Building a culture of life with love

Imagine a culture where every human life was respected from his or her natural conception until their natural end.  Imagine how it would be if the natural family was upheld as the essential element of a stable society and the best protector of children.  Imagine the day when every person works in unity for the common good.

Today, in the name of freedom, so many are working against life, faith and family, and the culture of life that we work for seems so difficult to attain.

Just this week NZ Doctor revealed the results of their survey on euthanasia and assisted suicide.  Out of 110 respondents, 13 doctors admitted to having helped a patient to die.

Family Planning have been very busy promoting their sex education programmes at a Physical Education conference for teachers.  Sex education (otherwise known as sexuality education) is taught under the Health and Physical Education curriculum in New Zealand schools.  Teaching young people about how to obtain pleasure is now a fundamental aspect of their programmes.  This is taught alongside the concept of consent (which outside of marriage, is consent to use one another, and is the opposite of real love).

All around the world traditional marriage and the natural family is under attack as governments continue to redefine marriage and children are denied their fundamental right to a mum and a dad.

What must our response to the chaos be?

We have to respond with love and humility.  As we are taught in 1 Corinthians 13, that means with patience and kindness and it means always seeking the truth, even if that truth seems harsh.  Truth gives us real freedom to be the people that we were created to be.

We must pray for those who work to build a culture of death.  Many are misguided.  They really do believe that it is right to promote and participate in abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, sex education, the distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients.  We must pray for their conversion.

Bernard Nathanson, who performed over 60,000 abortions and was very much involved in the push for legalised abortion in the United States, had a change of heart, and ultimately a conversion to Catholicism, because people of faith prayed for him and treated him with dignity and respect.

All things are possible for those who have faith.

We can work tirelessly on our own steam, but those efforts, while producing some results, will never provide lasting fruitful change.  The only real lasting solution is a turning of hearts and minds to God – including our own.  As each of us conforms our own will to that of God’s perfect plan, then we will experience lasting peace and a culture that embraces life as a most precious gift to be respected and cherished from its beginning, and where the natural family is recognised as the fundamental cell of society.

There is hope.  All throughout New Zealand and the world, there are people faithfully living the Gospel of Life and witnessing to the hope that is within them.  From their continued faithfulness the culture of life will be realised.

 

Father Shenan Boquet: Building a culture of life

Father Shenan Boquet, President of Human Life International, recently addressed participants of the Auckland Eucharistic Convention on Building a Culture of Life.

In his presentation, Father Boquet speaks of the need to transform the culture.  Drawing on Scripture, he explains how God has given us building blocks to do this, saying:  “The building blocks that help us understand the language we speak begins in the family.”

“‘If you love me, you keep my commands’ (John 14:15).  And where does a child learn that?  Learns it from mum and dad.  Learns it when mum and dad are living that love.  Not only just for eachother, but the love for God.  The love of God’s teaching.  The dogmas and the doctrines and all the teachings that have been revealed to us through the Church, through revelation and how God is teaching us his commands.  And are we responding to them?”

Watch Father Boquet’s presentation to learn how and why we must work to build a culture of life, beginning in the family.

Claire Culwell: My very personal story of life

Claire Culwell’s powerful story is a reminder that every human life from the moment of conception is precious and how abortion has a devastating effect on not just the child, not just the mother, but on so many people, including future generations.

Claire gave this talk at the Auckland Eucharistic Convention in April 2015.

Father Shenan Boquet: Speaking a language of life and family

Father Shenan Boquet

Over the weeks of April 9th to 24th, it was our privilege to host Father Shenan Boquet, the President of Human Life International.

While here in New Zealand, Father Boquet gave a number of talks throughout the country.  The first of these was “Speaking a Language of Life and Family” at the Auckland Eucharistic Convention, held at Sacred Heart College.

“This thirst that God has for us, is from the fountain from which we draw the language he wants us to speak in this world.  This language of life and love.  This language of transformation.  This power that comes from this genuine source outside of ourselves.”  Father Boquet

Fr Clovis: The Francis Effect

Cardinal Burke and Fr ClovisRecently, Father Linus Clovis, our Spiritual Director, addressed the pro-life and pro-family leaders gathered for the Rome Life Forum.  His talk was entitled “The Francis Effect”.

The Rome Life Forum was organised by Voice of the Family and the focus of the meetings was the Synod of the Family.

Father Clovis is the director of the Secretariat for Family and Life in St Lucia.  He has a doctorate in Mathematics and degrees in Theology, Canon Law and Latin Literature.  He was ordained by St John Paul II in 1983.

The following are some quotes from Father’s talk, but I encourage you to listen to the whole presentation:

“When a bishop — a Catholic bishop — can applaud sin publicly, it causes us to tremble. But this is essentially the ‘Francis Effect.’ It’s disarming bishops and priests, especially after the Holy Father said, ‘Who am I to judge?’ I as a priest say Mass, preaching, and I make a judgment about a sin, one breaking the ten commandments, I would be condemned for judging. I would be accused of being ‘more Catholic than the pope’. There used to be a saying — rhetorical — ‘is the pope Catholic?’ That’s no longer funny.”

“Obedience is owed to the pope, but the pope owes obedience to the word and the apostolic tradition. We have to obey the pope, but the pope himself must obey the written word. He must obey the tradition. He must respond to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Obedience is owed to the pope, but it is the duty of the pope to give the character of possibility to this obedience. The pope has to facilitate our obeying him, by himself being obedient to the Word of God. Pope Felix III told us, ‘an error that is not resisted is approved. A truth that is not defended is suppressed.’ So we have an obligation to resist error, and we must do everything that we can to promote the truth.”

“The popes are hated, and I don’t think we had a problem with that per se. We didn’t like it. But I think that I’ll be correct in saying that we prefer our popes to be hated by the world than loved by the world. Because if he’s loved by the world, it indicates that he’s speaking the language of the world. And we know that there can be no relationship, no fellowship, between light and darkness. St. Paul tells us this.”

“He complains we talk too much about abortion and contraception. Well…Do we? Again, the apostle tells us ‘convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.’ So, we have an obligation to speak about those sins for which the punishment is eternal damnation in Hell. We’re talking about the salvation of souls. The Code of Canon Law ends, ‘the highest good is the salvation of souls.’ And this is why Christ founded His Church: for the salvation of souls.”

“Our concern is of course for the upcoming synod and what appears to be favored to bring remarried divorcees to communion. This is going to be a serious blow to the Church and to the faithful. Because already it has caused a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. Even in my pastoral experience I’ve encountered women who’ve said…a mother, her son’s divorced, remarried, and says, ‘Well the Holy Father allows him to communion, doesn’t he? I don’t think it’s right, father, but the pope…’ We have that problem already. And we see the pattern, is is done for Humane Vitae. It’s up there in the air, and of course it’s going to…become the law. You can do it. So, we really do need to have eyes firmly fixed on heaven, beseeching heaven, to guide our bishops.”

“There are rumors of the pastoral relaxation of Humanae Vitae….it’s not going to be contradicted, it’s not going to be deleted, it’s going to be extended. Which is so much more deadly. Because we have presented something that is evil as if it were good. And we are building this evil thing on a good foundation.”

“We love the pope! He is our father. He is our sweet Christ on Earth. There is concern among Catholics who are confused and fearful. And we and they do not wish to criticize, or worse still, to judge the pope. But, again, we are judging not his person or his office but the results of his actions. And we’re not doing this out of indignation. Because what he is doing is the cause of our indignation. And it is a threat to our faith. And it’s a threat to the Church. And it’s a danger to the salvation of souls.”

“‘Now it can be said…’ — this is written by…Melchior Cano, a famous theologian in the 16th century — ‘Now it can be said briefly that those who defend blindly and indiscriminately any judgment whatsoever of the Supreme Pontiff concerning every matter weaken the authority of the Apostolic See; they do not support it; they subvert it; they do not fortify it… . Peter has no need of our lies; he has no need of our adulation.’ In other words, we must be vigilant. We must be objective in our approach to the present crisis in the Church.”

https://www.gloria.tv/media/CG5Dyd1WWLg

Welcoming the least in the world’s eyes and the most precious in God’s

I love my life!Recently, Dame Colleen Bayer, the Founder and National Director of Family Life International NZ, gave a presentation “Welcoming the least in the world’s eyes and the most precious in God’s,” at the Auckland Eucharistic Convention.

In her powerful talk, Colleen shared stories of welcoming all people, especially unborn children, who have disabilities – including those whose lives may be very short.

Family Life International NZ has a programme to help promote the acceptance and support of all people with disabilities, that programme is called Missionaries of Love.

Colleen and her husband Terry are the adoptive parents of three children with special needs, two are now adults.  They have spent many years providing support to parents and carers of children with special needs.

As the medical profession becomes more adept at detecting conditions such as Down syndrome and Spina Bifida prior to birth (sometimes getting it wrong), Colleen reminds us that God is calling us to love, really love.  That is, to uphold the dignity and right to life of each individual and to nurture, protect and love them for the days they are given on this earth.

 

Created for Joy

Marriage and family life are punctuated with times of great happiness and joy, such as the wedding day and the birth of a child.  Also known to family life are times of great sadness as daily struggles, illness and death are contended with.

These times of joy and sadness help us to see the dignity of each person as we learn to really love by putting aside our selfish desires, and reaching out as gift and service to those around us.

In the book of Genesis, we learn that each person is made in the image of God.  This means that we were created out of love, for love, and are therefore made for communion and to share in God’s joy.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made this point at the 2012 World Meeting of Families when he said “it is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, [the] image of God.”

This love is different than what the world would have us believe love is.  It does not seek to put self first, but rather places the needs of others – both temporal and spiritual – above our own.  Real love, puts aside raw emotion, which can oftentimes distort our perception of reality, and focuses on the good of the other.  Love wants what is best for the beloved. Through following God’s truth about marriage and family life, revealed through the Church, we are able to grow in authentic love for one another.

We are reminded by St Gianna Molla, a wife and mother who understood what sacrifice was all about, that “love must be total, full, complete, governed by God’s law, and it must carry over into eternity.”

True joy comes to us when we realise that this love and communion with God and others is what we were made for.  When we embrace this calling and live it authentically we are able to communicate to the world the great joy of following Christ.