to Christ's infinite love;
We pray to the Lord:
July 21st SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
For the littlest among us,
that the children carried in the wombs of their mothers
may be nurtured in safety and joyful expectation;
We pray to the Lord:
July 28th SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
For those who have grown very old,
that we might cherish them
as the pearl beyond price and the gift beyond measure;
We pray to the Lord:
"The forms of home care - today increasingly developed, especially for cancer patients - and the psychological and spiritual support of relatives, professionals and volunteers can and must convey the conviction that every moment of life and every form of suffering can be imbued with love and is precious to humanity and to God. The atmosphere of fraternal solidarity dispels and overcomes the atmosphere of solitude and the temptation to despair. Religious assistance in particular - which is a right and a precious help for each patient and not only in the final stages of his life - if it is accepted, transfigures pain into an act of redemptive love, and death into openness to life in God."
A Homily for Life
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Just a couple of days ago we celebrated the Fourth of July. We watched the rockets' red glare and thrilled to the sound of exploding fireworks. We ate hot dogs and went to picnics and maybe attended a parade.
It's the first Fourth of July since the terrorist attacks of last September 11th. In some respects it may have seemed that we needed the Fourth of July more this year, than ever before. We needed to wear the flag, to pledge allegiance to it, and to call ourselves Americans. Maybe this year it meant more than ever before.
We need to be called back to the core values of our lives. It's so easy to get caught up in our own selfish and petty concerns. Possessing things becomes more important than loving people. Getting power begins to look more appealing than taking care of the poor. Grabbing for pleasure trumps loving the unloved and defending those who have no one to take care of them.
But then we hear the Gospel of Life once again, and we are called back to what really matters. Saint Paul tells us today that we should not live according to the flesh but in God's Spirit. When those buildings collapsed last September, there was nothing left but the spirit of those who loved without thought of the cost, nothing left but those who opened themselves up to God's indominitable care for those in danger, those dying, and those afraid. God's grace makes heroes and teaches us that giving is more important than getting, and sacrifice longer lasting than selfishness. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that.
Jesus invites all who labor and are burdened to come to him and he will give them rest. He's speaking to the little child whose life is threatened by abortion. He's speaking to the mother who's afraid to have her child. He's speaking to the old man who's about to be 'put to sleep.' He's speaking to the old woman who cries in the night from loneliness. He's speaking to the man thrown hopelessly away on 'death row.' He's speaking to the scientist who manipulates life for a profit. He's speaking to the doctor who 'looks the other way.' He's speaking to the kid who's addicted and 'on the street.' He's speaking to you and to me when we are afraid to speak the truth and to live the Gospel of Life.
Come to me, he says, and I will give you rest: rest from your fear, rest from your sloth, rest from your unbelief. Come to me, he says, for my burden is light.
Let us go to him and take up the Cross which he offers us. Let us recommit ourselves once again to the beliefs which are our better selves and the Spirit of God who is our only hope.
"How does emergency contraception (EC) work? If taken pre-ovulation, EC may delay or inhibit ovulation, preventing conception; but often, it does not. If taken after the LH surge which triggers ovulation, EC will not disrupt the ovulation in that cycle, but can inhibit implantation of the developing embryo (causing his or her death) due to changes in the uterine lining."
"Widespread acceptance of cloning would be a deathblow to the sanctity/equality of life ethic--the cornerstone of Western liberty from which sprang our unrealized dream of universal human rights. The premise of the sanctity of life ethic is that each and every one of us is of equal, incalculable, moral worth. Whatever our race, sex, ethnicity, stature, health, disability, age, beauty or cognitive capacity we are all full moral equals within the human community--there is no "them," only "us."
"We have paid some high prices for the technological conquest of nature, but none perhaps so high as the intellectual and spiritual costs of seeing nature as mere material for our manipulation, exploitation, and transformation. With the powers for biological engineering now gathering, there will be splendid new opportunities for a similar degradation in our idea of man. Indeed, we are already witnessing the erosion of our idea of man as something splendid or divine, as a creature with freedom and dignity. And clearly if we see ourselves as meat, then meat we shall become."
The rights of people with disabilities--especially those who are disadvantaged and weak--are safeguarded in a society that honors life and treats humanity with respect. However, the weak and the infirm are exposed in a society that thinks nothing of creating a human life for the explicit purpose of exploitation. This is the Pandora''s box that research cloning would open. Ironically, the disabled would be the first to be threatened in a world where eugenics and the bio-tech industry set the moral agenda. ""