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Respect Life Month – Day Thirty

Francis Cardinal Arinze holding child“If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology. It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environment when our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate)

  • Invite a pro-life or chastity speaker to talk to your high school class, university, youth group or parish.

Prayer to the Spirit of Truth

Holy Spirit, You are the promised Spirit of Truth, constantly revealing the splendor of truth to Your people, and leading us deeper into the Mysteries of our Faith.

Come to us today, and deepen in our minds and hearts the truth about life: its greatness, its dignity, its reflection of the eternal God. Make us appreciate ever more the truth that life is always a good, and that every life is of equal dignity, despite all the different characteristics people have, or the different circumstances under which they come to be.

Come, Spirit of Truth. Free all Your people from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion. Free them from the false and harmful ideas which make a god out of their own choices, or which fail to recognize the right to life of children in the womb.

Come, O Holy Spirit, and as You immerse us in Your truth, so make us effective witnesses of that truth within our families, among our friends, and to all the world. Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-Nine

Two brothers

“We will stand up every time that human life is threatened.  When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.  When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family…”  (Blessed John Paul II, 1979)

  • Be informed – read up on the issues and attend conferences and seminars.

St Michael the Archangel, defend us in this day of battle.  Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, cast into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits who wander now throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-Eight

large family“Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents.” (Paul VI, Guadium et Spes #50)

  • If you are married, consider whether God is asking you to have one more child. If you are infertile is adoption or fostering an option open to you?

Lord God, from You every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  Father, You are love and life.  Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.  Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families in the world.  Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.  Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of marriage, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.  Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.  We ask this of You, Who is life, truth, and love with the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-Seven

“…is it surprising that today we have become so morally blind (for wickedness blinds) that we save the baby whales at great cost, and murder millions of unborn children?” (Alice von Hildebrand, The Privilege of Being a Woman)

  • Make your views known to your local MP about abortion, access to RU-486, the Morning After Pill, euthanasia, pre-natal screening for Down Syndrome and other life issues.

Prayer for Respect of Life

Heavenly Father,
the beauty and dignity of human life
was the crowning of your creation.
You further ennobled that life
when your Son became one with us in his incarnation.
Help us to realize the sacredness of human life
and to respect it from the moment of conception
until the last moment at death.
Give us courage to speak with truth
and love and with conviction in defence of life.
Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy and forgiveness
to those who do not reverence your gift of life.
To all, grant pardon for the times we have failed
to be grateful for your precious gift of life
or to respect it in others.
We ask this in Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-Six

Baby in the womb“Failing to name error because of some kind of fear of offending the person in error is neither compassion nor charity. Confronting or challenging the error or evil of another is never easy yet it must be done.” (Bishop Robert Vasa)

  • Collect pro-life books to add to your Church library.

God of endless ages, each day of our lives you guide and protect us, nurturing the gift of life, that we might grow in your sight and  glorify your holy name.  Guide and protect the lives of each of our children, nourish and nurture them with you truth, that from the womb unto the last natural breath, each man and woman might know you, the one true God, and praise you for the gift of life.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-Five

large family“Dear families, rejoice in fatherhood and motherhood! Openness to life is a sign of openness to the future, confidence in the future, just as respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning them! The good of the family is also the good of the Church.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

  • Be encouraging of couples who announce they have been blessed with another child. This becomes even more important when the couple already has three, four, five or more children.

Blessing of Parents Before the Birth of their Child

Gracious Father, your Word, spoken in love, created the human family and, in the fullness of time, your Son, conceived in love, restored it to your friendship.  Hear the prayers of N. and N., who await the birth of their child.  Calm their fears when they are anxious.  Watch over and support these parents and bring their child into this world safely and in good health, so that as members of your family they may praise you and glorify you through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-Four

Group of teens“I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.”  (Mother Teresa)

  • Encourage and strengthen family life by participating or organising a Family Fun Day. In Auckland Bishop Pat Dunn will join us on February 3rd, 2013 for good old fashioned races and games and entertainment. He will then lead us in prayer, finishing with a blessing for all children, and a special blessing for those children in the womb and their mothers.  All people are invited – young old, married, single, Religious – in this way we strengthen too, the family of God.

Prayer for Family Life

Dear Lord, with Mary and Joseph, you have lived within a family;
Teach me always to appreciate the precious gift of being part of a family.  Show me ever new ways to protect and comfort those closest to me, and let me, each day, do something that will say ‘I love you’ without speaking the words.  But remind me also to frequently say those words.  Let me never part from any member of my family in anger.  Prompt me always to turn back without delay -to forgive, and be forgiven.  And let me see your image within each person in my own family, and in my greater family, knowing that in your Kingdom, we will truly be one family, united by your sacrifice on the cross.  Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-Two

“When political agendas openly or covertly contemplate the decriminalization of abortion or euthanasia, the democratic ideal, which is truly democratic when it recognizes and protects the dignity of every human person, is betrayed in its fundamentals.”  (Benedict XVI)

  • When considering which political party and candidate to vote for, research their positions on abortion, euthanasia, prostitution and family issues. Will they be a hindrance or a help to building a culture of life?

Litany of St. Thomas More, Martyr and Patron Saint of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers

V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy
V. Christ have mercy
R. Christ have mercy
V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy
V. Christ hear us
R. Christ, graciously hear us
V. St. Thomas More, Saint and Martyr,
R. Pray for us (Repeat after each invocation)
St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers
St. Thomas More, Patron of Justices, Judges and Magistrates
St. Thomas More, Model of Integrity and Virtue in Public and Private Life
St. Thomas More, Servant of the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ
St. Thomas More, Model of Holiness in the Sacrament of Marriage
St. Thomas More, Teacher of his Children in the Catholic Faith
St. Thomas More, Defender of the Weak and the Poor
St. Thomas More, Promoter of Human Life and Dignity
V.Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R.Spare us O Lord
V.Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R.Graciously hear us O Lord
V.Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R.Have mercy on us

Let us pray: O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, your life of prayer and penance and your zeal for justice, integrity and firm principle in public and family life led you to the path of martyrdom and sainthood. Intercede for our
Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life – the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty-One

If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic Adoration, abortion would be ended.” (Blessed Mother Teresa)

  • Ask your parish priest to instigate a Holy Hour dedicated to praying for the cause of life once a month (or more frequently if possible). Make sure you attend each hour.

We pray for every little child and especially for those who live in their mother’s womb, that they might grow in the image and likeness of the God who made them.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

For a suggested prayer outline for a Holy Hour for Life follow this link.

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Respect Life Month – Day Twenty

St Maria Goretti“Education in love as self-giving is also the indispensable premise for parents called to give their children a clear and delicate sex education. Faced with a culture that largely reduces human sexuality to the level of something common place, since it interprets and lives it in a reductive and impoverished way by linking it solely with the body and with selfish pleasure, the educational service of parents must aim firmly at a training in the area of sex that is truly and fully personal: for sexuality is an enrichment of the whole person-body, emotions and soul-and it manifests its inmost meaning in leading the person to the gift of self in love.

Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents.

In this context education for chastity is absolutely essential, for it is a virtue that develops a person’s authentic maturity and makes him or her capable of respecting and fostering the “nuptial meaning” of the body. Indeed Christian parents, discerning the signs of God’s call, will devote special attention and care to education in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.”  (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, #37)

  • Oppose Family Planning type sex education in your children’s pre-schools, primary schools and high schools, and suggest chastity based programmes for your child’s high school.  (Younger children do not need any form of sex education in the classroom).

A Prayer for Chastity

Jesus, Lover of chastity,  Mary, Mother most pure, and Joseph, chaste guardian of the Virgin, to you I come at this hour, begging you to plead with God for me.  I earnestly wish to be pure in thought, word and deed in imitation of your own holy purity.  Obtain for me, then, a deep sense of modesty which will be reflected in my external conduct.  Protect my eyes, the windows of my soul, from anything that might dim the luster of a heart that must mirror only Christ like purity.  And when the “Bread of Angels” becomes the “Bread of me” in my heart at Holy Communion, seal it forever against the suggestions of sinful pleasures.

Heart of Jesus, Fount of all purity, have mercy on us.