Sermon: St. Therese Homilies

Abortion: THE Fundamental Issue

Homily 32nd Sunday Year C: Abortion: THE Fundamental Issue

by Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

 

My brother Scott has been in a book club before about 30 years with a circle of friends from college. They meet once a month and discuss the book they’ve read.

A couple of months ago, a discussion arose related to the topic of the book they were discussing about the religious practices of different cultures. My brother brought up how the Aztecs in Mexico, who back in the 1400’s and 1500’s would make war on other tribes. The people they captured would be murdered – sacrificed as offerings to their pagan god, Huitzilopochtli

My brother emphasized how evil this practice was. Another member of the book club, a friend of my brother’s, who is a Catholic, bright and very successful in business, objected to my brother calling the practices of the Aztecs as evil. He said, “You can’t call this evil, because this was part of their religion.”

My brother responded, “Does that make it OK?” The friend insisted that, yes, because offering people in sacrifice was part of their religious belief, that made it okay, and we cannot condemn it as wrong.

My brother told me that he was shocked. He thought he knew this friend. It turns out he doesn’t really know him – He thinks that someone can murder other human beings, as long as he claims doing so is part of his religious practice. 

About 80 years ago there was a country in Western Europe that suffered a humiliating defeat in WWI. A political party arose that promised to revitalize the country: to build up the economy as well as the military, to improve education, create new jobs – and they accomplished this very successfully. 

The citizens were very happy that their nation once again prospered.

But there was only one problem: This political party began to build gas chambers, and proceeded to put people to death: Jews, Gypsies, and Catholics – especially Catholic priests and religious who opposed this evil.

One of those put to death: the Franciscan, St. Maximilian Kolbe.

This political party was the Nazis.

Anyone who supported the Nazi Party platform was accountable for the murder of innocent human beings.

The central issue in our country’s upcoming election, on both the national and state levels, is an evil even worse than that committed by the Nazis: abortion. 

That abortion is the central issue should be abundantly clear to anyone who has watched the news and has seen the campaign ads by the respective candidates.

Those who support abortion make all kinds of false claims:

I’ve seen ads by the pro-abortion candidates who say: “We must not allow radical lawmakers to make medical decisions regarding women’s health.” 

But abortion is not about “health” care – it is the brutal murder of an innocent human being, and pre-born child.

The pro-abortion crowd repeats the chant, “My body, my choice.” Well, in general terms we have a right to our own bodily integrity. But even here, this right is not absolute. There are limits. We do not have a right to put illegal drugs into our bodies, or to end our lives – kill ourselves – when we think life is no longer worth living.

God is the Author of all life; and our rights come from God. There is no God-given right to kill ourselves, or to kill an innocent human being in the womb. 

On the abortion issue, the right of a woman to her bodily integrity does not include the right to abortion. Why? Because here we are dealing with another person’s body, and right to life of another person, the preborn baby – a human being created in God’s image and likeness. 

God speaks to us in Psalm 139: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” This is precisely why God condemned the ancient Israelites for killing their children – offering them in sacrifice on the altars of pagan gods like Baal and Moloch. And God severely punished them for doing so – He allowed other pagan nations to defeat them.

Just as slavery was the central issue in the 1860 election, abortion is the central issue of this election. In my opinion, this is the most important election in our nation’s history, because we are faced with the most important issue we have ever dealt with: whether to continue the legalized murder of preborn children, or to put an end to this monumental evil. 

And the people whom we elect, both on the national and the state level, will determine the course of our nation for years to come – especially on the state level, because after the recent US Supreme Court Dobbs decision, the abortion issue is now back in the states. 

We will now decide, through the people we elect, whether abortion will continue, or end.

As Archbishop Lisetcki has said, the right to life is THE fundamental issue, because all our other rights depend upon this right, and mean nothing without it. 

Our Declaration of Independence recognizes this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Our Founders acknowledged that first and foremost is the right to life; if you take this right away, then liberty and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless. And creation of human life begins at conception, in the womb.

In our first reading (2nd Macc.), seven brothers were tortured and put to death for refusing to violate God’s laws. They committed no crime. They simply refused to eat pork, as faithful Jews.

Children in the womb are put to death by abortion for nothing more than having been conceived, and being unwanted. 

We should be willing to die for unborn brothers and sisters, in order to put an end to them being murdered in violation of God’s law, the 5th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”

We hear people say, “Roe v. Wade is established law.” Nonsense. For 100 years prior to Roe it was established law that the child in the womb should be protected. After the invention of the microscope in the 1800’s those in the medical field were able to see the embryo, and it was clear to them that human life began at conception. 

In 1859 the American Medical Assoc. sent a report to all the states, recommending laws be changed to reflect this truth. Many states at that time, ignorant of this truth, allowed abortion in the early stages of pregnancy (until “quickening” – when a mother could feel child moving within her). 

All the states responded and passed laws protecting children in the womb and outlawing abortion from conception. 

These laws remained until the sexual revolution in the 1960’s, when people wanted the pleasure of sex but not children who are the natural end of the sexual act; and some states began pass laws which permitted abortion in the early stages of pregnancy.

But in 1973, a majority of nine unelected judges on our nation’s highest court forced abortion on an unsuspecting nation, overturning every state law and allowing abortion through the full nine months of pregnancy. I remember this well as a sophomore in H.S. 

Since then over 60 million children have been brutally murdered – a literal holocaust, that continues. It makes the murders carried out by the Nazis pale in comparison.

Now, with the Dobbs decision, we, the electorate, have the opportunity – and the moral duty – eliminate this horrendous evil, this scourge on our country; or we can allow it to continue. By the people we elect to public office we can put an end to abortion, or keep it “legal.”

And make no mistake about it: The people running for public office know this.

I’ll quote President Biden. On Oct. 18, 2022 he told supporters during a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, D.C.:

“The [Supreme] court got Roe [v. Wade] right nearly 50 years ago, and I believe Congress should codify Roe once and for all [i.e., make the right to abortion a national law binding on all the states]. If we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided to be the law of the land.”

Shame on Joe Biden, who claims to be a Catholic. He’s sold his soul for political gain.

And shame on the Democratic Party, which supports abortion. It’s part of their national party platform – even to use our tax dollars to kill children in the womb, under the banner of “choice.”

I grew up a Democrat, in Chicago, and in college worked for Mayor Richard J. Daley. It pains me to see what has happened to this party. But as a Catholic, a follower of Jesus Christ, I could no longer support a party which advocates the so-called “right” to kill babies in the womb. This is evil; it is insane.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if we elect people to public office who support the so-called “right” to abortion, then we become cooperators with this evil, and the blood of the innocent unborn will be on our hands.

But if we elect people who will defend the unalienable right to life for all – born and unborn – and if we repent of having allowed tens of millions of children to be put to death in the womb, and beg God for forgiveness, I believe that God, in His mercy, will forgive us, and He will bestow His blessings upon our nation. 

Let us pray that we may become a country, and a people, that welcomes all human life and that fosters a true culture of life.

Pray Always Without Becoming Weary

Homily 29th Sunday (Year C): “Pray always without becoming weary”

– In the Gospel today from St. Luke, Jesus tells His disciples a parable about the necessity to “pray always – without becoming weary.” This is only one of the many parables in which Our Lord instructs us about the value – and necessity – of prayer.
In our first reading we see Moses persevering in prayer, holding his arms up (in the shape of a cross, as saints tell us), to gain a victory for Israel.
– Some years back, Pope St. John Paul II (Gen. Aud. 12/1/94) addressed the topic of the need to take time out of our day to converse with God in prayer. He said:
“Doubtless, when work is performed according to God’s will, something pleasing to the Lord is being done, and this is a form of prayer.”
In other words, we can offer up to God the good works we perform, and in a general sense we can call this prayer, or, a sacrificial offering to God.

– Continuing, St. John Paul tells us: “But it is equally true that this is not enough: Specific moments must be expressly devoted to prayer, following the example of Jesus, who even in the midst of the most intense messianic activity withdrew to pray (Lk. 5:16).”

– St. John Paul goes on to say that in these daily “pauses” for prayer, we can find “inspiration, energy, the courage to face difficulties and obstacles, balance, and a capacity for initiation [for doing good].”

– Traditionally, these daily pauses include prayers in the morning, at meals, and prayers before retiring at night.
– “Prayer is bread and life for the soul,” says St. Padre Pio.
– We should, as we begin our day, turn to God and ask His assistance.
– The “Morning Offering” which the Apostleship of Prayer promotes, is an excellent means to start the day; for in this prayer, we offer to Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, all of our prayers, works, joys and sufferings of the day, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world – even if we do not have the opportunity to attend Mass, we do so intentionally; and in this beautiful prayer we pray for the salvation of souls, we make reparation for sins, and we pray that all Christians may be brought back into union with Catholic Church.

– Another prayer we should always say in the morning is the prayer to our Guardian Angel, asking that he be our “light” and to “guard over us, and guide us” throughout the day.

– Praying before and, if we can, after meals is way of sanctifying our daily routine by giving thanks to God and acknowledging that even the food we eat is His gift.
It also helps to guide our conversation during meals.
If done in public, we can make a good impression on others by our brief pause for prayer, whether done in silence or in a soft voice, and by making a reverent (not rushed) Sign of the Cross. It’s a great way to evangelize.
I recall hearing of someone whose conversion to Catholicism began when he saw someone each day at lunch make the Sign of the Cross, slowly and deliberately, and was inspired.
As a priest, I always pray when at a restaurant, and often I hear conversations at surrounding tables turn to religious topics.

– In addition to praying at meals, we should make it a practice to pause briefly at different times throughout the day, in the midst of our duties and activities, to lift our minds and hearts to God in some manner.
Doing so sanctifies our work.
St. Josemaría Escrivá recommends that we keep a crucifix nearby our work station, in order to stop periodically and gaze at the Savior who performed the greatest work of all, our Redemption.
Another worthy practice is to stop every hour or so and make an act of Spiritual Communion, asking Our Lord that even though we cannot receive Him sacramentally, He come at least spiritually into our hearts. (See back inside cover – green missal/hymnals – 1st prayer)
– Each evening before we retire, we should undertake a short but thorough examination of conscience. Different ways: one can use Ten Commandments, the Seven Deadly Sins, or some other means as a guide or checklist.
– One of my favorite means: use the Fruits of the Holy Spirit & ask:
Was I at peace today with all that happened?
Did I consciously try to exude joy, to being the joy of Christ to others?
Did I practice patience; in what way did I fail to take up my daily cross?

– In doing the Examination of Conscience, we should ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us as to how this day we have offended God, or failed to cooperate with His grace – in thought, word, act or omission, and then make a sincere act of contrition, and resolve to do better tomorrow.
This is an excellent way to develop sensitivity to our own habitual weaknesses and to grow in true self-knowledge – a prerequisite for becoming saints.

– In addition to the above practices, we should set out some block of time each day for meditative prayer. Jesus tells us: “Go to your room, shut your door, and pray to your Father in secret.”
I always think of my mother – every night, while all the guys were watching TV (my dad and I and my brothers), she would go to the bedroom, shut the door, and pray. It made an effect on the rest of us.

– For some, the morning is a good time for meditation; for others, the evening; still others may be able to devote some of the lunch break to meditative prayer.
– The important thing is to SET A TIME and try to be faithful to that time – and to realize that the Devil will throw up every obstacle to prevent us from praying. The evil one does not want us to pray, especially meditative prayer.
St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church who reformed the Carmelites, stresses this (her image is in our sanctuary, top right).

– The Most Holy Rosary an excellent method for meditation, with its four sets of twenty mysteries on the life of Our Lord and Our Lady: joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious.
– Popes call it a “compendium of the Gospel.”
– Pope John Paul II liked to say that with the Rosary, we meditate on the mysteries of Christ “through the eyes of the Heart of Mary.” How beautiful!
The Mother of God helps us, her spiritual children, to come to know her Son.
– Recall that Our Lady was sent by God to Fatima, Portugal to command us to pray the Rosary (5 decades) each day for the conversion of sinners, and to bring peace to the world. Both simple and profound, anyone can pray this prayer!

– Another excellent means to practice meditation in prayer is to read Sacred Scripture – the written word of God – which, as St. Paul tells us in our 2nd reading today (2nd Tim.), is “useful for teaching, correction, and training in righteousness.”
When reading Scripture, pause when a verse strikes you, and ponder it. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as to its deeper meaning, and how to apply to your life.

– Once again, the important thing about meditation is to be committed to a daily routine, and this is not easy; it takes discipline. It may require turning off the television or computer, or cutting short our socializing with friends and neighbors to get in our prayer time.
– St. John Henry Cardinal Newman, the great convert from Anglicanism, says: “Nothing is more difficult than to be disciplined and regular” in our prayer life. “It is easy to be religious in fits and starts” – at times when we “feel” spiritual, but to be consistent at prayer is a trial, he says, because by nature we are so weak and inconstant.
Newman stresses that Satan “perceives well that daily private prayer is the very emblem and safeguard of true devotion to God,” and of maintaining us in a course of good conduct, of holiness of life.
– This is precisely why the Devil will use any and every means to prevent us from praying regularly. He will whisper, “Oh, put off prayer, this or that thing is more important, more necessary now.”
– To guard ourselves against his wiles, we should turn to the “Woman” who crushes his proud head: the Blessed Virgin. She is, after Jesus Himself, our model in prayer.
– Let us call upon our Mother, Mary, each day, and beseech her to help us in order that we may “pray always, without becoming weary.

God or Mammon

Homily 25th Sunday Year C: God or mammon

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

God or mammon. Jesus in today’s Gospel tells us that we must choose between these two; that we cannot make both out masters, because we cannot serve two masters.
Why not? Because we will either hate the one and love the other, or we will be devoted to the one and despise the other. We cannot love both God and mammon.
What is “mammon”? It is the Hebrew word for riches, wealth. This is the context in which Jesus uses it, in today’s Gospel parable about the unjust steward who connives to keep his position as steward.

Of course, riches and wealth are not evil in themselves. People with great wealth can be very generous and fund worthy charitable causes.
But riches and wealth can easily become the predominant pursuit in our lives, which results in putting God in the backseat, or forgetting about Him completely.
People with great wealth can easily tend to think that they are self-sufficient, and that they need no one, including God, to make them happy.
The same is true regarding great fame and popularity, or great power and prestige. When these become the main focus of one’s life, they become a false god.
Some people make work, and earthly success, their god.

This is why, in a broader context, mammon is a pejorative term that refers to any created thing that weakens or breaks our relationship with God.
I have a good priest friend who admits that, in the days of his youth, and before he took his faith seriously, golf was his “god.” Every Sunday he spent the day on the golf course.
There are parents who make their children their “god,” carting them around to sporting events almost every weekend, but sadly, neglecting to worship God as they ought. And what are they teaching their children?

Here’s a fundamental question: Why would anyone choose money, or any other earthly good – such as popularity, political power, etc., why would someone choose these over God? The reason is: A lack of faith in God, or ignorance of him, or both; and failure to have a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Way to the Father.

Earlier today I along with a number of other people stood outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Waukegan Illinois, praying the Rosary and holding pro-life signs. I held my blown-up photo of an unborn child in the amniotic sack. It’s a beautiful photo which shows a little baby at 10 weeks old with a body perfectly formed.
Most people driving by on Lewis Avenue honked their horns and waved to us, or gave us a thumbs up. But a good number of people yelled out obscenities, or held up their middle finger at us. I don’t think these people have a strong personal relationship with Jesus. When I encounter such people, I pray for them. As St. Paul tells us (2nd reading), God want all to be saved.

So, how do we deepen our faith and grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ – in order that we may always choose God over mammon? First and foremost, we need to pray.
What is prayer? Prayer is lifting our minds and hearts to God, a conversation with God.
In order to have a personal relationship with someone, we have to talk with them, converse with them. And we have to do so daily if we want to have a deep personal relationship with God, and with Jesus, our Savior – something all of us should be striving for.
Practically, how do we do this? We have to make sure that we schedule a time within our day for prayer, for conversation with God.
If we don’t schedule in prayer, we won’t pray. Believe me, I know this from first-hand experience.

And how do we pray? There are many ways. We can read the Bible slowly and meditate on a verse that strikes us; we can pray the Rosary and meditate on the mysteries of the life of Jesus, and of Mary.

Praying is the pathway to God. Because of our fallen nature, without daily prayer, we tend to love ourselves, and the things of this world, more than God – who created us, and everything in the world.

Without daily prayer, we cannot love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength; nor can we truly love our neighbor as we should – that’s the Opening Prayer for today’s Mass.

Without daily prayer, and a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we will not be able to walk daily in the footsteps of Jesus, and take up our daily cross, as He commands us.

Without daily prayer, we will forget the whole purpose of our existence: to know, love, and serve God in this life, in order to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

In fact, without daily prayer, we cannot keep our eyes fixed firmly on Heaven. That’s why St. Paul (2nd reading) urges us to pray at all times.

The Saints are our models in faith and in prayer. Yesterday, on the calendar of the traditional Latin Mass, the Church celebrated the feast day of the stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi. Two years before he died, St. Francis received the marks of Jesus Christ on his body: the piercing of his hands, feet, and side, as a living sign of his conformity with Jesus Christ.

This coming Friday, we celebrate the feast of a spiritual son of Francis of Assisi – Padre Pio, now St. Padre Pio, who bore the stigmata on his hands, feet and side for 50 years.

Both St. Francis and St. Pio were men of great faith, who came to know Jesus Christ by their deep and profound life of prayer. Let us us ask these two great Saints to pray for us, that through our daily prayer we may grow in faith, in order that we may always choose God over mammon.

The Narrow Gate

Homily 21st. Sunday Yr C: The Narrow Way/Growth in the Spiritual Life

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

In our first readingGod speaks through the Prophet Isaiah and tells people of Israel that salvation is not just for the Jews; the Lord will gather people from every nation and language to His holy city Jerusalem – an image of the Church.
Psalm 117: “Praise the Lord ALL you nations; glorify Him ALL you peoples”
Jesus affirms this: At His Ascension He gives His Apostles the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them and teaching them all that I have taught you.”
Today’s Gospel, Jesus clarifies things. Someone asks Him: “Lord, will only a few be saved?” Jesus says, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”
Jesus goes on to say that many will say to Him, “Lord, we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” But He will say, “I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers.”
So, while all peoples of every nation are called to be saved, and God wills that all men be saved – Jesus’ death redeemed everyone – not everyone will be saved.
Why not? Jesus says that the gate into Heaven is narrow, and that many will not be strong enough to enter.
We must understand that Jesus Himself is the gate. “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Why does Jesus say we need “strength” to follow Him, and thereby enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
Because choosing to live according to the teachings of Jesus is not easy. It takes total commitment, constant effort to follow the Commandments and the teachings of Christ and His Church.
We can’t think that we can enter Heaven if we live lives selfishly centered upon ourselves, pursuing sinful pleasures, and a life of ease and comfort.
We can’t just give lip service to Jesus. “Hey, Lord, we’re buddies. I believe in you, so I’ll be saved, right?” Wrong! In his epistle in the New T., St. James says, “Even the devils in Hell believe!”
No, salvation requires that we live fully the way of life Jesus gives us, following His example. It requires above all a life of prayer and sacrifice; of love of God with our whole mind, heart and strength, and active love of neighbor.
The Saints are our models here – that’s why the Church has canonized them, and proclaimed them saints – they lived lives of heroic virtue and are our models for following Jesus.
One saint I’ll focus on today is from our Carmelite gallery of saints in the sanctuary that I have not preached on: St. John of the Cross.
Born in 1542 in Spain into a poor family
Age 21 became a Carmelite friar
1567 ordained a priest
Other Carmelites recognized his brilliant intellect.
He fervently desired to grow in sanctity, and was somewhat dissatisfied with the Carmelites, so he was going to leave Carmelite order and join the most strict religious order in the Church – Carthusians. (A great documentary you can watch on You Tube – Into the Great Silence, portrays the Carthusian way of life, of prayer and work in silence.)
Another Carmelite, St. Teresa of Avila, persuaded him to help her reform the Carmelite order – “discalced” (barefoot – or today, sandals).
John did help her. But this angered the older Carmelite friars (few people willingly accept reform), so they threw join into a prison, where he suffered for nine months before miraculously escaping with the help of Our Lady.
St. John of the Cross was not only canonized a saint; he was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church – which means his writings are a sure guide to growth in the spiritual life: the life of prayer and penance.
St. John tells us (as do other great spiritual writers) there are 3 basic stages or ways to the spiritual life: Purgative, Illuminative, and the Unitive.
Purgative Way: these are beginners on the path to holiness. They try to purge themselves of sins, especially mortal sins: They goes to Mass every Sunday, avoids bad friends/relationships; and they begin a life of prayer.
Illuminative Way: as people grow in the spiritual life, theyeasily keepsthemselves from mortal sins, but do not so easily avoid venial sins, because they still take pleasure in earthly things and still give in to their disordered desires and passions.
However, they are make progress in prayer, especially in meditation. (The Rosary is an excellent means here, because we meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, and the life of Mary.)
With progress in prayer, they see the changes in their lives: They avoid sinful habits, grow in the practice of virtues (theological: Faith, Hope, Charity; and moral: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance), they receive the sacraments more frequently and fervently, especially Penance (as a means to avoid sin) and the Holy Eucharist – daily Mass, Eucharistic adoration.
Along with prayer life deepening, they take on a life of self-denial and sacrifice. And the Holy Spirit works more and more in their soul. In prayer they begin to experience what is called infused contemplation: God grants them insights into divine mysteries.
Unitive Way: This is the state perfection. These have their minds and hearts detached from all earthly things; and in doing so they enjoy great peace;they are not agitated by worldly desires or problems, and they learn to control their passions and emotions.
These have their minds chiefly fixed on God and their attention turned, either always or very frequently, to Him. The person now lives in a recollected state, and enjoys a beautiful union with God through love; they actually experience this love, and are able to love in return.
St. John of the Cross’ works are a wonderful guide in the spiritual life: Ascent of Mount Carmel, Dark Night of the Soul, Living Flame of Love, Spiritual Canticle – some of these works are in our parish library.
St. John of the Cross, as well as many other experts in the spiritual life (like St. Teresa of Avila) tell us that everyone is called to the unitive state, the state of perfection. After all, Jesus says: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Why do so few people attain this perfection? Well, the main obstacle to growing in and attaining perfection is our disordered attachment to earthly things, our love for creatures and the things of this world rather than love of God.
St. John of the Cross uses a good analogy: A little bird is unable to fly even though just a thin piece of thread is tied to its leg. Likewise, the soul cannot soar to spiritual heights if our hearts, minds and wills are attached to love of self and earthly things.
Let us pray to St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, that they may help us to grow in the spiritual life and to attain that state of perfection, so that we may enjoy the rewards that await us in Heaven.

 

Ascension 2022: Christ’s Kingdom v. the Kingdom of Satan

Ascension 2022: Christ’s Kingdom v. the Kingdom of Satan

By Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

 

Today we celebrate Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord, in His glorified body, into Heaven 40 days after He rose from the dead.

In our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke tells us that Jesus “was lifted up in a cloud him from their sight.”

Then two Angels appeared as men dressed in white garments, and spoke to the Apostles: “This Jesus who has been taken up into Heaven will return Ithe same way” – that is, in glory.

So, what does Jesus now do in Heaven until He returns at His Second Coming, at the end of the world?He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Our Psalm today(Ps. 47) reveals this truth: Jesus is the “great king over all the earth” who “reigns over the nations.”

Jesus came to earth to establish His kingdom. What is the nature of His Kingdom?

The Jews at that time were expecting a Messiah who would be a king in the line of King Davidand who would institute a purely earthly kingdom; he would restore the Davidic kingdom in all its former glory as it was 1000 years before Christ.

Even Jesus’own Apostles thought in these earthly terms. Before Jesus ascended, they asked Him: “Lord, are you going to store the kingdom of Israel?”

The truth is, Jesus did not come to restore the kingdom of Israel. What kingdom did he come to establish?

Our second reading today from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians tells us:

God the Father “raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavens. He put all things beneath his feet and placed him as head over the church, which is his body.”

Here we see revealed that Christ’s Kingdom is the Catholic Church, which is His Mystical Body. Christ reigns over the Church as Head, and we – all the baptized – are members of His Body.

Jesus commands us who are members of the Church,His Body, to proclaim the Kingdom.

At his Ascension, as we read in our first reading from Acts, Jesus tells His Apostles: “After the Holy Spirit comes upon you [at Pentecost, which was ten days away] you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”

At the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel, before Jesus ascends into Heaven, Jesus gives His Apostles what is known as the “Great Commission”: “Go and preach to all nations, teaching them all that I have taught you; and baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus came to earth to redeem us and to establish His Kingdom, the Church. Baptism is the way we become members of HisChurch, His Body.

The first words of Jesus after His baptism in the Jordan River by his cousin John are these: “The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk. 1:14-15).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church(CCC) no. 541 says: “The Church on earth the seed and the beginning of the kingdom.”

The Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, will be fully perfected only on the Last Day, when Christ comes again to separate the sheep from the goats.

This leads to another important truth. Who are these goats? And to whose kingdom do they belong?

Well, just as Jesus has His kingdom, so does Lucifer have his. Just as Jesus has His Mystical Body made up of His members, his followers, so does Lucifer have his members, his followers. This includes all those who cooperate, knowingly or unknowingly, with the Devil in opposing and trying to overthrow Christ’s Kingdom; all those who are deceived by the evil one, and are his servants.

Here I’ll offer a few examples.

Karl Marx in his writings outlined the atheistic communist system and state. Marx was a Satanist. You can read about all about this in a book, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration, by Paul Kengor, Ph.D., published in 2020.

Marx’s follower – like Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong – established atheistic communism in Russia and China: godless, totalitarian states.

The present leader of communist China, Xi Jinping, recently ordered that no one under the age of 18 could attend any religious service in that country. He wants to stamp out all religious belief and make his nation a totally secular, atheistic state.

Over a number of decades in the last century, communists murdered hundreds of millions of their own people to bring about their demonic, totalitarian system of government.

Today there are those who promote a new version of a godless, totalitarian state – essentially communist or radically socialist, but with a different face. They call it the “New World Order.” The promoters of this New World Order meet yearly at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland.

One of their leaders is Klaus Schwab, who outlines his diabolical plans in his book, Covid 19 and the Great Reset. Schwab is on record saying that in the New World Order, “you’ll own nothing, but be happy.”

We have those today in government – lawmakers and judges, and those in the media who promote the killing of unborn children under the banner of “choice.” These are servants of Satan who, Jesus tells us, “was a murderer from the beginning” (Jn. 8:44).

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently released a report stating that pro-abortion advocates plan to burn down the U.S. Supreme Court building and murder justices and their law clerks once Roe v. Wade is overturned (which is expected to happen in June – the Supreme Court will likely rule that there is no constitutional right to abortion, and that the decision to permit or ban abortion should be left to the individual states). In other words, “You take away our (claimed) constitutional right to kill innocent babies in the womb, and we will kill you!”

The Friday before last, May 22, 2022, the Kenosha News carried a front-page story of how hundreds of students at our public high schools – Tremper, Bradford, Indian Trail, and others – all connected on social media and walked out of school to stage a protest of the upcoming Supreme Court decision, demanding that the Court not take away the so-called “right” to kill children in the womb.

We must pray for these poor young people.

Then there are those in the television, movie and music industries who promote sexual immorality. They are servants of Satan as well.

The purveyors of pornography – which destroys the minds and hearts of so many, especially men – claim a First Amendment right to peddle their smut.

Last month UNICEF, the United Nations children’s fund, issued a statement saying the “there is no evidence that pornography does harm to children” and that efforts to block children from pornography “may infringe on their human rights.”

I could go on with a list of other evils. The point is that we as followers of Jesus have to acknowledge Christ as King, and work to establish His reign, and spread His Kingdom on earth.

CCC 543 teaches: “Everyone is called to enter the kingdom” of Christ; that is, all peoples from all nations.

So what must we do as baptized members of Christ’s Body the Church, to spread His Kingdom? We must be willing to explain and to defend the truths of our Catholic Faith before others.

But especially, we must be saints; we must lead good, holy lives and thereby be examples of Christ and His love, and thus draw others to Jesus so that they too may become members of HisChurch, of His Kingdom.

And we must turn to Our Lady as well. She, we know, will crush the head of the serpent, the devil (cf. Gen. 3:15).

We already know how the battle will turn out:We will be victorious, if we remain faithful to Jesus, Our Savior and Our King. Just read the book of Revelation.

Let us pray, asking that Our Lady assist us in being authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ in order to spread His Kingdom on earth, andto build up His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Bearing Spiritual Fruit

Homily 3rd Sunday Lent Yr C: Bearing Spiritual Fruit

By Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

Our first reading is from the book of Exodus. God called Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt, into the promised land – a land “flowing with milk and honey.”
God revealed His name to Moses: I AM WHO AM – YAHWEH in Hebrew – which is the most perfect name for God, meaning that God depends upon no one for his existence; He is eternal, with no beginning and no end.
God spoke to Moses in a bush – that was burning, but the fire in the bush did not consume the bush.
In the centuries that followed, Christian writers have tried to interpret the meaning of this bush that was burning but was not consumed.
Some have thought that the burning bush is a symbol for the Catholic Church, which in spite of trials and persecutions will continue to endure until the end of time.
Others have seen in the burning bush an image of the blessed Virgin Mary, in whom the fire of the Holy Spirit always burned in a magnificent way.
Mary is commonly referred to as the “spouse of the Holy Spirit”: she was filled with grace to a degree that only God can comprehend it;
and, because she was preserved from Original Sin and our fallen human nature, she was always totally responsive to the movements and inspirations of the Holy Spirit at work in her soul.
Therefore, Mary is a model for all of us in perfectly responding to God’s will in our lives.
Unlike the Virgin Mary, we are burdened with a fallen human nature, and we sin – sometimes we do our own will rather than God’s will.
God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins, to give us a share of God’s own life – which we receive at baptism, and to teach us how to live life in the Spirit, bearing spiritual fruit.
Knowing that we are sinners, Jesus began His public preaching with these words: “The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
Notice the order of the words: in order to believe in the Gospel, the teaching of Our Lord, we first need to repent of our sins.
This repeats this message in the Gospel today from St. Luke.
He uses two examples – of people that were killed under Pontius Pilate, and upon whom a tower fell and killed, and says: “Do you think that these people were greater sinners and more guilty than you? By no means.”
Then He says: “I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did.”
Then Jesus tells the parable about a man who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and for three years he found no fruit on the fig tree. It was worthless, so he ordered his servant to cut it down.
The servant persuades him to spare it for another year, saying he will cultivate the ground and fertilize it so that it may bear fruit; but then if it does not, he will cut it down.
How do we apply this parable to our lives? At baptism we were given gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit; and in the Sacrament of Confirmation we were strengthened in these gifts and graces – and for what purpose? That we might bear spiritual fruit.
If we want to know whether we are living good, holy lives – living out the gifts and graces that we received at Baptism and Confirmation, we must examine our lives to see whether or not our lives are producing spiritual fruits.
In fact, St. Paul reveals to us a list of fruits of the Holy Spirit. Here are some of those “Fruits of the Spirit”: peace, joy, patience, kindness, and charity.
Am I at peace – interiorly, with myself, and with others – those with whom I live, and work? Or am I often unsettled, in a state of agitation – with myself, and others?
Do I exude joy in my life? Do I make an effort to be joyful, and bring the joy of Christ to others? Or am I grumpy, always complaining about this or that when things don’t go my way?
Do I practice patience? Do I accept the crosses that God, in is loving Providence, arranges for me on a daily basis. Or do I get easily upset and fly off the handle at the least inconvenience or obstacle that confronts me?
Do I strive to be kind towards others, willing to look for their good points rather than focus on their faults and shortcomings? Am I willing, in kindness, to look past the sins and failings of others, to forgive them, and to pray for them?
Am I always charitable, willing to spend myself for others and their needs, rather than focusing always on myself?
If we examine our conscience and are honest, we know that we all fail in these areas. We need to repent of our sins and failings. The Sacrament of Penance gives us the opportunity to do just this.
Lent is a good time to take an accounting of our lives, examine our conscience, and make a good confession. Here are some of the many benefits the Sacrament of Penance offers (by Bishop Austin Vaughn):
“Every time I go to Confession, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I am not just part of sinful humanity, but I have sins of my own that were my own fault.”
“Every time I go to Confession, I affirm implicitly that God’s mercy is always available to me and that no sin is unforgivable.”
“Every time I go to Confession, I reaffirm that a priest is God’s minister in a unique way.”
“Every time I go, I implicitly reaffirm that God expects me to do better, with and through His grace.”
Let us take advantage of this great Sacrament of God’s mercy and forgiveness in this holy season of Lent.

Life in the Spirit

Homily 3rd Sunday Year C: Life in the Spirit

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

In today’s Gospel from St. Luke, we read about how Jesus, not long after He began His public ministry, “returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. . . . He came to Nazareth, where He had grown up,” entered the synagogue on the sabbath day, and read the famous passage from the Prophet Isaiah about the Messiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind.”
Then Jesus tells people, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Recall a couple of weeks ago we celebrated the feast of the Baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River, at which time the Holy Spirit visibly appeared in the form of a dove, to reveal that Jesus, as the Son of God who became man, had the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
By his suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus redeemed us from our sins and enabled us to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We receive the Holy Spirit into our souls at baptism, when we become members of the Church, which is Christ’s mystical Body.
This is what St. Paul speaks about today in our second reading, from first Corinthians: “In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, . . . And we were all given to drink of the one Spirit.”
At baptism the Holy Spirit dwells in us; we truly become temples of the Holy Spirit – the same Holy Spirit that dwelled in the Person of Jesus.
What does this mean for us? It means precisely this: that we must ponder, reflect on this marvelous truth every single day of our lives, AND that we must strive to live lives in the Spirit!
How do we live lives in the Spirit? Here we can turn to great spiritual writers for advice and direction.
One of those writers is Ven. Luis María Martínez, former Archbishop of Mexico City.
He was born 1881. In 1937 Pope Pius XI appointed him Archbishop of Mexico City.
Archbishop Martinez was a scholar and poet, and wrote of a number of books on the spiritual life.
His spiritual writings bear the influence of a woman to whom he gave spiritual direction, Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, known as “Conchita” – a mystic and spiritual writer herself who received interior communications from Jesus which she wrote down – in 66 volumes.
At the direction of Jesus, Conchita also wrote a magnificent work called To My Priests, in which Jesus speaks to His priests using Conchita as His mouthpiece, as it were. I’m reading it right now.
Conchita was proclaimed a Blessed on May 4, 2019.
Archbishop Martinez died on 9 February 1956 in Mexico City. Over 100,000 mourners filed past his casket prior to the funeral Mass.
His cause for canonization continues.
Probably his best known book is True Devotion to the Holy Spirit – a book I’ve read a couple of times. If you want to learn devotion to the Holy Spirit, there is no better book than this.
In this masterpiece the Archbishop tells us how to live our lives in the Spirit. What does he say?
The Holy Spirit will lead to you Jesus, to imitate Him more perfectly, in order that, like Jesus, we may always do the will of the Father:
In the Our Father prayer we say, “Thy will be done”;
And Jesus, in the Garden, said: “Father, not my will, but yours be done”
Living in the Spirit also means that, like Jesus, everything we do should be done to give glory to the God the Father. This was Jesus’ motive for carrying out the Father’s will: all that He did was to glorify His Father, and this was done out of His love for the Father.
Here is what Archbishop Martinez says:
“The Holy Spirit, being the [Person of] love of the Father and of the Son, pours into the soul love for the Father similar to that of the Son, and a love for the Son similar to that of the Father. . . . For the soul [filled with the Holy Spirit] loves the Father as it loves the Son, and it loves the Son as it loves the Father.”
Jesus, the Eternal Word, is the perfect image of God the Father, who eternally begets the Word; therefore Jesus as the Word made flesh is our perfect model, our ideal.
And the Holy Spirit dwells in us in order to conform us more and more into Jesus, to transform us more and more into the likeness of Christ; and He does this through the BV Mary: The Holy Spirit used her to form the humanity of Jesus, and He still uses her to form Christ in us.
As Archbishop Martinez says, “all the sanctifying action of the Spirit is centered upon reproducing Jesus, the ideal of the Father, into the soul, transforming it into Jesus.”
Living life in the Spirit, says the Archbishop, means allowing Holy Spirit to work in us, to permit ourselves to be chiseled and polished by the Holy Spirit, and by stripping from ourselves of everything that is an obstacle to this divine transformation –
i.e., stripping ourselves of self love, a disordered love of self, in order that we might be willing to follow Jesus more perfectly, which means taking up our daily crosses in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archbishop Martinez explained this in a retreat he gave to Bl. Conchita:
“…the transformed soul… fused with the Heart of Jesus, sings with Him the song of suffering and death to the glory of God on earth.”  [p. 79]

The soul transformed by the Holy Spirit undergoes a mystical incarnation:
“Becoming Jesus, the soul loves the Father, reflecting Jesus’ love [for the Father] and seeking [God the Father’s] glory as Jesus sought it so that the love, suffering, actions and life of the soul aim at one point, just as all the activities of Jesus’ soul converged and focused on the glory of the Father, the center and crowning of Jesus’ life.”  (p. 74)
My friends, this is the way of the Saints. They conformed their lives to Christ by living lives in the Spirit. We must do likewise.
We must strive every day, and throughout the day, to be conscious of the fact that we, by reason of our baptism, are living temples of the Holy Spirit.
We must cultivate a deep devotion and enter into a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. This requires that we pray daily to the Holy Spirit.
There are a number of good prayers to the Holy Spirit. Here is one that I pray daily:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

In answer to the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement of the Incarnation and Birth of our Savior, the Virgin Mary spoke the word “Fiat” – “Let it be done to me according to your word,” and she conceived the Eternal Word, who was made flesh in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As Pope St. John Paul II was wont to say, when Mary conceived Jesus in her womb, the Heart of the Son began to beat beneath the Heart of His Mother.

These two Hearts – of Mother and Son – would beat in unison for the next nine months while Jesus was living in Mary.

The human heart is the most perfect and noblest symbol of the interior life of person: of our thinking, our willing, our affections & emotions – and our love.

Never were there two Hearts more united – in grace and holiness, in mutual love and affection, than the Hearts of Jesus, the God-man, and of Mary, sinless and filled with grace from the first moment of her conception.

At His Birth, when Jesus opened His eyes for the first time, He looked into the eyes of His mother, Mary, and she gazed into His eyes.

Our interior life shines forth in our eyes, which are windows to our souls, to our hearts.

On this point, let us ask:  What was it like, O Virgin Mary, to gaze into the eyes of your Son, your Godand your Maker, for the first time?

What was it like, Mary, to gaze into those eyes which reflected not only His soul, but uncreated Light, the infinite Word of God; He who was eternally begotten in the bosom of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God? What was it like, Mary?

When a ray of light is reflected by the purest crystal, it produces another ray that embraces it, in what may be called a single kiss of love.

In a similar manner, the look of Jesus was reflected in the pure eyes and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, uniting them both in a single embrace of love.

It was most fitting that the first act of contemplation by Jesus upon the earth should be most like that which He experienced from all eternity: that mutual gaze of love between the God the Son and God the Father.

On this Christmas, let us contemplate not only that look of Jesus toward His Mother, but also that first gaze of Mary into the eyes of the Christ Child.

It was a gaze:

– All-Pure, because she is the spotlessVirgin of virgins;

– Exceedingly tender, because she is the Mother who bore Jesus in her womb for nine months as a living tabernacle of the Word made flesh–and who now with greatest affection and devotion holds Him in her arms;

– Altogether Holy, because she is the holiest of creatures, the sin of Adam having never touched her.

And when the newly-born Christ Child opened His divine eyes for the first time and gazed into the pure, mild and tender eyes of the Virgin Mary, He was filled with complacency, joy and peace, because He saw in the eyes of His Mother a near-perfect reflection of that that gaze with which His heavenly Father had looked upon Him from that Eternal Day on which He was begotten.

Jesus wants to look at our hearts, our souls, as He looked upon Mary. Are our hearts pure, tender and holy – like that of the Virgin Mother?

AND Jesus wants us to look at Him in the same way that His Mother Mary did. Are we able to look at Jesus, to gaze into those divine eyes so full of love for us, with that same purity and selfless love of the Blessed Virgin?

Let us recall today, on this great feast of Christ’s Birth, that the Son of God became man and entered our world in order to reclaim lost souls for the heavenly kingdom.

But that is not all. As St. Augustine says, “The only Son of God, having become the son of Man, makes many sons of men the sons of God.” Yes, my dear friends, we are called to be sons in the Son; sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.

The Prophet Isaiah tells us thatJesus Christ is the great Light that has come into the world to enlighten us who had walked in darkness and dwelt in gloom.

And through St. Paul, Jesus exhorts us to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and to live temperately, justly and devoutly in this age, until He appears again in glory on the Last Day.

Let us rejoice on this Christmas Night (Day)with the all the angels who cry aloud with joy: Christ the Lord is born; today the Savior has appeared.

Today let us join the entire earth which echoes thesong ofthe angel choirs, and archangels’ joyful praise: Glory to God in the highest, Alleluia!

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary Part II

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary Part II

Homily 3rd Sun. Advent Yr C

(Evil of Abortion; Jesus Living in Mary)

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D., J.D.

 

Did you know that at the moment of conception a human being’s unique DNA is created, DNA which never existed before – and will never be repeated again?
At the moment of conception a human being’s unique traits are already present – e.g. the sex, hair & eye color have already been determined.
An unborn baby’s heart begins to beat only 22 days after conception, 3 weeks and a day – before most women even know they are pregnant.
By week 3 you can see the baby’s ears and eyes; by 6 weeks the baby has fingers and toes.
Between 6 and 11 weeks the child in the womb grows five times in size.
By the 11th week the baby can smile and frown, wiggle its fingers and toes, and even suck its thumb.
At 13 weeks the baby’s ears start picking up vibrations and it is comforted by the heartbeat of its mother, and later by the sound of its mother’s voice.
At 6 months the baby is fully developed and everything is functioning as it will at birth – and for the rest of its life.
At 38 to 42 weeks the baby is born.
Everything I just stated can be said about every unborn child, about every one of us before we were born, AND about Jesus Christ, who spent the first nine months of His human life in the womb of His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary – a beautiful thought to consider as we journey through this holy season of Advent, preparing to celebrate the joyful Birth of our Savior.
God has revealed to us through the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jer. 1:5).

In light of these truths, I am asking your prayers today – in the days to come – for our country, because at this time in our nation’s history we stand at an historic crossroads:
whether to continue to allow the legalized murder of preborn babies in the womb by abortion – an ongoing holocaust that has taken the lives of over 60 million human beings over the past 50 years; or whether to prohibit this evil which is like a deep, festering cancer on our country.
You’ve probably heard that this past week the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision on a Texas law that outlawed abortion after the “heartbeat” of the child could be detected. The Court’s decision allowed the law to stand, but permitted challenges to it – it’s a bit complex, I won’t elaborate on it here.
But the week before last the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning a Mississippi law that basically prohibits abortion after 16 weeks.
The decision in this case will likely determine the fate of the lives of tens of millions of human beings in the future: whether or not children in the womb will be given the right to life under our Constitution, or be denied that right.
First, a little history.
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court said that a fetus is not a person but “potential life,” and therefore does not have any constitutional rights – especially, and most importantly, the right to life:
Roe v. Wade gave a woman the right to abort the child in her womb during the full nine months of pregnancy.
The Court’s rationale really made no sense; it was mind boggling:
What exactly is “potential life”? It’s a contradiction in terms. Either something is alive or it is not. A child in the womb is most certainly alive.
The S. Ct. created this “right” to abortion – supposedly based on a right to privacy; but it is found nowhere in the Constitution and for this reason Justice Byron White, who wrote a dissenting opinion in Roe v. Wade, called the Court’s decision creating a “right” to kill unborn babies by abortion an exercise of “RAW JUDICIAL POWER.”
As Abraham Lincoln said in debating Stephen Douglas when the latter claimed spoke of a “right” to own slaves: “He cannot logically say that any body has a right to do wrong.”
Almost 20 years after Roe, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the S. Ct. had the opportunity to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision; but refused to do so even though by this time all the medical evidence clearly showed that human life begins at conception.
The rational for allowing the murder of children in the womb to continue in our country was basically summarized in one sentence: I quote: “people had organized their intimate relationships and made choices … in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event contraception should fail.”
So, the killing of children within the womb must remain “legal” because women need a back-up when contraception fails.
Fast forward 30 years to 2021. Two weeks ago, in oral arguments before the Supreme Court over the State of Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor made statements that reveal how those who favor abortion will use any argument, no matter how ludicrous, to keep abortion legal.
In response to the argument that during the abortion procedure the preborn children feel pain while their tiny bodies are being torn apart, Justice Sotomayor said: “There’s about 40% of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don’t think that a response by a fetus necessarily proves that there’s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness.”
Really? Here Sotomayor compares the unborn child, who is alive during the abortion, with someone who is already dead. And the preborn baby is definitely not brain dead: science shows brain waves detectable at 5 weeks.
Moreover, for over a decade now doctors have been performing surgery on infants before birth, while still in utero, and when they do so they administer pain medicine to the unborn child. Why? Because they know that the preborn child can feel pain when operated on.
One doctor responded to Justice Sotomayor’s statement: “To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby’s organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath.” (Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie)
On this point, it’s important to remember: Presidents appoint Supreme Court Justices, who vote either to keep abortion legal, or to recognize that preborn babies have a right to life.
Right now it looks like there might be a majority on the Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Let us pray that they do.
In the Gospel today we see that John the Baptist preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ by preaching repentance from sins: He tells tax collectors not to collect more than is due, and soldiers not to practice extortion.
Let us pray that we will be humble enough as a nation to acknowledge our sins against the dignity and sanctity of human life in the womb that have been ongoing for the past 50 years.
This is a fitting topic to consider as we approach celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
At this time a little more than 2000 years ago, the BV Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb, making her way with St. Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about 90 miles away.
Just think: the All-Powerful Son of God, who had shared in the glory of the God the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity, became man at the Incarnation, and allowed Himself to be enclosed in the immaculate womb of His Mother, Mary for nine months before she gave birth to Him.
Why was it part of God’s plan that Jesus should come to us through Mary in this way? What purpose did God have?
No doubt, God wanted to teach us to imitate Jesus: As any other child living in its mother’s womb, Jesus was totally dependent on His Mother, for His human life and nourishment. What a wonder: that the Creator should be totally dependent upon a creature of His own making!
By living in Mary as a Babe in her womb, Jesus teaches us to have that same dependence on Mary for everything and to entrust ourselves – our wants, our needs, our lives – totally to her: she is truly our spiritual Mother in the order of grace, who not only foresees our needs, but protects us from harm as well.
The oldest known prayer to Mary in the Church, the Sub tuum praesidium, dating from the late 200’s if not earlier, reflects this notion: “We fly to thy patronage or holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious & Blessed Virgin!”
Contemplating this great mystery of “Jesus living in Mary” also allows us to imitate the Virgin Mother. What immense joy must have overflowed in Mary’s Heart, knowing that the Eternal Word took flesh in her womb and was living within her. Her Heart was literally bursting with joy as she awaited her Son’s birth – a beautiful thought during this holy season of Advent.
During this holy season of Advent we can imitate Mary, and share in her joy by meditating on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary, especially the first three Joyful mysteries: the Annunciation, Visitation and Birth of Our Lord.
We can also imitate the Virgin Mary when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion: for those few minutes after we receive Him, Jesus lives in us as He lived in Mary for nine months; we become, like Mary, living tabernacles of the Most High. Let us, during this holy season of Advent, strive to imitate Jesus in His total dependence on Mary in all that we do; let us also strive to exude that same joy which Mary held in her Heart as she was making her way to the little town of Bethlehem, to give birth to the Savior of the world.

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary

Homily 2nd Sun. Advent Yr C

(Evil of Abortion; Jesus Living in Mary)

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I am asking your prayers today for our country. At this time in our nation’s history we stand at an historic crossroads:
whether to continue to allow the legalized murder of preborn babies in the womb by abortion – an ongoing holocaust that has taken the lives of more than 60 million human beings over the past 50 years; or whether to prohibit this evil which is like a deep, festering cancer on our country.
If you have not heard, this past week the Supreme Court heard arguments and will now be deciding a case that will determine the fate of the lives of tens, maybe hundreds of millions of human beings in the future: whether or not children in the womb will be given the right to life under the laws of our nation, or be denied that right.
First, a little history.
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court said that a fetus is not a person but “potential life,” and therefore does not have any constitutional rights of its own – especially, and most importantly, the right to life:
it gave a woman the right to abort the child in her womb during the full nine months of pregnancy.
The Court’s rationale really made no sense; it was mind boggling:
What exactly is “potential life”? Either something is alive or it is not. A child in the womb is most certainly alive.
The S. Ct. created this “right” to abortion, supposedly based on the right to privacy; but it is found nowhere in the Constitution and for this reason Justice Byron White, who wrote a dissenting opinion in Roe v. Wade, called the Court’s decision an exercise of “RAW JUDICIAL POWER.”
Almost 20 years later, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the S. Ct. reaffirmed the Roe v. Wade decision.
The Court refused to overturn Roe v. Wade even though by this time all the medical evidence clearly showed that human life begins at conception.
The rational for allowing the murder of preborn children in the womb to continue in our country was basically summarized in one sentence: I quote: “people had organized their intimate relationships and made choices … in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event contraception should fail.”
There you have it, my friends. The killing of children within the womb must remain “legal” because women need a back-up when contraception fails.
Fast forward 30 years to 2021. Just this past Wednesday arguments were made before the Supreme Court in a case that may at least partially overturn Roe v. Wade. The State of Mississippi has passed a law that basically bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In oral arguments before the Court this past Wed., pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is clearly in favor of striking down the Mississippi law as “unconstitutional,” made a statement that reveals how those who favor abortion adamantly refuse to acknowledge the truth about the humanity of the unborn child and will use any argument, no matter how ludicrous, to keep abortion legal.
In response to the argument that during the abortion procedure the preborn children feel pain while their tiny bodies are being torn apart, Justice Sotomayor said: “There’s about 40% of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don’t think that a response by a fetus necessarily proves that there’s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness.”
Really? Here Sotomayor compares the unborn child, who is alive during the abortion, with someone who is already dead. And the preborn baby is definitely not brain dead: science shows brain waves detectable at 5 weeks. Moreover, for over a decade now doctors have been performing surgery on infants before birth, while still in utero, and when they do so they administer pain medicine to the unborn child. Why? Because they know that the preborn child can feel pain when operated on.
One doctor responded to Justice Sotomayor’s statement: “To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby’s organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath.” (Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie)
It’s important to remember: Presidents appoint Supreme Court Justices, who either vote to keep abortion legal, or vote to recognize that preborn children have a right to life.
Right now it looks like there might be a majority on the Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Let us pray that they do.
The sins of our nation will come back to haunt us, if they have not yet done so already.
In the Gospel today we see that John the Baptist prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ by preaching repentance from sins. Let us pray that we will be humble enough as a nation to acknowledge our sins against the dignity and sanctity of human life in the womb that have been ongoing for the past 50 years.
This is a fitting topic to consider as we approach celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior. At this time a little more than 2000 years ago, the BV Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb, preparing to make her way with St. Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about 90 miles away.
Just think about this: the All-Powerful Son of God, who had shared in the glory of the God the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity, became man at the Incarnation, and allowed Himself to be enclosed in the immaculate womb of His Mother, Mary for nine months before she gave birth to Him.
Why was it part of God’s plan that Jesus should come to us through Mary, by living within her for the first nine months of His human life? What purpose did God have in doing things this way?
No doubt, Jesus wanted to teach us to imitate Him by His example. As any other child living in its mother’s womb, Jesus was totally dependent on His Mother, for His human life and nourishment. What a wonder this is: that the Creator should be totally dependent upon a creature of His own making!
By living in Mary as a Babe in her womb, Jesus teaches us to have that same dependence on Mary for everything, and to entrust ourselves – our lives, our desires, our needs – totally to her. For she is truly our spiritual Mother in the order of grace, who not only foresees our needs, but protects us from harm as well.
The oldest known prayer to Mary in the Church, the Sub tuum praesidium, dating from the late 200’s if not earlier, reflects this notion: “We fly to thy patronage or holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious & Blessed Virgin!”
Contemplating this great mystery of “Jesus living in Mary” also allows us to imitate the Virgin Mother. What immense joy must have overflowed in Mary’s Heart, knowing that the Eternal Word took flesh in her womb and was living within her. Her Heart was literally bursting with joy as she awaited her Son’s birth – a beautiful thought during this holy season of Advent.
During this holy season of Advent we can imitate Mary, and share in her joy by meditating on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary, especially the first three Joyful mysteries: the Annunciation, Visitation and Birth of Our Lord.
We can also imitate the Virgin Mary when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion: for those few minutes after we receive Him, Jesus lives in us as He lived in Mary for nine months; we become, like Mary, living tabernacles of the Most High.
Let us, during this holy season of Advent, strive to imitate Jesus in His total dependence on the Blessed Virgin in all our endeavors, in everything we do.
Let us also strive to exude that same joy which Mary held in her Heart as she was preparing to make her way to the little town of Bethlehem, to give birth to the Savior of the world.