Welcome to Couples for Christ - Foundation for Family and Life East Contra Costa

The CFC Foundation for Family & Life is a gathering of concerned CFC brethren looking to the restoration, preservation and strengthening of the authentic Couples for Christ charism, focused on evangelization and family life renewal.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Daily Gospel

Monday, 22 December 2008
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1,46-56.

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Daily Gospel

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11,11-15

Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: Mary Reflects the Beauty That Saves the World

Vatican City, Dec 8, 2008 (CNA).- In celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Pope Benedict XVI presided over the angelus prayer today at noon. The Pontiff said that this feast is a chance to "contemplate the reflection of the Beauty who saves the world: the beauty of God that shines on the face of Christ."

Thousands of pilgrims poured into St. Peter's Square today to pray the angelus with the Holy Father and hear his teaching on the Virgin Mary. Pope Benedict described her, saying, "this beauty is totally pure, humble, free from arrogance and presumption." This is how the Virgin appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, where she told the saint, "I am the Immaculate Conception," he reminded the faithful.

The Pope explained that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary recalls two truths of the faith: the existence of original sin, and especially the victory of Christ over evil, a victory that shines so sublimely in the form of the Virgin Mary.

"The existence of what the Church calls ‘original sin’ is unfortunately overwhelmingly evident, if only we look around us and within ourselves. The experience of evil is so consistent that it arouses in us the question: where did it come from?" This question becomes an "even more profound one" for the believer, the Pope noted. "If God, who is absolute Kindness, has created everything, where does evil come from?" he asked.

Benedict XVI explained that the answer is clear from the first pages of the Bible, which tell the story of creation and the fall of the first parents.

"God created all that exists, in particular he has created human beings in his own image, he did not cause death, but it entered the world through the envy of the devil (Wisdom 1:13-14; 2,23-24), who rebelled against God, and also deceived men, causing them to rebel."

"It's the drama of the freedom that God picks us up out of love, pledging instead to be a son of a woman who crushed the head of the ancient serpent," he said, adding that "the woman predestined to be Mother of the Redeemer, the mother of the One who has been humiliated to bring us back to our original dignity."

"This Woman, in the eyes of God, has always had a face and a name: "full of grace," as she was called by the Angel visitors to Nazareth. She is the new Eve, the wife of Adam, made to be the mother of all redeemed," Pope Benedict said. He also quoted from Saint Andrew of Crete who said: "Mary Theotokos, the common refuge of all Christians, was the first to be released by early fall of our forefathers."

The Holy Father also pointed to today's liturgy, which says that God has "prepared a worthy dwelling for his son and, in anticipation of the death of him, has preserved from every stain of sin."

In keeping with tradition, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Spanish Steps in Rome this afternoon, where he will pay homage to the image of the Immaculate Conception.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Begins: Pope Reminds Christians to be Watchful for Christ

Vatican City, Nov 30, 2008 (CNA).- Having returned from his pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Lawrence Outside-the-Walls, Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Sunday Angelus with 15,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. In his words to the faithful, the Pope challenged them to be mindful of how the Lord comes into their lives and to make room for him.

Before the praying the Angelus, he noted the beginning, with the First Sunday of Advent, of a new liturgical year. "All of us say that 'we don't have time' because the rhythm of daily life has become, for us, frantic...God gives us his time. We have always little time; especially for the Lord we do not know or, sometimes, do not want to find. Well, God has time for us! This is the first thing that the beginning of the liturgical year makes us rediscover with always new marvel.”

Pope Benedict then explained that God gives us his time “because he entered into history with his word and his works of salvation to open it to the eternal, to make it become part of the history of the covenant. Time is already in itself a sign of God's love: a gift that like every other thing, man is in a position to value or, to spoil; to understand, or to neglect with obtuse superficiality."

The Pontiff suggested three great "hinges" of time, which scan the history of salvation: at the beginning, Creation; at the middle, the Incarnation-Redemption and at the end, "parusia," the final coming that also includes universal judgment.

"These three moments," he continued, "are not understood simply in chronological succession. In fact, creation is at the origin of all, but it also continues and is carried throughout the entire cosmos, until the end of time. So too the Incarnation-Redemption, which occurred at a given historical moment, the period of Jesus' passage on earth, still extends its radius to all time, before and after. And at their time, the final coming and last judgment, which on the Cross of Christ had a decisive advance, exercise their influence over the conduct of men of every age."

The liturgical season of Advent celebrates the coming of God in two moments, the Holy Father explained."First it invites us to reawaken the expectation of the glorious return of Christ; then, as Christmas approaches, it calls upon us to welcome the Word made flesh for our salvation.

“But the Lord comes into our lives all the time,” Pope Benedict reminded the faithful.

Turning to today’s Gospel reading, he said, “Jesus' appeal therefore comes very much at the right time and in this first Sunday it is again proposed with force: 'Be watchful!' Jesus directed these words to his disciples, but also to 'everybody else' because each one will be called to answer for his existence at a time known only to God. This entails the right detachment from earthly things, sincere repentance for one's own errors, active charity towards one's fellow man and especially a humble and trusting faith in the hands of God, our tender and merciful Father."

Benedict XVI concluded, "The icon of Advent is the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. We invoke her to help also us to become a prolongation of humanity for the Lord who comes."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Daily Gospel

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 8,5-11.

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Daily Gospel

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19,1-10

He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Daily Gospel

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 17,7-10

Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here immediately and take your place at table'? Would he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished'? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Daily Gospel

Thursday, 06 November 2008

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 15,1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them he addressed this parable. What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.' In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bishops Defend Marriage in YouTube Videos

Washington DC, Nov 2, 2008 (CNA).- The U.S. bishops have posted to the YouTube video sharing site two videos about same-sex unions, defending marriage from efforts to redefine it.

“Certain groups and individuals are trying to make same-sex unions the equivalent of marriage," they state. “This is a false idea being proposed and, in some cases, imposed by a minority. This is nothing less than the radical redefinition of marriage -- denying the truth that it is exclusively the union of a man and a woman."

The bishops featured in the videos include Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky and Archbishop of San Antonio José Gomez, who speaks in the Spanish-language video.

In the video, the bishops warn that a successful redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions “will bring confusion to what marriage actually means. This confusion could spread and have enormous legal consequences for the rearing of children, public education, employment, and religious freedom. Children would be forced to learn that marriage is merely one kind of loving relationship among many. Churches would be prevented from witnessing to and teaching about the necessary and singular role of love between a man and a woman.”

“Same-sex unions and marriage are completely different realities,” they continue. “Reaffirming the traditional understanding of marriage is neither discrimination nor the denial of rights. Like all people, homosexual persons have the right to be treated with respect and to live in peace with the support of their loved ones. But it is to the benefit of all members of society that the institution of marriage be preserved as the relationship of a man and a woman that serves the common good in a distinct way.”

The videos are part of the efforts of the Defense of Marriage Ad Hoc Committee, which assists the bishops and State Catholic Conferences.

Friday, October 31, 2008

U.S. Prelate: Voters Need to Hear About Life Issues, Calls Them "Fundamental Concerns"

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, OCT. 29, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Life and family are not "religious issues," but actually involve "fundament concerns of human civilization." And thus, voters need to be informed about them, says the archbishop of San Antonio.

Archbishop José Gomez affirmed this in a column published today in the San Antonio Express News, noting that a voter's guide published by that daily had neglected to list the candidates' positions regarding the preservation of life and the definition of marriage.

"The 'culture of life' issues, and I include in that the preservation of the very foundational definition of the human family, often are dismissed as purely religious issues," he wrote. "This characterization is inaccurate. These issues deal with the most fundamental concerns of human civilization. The strong moral teaching at the foundation of these issues does not disqualify them from deserving serious public discussion, nor deny the impact they have on the common good."

Archbishop Gomez said he finds it "unfortunate" that "when an individual raises abortion as a critical issue, there is a fear that they will be quickly labeled a 'one-issue' voter."

"While this characterization might protect one from confronting the moral gravity of taking an innocent, defenseless, human life, it also avoids the reality that abortion is an issue that affects all segments of our society," he wrote. "It represents the primary right guaranteed in our Declaration of Independence -- the right to life. Unless we protect this fundamental right of each human person, at all stages of life, no other issue or liberty matters."

The Church does not pretend to tell people for whom to vote, the archbishop clarified. "We have a responsibility to be a voice for the innocent, the helpless, for life itself at this time of political clutter.

"We cannot ignore these issues, many of which we believe are 'non-negotiable.' If our nation loses respect for life and true 'family values' it will have lost its moral authority to lead the world."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Daily Gospel


«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68

Friday, 31 October 2008

Today the Church celebrates : St. Quentin, St. Wolfgang

John Paul II: "The sabbath was made for man" (Mk 2,27)

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 14,1-6.

On a sabbath he went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, "Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?" But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them, "Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?" But they were unable to answer his question.

Commentary of the day :

John Paul II
Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini", 61 (copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

"The sabbath was made for man" (Mk 2,27)

As the seventh day blessed and consecrated by God, the "shabbat" concludes the whole work of creation, and is therefore immediately linked to the work of the sixth day when God made man "in his image and likeness" (Gn 1:26). This very close connection between the "day of God" and the "day of man" did not escape the Fathers in their meditation on the biblical creation story. Saint Ambrose says in this regard: "Thanks, then, to the Lord our God who accomplished a work in which he might find rest. He made the heavens, but I do not read that he found rest there; he made the stars, the moon, the sun, and neither do I read that he found rest in them. I read instead that he made man and that then he rested, finding in man one to whom he could offer the forgiveness of sins". Thus there will be for ever a direct link between the "day of God" and the "day of man".

When the divine commandment declares: "Remember the Sabbath day in order to keep it holy" (Ex 20:8), the rest decreed in order to honour the day dedicated to God is not at all a burden imposed upon man, but rather an aid to help him to recognize his life-giving and liberating dependence upon the Creator, and at the same time his calling to cooperate in the Creator's work and to receive his grace. In honouring God's "rest", man fully discovers himself, and thus the Lord's Day bears the profound imprint of God's blessing (Gn 2:3), by virtue of which, we might say, it is endowed in a way similar to the animals and to man himself, with a kind of "fruitfulness" (Gn 1:22, 28). This "fruitfulness" is apparent above all in filling and, in a certain sense, "multiplying" time itself, deepening in men and women the joy of living and the desire to foster and communicate life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Same-sex Marriage Will Impact All Families and Children, Video Shows

Washington DC, Oct 27, 2008 (CNA).- To demonstrate the impact that allowing same-sex marriage has on society, iVoteValues has produced a short video showing how the gay agenda in schools impacts children and families.

iVoteValues, a collaborative effort from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family recently released a video titled, “Gay Agenda in Schools.” In it, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, explains how same-sex marriage impacts everyone.

“You may be asking yourself, how will same-sex marriage affect my family? Well, based on the evidence, everything changes when same-sex marriage becomes legal. If it is legalized, it must be taught as normal, acceptable and moral behavior in every public school.”

“Don’t believe me? It has already happened in Massachusetts,” Perkins states in the video.

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to permit homosexual marriage in the United States. This decision has impacted students within the public school system as young as five who are taught that same-sex marriage is acceptable.

In the video, Perkins also speaks with two families who discuss their experiences of same-sex marriage being taught in schools.

The first family, the Parkers, explain that their kindergarten son was given a book about homosexuality in a “diversity book bag.” The parents were not given prior notification.

The second family, the Wirthlins, tell the story of their seven year old son coming home from school after a teacher read his class the book, “King and King,” in which a prince falls in love with another prince.

Mr. Wirthlin notes that “it’s a story that introduces the story of men having a relationship and getting married.” Wirthlin and his wife also explain in the video that homosexuality was presented to their son as something that is “good and right.”

The stories of these families show that voting in this election on same-sex marriage “affects every family and every child,” Perkins concludes in the video, “including yours.”

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


October 21, 2008

God’s Love Story

Read: Hosea 11

How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? . . . My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. --Hosea 11:8

Is there any human feeling more powerful than that of betrayal? Ask a high school girl whose boyfriend has dumped her for a pretty cheerleader. Or tune your radio to a country-western station and listen to the lyrics of infidelity. Or check out the murders reported in the daily newspaper, an amazing number of which trace back to a quarrel with an estranged lover.

In the Old Testament, God through Hosea’s marriage demonstrates in living color exactly what it is like to love someone desperately and get nothing in return. Not even God, with all His power, will force a human being to love Him.

Many people think of God as an impersonal force, something akin to the law of gravity. The book of Hosea portrays almost the opposite: a God of passion and fury and tears and love. A God in mourning over Israel’s rejection of Him (11:8).

God the lover does not desire to share His bride with anyone else. Yet, amazingly, when Israel turned her back on God, He stuck with her. He was willing to suffer, in hope that someday she would return to Him.

Hosea, and later Jesus, prove that God longs not to punish but to love. In fact, He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us! --Philip Yancey

Love sent the Savior to die in my stead.
Why should He love me so?
Meekly to Calvary’s cross He was led.
Why should He love me so? --Harkness

God loved us so much, He sent His only Son

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bishop Reminds Catholics to Remember Judgment Day in Voting Booth

St. Louis, Oct 18, 2008 (CNA).- Bishop Robert J. Herman, the administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, has written a column reminding Catholics that their vote will be a decision weighed on the Day of Judgment. He urged Catholics not to treat the unborn as the neglectful rich man treated Lazarus in the biblical parable.

“Judgment Day is on its way,” the bishop wrote in the St. Louis Review. “We cannot stop it. We don’t know when it will come, but just as surely as the sun rises daily, the Son of Man will come when we least expect.”

“For many, this coming election may very well be judgment day, for this election will measure us,” he continued, referencing Christ’s words of judgment in Matthew 10:32-33:

“Everyone who acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father. But whoever denies Me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

Bishop Herman asked the faithful to consider what kind of witness they give to God when they enter the voting booth on Election Day.

“The decision I make in the voting booth will reflect my value system. If I value the good of the economy and my current lifestyle more than I do the right to life itself, then I am in trouble,” the bishop wrote.

He cited Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Christifideles laici, which said outcry on human rights is “false and illusory” if the right to life is not defended to the maximum.

“The right of our children to be protected from destruction is greater than my right to a thriving economy,” Bishop Herman continued.

“My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion.”

Bishop Herman looked to the spiritual dimension as well.

“Those 47 million children our nation destroyed are still living. We have destroyed their bodies, but their souls are still alive. When our Lord comes again, they may very well be there to judge us. Even worse, Jesus tells us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren, we do to Him. We would truly shudder if we heard the words, ‘I was in my mother’s womb but you took my life!’

“It is quite possible that we might see these children, but, depending upon the choices we have made, we may very well be separated from them by a great chasm which cannot be crossed, much as the rich man who ignored Lazarus, the poor man, during his lifetime here on earth but was separated from him after death.”

Bishop Herman said the “deepest problem” with many Catholics is that they have become accustomed to rationalizing away a “life of sinful actions” headed in the wrong direction.

“My goal is not to engage you in some political party way but to engage you with our Savior and His teachings. We need to constantly challenge our accustomed behaviors in the light of the Gospel,” he wrote.

He said the issues of the coming election could help people learn about the teachings of the Catholic Church and to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

“When we do this, both we and the heavens will be filled with joy!” he asserted.

“Judgment Day is on its way,” he repeated, encouraging people to pray the family Rosary daily between now and Election Day.

In a previous column for the St. Louis Review, Bishop Herman urged Catholics not to put politics ahead of the Fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”

“Save our children!” he wrote. “More than anything else, this election is about saving our children or killing our children. This life issue is the overriding issue facing each of us in this coming election. All other issues, including the economy, have to take second place to the issue of life.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Marriage Supporters in California Attacked Outside Catholic Church, "Wave of Intimidation"

Sacramento, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA).- This past Sunday, a parishioner at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Modesto, California was attacked while helping promote Proposition 8, which will define marriage as only between a man and a woman in California. According to promoters of the initiative, the assault is part of a “wave of violence” throughout the state.

Jose Nunez, 37, was waiting outside of St. Stanislaus for Mass to finish so he could distribute yard signs to Prop. 8 supporters when he was approached by an opponent of the initiative.

The unidentified man grabbed about 75 of the “Vote Yes on 8” signs and ran. Nunez then spotted the man trying to throw the signs over a wall and approached him.

When he got nearer, the man shouted, "What do you have against gays!" to which Nunez replied that he had nothing against gays.

When Nunez attempted to take the stolen signs from the assailant, the man punched him. The blow sent Nunez to the hospital, where he received 16 stitches for the wound below his left eye.

“Yes on 8” press secretary Chip White told CNA that the irony of the whole episode is that, the opponents of Prop. 8 “are the ones who are claiming to be tolerant and open-minded.”

"It's outrageous that the ‘No’ campaign calls themselves the voice of tolerance and moderation and wants people to feel bad for supporting Prop. 8. There was nothing tolerant or moderate about beating up Jose," said White. "Clearly the man who attacked Jose is intolerant of those who support traditional marriage," he added.

Following the altercation between Nunez and the anti-Proposition 8 assailant, the “No on Prop. 8” campaign director Patrick Guerrier released a statement condemning the violent attack and saying that such actions “should not be tolerated in any campaign."

In an interesting twist, Jose Nunez is originally from Mexico but just became a U.S. citizen two months ago. He will be voting for the first time in November. Nunez is also active in his parish as the Grand Knight of the St. Stanislaus Council Knights of Columbus, an organization that has contributed more than $1 million to the campaign for Prop. 8.

The attack has not lessened Nunez´s support for Proposition 8.

"The other side wants to intimidate us, but we can't stop standing up for traditional marriage,” he said. “I may be bloody and bruised, but I'm not giving up. Protecting traditional marriage is just too important for our kids," added Nunez, who is the father of three children, ages 9, 5, and 3.

According to Chip White, Californians from around the state have reported being harassed by people who are against Prop. 8. Among the incidents he related were: verbal harassment of Prop.8 supporters on the freeway, including obscene gestures; the theft of yard signs; and a woman in Riverside, California who had her garage sprayed with graffiti.

White characterized the incidents as “a whole wave of intimidation and violence up and down the state.”

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cardinal George: Bible Not Part of Popular Imagination, Society Sees Scripture As "Fantasy Fiction"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Current society has lost touch with the world of Scripture, of searching for God's will and seeing the hand of providence in life's events, says Cardinal Francis George.

The archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. episcopal conference said this Tuesday at the world Synod of Bishops on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church," under way in the Vatican through Oct. 26.

In his address the cardinal spoke of the "lived contexts in which believers hear the Word of God and the need for pastoral attention to conversion of the imagination, the intellect and the will."

"Western culture has been historically shaped in 
conversation with the Bible," he said. "References to 'the prodigal son' or 'the Good Samaritan' or 'Sodom and Gomorrah' could be taken for granted as images popularly recognizable.

"This familiarity, that has now largely disappeared from popular imagination, disappeared a generation ago from the world of art and theatre."

"Behind this loss of biblical images lies the loss of a sense and an image of God as an actor in human history," Cardinal George continued. "In Scripture, God is both the principal author and the principal actor. In Scripture, we encounter the living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Our people, for the most part, do not live confidently in the biblical world of active spirit, of angels and demons, of the search for God’s will and God’s intentions in the midst of this world governed by God’s providence.

"Scripture takes on the genre of fantasy fiction, and the biblical world becomes an uninhabitable embarrassment."

The cardinal added that Scripture is then "approached only as a moral guidebook, and often found deficient even in that."

School of liturgy

"Scripture is the soul of liturgy even more than it is the heart of theology," the president of the US bishops' conference said. "With decreased participation in the Sunday liturgy, the faithful cut themselves off from contact with Scripture in the context of communal worship.

"Through steady attention to the Scriptures that shape the liturgical cycles and calendar, the believer opens himself to conversion and development in the life of grace."

Cardinal George called regular attendance at Mass a "schooling in the obedience of faith."

"A love of Scripture," he continued, "feeds the desire to worship in spirit and in truth, and, in turn, our worship gives God the opportunity to transform us more profoundly into the image of Christ."

The cardinal commented on the practice of "lectio divina," which he called a form of prayer "so apt to purify one’s desires and bring one’s will into harmony with God’s will," yet so "far from common even among those who regularly come to Church."

He said that if pastors are attentive, "people will not fear confusion when they read and listen to the Bible. It will not be for them a grand puzzle but a path to the freedom that comes from personal surrender to God’s world, God’s mind, God’s will.

"If the power of God’s word in Holy Scripture is to be felt in the life and mission of the Church, pastors must attend to personal context as well as to inspired text."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Daily Gospel


«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68

Wednesday, 08 October 2008

Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Pelagia

Saint Augustine : «Teach us to pray»

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 11,1-4.

He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test."

Commentary of the day :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 80

«Teach us to pray»

My brethren, do you imagine God is ignorant of what you need? He who knows our distress foreknows our desires also. That is why, in teaching them the Our Father, the Lord counselled his disciples not to use many words: «When you pray, do not keep babbling because your Father knows what you need before you ask him» (Mt 6,7-8). If our Father already knows what we need, why tell him about it even in few words?... If you know about it, Lord, do we even need to pray?

However, he who says to us here: «Do not use many words in your prayers» says to us elsewhere: «Ask and you will receive», and so that we don't think this is said casually, he adds: «Seek and you will find», and so that we don't think this to be a mere figure of speech, see how he concludes: «Knock and it will be opened to you» (Mt 7,7). So what he wants is for you to begin by asking so as to receive, to set yourself to seeking in order to find and not to stop knocking so as to enter in the end... Why ask? Why seek? Why knock? Why weary ourselves with praying, seeking, knocking as though we had to inform him who already knows it all? We even read elsewhere: «Pray always without becoming weary» (Lk 18,1)... Well, to clear up this mystery, ask, seek, knock! If he disguises this mystery it is because he wants to move you to seek and find the explanation for yourself. We should all encourage ourselves to pray.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Worthy Brief - 10/7/2008

CFC, multiply your time!

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Life can get so hectic sometimes -- we often try to do too many things at once. But when our schedule gets that hectic, we need to start investing in some quality time with the Lord. The operating word here is "investing".

Did you know that God is the best broker in town? When we invest our time in worship, prayer and the reading of His word, He takes just takes that time and multiplies it many times over! When we give the Lord our time, He gets our minds focused and can even give us new ideas for how we can get things done better and more efficiently! I've heard testimony after testimony about this and seen God at work in my own life in this area. It really works!

CFC, I heard it said once that "proof of love is the investment of time". Do we have something to prove today? Let's start start by spending some time with the Lord. Spending time in His presence is the greatest investment we could ever make!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah

Thursday, October 2, 2008

UN Petition of the Unborn Child

CFC-FFL members are strongly encouraged to sign up as requested below by Austin Ruse, for the UN Petition of the Unborn Child. CFC FFL stands in solidarity with all groups under the Prollife movement.

Austin Ruse is the President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), the only Prolife organization holding office at the United Nations premises.C-FAM was founded in the summer of 1997 in order to monitor and affect the social policy debate at the United Nations and other international institutions.

Let us help in our little way, to support every good endeavor of our comrades-in-arms, within the prolife movement.

Solidarity is an essential stance of faith and a feature of moral consciousness recognizing that we belong to one human family. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
September 29, 2008

Dear Friend,

The UN will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this December 10th.

To celebrate this occasion, radical pro-abortion groups intend to present the UN General Assembly with petitions calling for a universal right to abortion.

The largest, richest and most powerful pro-abortion groups are even now planning their attack on the unborn at the General Assembly.

Campaigns are being waged right now by International Planned Parenthood Federation and Maire Stopes International, the two groups responsible for more abortions than any other groups in the world. Both are beloved of the powers that be at the UN; and their efforts to promote an international right to abortion are welcomed by many UN Member States, perhaps most of the UN bureaucracy, and powerful US foundations that give millions to promote abortion at the UN and around the world.

We must stop them this December.

I am writing to ask you to sign a petition calling on UN Members States to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as protecting the unborn child from abortion. Did you know that the Universal Declaration calls for a right to life? Did you know that UN committees now interpret that as a right to abortion? We can stop them.

Please go HERE to sign the petition which we will present at the UN on December 10th, the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the very least we must match what the pro-abortion advocates will present to the UN that day! They will present thousands and thousands of names. WE MUST MATCH THEM.

Go HERE to sign the petition and then please send this email to all of your family and friends. Our goal is to present 50,000+ names to the General Assembly. We need your help right now to block the pro-aborts from making huge progress for abortion at the UN.

We are going to run this campaign for the next six weeks. There is plenty of time to get this petition to everyone in your address book and all around the world. This is an international right. Please help us now.

Imagine the look on their faces when we slam down 50,000 names! Be a part of that. Sign the petition HERE and send this all over the world.

Yours sincerely,

Austin Ruse
(The only pro-life group working exclusively on UN social policy)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Only One Mommy: The Story of Lisa and Isabella Miller

October 1, 2008

Activist judges in Vermont have declared that a legal stranger is a mommy to another woman's biological child. Now, a Vermont judge will decide whether to order that the six year old little girl be stripped from the loving arms of the only mommy she has ever known -- her biological mother, Lisa.

Lisa Miller left the homosexual lifestyle and became a Christian when Isabella was 17 months old. Janet Jenkins, who was Lisa's same-sex partner when Lisa gave birth to Isabella, then sought full custody of Isabella, claiming she was a parent even though she was not biologically related to Isabella and never sought to adopt her.

Not only did Vermont create new law from the bench to declare that Isabella has two mommies, but appellate courts in Virginia (the state where Isabella was born and has lived all but 13 months of her life) directed Virginia to fully recognize the Vermont orders giving Janet (who lives in Vermont) liberal unsupervised visitation. In doing so, the courts ignored Virginia's Marriage Amendment and marriage laws declaring all rights arising from same-sex relationships void and unenforceable.

Now, a judge in Vermont on October 27 will hear Janet's argument that she should get full custody!

We are asking you to help us spread the word about the ongoing legal case that directly impacts the life of six-year old child Isabella and the future of this Nation.

If Vermont can declare from the bench that a legal stranger is a mommy to another woman's child and then have it enforced in a state with one of the strongest marriage amendments in the country, then, on the issues of marriage and family, our country will no longer be the United States of America but instead will be the United States according to Massachusetts, California, or Vermont.

To learn more about Lisa's case, please read the letter we posted on our website.

We are trying to rally support for Lisa by promoting a group on Facebook called Only One Mommy: The Story of Lisa and Isabella Miller. This group was created by Rena Lindevaldsen, a Liberty Counsel attorney and law school professor at Liberty University School of Law.


That Judge Cohen in Vermont will not order Lisa to turn over Lisa's daughter to Janet
That the judges in the Virginia cases will follow Virginia law.
Supreme Court Justices who are considering our request for the Court hear the Miller cases
Salvation for Janet Jenkins, who is trying to take full custody of Lisa's daughter
Safety for Lisa's little girl, Isabella
God’s continued strength and grace for Lisa
That the President and Senators who will be elected in November will be those who will support the right judges
That people of this Nation will realize the importance of this issue for the entire country
Critical Dates:

Now - We are waiting to hear whether the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear our appeal from the Vermont Supreme Court.

October 27 - hearing in Vermont where Janet is asking for full custody because Lisa has not given visitation (out of concern for Isabella’s physical and mental safety).

Janet’s attorneys are pressing for an immediate hearing in Virginia to enforce the Vermont visitation (and possibly switch of custody) orders.

December 7 - U.S. Supreme Court Justices will conference together to consider whether to hear our appeal from the Virginia Supreme Court.


Please help us inform as many people as possible by forwarding this Liberty Alert to your entire e-mail list of family and friends, and encourage them to subscribe.

Liberty Counsel does not charge clients for representation, so we depend on individuals, groups and churches who care about advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. Liberty Counsel is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that accepts tax-deductible donations. Donate or order resources from the Liberty Counsel online store.


Praise the Lord for friends who help underwrite this Liberty Alert ...

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Mathew D. Staver - Founder and Chairman
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Liberty Counsel - 1-800-671-1776
PO Box 540774 - Orlando, FL 32854

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bishop’s Defense of Church Teaching at Gay Ministry Conference Draws Attendees’ Ire

Sacramento, Sep 27, 2008 (CNA).- Jamie Soto, the coadjutor bishop of Sacramento, addressed the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries conference in Long Beach, California on September 18. While noting that marriage is not the "sole domain of love," he also reiterated the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are sinful. During his talk, several audience members walked out while Bishop Soto received hostile responses from many in the audience afterward.

The bishop’s address began by challenging the belief that Jesus "always gave people what they wanted" and was an "agreeable person." He noted the exchange between Jesus and Simon Peter in Matthew 16, where Jesus says "You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

"Jesus does not give in to the expectations of Peter or the expectations of others," Bishop Soto explained. "He has firmly planted in his heart the expectations and desires of his Father in heaven. He says ‘no’ to Peter and challenges Peter to take up a greater ‘yes,’ to take up his cross and follow him."

The bishop also referenced St. Paul’s phrase "do not conform yourselves to this age," noting the human capacity to think that Jesus is "too unrealistic, too unreasonable," and to convince ourselves that "we know better than the Lord."

Such habits, the bishop said, are evident today in the area of sexuality, about which many of us have a "distorted sense."

"Sexuality has been reduced to a matter of personal preference and personal pleasure without responsibility and with little respect for others. We can lose sight of the profound dignity of the human person who shares in God’s love and creative work through the chaste expression of one’s sexuality proper to one’s calling in life. "

Bishop Soto criticized the "contraceptive culture" that reduces the procreative act to "simple recreation absolved of any responsibility." He also explained the Church’s support for the California ballot’s Proposition 8, which would overturn the California Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year instituting same-sex marriage.

"The nature of love has been distorted," the bishop continued. "Many popular notions have deviated from its true destiny. Love for many has come to mean having sex. If you cannot have sex than you cannot love. This is the message. Even more destructive is the prevailing notion that sex is not an expression of love. Sex is love."

He said this view "deprives sexuality of its true meaning" and hampers the possibility of "ever knowing real love."

Sexual intercourse, he explained, is "a beautiful expression of God’s love" when it is understood "as a unique expression intended to share in the creative, faithful love of God." Referencing Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est, he said that when sexual intercourse ceases to be an icon of God’s "creative, unifying love" it becomes "impoverished" and "demeans the human person."

Bishop Soto then lauded the virtue of chastity, calling it "the path that brings us to that harmony with God’s wisdom and love" and a thing that "moves us beyond one’s desire to what God wills for each one of us."

This is true, he said, also for men and women who are homosexual.

"Let me be clear here," the bishop stated. "Sexual intercourse, outside of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, can be alluring and intoxicating but it will not lead to that liberating journey of true self-discovery and an authentic discovery of God. For that reason, it is sinful."

While same-sex relations can be "alluring" for homosexuals, it "deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all."

Acknowledging the "beautiful, heroic expression" of married love, he added, "Marriage is also not the sole domain of love as some of the politics would seem to imply." Love includes "the deep and chaste love of committed friends" as well as the love of religious and clergy, the bonds between Christians, and the love between family members.

"Should we dismiss or demean the human and spiritual significance of these lives given in love?" He asked rhetorically.

"We hope and pray that all people, including our brothers and sisters who are homosexuals, will see the reasonableness of our position and the sincerity of our love for them," the bishop continued, closing with an exhortation to the audience "to be drawn into the ways and the manners of Jesus."

Two conference attendees told the California Catholic Daily that they witnessed Bishop Soto "courageously but gently" give a clear presentation of Catholic teaching on sexuality. They report at least five members of the audience walked out during the bishop’s address, while only a very small number applauded the bishop at the conclusion of his speech.

When the conference chairman announced the bishop would answer questions at a reception held in another room, members of the audience reportedly made widespread shows of disapproval and said they wanted to respond immediately.

Bishop Soto then interacted with respondents.

About eight audience members expressed their unhappiness with what the bishop had said. One woman reportedly commented that the audience knew what the Church teaches but wanted to hear about the value of the "lived experience" of lesbian women and gay men.

Two other speakers, one man and one woman, thanked the bishop for his address and voiced agreement with his remarks.

While the audience members responded to the bishop’s remarks, the California Catholic Daily says, one board member of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries approached one of the tables in the room and said "On behalf of the board, I apologize. We had no idea Bishop Soto was going to say what he said."

The California Catholic Daily claims that the Berkeley-based National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries has the reputation of taking "at best, an ambiguous stance" on issues concerning same-sex attraction and homosexual acts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Guide to Catholic Voting

"Catholics who cast a vote for a politician who supports abortion and same-sex 'marriage' "commit moral evil,"
Editorial by Fr. Alphonse DeValk, editor, The Catholic Insight

September 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Just before the election of January 23, 2006, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), an association of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued an Open Letter to Canadian Catholics. First, it summarized Canada's general situation as follows:

"At this time in the history of Canada, a realistic look at society reveals a fundamental problem-the loss of respect for human life and dignity. This is evident in so many ways:
- the legal void that permits abortion right up to birth;
- medical research that authorizes the destruction of embryos;
- a mentality that increasingly favours euthanasia and assisted suicide;
- the gratuitous violence in our schoolyards;
- abuse of women and children;
- the violent deaths of young men;
- the silence that surrounds so many situations of poverty;
- the widespread incidence of prostitution, pornography and drugs."

The COLF Letter observed that the family is under constant attack, today not least because of the Liberal government's redefinition of marriage in June 2005. It went on to point to Canada's anti-religious secularism:

"We are witnessing an obvious effort by some in society who wish to relegate religion to the private lives of citizens. This aggressive secular ideology refuses religion the right to exist in the public square. In the name of pluralism and secularity, then, there is a desire to exclude from public dialogue those who promote religious values, even when these can be defended by human reason and experience."

Just recently, in Ontario, the Human Rights Commission made the most brazen attack on freedom of religion and conscience seen so far in Canada. It boldly ordered the College of Physicians and Surgeons to extinguish the rights of medical doctors to follow their own conscience in judging the needs of their patients. The Human Rights Commissions are now a blight on the Canadian landscape.

Meanwhile, the legalized killing of infants in the womb remains the overall most important moral crisis for Canada. Its deadly social consequences are now upon us. It is shameful that Prime Minister Harper once more distanced himself from this issue before calling the election. We encourage the voters in the riding of Calgary South-West to express their unhappiness on election day.

The first principle in voting is that to be pro-abortion disqualifies a candidate from office. He/she is simply unsuited to hold office. Their thinking is awry. Because of this opinion, they get everything important wrong as well.

But Catholics have obligations above and beyond other voters. Why? Because they have received the Truth. The following principles apply to them.

Catholics who cast a vote for a politician who supports abortion and same-sex 'marriage' "commit moral evil," if a moral candidate is available. Advancing pro-abortion candidates and their aims is incompatible with the Catholic faith.

"Voting is a moral act." In some matters of morality, such as immigration, universal health care, and affordable housing, "the use of reason allows for a legitimate diversity in our prudential judgments." Other acts, regardless of the motive or circumstances, always "involve doing evil" and must be opposed: "These choices include elective abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the destruction of embryonic human beings in stem-cell research, human cloning, and same-sex 'marriage.'"

"Such acts are judged to be intrinsically evil, that is, evil in and of themselves regardless of our motives or the circumstances. They constitute an attack against human life, as well as marriage and family."

Catholic voters have to bring a "correct conscience" on matters regarding innocent human life and the family even when faced with the choice of two unacceptable candidates.

"When there is no choice of a candidate that avoids supporting intrinsically evil actions, especially elective abortion, Catholics should vote in such a way as to allow the least harm to innocent human life and dignity."

"We would not be acting immorally therefore if we were to vote for a candidate who is not totally acceptable in order to defeat one who poses an even greater threat to human life and dignity."

Who said all this? It is contained in a voters' guide issued by the four bishops of the State of Kansas. It presents authentic Catholic moral teaching. It applies in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and anywhere else in the world.

For information on candidates in the various ridings, see LifeSiteNews.com for the Campaign Life Coalition election 2008 Voters Guide which will be posted late today.

Friday, September 26, 2008


September 26, 2008

Things Above

Read: Colossians 3:1-13

Seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. --Colossians 3:1

Stepping outside and gazing heavenward on a star-studded evening always helps to soothe my soul after a trouble-filled day. When I peer into the night sky, I forget, at least for a moment, the cares of life on earth.

Ancient Israel’s prolific songwriter wrote a poem thousands of years ago that still rings true: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Ps. 8:3-4).

When we try to imagine the immensity of God’s heavens, our problems indeed seem trivial. Yet God doesn’t think so! With all the galaxies He has to attend to, God is mindful of us. And not only are we on His mind, He cares for us.

No wonder the apostle Paul advised new believers to set their minds on things above (Col. 3:2). In doing so, we raise our thoughts above the level of earthly disputes and focus instead on our loving, heavenly Father, who wants us to know Him, to know how to live peacefully with one another, and to know that we can live eternally with Him in a place even more beautiful than the heavens.

“The heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1). Let’s join creation in praise to Him. --Julie Ackerman Link

Bless the Lord and sing His praises,
Bless the Lord now, O my soul;
Join the song all heaven raises,
Let the anthem loudly roll! --Peterson

Thursday, September 25, 2008

World Financial Crisis Is Consequence of Idolatry of Money, Cardinal Says

Lima, Sep 23, 2008 (CNA).- The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, said this week the financial crisis in the United States and the rest of the world is a consequence of the idolatry of money and power.

This idolatry has manifested itself in the network of corrupt officials who were greedy for more and therefore did not properly carry out their roles, Cardinal Cipriani said.

“They adore money and therefore, they engage in deceit. They issued a series of mortgages that had no value, and that, multiplied by millions has led to this flood of fraudulent corruption,” the cardinal said on his weekly radio program.

The cardinal warned that idolizing power and money has reached “very troubling levels in the world.” When money and power are “the only objects of our lives, they end in problems,” he said.

“When there is so much desire for money, it is for power, and when there is a desire for power it is for money. All of this just to impose our subjectivism, arrogance and pride,” the cardinal stated.

In this sense, he pointed out that the financial crisis in the Unites States is not because of “bad loans” but because of corruption by “those who were supposed to oversee mortgages, those who were supposed to handle lending, those who were supposed to be in charge of financial oversight” and who were part of a great “network of corruption.”

40 Days Revive Hope for Life, An Interview with National Campaign Director David Bereit

By Genevieve Pollock

FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia, SEPT. 23 and 24, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The question pro-life activist David Bereit is asking these days is not if abortion will end, but when it will end.

Bereit is the national campaign director of 40 Days for Life, a campaign he says has inspired hope that a culture of life is possible.

The campaign began Wednesday, and will unite pro-life advocates all over the United States, and two cities in Canada, to pray, fast and work together through Nov. 2, the Sunday that precedes the U.S. election day.

Q: Could you give us a brief overview of the 40 Days for Life program, and explain how it works?

Bereit: 40 Days for Life is a very focused, 40-day intensive pro-life campaign that has as its mission an effort to end abortion peacefully and prayerfully in the community, ultimately throughout our nation and throughout our world.

Three things are done for a period of 40 days. The first component is that in the local community we call upon believers to join together in prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. Our prayer is based on the belief that with God all things are possible.

We are not going to win the struggle against abortion on purely human terms. It is not going to be decided purely by the Supreme Court, who is in the White House or who is in Congress.

Ultimately, it is with God that an end to abortion is possible.

The other part of this, the fasting, is very important. I was raised in a Christian tradition that did not emphasize fasting, but when I read Scripture I realized that it talked about how there are some demons that can only be driven out through prayer and fasting. I thought that maybe this is something that we need to do specifically: fasting with the intention of ending abortion.

We have had people do everything from a very significant bread-and-water fast for 40 days, but for most people it means giving up a meal each day or giving up a certain type of food or drink.

One family gave up television for 40 days and said, "We are going to put all of that time that we usually spend in front of the tube into pro-life work." I thought to myself how that would really change our nation if everyone who was pro-life would do that as well.

The second component is the constant, peaceful prayer vigil that is held outside of an abortion facility or Planned Parenthood office. Essentially it draws community awareness to the injustice that is happening at that abortion center.

It also sends a message to those who work at the center, in a very peaceful and loving way, that what they are doing is detrimental to women, detrimental to the community, and that it is not supported by the Church in their community.

The participants are also there to reach out in a compassionate way to those pregnant mothers who are in crisis and do not know where else to turn, to offer them better alternatives that do not imply a lifetime of regrets. So, there is this aspect of 40 days of, in many cases, 24-hour, daily, round-the-clock prayer vigils outside of these facilities.

The third component, then, is grassroots educational outreach. This implies taking a pro-life message to community groups, churches and schools. In many communities, including the site of the very first 40 Days for Life campaign, this went along with a door-to-door outreach that reached 25,000-30,000 homes in the 40-day period.

We engage the media, both the religious outlets as well as the secular media outlets, so as to make sure that those who do not drive by the facility to see the prayer vigil, or those who do not go to a church on Sunday, still get the message.

We spread the message that life is sacred, that it is worth protecting, and that there is hope that we can rebuild, as Pope John Paul II said, a "culture of life" in our nation again. Thus we have prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil, and grassroots outreach all done through a focused 40-day period of time.

Q: How do you encourage the participants to reach out to people who have had abortions?

Bereit: Actually, last week in our training with the 174 campaign leaders we focused on reaching out to post-abortive mothers and fathers, especially in the time immediately after they have had an abortion, when it finally begins to hit them and they say to themselves, "What have I just done?"

We encouraged reaching out to those who have been carrying the pain of abortion for years and have been unable to find healing and forgiveness. We have partnered with wonderful ministries like Rachel's Vineyard, Project Rachel, Silent No More Awareness, and Abortion Recovery International Network.

Amazingly, more than half of the campaigns that we have had to date have been led by post-abortive women who have been the leaders for these campaigns because they have gone through these types of healing programs and have benefited from them.

They want this 40 Days for Life to reach out to other people who are at risk of making that same decision that for them turned into so many emotional, psychological and spiritual regrets down the road. Everything is done in a peaceful, loving, compassionate way during this campaign.

We have seen enormous surges of people who have come out of the woodwork in the communities where 40 Days for Life has been done, and they say, "A year ago, five years ago, 30 years ago, I had an abortion and it has still been bothering me."

Many times some of those people that go through the post-abortive healing become some of the most incredible advocates for life, and are able to share their testimonies to help people realize that, yes, abortion destroys the life of an innocent child made in God's image and likeness, but also it is devastating to women.

They can say: "I've been there. I've done that. I've felt the pain." And that is a very compelling message. We embrace their message. We welcome those who have had abortions to participate in this campaign.

Q: As you do your outreach, what have you found to be the reaction of the public, from both pro-abortion and pro-life groups?

Bereit: We are continually amazed. This campaign has now been done in 139 cities and 43 states, and is being organized in 179 cities for the campaign beginning this month. In that time, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

The pro-life community has been incredibly rejuvenated in those cities where a campaign has been done. We see people from pregnancy resource centers, right-to-life groups, parish respect life committees, diocesan respect life offices, and post-abortive ministries all come together in a common focus for a 40-day period of time.

When I travel around to the different states that have done this campaign, and I look into the eyes of the people that have participated, many of them first-time volunteers for pro-life work, I have seen such incredible hope.

People have told me, "After 35 years of legalized abortion in America, I had begun to despair. I had begun to think that we could never have any part in ending this. But now I have cause for hope."

I realized that it is not a matter of if abortion ends. It is a matter of when abortion ends.

Regarding the abortion industry as a whole, I am amazed that during the first campaign that was held nationally last fall, even Planned Parenthood gave us attention. They set up an entire Web site, and an entire fundraising campaign around the 40 Days for Life. They talked about how they were under siege. They are very concerned.

I am amazed still to date that as an organization we have grown so much. I work out of a little corner of my bedroom. We have a tiny little budget.

This was just an idea a year and a few months ago. Yet here today God has spread this to over 200 cities now collectively, and inspired hope all over the nation.

Q: What explanation do you give for why 40 Days for Life is growing and spreading so quickly to so many new cities?

Bereit: Number one it is because of prayer. It is because of the Holy Spirit. That is my strongest of convictions.

In second place it is because of the amazing people that God has called to be a part of this effort. I have heard some of the most incredible stories of people who have never been involved in pro-life work before they heard about this campaign. They got involved, launched local campaigns, mobilized hundreds of people, saved dozens of lives, and really turned the tide in their communities.

We have seen two abortion facilities go out of business following 40 Days for Life campaigns. We know of five abortion-clinic workers who have left the abortion industry, telling the 40 Days for Life volunteers that it was because of them and their prayers.

Q: Why did you decide to make this next program, beginning today and ending Nov. 2, coincide with the national elections? How important do you think the abortion issue is in these elections?

Bereit: Well, the campaign dates were the same that we used last year, because they worked very well, but we also felt that there was certainly no coincidence that the 40 days lead up to the Sunday immediately preceding the national election in America.

We believe this is a crucial time here in our nation. This is the year, 2008, when the death toll from abortion has crossed the 50 million mark. This is the year when the abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, crossed the billion dollar mark in revenues, over $336 million of that coming from American taxpayers.

After 35 years, if abortion was a good thing, it would be settled in the minds of people. But we have recognized that abortion has not been a good thing. It has not done any good for women, and it has certainly been destructive to the lives of the 50 million children that have been lost.

There is no more important time in our nation's history than right now for people to pray, to fast, and to put their faith into action. We will be able to do big, big things, because we have a big, big God who can do all things.

We took a tour of the capital recently. We got the opportunity to get down on the floor of the House of Representatives chamber. There, up on the wall, above where the Speaker of the House sits, it says in big letters "In God We Trust."

And I thought, one of the problems we have had these last 35 years of legalized abortion in America, is that we have put our trust in everything else but that.

We have put our trust in who resides in the White House. We have put our trust in who is walking the halls of Congress. We have put our trust in who are the black-robed judges sitting on the United States Supreme Court. We have put our trust in the state legislatures. We put our trust in politics.

This year we must recognize the importance of that statement "In God We Trust," and we must return our faith there. He is the only one who will never let us down.

I really believe from the bottom of my heart that this year is going to mark the beginning of the end of abortion, and I think we are already starting to see that play out all across the nation.

I see it in the eyes of the people. I see them putting their work into action. I see them in position now all across the country. I am amazed. I have never seen it like this before.

Last year we had some really good things happening. Reports around the country showed that people were going to planning meetings, and they had 15 or 20 people getting involved. By comparison, this year I went to three different planning meetings in Nebraska, and at these three meetings there were 500 people.

These people were on fire and they were ready to do things. I am seeing planning, intensity, and work like I have never seen. It gives me enormous hope.

Q: Are you expecting any specific results from this campaign?

Bereit: The most important result we hope for is that each of us who are involved grow in holiness during the campaign. That is more important than any immediate result.

Yes, we hope and pray that we will see many children's lives saved. Nationally, thus far in the previous two campaigns we have reports of 514 children saved, and we want to see many more children saved.

Yes, we want to see many people spared from making a decision for abortion. Yes, we want to see a lot of post-abortion healing happen.

But most importantly we want our nation to turn back to God, and that is going to start through each one of us. It will begin through our faithfulness, through our personal growth in holiness. Personally, I have never had the degree of spiritual growth like I experienced during my first 40 Days for Life.

Q: What are some ways that people can join in the 40 Days for Life effort?

Bereit: The first thing I would tell anybody would be to get down on their knees and begin to pray. Pray about what role God has for you in this effort.

Certainly for many people it will be to join in the prayer and fasting from today to Nov. 2. For many people it will be to participate in the vigil campaign in 179 cities throughout the country.

On our Web site we have a list of all the locations where the vigils will be held, and people can go there, they can find the location nearest to them, they can get the information, and they can come out to the vigil.

Maybe it will be one hour a day for the 40 days, the equivalent of a workweek, and they can have the opportunity to save lives. Maybe it will be once a week. Maybe it will be just once during the 40 days.

They can go and be there in prayer in the place where there is so little hope, at an abortion facility or Planned Parenthood office, to be a beacon of light in the darkness there.

Another thing is that people can discern if God is calling them to be a part of spreading the pro-life message through personal outreach. Maybe it will start with talking with their friends, or family members, people at their parish, people throughout their diocese, people they work with, people they go to school with or that their children go to school with, and inviting people to join together in this effort during these 40 days.

On our Web site we have a section where people can sign up for the daily e-mail updates and devotionals during the 40 days.

We have national leaders such as Father Frank Pavone and other clergy, other national pro-life leaders, who will be sending out a daily devotional with a Scripture reflection and a call to action for people during the 40 days. We have heard so many great reports from people that tell us it is such an inspiration to know that their intentions are being united with others around the country.

For those people who are in a city that does not have an organized campaign this fall, they may discern that God is leading them to lead a campaign down the road. We are very likely to do another campaign again next Lenten season, and one again next fall.

Q: What message would you like to give to people who are interested in participating in this campaign?

Bereit: The main thought that keeps coming back to me as I work with people during this campaign, is that years from now in the history books, there is going to be a chapter about abortion, and about how this great injustice ultimately ended. As with every great injustice, such as segregation or slavery, or any other injustice in America and throughout the world, all of them eventually fell or will fall.

Abortion will eventually fall. When it does, and when the history books are written, our children and our grandchildren are going to be reading about how abortion ended.

I believe that they are going to be reading about the year 2008 and how this year was the beginning of the end of abortion. And we will have to answer to them what we did or did not do during this crucial time in American history.

I believe that the faithful, God's people, who are willing to pray and fast, who are willing to hold peaceful vigil, who are willing to spread the pro-life message, and do anything they can to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, I believe that we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren, "I did everything that I could possibly do. I was willing to do the things that needed to be done in order to end abortion."

It is the legacy that we are going to be known for. People will look back at us and will measure us by how we met this great evil, this great injustice. Abortion will be in the history books. The question is what role will we have played in bringing it down? That's the message I really want to get across to people.

Ultimately of course, we live with the desire that when we each arrive in our heavenly home, we want to eventually hear those words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Let us pray for our Indian brethren as they undergo severe persecution and martyrdom. May their sacrifices and the blood they shed advance the kingdom of God in India. May Indian Catholics be strengthened in their faith, pray for their persecutors, and continue to spread the love of Jesus to all. God bless.

Hi Brother and sisters, I received the narrative form of this email and some brothers and sisters confirm that this is true. I received this email from my Indian catholic colleague. This is not for faint hearted. Please pray for them and definitely our Father won't leave HIS children nor forsaken His Children.

Thank you.

Dear Children of the Living God,
Does any religion allow this – Is this not Terrorism.
Keeping quiet about it will not help – Christians, do not retaliate, we are willing to die as Martyrs, however, are these people willing to face God and justify their actions?
Please send this to your friends, and raise your voices, against the atrocities committed, in the name of religion.
I am an Indian, and am proud of being a Chrisitian.
Attached are few pictures of violence against Christians in Orissa.

Reports received that thousands of Christian homes were burned down, many were brutally murdered and many are living away in remote unknown hide outs, without food and clothes to change. Many are living in the shelters.
Please pray for our country and those who are suffering.

The VHP has plans to kill all Christians in Puri District of Orissa. Let us fast and pray to Jesus for His intervention and protection of his people…

FAQs on Proposition 8

Questions & Answers

About Proposition 8

What is Proposition 8?

Proposition 8 is a simple and straightforward voter initiative. It contains the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000 by over 61% of California voters: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Because four activist judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people's vote, we need to pass this measure as a constitutional amendment to restore the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

    What does a YES vote on Proposition 8 mean?

    Voting YES on Proposition 8 does 3 simple things:

    1. 􀂃

    It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and human history has understood marriage to be.


    It overturns the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.


    It protects our children from being taught in public schools that "same-sex marriage" is the same as traditional marriage.

What does a NO vote on Proposition 8 mean?

If Proposition 8 is defeated, the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and its powerful influence on the betterment of society will be lost. The defeat of Prop. 8 would result in the very meaning of marriage being transformed into nothing more than a contractual relationship between adults. No longer will the interests of children and families even be a consideration. We will no longer celebrate marriage as a union of husband and wife, but rather a relationship between 'Party A' and 'Party B.' The marriage of a man and a woman has been at the heart of society since the beginning of time. It promotes the ideal opportunity for children to be raised by a mother and father in a family held together by the

legal, communal and spiritual bonds of marriage. And while divorce and death too frequently disrupt the ideal, as a society we should put the best interests of children first, and that is traditional marriage. Voting No on Proposition 8 would destroy marriage as we know it and cause profound harm to society.

Will Proposition 8 take away any rights for gay and lesbian domestic partners?

No. Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it's not an attack on the gay lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn't take away any rights or benefits from gays or lesbians in domestic partnerships. Under California law, "domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits" as married spouses. (Family Code §297.5.) There are no exceptions. Proposition 8 will not change this.

If Proposition 8 passes, what will happen to the same-sex marriages that have already taken place?

Under Proposition 8, the validity and recognition of all marriage in California would be limited to a man and a woman, including past and future marriages, as well as marriages from other states or countries. The rights and obligations of same-sex couples who obtained marriage licenses before Proposition 8 passes will be up to the Courts to decide.

If Proposition 8 does not pass, will my children be forced to learn about gay marriage at school?

Yes. In health education classes, state law requires teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage. (Education Code §51890.) If the same-sex marriage ruling is not overturned, teachers will be required to teach young children that there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.

Why is Proposition 8 needed? Didn't we already vote on this issue?

In 2000, over 61% of Californians voted to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman (Proposition 22). However, because this language wasn't put into the California Constitution, four activist judges from San Francisco wrongly overturned the people's vote in a closely divided 4-3 decision. Proposition 8 reverses the court's decision by restoring the definition of marriage as a man and a woman in the state Constitution.

Could the California Supreme Court overturn the people's vote again and declare Proposition 8 unconstitutional?

No. By amending the state Constitution directly, the court cannot declare Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, as it did with Proposition 22. Proposition 22 added a regular statute to the California Family Code. Regular statutes are a "lower" law than the state Constitution. By adding the language of Proposition 8 to the state Constitution, which is the highest source of law in the state, the California courts would be required to uphold traditional marriage.

Who supports this initiative?

A wide range of national, state and local pro-family organizations, churches and individuals have formed a broad-based coalition to support Proposition 8. To date, the coalition represents over one million people in California. To view a list of supporters, visit www.ProtectMarriage .com.

What will happen to the domestic partnership laws if Proposition 8 is enacted?

Nothing. All laws on the books regarding domestic partnerships will remain intact. Gays and lesbians in domestic partnerships will continue to enjoy all the legal rights and benefits that married couples enjoy. Proposition 8 does not affect those rights and benefits.

Where can I find more information about Proposition 8 or get involved in the campaign?

You can visit the Proposition 8 Web site at www.ProtectMarriage .com or call

(916) 446-2956. There are a number of ways to get involved with the campaign, including volunteering, donating and helping to spread the word about the importance of voting YES on Proposition 8.

Vote Yes on Proposition 8!

www.ProtectMarriage .com