Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pro-life Corner: SUNDAY, January 29, 2012

For several years, submitting a 'Pro-life Corner' post for the weekly bulletin in several churches has been a part of my pro-life efforts. It was only natural to carry this idea into the new pro-life direction of my blog. Priests for Life has been the source for Pro-life Corner posts. Their materials are generously offered  for distribution and they simply ask for credit. These pro-life posts coincide with the Church calendar and 'contain three elements: a one-paragraph bulletin insert, General Intercessions, and suggestions for drawing pro-life themes out of the Sunday reading for the homily'. I will share all three elements every Sunday in an effort help us all think with a pro-life heart.

As is the practice over at the Catholic Sistas, a blog to which I contribute, Sunday posts will be scheduled ahead of time in order to leave that day for Church and family.


“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person -- among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jer 1:5; cf Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11). “My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth” (Ps. 139:15). Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2270-2271 


That the Church may be an example to the world of what it means to grow in the love of God and to share his love with others, we pray to the Lord...

That world leaders may serve the needs of all people with wisdom and compassion, we pray to the Lord...

That each of us may be the Lord's prophets by speaking up for vulnerable people -- both born and unborn -- who cannot speak for themselves, we pray to the Lord...

That the sick and suffering and all who work with them may effectively communicate the gentle love that Jesus has for them, we pray to the Lord...

That our national sporting events may promote character, unity, and virtue in our personal and social lives, we pray to the Lord...

That the Catholic schools of our nation may be strengthened in their spiritual and educational mission, we pray to the Lord...

That all who have died may be united to the risen Christ in the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord...


Dt 18:15-20
1 Cor 7:32-35
Mk 1:21-28

The Gospel and First Reading for this Sunday raise the issue of the authority of those who speak the Word of God. Jesus taught with authority because he is the Word of God. The prophets taught with authority because God put his own words into their mouths. The Church today teaches with authority because, as the Body of Christ, she continues his teaching mission or, to be more precise, Christ himself continues teaching through his Church. Each member of the Church, by virtue of baptism and confirmation, has a prophetic role, and echoes the Word of God himself, both by words and example.

These themes are important in the battle between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death, because our opponents ask why we are “imposing our morality on everyone else.” In reality, however, we are not imposing anything. We are speaking a truth which is not our own, and which simply reflects the reality of how we are made and what the moral law is. If anything is “imposed,” it has already been imposed by God. We are witnesses to him. We have no authority of our own; we simply proclaim his Word. By that fact, moreover, we are equally bound by what we proclaim as are those to whom we proclaim it.

This is why the proclamation of the pro-life message does not imply some kind of moral superiority on the part of those who proclaim it. Rather, it implies solidarity, and a common acknowledgement of the God of life, who is Lord of those who preach and those who hear.

Pro-Life Liturgical Resources: Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle B , January 29 ~Priests for Life

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What do you mean by 'choice'?

Today - Sunday, January 22, 2012 - is the 39th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision. Many in the pro-abortion movement find this to be a day of victory and celebrate it as something that is good for women. The many articles I have read about the topic and the many people to whom I have spoken seem to indicate that those who support Roe vs. Wade are 'pro-choice'. The word 'choice', however, implies that there are several avenues of action being offered. Yet when you read the Planned Parenthood (PP) stories and talk to those who claim the label you come away with the sense that there's only one approved choice - abortion. To a pro-life advocate like me that is a bit confusing. How would you explain the following?

  • The face of the pro-choice movement, (PP), kills 91 out of every 100 babies whose pregnant mothers walk through their doors.
  • In 2010 their abortion vs. adoption ratio was 329,445 abortions to 841 adoption referrals. 
  • Poor women are turned away from PP clinics because they opt to keep their baby.
  • Women have been left bleeding (and their babies dying) because they have given birth (their abortion was 'unsuccessful').
  • Cover-ups of statutory rape and incest at the hand of PP.
  • Aborting 165,000 female babies each and every year.

Pro-life Corner: SUNDAY, January 22, 2012

As is the practice over at the Catholic Sistas, a blog to which I contribute, Sunday posts will be scheduled ahead of time in order to leave that day for Church and family.

Priests for Life will be the source for my Sunday Pro-life Corner posts. Their materials are generously offered  for distribution and they simply ask for credit. These pro-life posts coincide with the Church calendar and I will share all three elements every Sunday in an effort help us all think with a pro-life heart.


KRT Illustration (NCRegister)
A Tragic Commemoration
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court, in the Roe vs. Wade decision, made its worst mistake in history. By declaring that children in the womb are not “persons,” it opened the door to tens of millions of abortions. The website of the Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood, which is the single largest source of abortions in America), states, “From 1973 through 2002, more than 42 million legal abortions occurred.” It also points out that “24% of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion,” and that abortions after 21 weeks of pregnancy number somewhere around 18,000 per year in America. In 2002, there were 1.29 million abortions in our country. Indeed, as we mark another Roe vs. Wade commemoration, it is time for all of us to get involved in the efforts to end abortion. Visit to learn what you can do.


That our Holy Father and all who are entrusted with teaching God’s Word may be blessed with wisdom and courage, we pray to the Lord...

That the leaders of the world who have the task of governing may carry out their duties with justice and maintain peace among nations, we pray to the Lord...

That nations may repent of the sins of abortion, euthanasia, and neglect of the poor and weak, and may reform their laws to protect every human life, we pray to the Lord...

That Christians may join together across denominational lines to help the hungry and homeless, we pray to the Lord...

That those who have died may enjoy the peace of God’s kingdom, and that those who grieve for them may be comforted, we pray to the Lord...

See for the intercessions in PDF format.


Jon 3:1-5, 10
1 Cor 7:29-31
Mk 1:14-20

January 22, 1973 was the date of the tragic Roe vs. Wade decision. Its commemoration is rightly marked by readings that accent the theme of repentance. “Repent” is the first message of Jesus as he begins his public ministry (today’s Gospel). It was also the first message of John the Baptizer as he began preparing the way for Christ (Mark 1:4), and was the first theme that Peter proclaimed on the first Pentecost (Acts 2:38). The preaching of Jonah foreshadowed all of this, and the work of the Church today echoes it.

Many believers, as they learn more about the facts of abortion and Roe vs. Wade, think that our first spiritual duty in the face of abortion is to pray. But it is not. Our first duty is to repent. God does not simply prohibit us from committing abortion. He prohibits us from tolerating it. He calls us to become active in fighting it.

Today provides an excellent opportunity to sound the call of repentance and to educate the parishioners on some of the key facts of Roe vs. Wade, such as can be found in the bulletin insert above, and also at the website Simply knowing that Roe vs. Wade permitted far more than they thought helps many people to start doing more for the pro-life effort than they ever did. 

Pro-Life Liturgical Resources: Third Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle B , January 22, 2012  ~Priests for Life

Thursday, January 19, 2012

God bless her

A post from a gal I'm happy to call my friend!

Confessions of a Recovering Lesbian
"I am a 37-year-old Catholic woman who has been happily married for nearly 15 years. We have five children that I homeschool. I also struggle daily with same-sex attraction."

Mark Shea has linked to her story, God bless her!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pro-life Corner: SUNDAY, January 15, 2012

For several years, submitting a 'Pro-life Corner' post for the weekly bulletin in several churches has been a part of my pro-life efforts. It was only natural to carry this idea into the new pro-life direction of my blog. Priests for Life has been the source for Pro-life Corner posts. Their materials are generously offered  for distribution and they simply ask for credit. These pro-life posts coincide with the Church calendar and 'contain three elements: a one-paragraph bulletin insert, General Intercessions, and suggestions for drawing pro-life themes out of the Sunday reading for the homily'. I will share all three elements every Sunday in an effort help us all think with a pro-life heart.

As is the practice over at the Catholic Sistas, a blog to which I contribute, Sunday posts will be scheduled ahead of time in order to leave that day for Church and family.


Pro-life Words from Hollywood

“Indeed the tragedy of abortion haunts women from all walks of life. Abortion advocates are spending millions to package their tired rhetoric and half-truths in cutting-edge advertising campaigns targeted to young women... The early feminists were pro-life. And really, abortion is a huge disservice to women, and it hasn't been presented that way."
 -- Emmy winning actress, Patricia Heaton, from Everybody Loves Raymond

  • That the leaders of the Church may continue to spread God’s word with joy to the people of the world, we pray to the Lord...
  • That the governments of all nations seek just and peaceful solutions to conflict, we pray to the Lord...
  • That those who suffer from oppression or violence may draw strength from the suffering of Jesus and have the support of caring people, we pray to the Lord...
  • That Scripture's teaching that our lives and bodies belong to the Lord may increase our reverence for all human life, and our awareness that only God can give it or take it away, we pray to the Lord...
  • That unity among Christians, and their collaboration for the good of society, may increase, we pray to the Lord...
  • That those who have died may rest in the peace of the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord.

1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19
1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Jn 1:35-42

The most powerful way to draw the pro-life theme from today’s readings is to build on Paul’s declaration to the Corinthians, “You are not your own” (second reading). The battle cry of “pro-choice” is “my body, my life, my decision” – in other words, the idea that we are indeed our own. The idea is that we are each the captain of our own ship, and nobody can tell us what to do.

Christianity changes and challenges all that. Because of what Jesus Christ did, we are no longer our own. He owns us – yet not to oppress or enslave us, but to incorporate us into His Body. Nobody owns himself, and nobody owns anyone else. In Christ, we go beyond merely the natural concept of the “common good” (which also challenges the “pro-choice” mentality). Rather we enter into a new humanity and a level of love and unity with one another (including the unborn) that could never be achieved by human effort alone.

A striking contrast to this teaching is the way the late Dr. James McMahon, an abortionist from Southern California who performed partial-birth abortions, answered the question posed to him by the American Medical Association news regarding how he justified doing what he did. He said, “After 20 weeks (4-½ months) where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it. ... On the other hand, I have another position, which I think is superior in the hierarchy of questions, and that is: 'Who owns the child?' It's got to be the mother." 
-- Abortionist James McMahon, interview with American Medical News, July 5, 1993.

Pro-Life Liturgical Resources: Second Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle B , January 15 ~Priests for Life

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Remembering the Innocents

Today I want to share an excellent post from Catholic Sistas, a collaborative blog to which I sometimes contribute. Remembering the Innocents was written by my friend, Michelle and gives an excellent account of a parish pro-life commemoration she just hosted....

"This past week our Right to Life group held a candlelight memorial service in remembrance of all the babies and mothers lost to abortion. It was such a moving experience. When I was putting together all that we were going to do I tried my hardest to determine what kinds of things were “too much” to introduce and what kinds of statistics and/or pictures would make the greatest impact. It was a hard task to do. I knew that besides those who would come from the parish we also would have the entire middle and high school youth groups there as well as representatives from our local pregnancy resource center, the West Georgia Right to Life representative and someone from the paper. It was a daunting task. How do you bring such a sensitive, yet important, topic to those who may not have any knowledge about abortion?" continue reading Remembering the Innocents

Thanks for stopping by! Please check us out often and do some pro-life evangelizing by sharing what you see!
In His Name for Life,
Birgit J

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pro-life all day, every day!

LIFE, one thing is certain - the unexpected will happen! So it goes today. A mere two days into my pro-life blogging venture and I've been hit blessed with a houseful of kids. In addition to 3 year old, Simon, and his 2 year old sister, Rachel, I am keeping company with Evan and Corbin (7 & 5). It's a 'snow day' and as anyone in W Kentucky knows, the KY school system just does not do well with snow. Even the hint of snow will send officials scrambling to cancel school. What a quandry it must have been when they were confronted with the HUGE dusting we got yesterday - why it almost covered a good third of the surface of my deck! 

So instead of writing a deep tome or impressing you with carefully categorized pro-life photos, I will simply give you an inspirational quote and an accompanying picture (thanks Tina M!). My promise, however, is to keep slogging along and to fill my blog with useful tidbits - I might even return later and add to today's post. In the mean time remember: it is our duty to be pro-life...

                      all day, 
                          every day!

That is how we 'roll'. Because every little thing that we do, think or pray for those little ones will add up...and St. Therese is there to be our example (with her little way). So be the voice of the voiceless, today and every day - even if it's just in your prayers!

In His Name for Life!
Birgit J

Pro-LIFE Quote of the Day:
"I read a newspaper editorial arguing that abortion is just another surgery, no different from a root canal or appendectomy. But why don't people remember the anniversary of their appendectomy twenty years later? Why don't they find themselves weeping uncontrollably, grieving the loss of their appendix? And where are all the support groups and counseling for those who've had root canals?

~ Randy Alcom


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The devil is in the details

Yesterday I introduced the new pro-life facet of my blogging efforts - Pro-life Designs by Birgit. The post gave readers a quick introduction to my - ahem - spontaneous style and accompanying high hopes for making a pro-life difference. My enthusiasm was in over-drive and I was literally in a tizzy over getting the news out - so eager was I to embark on this new undertaking. Life, however, had other plans. I did all of the usual things that I do when the 2 x 4 of inspiration hits me over the head...rabidly posted, added photos, read and reread my post and with a thrill of adventure I clicked the 'publish' button.

Oh, no!




The rejection emails started hitting my inbox like so much hail on a window pane. You see, I use Networked Blogs on Facebook and my blog posts are set up to post to four Facebook pages as well as to Tweet on Twitter. But my blog was being rejected as 'spammy'.

Now what?!

I've spent the past 24 hours trying to figure out why Facebook thinks my work is it a vast left-wing conspiracy? LOL, hardly! I'm not quite that sold on my impact or skills but something is amiss. 'Sparky', as a great circle of Catholic cohorts call the devil, must be trying to dampen my enthusiasm...

Sometimes when I am the most determined and inspired to do something for Faith or Life, old Sparky just rears his ugly head and makes all kinds of mischief. I look at it as a challenge (perhaps a lesson in patience?). I will not give up; I will only work harder. In the mean time, it's going to be up to my friends to help me win this small battle in my war on abortion. So show old Sparky what we're made of. Share my posts and comment on and like them. Help me get around this Facebook glitch.

I may not be able to post in the way I usually do but the devil is in the details and I'm ready to circle the wagons and go around him...mixed metaphors and all!

In His Name for Life,
Birgit J

A new facet: Pro-life Designs by Birgit

Erika's pro-life ribbon
I am pro-life to the core. I am also subject to being hit over the head by the 2 x 4 of inspiration from time to time. When this happens I become a adrenaline goes through the roof, I become short of breath and I simply cannot prevent my shaking fingers from attempting to type as fast as my muddled brain is going.

Well, today was one of those times...

January 2012 is the anniversary month of the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision and the accompanying Doe vs. Bolton the combination of which served to legalize abortion through the entire nine months of pregnancy. Appropriately, then, this month will herald a turning point in my personal blogging direction. While I will continue to blog about all things creative, I will be adding a new element to the mix. This January will give birth to...

Pro-life Designs by Birgit 

As those who know me realize, there is not an electronic medium that I do not love...I use them all! Facebook, Twitter, Google+, BlogSpot, WordPress, and yes, a website with my own domain - . I am also on the creative side and love photography - specifically photographing babies and children of all ages.

So I will jump right in and divide my time between regular 'Designs' posting and posts dedicated to the movement that has been my passion for 39 years. Some entries will be a prayer or brief snippets of information (think a pro-life Readers Digest) while others may encompass a more thorough delving into topics concerning life. I hope to feature guest posters at times and will attempt to offer tangible ways that anyone can help this movement that gives voice to the most disrespected segment of society - unborn babies.

To understand more fully what motivates my life-long dedication to the pro-life movement, I will direct you to a post that I wrote on the Catholic Sistas blog entitiled, 'When "I'm pro-life, except" really happens...'

In the mean time, I ask your prayers for this vision may be much larger than my ability. It is vitally important and most likely beyond my poor attempts. What our country - no, our world - needs is many small voices to unite and to build a formidable army to defend what our Church acknowledges to be a priority - an intrinsic evil that has no match. With St. Therese' and her 'little way' as our guide we will forge ahead with confidence.

Join me?

In His Name for Life,
Birgit J

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mary, help of the unborn

Mary, mother of God: You are our most Blessed Mother!

Pray for us all, but most especially for unborn babies and their parents.

Pray for an end to abortion in our world,

as we mark the anniversary month of the tragic Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized abortion in the United States of America.

May God help our country!

In His Holy Name we pray!


Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year's luck: let Jesus be your 'Dumbo feather'!

Happy New Year!

Black-eye peas for prosperity, noodles for long life, ham for progress, cabbage for riches – these are some of the New Years foods to which good luck is attributed. In our secular world, much stock is given to all types of superstition throughout the year. While this may offer a bit of entertainment, the danger lies in assigning a weight to them that is beyond harmless fun. As with many questionable beliefs, there are also logical ways to explain what seems at first blush, to be magical. In reading an article in my January issue of Women’s Day entitled Make Your Own Luck, I found an enlightening take on just such things.While the article also does not imply that there is such a thing as ‘luck’ it does give some interesting parallels between those who are ‘lucky’ and their views of life in general. You see, those who consider themselves lucky have certain characteristics that invite ‘luck’. They are observant, willing to be flexible, and prone to expecting a good outcome. Interesting….

Before we go on, however, let's explore what Mother Church has to say. For the record, horoscopes, fortune cookies, good luck charms, etc. are taboo in our Catholic faith. They give an authority to something that is not of God and attempt to usurp His Almighty Power which, rightfully, belongs only to Him. One has only to read about the Third Commandment in the Catechism of the Catholic Church to ascertain that:


Divination and magic
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
There is, however, something useful to be learned from those who are ‘lucky’. We can quickly make the connection with those who are bright in their outlook and their seemingly 'lucky' existence. If you keep your eye on the brass ring and reach for it, no matter how unattainable it seems, you are bound to come up with a bit of good fortune as a matter of course. Unlike those who appear to operate on a negative outlook, those who achieve are always on the lookout for the good in life. Their goals are set high, which assures that they will always be spurred to do their best. This way of thinking goes nicely with our belief that we are all saints in the making - a seemingly unattainable goal. How much higher can a goal be, than to reach all the way to a Heavenly home? How much more preferable is it, then, to grasp for a life that emulates our heroes – the saints – who have already achieved?

In order to make our own ‘luck’ we must be willing to make changes for the better. While the comfort of the old and familiar is certainly a temptation, we must be willing to open ourselves up to the new directions that God places in our hearts. Sometimes these new directions can be frightening in their feeling of insecurity and lack of the familiar. But we do have a ‘net’ to catch us if we fall – His Name is Jesus! So in order to advance in an entirely new direction, we must give ourselves over, completely, to His call – whether in a whisper or in a shout!

Even something as inane as a good luck charm can warrant a closer look. It’s not the ‘good luck charm’ at all, but how that object makes you feel; it simply gives its owner a sense of well-being and confidence. My sister and I often joke about being a Dumbo Feather to each other. You remember the big-eared baby elephant of Disney fame who could fly, only if he held his ‘magic’ feather? We know that we can accomplish most of what we set out to do, but the little bit of a boost we feel from the support of the other, takes us to new heights.

Our Catholic faith also gives us objects to help us literally ‘feel’ the confidence we need to achieve. They are sacramentals and our faith prevents us from assigning a superstitious quality or ability to them. But they can aid us in reaching for Heaven because Mother Church, in her wisdom, encourages blessed objects for our spiritual use. Wearing my Four Way Medal, for example, gives me a physical reminder of the power of God and prayer. I often find myself touching it throughout the day as a reminder that I am not alone – not because it offers a magical protection – but because it reminds me that Jesus, His Mother, and His Angels walk, unseen, beside me through any struggle. Our rosaries, statues, and Holy Water are there as well, to offer a strengthening reminder of our faith as we strive for holiness.Armed with our faith in God and a willingness to be open, we can achieve unbelievable success. Our eyes (and minds) simply need to be receptive to the good things in our lives. We need to be flexible in our thinking and willing to take action on faith alone – knowing that we have our support system in place. With the sacraments and sacramentals our Mother Church provides we can attain the seemingly impossible. Jesus is there and is more than willing to be our Dumbo Feather, no matter what obstacles appear to be in our path. So fly to the highest heights and achieve the greatest goal of humanity – armed with everything you need to succeed in this life and the next!

This post was also featured on Catholic Sistas.

Jesus, I trust in You!

+ + +

‎"Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
And what you want to give me is love,
unconditional, everlasting love.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen
(The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life)