Exposing the gender identity web of lies

A new hard-hitting video exposes the gender identity crisis, and explains how, in the name of tolerance, diversity and freedom, children and families are deliberately being targeted.

Produced by Family Life International NZ, the video, Family Planning’s Manufactured Gender Identity Crisis delves into the concept of identity and the direct and deliberate attack on sexual norms which entices people to give in to selfish whims and fantasies.

Michael Loretz, who fronts the video, points out that this kind of thinking leads people to “lose the ability, and in the end, the will, to forge strong families of their own.”

While very much aimed at New Zealand parents and all people of good will, the video has a message that everyone concerned for the welfare of our children and the dignity of the human person need to hear.

The insidious push for society to accept that people can choose which gender they are, and that their gender is something other than male or female, is a dangerous ideology sweeping the world.

The influence has now become so entrenched in societal thinking that at the recent Olympics two males entered female events and everyone, including the female contestants, were expected to warmly embrace their participation in the name of diversity.

In New Zealand there are many organisations pushing the gender agenda, but leading the charge is Family Planning, an affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

“Family Planning have hijacked the sexuality education of our children from Kiwi parents” says Loretz “and they are now taking advantage of their powerful influence to twist the truth and convince young children to accept a web of lies about sex and sexuality that will ultimately ruin their lives, rob them of their innocence and confuse them about the very thing Family Planning claim to be protecting – their true identity.”

The organisation, whose tag line is “positive sexual health,” produced a resource for schools in 2002 entitled “Affirming Diversity”.  The document has recently been updated and encourages school children as young as five to identify with any one of the gender variations being proposed because that is what defines their true identity.

Family Planning had significant input into the 2015 Sexuality Guidelines, produced by the Ministry of Education for principals, boards of trustees and teachers.  The document is full of language that supports the gender ideology revolution.

But Mr Loretz stresses that Family Planning and their cohorts have got it wrong.  “This whole diversity of sexuality doesn’t have anything to do with the reality of people’s bodies nor does it have any reference to their families, relationships or love,” he says.  “It simply depends on how you feel, and… you cannot choose how you feel, you have no control over that at all.”

Parents, he maintains, want something different for their children when it comes to sexuality education, and they want to be empowered so they can take up with confidence their role as first teachers of their children.

“Parents want their children to grow in virtue, to develop strong and respectful friendships and to understand that marriage between one man and one woman is the one institution that guarantees children the fundamental right to know and be loved by their own mother and father.”

The video is the second in a series exposing Family Planning New Zealand.  It draws on the work of Gabriele Kuby, the author of “The Global Sexual Revolution,” and the American College of Paediatricians who have asked parents to resist and reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of physical or surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.

In light of the stark evidence which unmasks the reality hiding behind feel-good words of tolerance, diversity and freedom, Mr Loretz concludes by making a plea to parents.  “It’s time for parents to get real and take back the right to educate our children as we see fit and the time to act is now.   Our children depend on us to fight for them and to protect them.”

Click the links to view the videos in the Expose Family Planning series.

Family Planning’s manufactured gender identity crisis

Family Planning – what every parent needs to know

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla: A Saint For Our Times

 

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Image of St Gianna Beretta Molla in the Basilica of St Martin, Magenta, Italy.

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla was a wife, mother and physician.  She lived her life believing wholeheartedly in Divine Providence and with a fervent desire to carry out God’s will even when that required great sacrifice.

As the family comes under attack in so many different ways, as the importance of self is elevated and the maternal instinct is squashed, Saint Gianna’s virtuous life is a reminder of the truth about the dignity of the human person and of marriage and family life.

Saint Gianna’s Early Life
Born on October 4, 1922 in Magenta, Italy, Saint Gianna was the tenth of thirteen children.  The family had a deep faith where prayer, sacrifice, service to others and giving of one’s self permeated daily life.

At the age of 15, while attending a retreat, Saint Gianna made resolutions which would form the basis of her entire life.  These resolutions included offering all her joys, disappointments and sufferings to Jesus, a firm hatred of mortal sin and offending God, and the desire for a holy death.

Saint Gianna became very involved with Catholic Action where she taught young girls.  She studied diligently and became a doctor, believing it to be an opportunity to serve others and to bring the soul to Christ.  Her greatest desire was to join her brother Alberto in Brazil as a missionary.  However, this was not God’s plan for her life.

Instead marriage was to be her vocation, a vocation she embraced completely.  Talking of family life, Saint Gianna remarked “You must adapt yourself all the time to family life because you cannot enter into this way if you do not know how to love.  To love means the desire to perfect oneself and the loved one, to overcome selfishness and to give oneself.  Love must be total, full, complete, governed by God’s law and it must carry over into eternity.”

Marriage and Children
It was with great joy that Gianna married Pietro Molla on September 24, 1955 at the Basilica of St Martin, in Magenta, just outside of Milan.  They moved to the town of Ponte Nuovo, living in the house provided by the company Pietro worked for.

Gianna longed to begin a family with Pietro.  Their first child, Pierluigi was born in 1956, Mariolina in 1957 (she later died at the age of six, a short time after Saint Gianna went to her heavenly reward), and Laura came in 1959.  Throughout these years Saint Gianna continued to serve the community through her work as a physician.  However, she promised Pietro that with the next child she would give up her practice that she loved so much.

The Choice
In 1961, Gianna and Pietro realised they were blessed once again with a child.  However, about two months into the pregnancy, a large growth (fibroid) was found to be growing near her uterus.  This fibroid caused Saint Gianna a great deal of pain and it also threatened the continuation of the pregnancy.

Gianna was presented with three options:

  1. A hysterectomy, which would have removed the fibroid, but also result in the death of her unborn child.  This option would mean Gianna and Pietro could never conceive again.  Under the principle of double effect*, it would have been morally acceptable in Gianna’s situation to undergo this surgery, and the most typical intervention at that time.
  2. Removal of the fibroid and an abortion.  This option would have allowed Gianna and Pietro to try for another child, but would have been a direct abortion which is always morally wrong.
  3. Removal of the fibroid through surgery while attempting to save the unborn child and continue the pregnancy.  This surgery would hold many risks which would last throughout the pregnancy, including the possibility of a secondary rupture of the uterus, a situation which would put both Gianna and her unborn child in immediate lethal danger.

Her choice was to have the fibroid removed while attempting to save the child’s life.

In the book Saint Gianna Molla, A Woman’s Life, Ferdinando, Saint Gianna’s brother, also a doctor, recalls discussing the situation with her.  He says “she listened to me patiently and attentively, but showed one decisive concern:  that her baby be saved.  And this was the desire that she expressed to Dr Vitali when she underwent the surgery a few days later.”

Soon after the discovery of the fibroid, Gianna started haemorrhaging.  She was treated immediately and the haemorrhaging stopped, but it was decided that the surgery to remove the fibroid should be brought forward.

The surgery was successful and Gianna recuperated, although she still suffered.  Her husband, Pietro wrote “In the months following the operation, you suffered so greatly without any complaint!  You prayed so much that the baby might be born healthy and normal and both your lives might be saved.  It was your complete trust in the Lord’s providence, your certainty of the efficacy of prayer, and your abandonment to the will of God that gave you strength and support during that long, anxious wait. 

You loved our three precious children no less than you loved the baby in your womb.  For all those months you prayed to the Lord, to Our Lady, and to your own mother that the right and guarantee to life for the baby in your womb might not require the sacrifice of your life, that you would be spared for the sake of our children and our family.”

As a physician, Gianna knew that the birth would not be easy.  She knew that it might require her to sacrifice her life for the sake of her precious unborn child, so she readied herself for this reality and put her home in order.

She told her brother “The greater part has yet to come.  You do not understand these things.  When the time comes, it will be either he or I.”

Heroically, she told Pietro “If you have to decide between me and the child, do not hesitate; I demand it, the child, save it.”

Complete Gift of Self
Pietro accompanied Saint Gianna to the hospital in Monza on the afternoon of Good Friday, April 20, 1962.  There, the doctors attempted to induce labour, although this was unsuccessful.  The next day, it was decided to deliver the child by caesarean section.  Gianna Emanuela was born at 11:00am on Saturday April 21st.

Soon after the delivery, Saint Gianna’s condition deteriorated significantly.  She was diagnosed with septic peritonitis and received antibiotics, blood transfusions and injections.  However, her condition continued to decline and she suffered greatly.  Despite this, she asked not to be sedated, choosing to stay lucid.

Gianna slipped into a coma on Friday 27th April.  Knowing that she would not survive, Pietro had her brought to the family home, where she died peacefully at 8:00am on Saturday 28th April, 1962.  She was 39 years old.

Why Devotion to Saint Gianna is so important now
We live in difficult times, where the culture of death is threatening to engulf the whole world.  No family seems to be able to escape its evil tentacles.  Youth are taught to give in to their desires and passions, leading them into a selfishness that doesn’t understand how to truly love another.

Marriage has been profaned.  Only seen as a celebration of “love” (however that is perceived); in many nations civil marriages are now no longer exclusive to one man and one women.

Contraception has become the norm for couples whether married or not.  Abortion is celebrated by some, and many see it as a necessary evil – even within the Church.

Women are urged to think only of themselves and limit the number of children they have through temporary or permanent sterilisation.  Mothers who suffer throughout their pregnancies are given stern warnings when they joyfully welcome another little one into their family.

The world needs the great example of Saint Gianna to show them what love really looks like; that one finds themselves in the complete giving of oneself to another.  Her wholehearted abandonment to God’s will and reliance on His Grace as she lived her vocation as physician, wife and mother reveals that our true strength comes from Him alone.

For those families who are trying faithfully to follow God’s will for them, Saint Gianna is a source of encouragement and consolation in times of difficulty.  Her gentle, maternal presence and her intercession before the throne of God obtain for the faithful many graces.

Saint John Paul II pointed out in his homily during the Mass for her canonisation why devotion to Saint Gianna is so necessary in our age.  He said “following the example of Christ, who “having loved his own… loved them to the end” (Jn 13: 1), this holy mother of a family remained heroically faithful to the commitment she made on the day of her marriage. The extreme sacrifice she sealed with her life testifies that only those who have the courage to give of themselves totally to God and to others are able to fulfil themselves.  Through the example of Gianna Beretta Molla, may our age rediscover the pure, chaste and fruitful beauty of conjugal love, lived as a response to the divine call!”

Saint Gianna was a woman of awesome faith, a great defender and protector of life, and a devoted wife and mother who understood the importance of marriage and family.  All are now under an aggressive and intensifying attack.  She is indeed a saint for our time.

 

Saint Gianna is patron saint of mothers, physicians and unborn children.  She was canonised by Saint John Paul II on 16th May 2004.  Her feast day is April 28.

*Principle of Double Effect – this principle is utilized to evaluate actions which have two effects, one good and one evil. The principle of double effect has been summarized into 4 basic criteria: 1) the action in itself must be good or indifferent; 2) the good effect cannot be obtained through the bad effect (because then the end would justify the means); 3) there must be a proportion between the good and bad effects brought about (e.g. life against life); 4) the intention of the subject must be directed towards the good effect, and merely tolerate the bad effect. Some say there is a fifth requirement – that there does not exist another possibility or avenue.

Parents as primary educators and the dangers of sexuality education

Matthew 18:6Right now my husband and I are engaged in discussions with not one, but two of my children’s schools regarding their so-called sexuality programmes.

This isn’t anything new.  I have been working for Family Life International since its inception when I was just a teen.  Over the years there have been many stories from concerned parents.  Our team have viewed and reviewed various programmes and assisted parents in their battles.  The agenda of sexuality educators, often trained up by Family Planning (or their cohorts), which spread a distorted view of human sexuality and ignore the primary rights of parents to educate their children in these matters is not new and neither is the resistance to it.

You too, will have your stories to tell.

Contraception, masturbation, fornication, abortion, consent (which is really just a sad guise of saying if we all agree to use each other, then anything goes), are all discussed within sexuality classes.  Gender identity has become the catch phrase of the time, influencing schools who are making all sorts of accommodations for students who self-identify as being something “other” than the God-given genders of male and female, or who wish to engage in same-sex liaisons.

Sadly, this so-called education in sexuality, with a secular view of the human person and an emphasis on a selfish giving in to the passions, is not just confined to our public schools.

Masquerading as science, health and puberty education is training that desensitizes our children to a world-view that contradicts the Church’s beautiful teaching about the human person, love, chastity, self-giving and sacrifice.  This kind of education threatens the good of our children leading them only down a path of destruction.  We need not think that the discussion of these topics is only restricted to these classes either.  Any teacher, of any subject, with an agenda to push, will find a way to do it.

Many sexuality educators, in an attempt to be engaging, will employ crass and immature methods to get their point across.  In one recent example, students walked into their classroom only to be met with the music video of Salt N Pepa’s song “Let’s talk about sex” playing loudly.

Lumped in together, children’s individual development is dismissed and the natural modesty about their bodies is forgotten.  Oftentimes, parents have little, to no say, in the development of any sexuality programmes, and they and their children can be ridiculed for removing their children from the classes.

In 1996, the Pontifical Council for the Family issued a document entitled The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.  It is critical that parents, grandparents and educators are familiar with its contents.  The following is an excerpt this very important document which provides practical guidelines for both parents and educators who have an opportunity to work together, as needed, for the good of all children.

Recommendations for Parents and Educators:

It is recommended that parents be aware of their own educational role and defend and carry out this primary right and duty.  It follows that any educative activity, related to education for love and carried out by persons outside the family, must be subject tot the parents’ acceptance of it and must be seen not as a substitute but as a support for their work.  In fact, “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.”  Frequently, parents are not lacking in awareness and effort, but they are quite alone, defenseless, and often made to feel they are wrong.  They need understanding, but also support and help by groups, associations, and institutions. (113)

1. Recommendations for parents

It is recommended that parents associate with other parents, not only in order to protect, maintain, or fill out their own role as the primary educators of their children, especially in the area of education for love, but also to fight against damaging forms of sex education and to ensure that their children will be educated according to Christian principles and in a way that is consonant with their personal development. (114)

In the case where parents are helped by others in educating their own children for love, it is recommended that they keep themselves precisely informed on the content and methodology with which such supplementary education is imparted.  No one can bind children or young people to secrecy about the content and method of instruction provided outside the family.  (115)

We are aware of the difficulty and often the impossibility for parents to participate fully in all supplementary instruction provided outside the home.  Nevertheless, they have the right to be informed about the structure and content of the program.  In all cases, their right to be present during classes cannot be denied. (116)

It is recommended that parents attentively follow every form of sex education that is given to their children outside the home, removing their children whenever this education does not correspond to their own principles.  However, such a decision of the parents must not become grounds for discrimination against their children.  On the other hand, parents who remove their children from such instruction have the duty to give them an adequate formation, appropriate to each child’s or young person’s stage of development.  (117)

2.  Recommendations for all educators

Since each child or young person must be able to live his or her own sexuality in conformity with Christian principles, and hence be able to exercise the virtue of chastity, no educator – not even parents – can interfere with this right to chastity (cf. Matthew 18:4-7). (118)

It is recommended that respect be given to the right of the child and the young person to be adequately informed by their own parents on moral and sexual questions in a way that complies with his or her desire to be chaste and to be formed in chastity.  This right is further qualified by a child’s stage of development, his or her capacity to integrate moral truth with sexual information, and by respect for his or her innocence and tranquility.  (119)

It is recommended that respect be given to the right of the child or young person to withdraw from any form of sexual instruction imparted outside the home.  Neither the children nor other members of their family should ever be penalized or discriminated against for this decision.  (120)

The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality also gives four working principles which are also worthwhile mentioning here:

1.  Human sexuality is a sacred mystery and must be presented according to the doctrinal and moral teaching of the Church, always bearing in mind the effects of original sin.

2.  Only information proportionate to each phase of their individual development should be presented to children and young people.

3.  No material of an erotic nature should be presented to children or young people of any age, individually or in a group.

4.  No one should ever be invited, let alone obliged, to act in any way that could objectively offend against modesty or which could subjectively offend against his or her own delicacy or sense of privacy.

It must be said that there are good teachers and counsellors in our schools who wish to lead students to true freedom and a right-ordered understanding of themselves and others.  They must be commended for all they do to protect the children in their care and to uphold the rights of parents as first educators.

Unfortunately, there are also many educators and parents, who have brought the lie that children and young people must have free access to sexual information, contraception and abortion.  More and more people cannot see the great deception in gender ideology and the absurdity of the consequences of denying maleness or femaleness.

Family Planning and their cohorts know the importance of getting parents onside and they are doing this well.  It is easy to hook a generation of parents who have already been indoctrinated as youth.   Now living the consequences of so-called “sexual freedom” which was dangled in front of them, many cannot see that the same fate will befall their children.

No parent should ever feel like they have to fight their child’s school on these matters, least of all Catholic schools.

We need to teach parents the beauty of human sexuality so that they can live in true freedom and be great, even heroic, examples to their children.  As primary educators they are then have the power to impart their knowledge, gained through education and experience, to their own children, providing them with a balanced understanding that readily acknowledges the need for chastity, self-control, and a true love of self and neighbour.

Candlelight Vigil marks half-way point of 40 Days for Life

by Michael Loretz

Despite the wet weather, more than 150 people gathered on the street outside Auckland’s AMAC abortion facility to pray and bear witness on Sunday evening (28th February). “Be my Light”, a special vigil hour for the unborn, was organised by Family Life International NZ to mark the halfway point for the annual 40 Days for Life prayer vigils being held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch throughout Lent and up to Palm Sunday.

People from different walks of life, priests, seminarians, mothers, fathers, children, people of different ethnicities and ages, gathered together for an hour on one of Auckland’s busiest streets, praying, singing and standing in moments of silence to ask God for Mercy and healing in the hope that a new culture of respect for life will grow and thrive in New Zealand.

In Wellington, a similar special vigil, “Be a Sign of Hope” was held outside Wellington Hospital in the mid-afternoon and around the country throughout the day many others, including the Carmelite Sisters in Auckland, prayed in solidarity for the success of 40 Days for Life.

Michelle Kaufman, the Communications Director of Family Life International NZ addressed the Auckland gathering saying, “This is a spiritual battle and we already know the victor, it is Christ – he won the victory on the Cross. But we need to do our part too and be for others his hands and his feet.” She encouraged the gathering to continue to support practical initiatives that offer hope to the vulnerable and help build a culture of respect for all human life from conception to natural death.

Family Life International NZ run Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Auckland and Wellington and offer women throughout the country practical help and support including pregnancy counselling, post abortion healing and recovery, and education.

The 40 Days for Life vigils in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will continue until the 20th March. Please visit www.fli.org.nz/40daysforlife to find out more and sign up.

Help save lives: praying for an end to abortion

A great prayer for life JPIIThis week is historic for New Zealand.  For the first time, there will be simultaneous prayer vigils outside abortion facilities in three major cities in New Zealand for a full 40 days!  Not only that, various other cities are holding vigils in solidarity, and thousands more will pray in their homes and in their places of worship to bring about the end of abortion in our land!  Our dream is that all believers will sense the urgency to petition God in all humility, to bring about the end of abortion in New Zealand.

We will join thousands of people throughout the world doing exactly the same thing.  This Lent there will be 273 cities holding an official 40 Days for Life vigil in 23 countries!  That is awesome!

In 2014, there were 13,137 reported abortions performed throughout the country.  This number has been steadily going down for seven consecutive years.  Our worst year was 2003 when 18,511 innocent children lost their lives before they were born through surgical or medical abortion.

But while we have cause to celebrate, we cannot be complacent.  Any life lost through abortion is one too many.  We cannot rest until abortion becomes unthinkable!

We must also be aware that while the reported surgical and medical abortions decline, very early abortions caused by abortifacients:  the Pill, the Morning After Pill, Jadelle and Implanon implants, NuvaRing, Depo Provera, Copper IUDs and the Mirena hormonal IUD are on the rise.  The push by Family Planning and other agencies for women to be fitted with so-called Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives has been underway for a few years now.  IUDs are routinely fitted as a form of emergency contraception, and women who have had abortions are encouraged to have either an IUD or implant inserted.  We will never really know how many lives are lost through these drugs and devices.

There are many ways we can fight against abortion.  All of them are important.  However, the fight is fundamentally spiritual before anything else.  Satan loves nothing more than to see tiny human lives, made in the image and likeness of God, destroyed.  He enjoys watching the aftermath as women and families are broken by abortion.  He revels in the blindness of those who work in abortion facilities.  And he delights in the silence of Christians.

Be strong and courageous!  This Lent your prayers and your presence outside abortion facilities throughout the country is absolutely vital!

Today a woman will discover that she is a mother.  Because of her circumstances she is going to be tempted to have an abortion.  She may feel pressure from the father of the child or her family.  She will think she has no other option.  She will make an appointment to have her child killed.  She will turn up for that appointment – but you will be there.  Your prayers and your presence may save her and her baby’s life from abortion – just from being there.  And if not, your presence has been a sign of hope to her.  Your love the only love that her pre-born child will know on this earth.

40 Days for Life is an opportunity to pray, to fast, to repent, to witness to Christ and his great love and mercy.  It is an opportunity to reach out to abortion-minded women and let them know that we do care, that there is another way, that there is HOPE.  It is an opportunity to really love those who work in the abortion facilities and to offer them encouragement to use their skills to promote and preserve life.  It is an opportunity to speak with the public – many of whom have been touched in some way by abortion – about the reality of abortion and the humanity of the preborn child.  It is visiting Calvary.

Please sign up now to pray outside AMAC (Auckland), Wellington Hospital or Christchurch Hospital this week.

 

Mercy and defending life

My dear friends in Christ,

The inauguration of the Year of Mercy should be for all apostles and defenders of human life an impetus to live more faithfully and fully the message of the Gospel of Life in which Christ our Saviour calls us to be as merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful.  (Lk.6:36)

Whenever one faithfully practices the Christian life by acting mercifully towards one’s neighbour, one’s concern actually encompasses Christ personally (Mt.25:40).  As such, any act of mercy becomes fruitful and blossoms into eternal life.  In order to be merciful, it is necessary to know specifically in what mercy consists.  St. Augustine defines mercy as a “heartfelt sympathy for another’s distress, impelling us to help him if we can.”

By exhorting us to be as merciful as is our Heavenly Father, Christ invites us to take a path, which is intrinsic to the nature of mercy, that is, a path leading to divine greatness manifested by our generosity in dealing with others.  A simple act of mercy, then, may bring solace in a time of great need. (Prov.22:9)  Since this generosity is, however, a characteristic chiefly belonging to persons of influence, authority or power, it is a distinctive feature of God, who being all powerful, manifests His goodness by being, Himself, all merciful. (Ex.34:6-7)

The ultimate formula for governing our lives is found in God’s greatest commandment, which obligates us to love Him above all things and our neighbour as ourselves. (Mt.22:35-40)  The guidelines for keeping this greatest commandment are the avoidance of doing evil by observing the Ten Commandments (Ex.20:1-17) and earnestly doing good by practising the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  St Paul, while encouraging the performance of the works of mercy, nevertheless, pointed out that they should originate from a love for God Himself: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony”.  (Col.3:12-14)

This love for God, which consists in keeping His commandments (Jn.14:15) finds concrete expression in the seven corporal and in the seven spiritual works of mercy.  These specifically are

The corporal works of mercy

  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To shelter the homeless;
  • To visit the sick;
  • To visit those in prison;
  • To bury the dead.

The spiritual works of mercy

  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To comfort the sorrowful;
  • To exhort sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To pray for the living and the dead.

Both the natural and the divine positive law impose a strict duty on us to carry out the works of mercy.  Whilst the natural law requirement is based upon the principle that we are to do to others as we would have them do to us (Mt.7:12), the positive divine law comes from Christ under the supreme penalty of eternal damnation (Mt.25:41).  The corporal works were each directly and explicitly stated by Christ.  The spiritual works, however, are all implied in scripture and deal with a distress whose relief is of even greater imperative as well as more effective for the grand purpose of our creation, which is, eternal life.

The intrinsic character of both the spiritual and corporal works reveals that ‘we are our brother’s keeper’. (Eph.4:25)  In the case of the spiritual works, Christ enjoins fraternal correction (Mt.18:15) as well as the forgiveness of injuries (Mt.6:14).  A certain degree of tact and prudence is required in fulfilling the first four of the spiritual works as each case depends largely on the degree of distress to be aided, and the competency or condition of the one to whom the responsibility falls. (Col.4:6)  However, the last three, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive offences willingly and to pray for the living and the dead, are within the reach of all and, consequently, one may not dispense oneself on the plea that one lacks some special array of gifts required for their observance.

In this Year of Mercy, all of us, as apostles for the Gospel of Life, are invited to redouble our efforts in order that the teachings of the Gospel of Life may bear greater fruit.  For example, today, there are many people in our world who are genuinely misled the ignorant in regard to the life issues; they are unable to accept that abortion is nothing other than child killing and, that euthanasia, fatuously called called mercy killing, is murder in disguise.  Imbued with a love of God, we must courageously embrace the task of instructing and guiding our ill-informed brethren.  Likewise, we should counsel the doubtful, that is, those, for instance, who are considering IVF or surrogacy and are uncertain as to what is the correct thing to do.  True compassion requires that we give comfort to those who are depressed or are grieving because of mistakes they may have made, such as those, for example, who are contemplating suicide, or whose suffering arises from post abortion trauma or a broken marriage. (2Cor.7:10)  It is always difficult to call sin by its proper name but, in charity, we must encourage the sinner who may be trapped in a situation of sexual cohabitation, of a same sex relationship or, of pornography addiction to look to Christ as their model and move towards a life of virtue (Jam.5:20).

In bearing witness to the teachings of Christ, we should be prepared to bear opposition patiently and, no doubt, we will suffer misunderstanding, abuse and even persecution for our witness to the Gospel of Life. (2Tim.2:10)  Whatever offences and injustices we experience we should, in imitation of Our Lord (Lk.23:34; Acts.7:60), forgive readily and willing.

The application of the teachings of Christ in regard to the corporal works of mercy may include contributing to or providing a safe refuge or home for women in a crisis pregnancy situation.  Equally, by visiting and praying outside places where pre-born children are killed is a work of mercy, regardless of the outcome.  Praying for the living and the dead includes those who, while living are spiritually dead. (Apoc.3:1) That is, we should pray for the conversion of those working in the industries that promote the Culture of Death.

In all of this, it must not be forgotten that Mercy is Love’s response to suffering and that the works of mercy demand more than a humanitarian basis if they are to serve as instruments in bringing about our eternal salvation.  For the works of mercy to be salvific for us, their animating spirit must belong to the supernatural order, that is, must be rooted in the love of God above all things.

May the Mother of mercy and Refuge of sinners intercede for us that we may in this Year of Mercy courageously live the message of the Gospel of Life more faithfully and fully for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. (Is.56:1)

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Planned Parenthood shooting deplorable

Family Life International NZ deplores the shooting which took place outside Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood in the United States on Friday.

Three people were killed when a man, Robert Lewis Dear, allegedly opened gunfire outside the Planned Parenthood facility.  Another nine were injured.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims killed by this senseless act, and also to those who have been injured” said Family Life International NZ’s spokesperson, Michelle Kaufman.

According to their website, the facility performs abortions up until 18 weeks and 6 days.

It is not known what the motive for the shooting was at this time.  However, if it was opposition, even in part, to abortion, then Family Life International NZ wants to make it clear that “violence in order to oppose violence is never, ever right.”

“Abortion brutally takes the life of a pre-born child and it harms women, it harms families, but our response must always be one of love, of concern and care.”

Family Life International NZ, which organises vigils outside of abortion facilities, wants to emphasise that their approach is peaceful and prayerful.  “We want to reach out to pregnant mothers who think they have no other choice than to have an abortion” said Mrs Kaufman.

“Often, abortion seems to be the best solution at the time, that once it is done they’ll be able to get on with life.”

While that might be true for some, and often relief is the initial feeling, the ongoing repercussions of the abortion often stay with a woman for a life-time.   Some will suffer physically, many will suffer emotionally.

In 2014, the Abortion Supervisory Committee reports that six New Zealand women had their uterus perforated during the abortion procedure; 27 women haemorrhaged;   and 41 suffered other complications.

Family Life International NZ provides support for pregnant women facing an unexpected pregnancy so that they are empowered to follow their dreams and choose life for their baby.  The organisation also walks with women who regret their abortion and now seek healing and forgiveness.

Kaufman also emphasises that they wish to reach out to abortion facility workers, and hospital staff who assist in whatever way in the abortion process.  “People who work in abortion facilities matter too.  We want them to know that we care about their well-being.”

Abortion is a violent act.  Violence in order to oppose this violent atrocity will never be the answer.