July 31, 2011

Father Frank Pavone kicks off Summer of Mercy 2.0 on Saturday

GERMANTOWN, MD -- "LeRoy Carhart has been in the business of murdering late-term babies for decades. States and cities have passed laws specifically to keep his particular brand of butchery outside their borders. When he slipped into Maryland, the state with the fewest restrictions on abortion, only pro-lifers noticed," said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. "That will change this weekend."

Father Pavone will deliver the keynote address Saturday at 7 p.m. as the Summer of Mercy 2.0 kicks off. Organized by Operation Rescue, the aim of the nine-day protest outside the abortion mill where Carhart performs late-term abortions, and in various locations nearby, is to make it impossible for his neighbors, and Maryland officials, to ignore what goes on behind those closed doors.

Father Pavone pointed out that Carhart conducts his risky late-term abortions in Maryland without having hospital privileges. "This means that if a patient needs emergency help due to a botched abortion, he has nowhere to take her," he said. "This is a violation of medical ethics and safe practice procedures. That's why he is under investigation by the Maryland Board of Physicians. And that's why pro-lifers in Maryland and around the country are determined to shut him down."

"Take part in the Summer of Mercy 2.0 and send an unequivocal message that murderers like Carhart will not be tolerated in our midst," Father Pavone said.

The kickoff rally and keynote address will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Covenant Life Church, 7501 Muncaster Mill Road, Gaithersburg, Md.

During the course of the week, Father Pavone will make several important calls to action for the pro-life movement, in conjunction with this event. For the full Summer of Mercy 2.0 schedule, visit http://summerofmercy.com

Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit http://www.priestsforlife.org/.

Chastity Questions and Answers

Robert Colquhoun

Why save sex until marriage?

Sexual intercourse is so marvellous, beautiful and sacred that it is worth saving this incredible gift for the purpose that it was intended: for babies and bonding within marriage.

For those who will be married one day, it’s captivating to know your future spouse is somewhere out there. What would you want that person to be doing? Would you want them to be waiting to give you themselves and their love? To embrace purity and save sex until marriage enhances the ultimate “yes” to sex when married. If it was not possible to say “no,” how valuable would our “yes” be worth?

Purity can bring self-respect, shows your respect to others and also brings a clear conscience. It enhances your chances of experiencing romance without regret, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. The decision to wait means not being haunted by past sexual relationships when you are physically intimate with your spouse.

The decision to live a pure life strongly reduces the chances of experiencing the emotional pain of being used, rejected or discarded by a person you have given the most intimate part of yourself. Abstinence decreases the chances of divorce later in life. It helps you know that you are giving your spouse the total gift of self, something that has never been given to another. Real love desires what is best for the other. Abstinence proves commitment to your future spouse and helps you to live in integrity and joy.

What is wrong with masturbation?

Masturbation is an act that is only inward looking. It speaks of selfishness rather than mutual self-giving. This habit leads one to use rather than give. It can distort relationships and lead to addiction. Sexual activity with oneself encourages isolation and loneliness, exploiting the creation of the body for selfish purposes devoid of love. Healing is always possible for those who struggle in this area.

Why does the Church teach that contraception is wrong?

Contraception is not considered wrong by the Church because of its artificial nature. After all, there is nothing morally illicit about paracetamol or vitamins. The purpose of medicine is to help the body work in the correct way. Contraception does not help the body to function properly: It does exactly the opposite. Some methods of contraception, such as the oral contraceptive pill, are also an abortifacient. This means that they can cause early induced abortion at the beginning of a pregnancy. The God given purpose of sex is babies and bonding. Contraception divides these purposes in two.

What is the difference between contraception and natural family planning?

Contraception causes a lie with the body, a departure from the gift of self, damaging the intimacy of husband and wife. No method of contraception is 100% effective to date. Different forms of contraception can invite selfish behaviour into the marital act and opens the door to greater infidelity. The real problem behind women's oppression is the failure of men to treat them with dignity and respect. In this light, contraception is a sure way to keep women in chains.

Contraception interrupts, sterilizes and works against conception whereas NFP respects the body as God designed it and works with this plan. NFP is a method that is highly reliable, medically safe and inexpensive. The discovery of understanding how the body works is a marvellous act of self-discovery. NFP treats fertility not as something to be suppressed of manipulated, but as a normal bodily function. NFP encourages a shared responsibility for fertility. This normally leads to a deeper level of care and respect in a relationship.

NFP also respects the design of the human body, leading to deeper communication and intimacy. This helps to build self-respect and self-worth. In the words of Pope Paul VI, NFP, "Favours attention for one's partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense of responsibility." (Encyclical Letter, Humanae Vitae n. 21). NFP couples are less likely to divorce, be more receptive to children and they renew their wedding vows each time they practice the marital act.

What is the difference between abstinence and chastity?

Abstinence is the lack of sexual activity. Chastity on the other hand is a positive virtue that can only be thought of in association with love. Chastity is the virtue of finding and living love in the context of sexuality. The virtues point us towards the perfection of the will that controls our actions and passions. These point us towards happiness, endurance, spontaneity and security. In promoting the virtue of chastity, it is vital to communicate that the virtue of purity is not first of all a “no” to illicit sex, but a “yes” to authentic love. It first and foremost affirms and celebrates the goodness of our bodies and the gift of sex. It is not a repressed repetition of “no” but a continual “yes.”

What’s the point of saying no to sex, when everyone is doing it?

People are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof. When there is uncertainty, we are quick to follow others who are similar. This is a call to be an example to others and to set standards high.

The reality is that not everyone is doing it. Even today, a huge number of young people worldwide acknowledge the advantages of saving sex until marriage. To say “yes” to pre-marital sex can also be a shortcut to STIs, breaking up and the increased likelihood of divorce. The beauty of sex is so wonderful that it is worth saving that beautiful gift for marriage.

Can’t I do whatever I want as long as I don’t hurt anybody?

Some people believe that a moral action should be judged on its consequences. If no-one is hurt, then it is likely that the action was acceptable. How does this view affect beliefs about sex?

Sexual intercourse cannot just be reduced to a biological act. The spiritual, emotional and physical consequences indicate that the meaning and purpose of sex go beyond the here and now.

In order to discover why sex outside marriage is wrong, we need to highlight the brilliance of sex within marriage, where the beauty and gift of sex allows us to make visible with our bodies the invisible love of God.

The language of the body during sex says, “I give myself to you completely.” If the intention is different, the body is lying. The term casual sex is misleading, because there is nothing misleading about the consequences. Studies have shown that the earlier young people become sexually active, the more likely it is that they will experience a whole variety of negative life outcomes.

What about pornography? It is not as if anyone is getting hurt.

Pornography causes men and women to lust after each other as sexual objects. It can be enslaving, addictive and destructive. It can severely damage one’s ability to respect and truly love someone of the opposite sex. A meeting face to face with some of the victims of pornography could be a real way to realise the full extent of the damage that pornography does. It would then be had to explain how such ‘entertainment’ was not a tragedy.

Pornography leads to a warped understanding and appreciation of sex. The use of pornography rewires the brain expect women to be perfectly beautiful, permanently sexually accessible and with no human or emotional commitment. An attachment to pornography is one of the most effective ways to ruin a future marriage. It damages the beautiful gift of human sexuality into a fantasy of lies, personal manipulation and economic exploitation. Pornography dehumanizes women, emasculates men, destroys marriages and distorts the physical, spiritual and emotional dimensions of sex. Pornography involves the exploitation of women, generating abuse and misery worldwide.

Do condoms protect you from getting STIs?

At a conference of 800 sexologists (who study sex and sexuality) several years ago, one speaker asked the whole group the following question: “Would you trust a condom to protect you during intercourse with a known HIV infected person?” Not a single person raised their hand. (Theresa Crenshaw, from remarks made at the National Conference on HIV, Washington DC, November 15-8, 1991).

Many people believe that the wide-scale provision of contraception will enable the reduced transmission of STIs. The risk displacement theory describes how a perceived increase in safety will not result in a change in the risks involved. The introduction of the seatbelt led many drivers to drive faster, due to misperceived safety. As a result, there was no reduction in the driving fatality rate. Likewise, condoms give the appearance of safety for their customers, when in reality they lead led to a greater increase in risky sexual practices. Many today are totally unaware of the limited protection of condom against certain STIs. Condoms provide little or no protection against the human papillomavirus. One doctor compared the use of condoms with playing Russian roulette (Gardner G, Promoting Sexual Health, BMJ, 1992, 305, 70-1).

There are many difference factors to consider with STI transmission, such as gender, drug interactions and pregnancy. Furthermore, some STIs transmit easily whereas others are not so contagious. It is difficult to provide very precise statistics for the efficacy of condoms. In July 2001, the National Institute of Health in the USA stated that condoms did not provide universal protection against any of the 8 major STIs. A panel of researchers found just 2 areas of condom effectiveness: the heterosexual transmission of HIV and gonorrhoea.

Even when used consistently and correctly, condom use does not provide full safety from STIs. In contrast, chastity does provide the full 100% protection. As sex is supposed to be a total gift of self, “safe sex” is a total contradiction in terms. Protect your future spouse by making sensible and wise choices.

Is it acceptable to have sex while you are engaged? It is like you are married.

Engagement is a special time when a couple discern and prepare for a life together in marriage. This time is a great opportunity to grow together in spiritual and emotional intimacy, laying stable foundations for a communal life of love.

Marriage is something that is a certainty: a person is either married or they are not. Pre-marital sex cannot convey the body language of permanency and full self-giving that married couples can. The decision to save sex for marriage in sacrifice and patience allows a spouse to give a tremendous gift on their wedding day. Many have testified that it was most certainly worth the wait. If it is not possible to say ‘no,’ does this not dilute the ‘yes?’

Some people believe that having sex before marriage will help to discern compatibility with the other person. However, a sexual relationship with a fiancée is more likely to cloud that judgement, giving a false allusion of intimacy. Sex is not meant to be a guiding principle for a good spouse.

Patience, self-sacrifice, humility, courage, chastity and wisdom are all powerful attributes that will help to build a strong basis for a happy life together. Purity helps to provide clarity of intention when it comes to marriage, strengthening both the will and desire to want the best for the other person.

Is it ok to be gay? What’s wrong with something you were born with?

There has not been a genetic or hormonal cause of homosexuality that has been proven. The psychological origins of homosexuality are not clearly known to date. Father James Harvey, a priest who specialized in the pastoral care of those with same sex attraction, studied the causes extensively. He believed the main causes were: the inability to relate to a same sex parent, an overbearing relationship with a parent of the opposite gender, an inability to identify with members of the same sex during adolescence and childhood and abuse causes by neglect or trauma.

It is wrong to pigeonhole causes because each person is unique and individual. However, it is important for those with same sex attraction to ask, “Is there anything that has caused you to turn away from members of the opposite sex?” Childhood upbringing and parental influence are certainly important. Ismond Rosen, an experienced British psychoanalyst once stated, “For males, the presence of a good loving father during development is probably the best proof against homosexual development. I can think of no case of homosexuality I have had to deal with where such a father has been present in the childhood years of development.” (“Psychoanalysis and homosexuality: A critical appraisal of helpful attitudes” In hope for homosexuality, p33).

There is a distinction between an inclination and an act. The inclination towards homosexual activity is a trial or temptation and not a sin, whereas homosexual acts are sinful. God did not design the human body for promiscuity, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Such a lifestyle promises much, but leaves nothing. Sex is not the same thing as love. Those who experience same sex attraction are capable of being loved. The Church accepts where people are at, and calls them to grow in virtue. Our feelings do not define who we are, because identity is found in being sons and daughters of God.

Should gay couples get married? What if they really love each other?

The Church is strongly criticized for being against gay marriage. But marriage is not a human invention to be changed and adapted at will. As the Church did not create marriage, the Church does not have the authority or power to redefine it. This is not discrimination.

The inability of two members of the same sex to unite in a sexually complimentary way shows that they were not meant to give themselves to each other in marriage. The anus is not intended as a sexual organ and cannot repel disease in the same way a vagina can. A woman’s reproductive organs are proficient at receiving foreign bodies such as sperm. Men are more susceptible to infection and disease during male homosexual acts.

CS Lewis once wrote that, “In homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i.e. that every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will ‘turn the necessity into glorious gain.’” (Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy, p241-2). This is a fascinating point. Rather than seeing the weaknesses of our desires and actions, grace can abound where sin was once present (cf. Rom 5:20). Our weaknesses can give great glory to God through serving others (cf. Rom 8:26, 2 Cor 12:9-10).

There are guys at our school who are bullied because of their so called ‘gay’ behaviour. Is this wrong?

Those who experience same sex attraction should be treated with compassion, respect and sensitivity. Bullying is seriously wrong and should be dealt with by the school administration. A bully can be acting out of their own personal sense of inadequacy. Discrimination against those with same sex attraction should be avoided (The Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2358).

What’s the deal with sexting?

'Sexting' is sending a sexually suggestive picture or message. It is not a rare phenomenon. Many young people have sent or received a 'sext.' Boys are less likely to send racy messages. What can happen is a girl will send a picture to a boy, when they break up, he forwards it to all his friends as a form of revenge.

This phenomenon is a form of child pornography. If you are caught sending a sexually explicit picture of a young person, you can be charged with child pornography and have a criminal record. If you forward it to your friends, you can be charged with distributing child pornography which will be held on your record for the rest of your life. Once a photo is sent, there is no guarantee that it will not end up on the internet and it will be impossible to control who sees or uses it. One fast text can have a lifelong impact.

I have an STI. What should I do?

If you have an STI you should get tested as soon as possible. You can call a medical helpline, who can refer you to a hospital or clinic to get tested. Some STIs can lead to infertility later in life if they are not treated. Many people who have an STI do not realise they have one. Some STIs can be easily cured, while others are incurable.

If you have only had sex with one person, you are exposed yourself to their sexual history. When you have sex, you are also exposing yourself to diseases that could have been caught by a previous sexual engagement by your partner. Many people don’t realize that STIs can be passed on to somebody without knowing. If you have been sexually active see you doctor or local sexual health clinic to be tested.

How far is too far?

An old Cherokee Indian was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me” he says to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, pride, inferiority, superiority and ego. The other is good – he is gratitude, joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, faith, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth and compassion. The same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked the grandfather which wolf would win.

The old cherokee replied – “The one you feed.”

Rather than asking where the boundaries are, we need to ask how we can desire the best for those we love most. It is likely that we want to get as close the boundaries as possible or even cross them. Ask yourself if you would do the action if your partner’s parents were in the room. Make decisions now that will bless you future spouse and not wound your relationship. The human heart is a battlefield between love and lust. The more physical a relationship becomes, the more the relationships revolves around that physicality. Nobody regrets what they have decided to save.

Once upon a time, a couple were walking along a path by a cliff edge. The boyfriend muttered, “How far is too far?” He wanted to know exactly how far he could get to the edge without falling off. So he walked right up to the edge of the 50 metre cliff. “Is this far enough?” he asked his girlfriend. With this kind of attitude, it was not long before he fell off. Purity is about wanting the best for those that you love. Lust can’t wait to get. Love can wait to give.

Is In Vitro Fertilisation a blessing or a curse?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is when eggs cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body. IVF does not attempt to cure infertility, but to bypass it completely. It is a process that usually involves the destruction of extra human embryos that are created only to be destroyed. Women are subject to the use of strong fertility drugs in order to stimulate the ovaries. These drugs can be medically dangerous, and can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

IVF increases the chances of multiple pregnancies, bringing further complications. IVF can be manipulated by eugenics. The use of donated sperm and eggs confuses and undermines the sense of biological parenthood for children, diminishing their identity. IVF distorts the parent-child relationship, transferring the emphasis of procreation from sacred trust to that of commerce.

With IVF, reproduction happens in a laboratory. IVF disassociates the sexual act from the procreative act. The life and identity of the embryo is in the hands of doctors. The technique involves the disassociation of husband and wife. The embryo, fully a human person, becomes an object to be controlled and manipulated according to human whims and fancies.

The long term physical and psychological risks to children born as a result of Assisted reproductive technology (ART) are seriously under-researched. An IVF child has their origin not in an act of marital self-giving, but in a process of production. With IVF treatment, couples deliberately start a process where embryos will be destroyed.

Although IVF treatment has resulted in many thousands of births, enabling many couples to experience parenthood, we should never to evil so that good can happen. There are alternative options. Naprotechnology is a suitable, effective and ethical alternative for those with fertility problems.

Is it ok to sleep in the same bed before marriage?

When women require excellence in relationships, men should step up to a challenge. Sleeping in the same bed before marriage is a disordered way to express your love for each other in a relationship that is not permanent. Marriage is the free, faithful, total and fruitful exchange of vows between a man and a woman. The more wholesome the dating and courtship period, the greater the chances of a happy and successful marriage. If a man is not ready to commit to a woman, he should not have access to her sexual emotions.

When a couple sleeps in the same bed, it points towards the marital act. To wait for marriage is to avoid this occasion of sin. Those who are married will have all their lives to fall asleep looking at their partner.

Cohabitation seems a good way to ‘test drive’ our marriage before making the full commitment. Since marriage is just a piece of paper, then surely it’s no big deal?

John Paul II said that freedom without responsibility is the opposite of love. The greater the sense of responsibility, the more a person is willing to give of themselves. Many studies show the damaging consequences of cohabitation. (footnote). The more often and longer a man and woman cohabit, the more likely they will divorce later. More than half of these unions dissolve within 5 years, according to a study by the Vanier Institute of the family. Cohabitants are more likely to be unfaithful and suffer from depression than married people. Children born to cohabitants are far more likely to experience disruptions in family life with possible mental and psychological upheavals.

Those that think that marriage is just a legal contract will be far more willing when difficulties arise to bail out and remember the conditionality of the contract. Cohabitation sets a bad precedent. In reality, it dissolves the traditional boundaries surrounding marriage.

Living together erodes the important time of discernment and preparation before marriage, helping couples decide if it is healthy and good for them to live together for the rest of their lives. A marriage cannot be test driven because it can only be entered in good faith and hope. There is no dress rehearsal, because a true marriage in the eyes of God cannot be undone. Engagement is the time to set solid foundation to help the strength of marriage, building up trust, co-operation, fidelity and companionship. Cohabitation undermines this trust because both partners are aware that it is perfectly possible for them to bail out at any point. This does not help in building up the virtues. It is an exercise of convenience rather than purity and true love.

JD Unwin, an anthropologist of the 1930s discovered that sexual license is always “the immediate cause of cultural decline.” He found that “In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on premarital and extramarital continence.” In every verifiable case, he found once a group became sexually permissive, “the energy of the society...decreased and finally disappeared.” Essentially- what is at stake over the culture wars over marriage and family is the healthy continuation of our society. He found that societies would collapse if they became too sexually permissive, because fewer and fewer citizens were concerned with the building up of the next generation and the righteousness of society.

Cohabitation Footnote:

http://www.civitas.org.uk/hwu/cohabitation.pdf, http://www.jennifer-roback-morse.com/articles/cohab_fast_facts.html

Waite, L. and Gallagher, M., The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially, New York: Doubleday, 2000, p. 46.

Wellings, K., Field, J., Johnson, and A., Wadsworth, J., Sexual Behaviour in Britain: The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, London: Penguin Books, 1994, p. 116; Steinhaiser, J., ‘No marriage, no apologies’, New York Times, 6 July 1995.

From Robert Colquhoun's blog Discover Happiness

July 21, 2011

A Prayer from the Pope

Lord,


we thank you because you have opened your Heart for us;
because in your Death and Resurrection
you have become source of life.

Make us living persons,
living from your source,
and give us the power to be sources ourselves,
able to give to this, our time
the water of life.

We thank you
for the grace of the priestly ministry.
Lord, bless us
and bless all men of this time
who are thirsty and in search.

Amen.

Lila Rose on Abortion

HHS-commissioned report calls for mandatory birth control coverage, feints towards abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report backing Planned Parenthood’s push for free birth control that sparked a controversy with its release this week, includes a strong hint that an abortion mandate would also have been favorably weighed by the organization, had federal law not stood in the way.

The stated objective of the new IOM report, commissioned by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS), was to review “what preventive services are necessary for women’s health and well-being and should be considered in the development of comprehensive guidelines for preventive services for women” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the new national health care law. The Institute is a non-profit independent organization tasked with advising government leaders on medical issues.

While surgical abortion coverage could not be mandated given federal law, IOM experts indicated they favored the procedure as a potential “essential preventive service.”

“Despite the health and well-being benefits to some women, abortion services were considered to be outside of the project’s scope, given the restrictions contained in the ACA,” wrote the authors.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the statement revealed the political motives behind the IOM paper.

“Most Americans surely see that abortion is not healthy or therapeutic for unborn children, and has physical and mental health risks for women which can be extremely serious,” said DiNardo in a statement Tuesday. “I can only conclude that there is an ideology at work in these recommendations that goes beyond any objective assessment of the health needs of women and children.”

The cardinal also sharply criticized the report’s acceptance of the principle that pregnancy is a medical malady in need of treatment, an argument maintained by Planned Parenthood, which has campaigned vigorously for the contraception coverage mandate. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director for medical services, on Tuesday justified the coverage mandate to NPR as necessary to stem the “epidemic” of “unintended pregnancies.”

The IOM report touts the medical benefits of birth control drugs as “the ability to plan one’s family and attain optimal birth spacing,” and secondarily, as treatment for conditions including menstrual abnormalities, “acne or hirsutism,” and “pelvic pain.”

The report also notes that hormonal birth control pills reduce risk of endometrial cancer, while declining to mention the drug’s established identity as a cause of breast cancer.

Classified by the World Health Organization as a Group One Carcinogen - or a “definite” cause of cancer - medical textbooks widely acknowledge an approximate 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer associated with pill use, a risk studies have found rises drastically in young women who have not borne children.

Other side effects of the pill, including stroke, blood clots, heart attack, and death, were downplayed as “minimal” and, to illustrate the point, the authors noted that the mortality rate associated with birth control use is lower than that of giving birth.

The Obama administration appeared to welcome the report, although a conclusion on the report’s recommendations will only follow further scrutiny.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the report “historic” and “based on science and existing literature.”

July 12, 2011

Saint’s daughter declares, “My mom’s life has been a hymn to life!”

Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla began her first visit to the United States with a visit to the New York headquarters of Priests for Life on Monday, July 11, to enshrine a photo and relic of her mother, St. Gianna Molla, a patron saint of the pro-life movement.


“God loved my mother very much,” Dr. Molla said while addressing the staff of the Catholic, pro-life ministry. But she added that “God chose her among many saint mothers. There must be many saint mothers in paradise.”

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a physician who grew up near Milan. When she and her husband, Pietro, were expecting their fourth child, St. Gianna learned she had a tumor in her uterus. She decided against a hysterectomy that would have saved her life but kill her unborn child. Gianna Emanuela was born April 21, 1962. Her mother died on April 28.

“I would not be here with you if I had not been loved so much,” said Dr. Molla, who lives near Milan.

Dr. Molla spoke of her mother’s upbringing in a very religious family. St. Gianna was the 10th of 13 children, five of whom died in childhood. Her younger sister became a nun and two brothers became priests. One of them, Father Alberto Maria Beretta, has been declared a “Servant of God” in the cause for canonization.

St. Gianna, born in 1922, was a deeply religious young woman who chose to become a physician because she saw it “as the most effective means of apostolate,” according to her daughter.

“All my mom’s life has been a hymn to life,” Dr. Molla said. “She died in the same exemplary way she lived. Her holiness represents something extraordinary … a holiness in which everyone can feel at home.”

Accompanied by Thomas McKenna, founder of the St. Gianna Physicians Guild, and Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, Dr. Molla hung a photo of her mother holding her sister, Mariolina, in the lobby of Priests for Life headquarters. Below the photo is a relic of St. Gianna – a piece of cloth from a garment worn by the saint.

The St. Gianna Physicians Guild encourages doctors to become pro-life advocates. McKenna said the guild enshrines photos and relics of St. Gianna in medical offices, and encourages doctors to become members. A lapel pin from the guild is often a conversation starter for a doctor and his or her colleagues. If someone asks about the pin “all you do is tell the story” of St. Gianna’s life and sacrificial death, he said. Father Pavone and Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, were made honorary members of the guild.

“We need to show that faith and morality go together,” for doctors, McKenna said.

Speaking of St. Gianna during Mass in the Priests for Life chapel, Father Pavone said “the act of sacrifice she made at the end of her life was not an isolated act,” but the culmination of a life of piety.

In a homily focused on Jesus’ words, “This is My body,” Father Pavone said that many mothers today say, “This is my body, I can do what I want, even if it means killing the baby. … St. Gianna said, ‘this is my body, given to you.’ “

Dr. Molla said she came to know her mother through the memories of her father, who died last year at the age of 98. She was taught not to feel guilt over her mother’s death, and her siblings were reassured that the mother who was taken from them would have died for them as well.

“My mother chose to risk her life for me, but she always hoped God would save her life, too,” Dr. Molla said. “God prepared for my mother a bigger design. I am happy to share my mother with all those persons who are in difficulty.”

Dr. Molla will speak at events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Nebraska. On July 23, she will participate in a conference in Kansas City, Mo., organized by the St. Gianna Physicians Guild to address end-of-life issues.

For more information on her visit, please visit www.stgiannaphysicians.org.

Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Why does the Church say that contraception is immoral?

"Why does the Church say that contraception is immoral? perhaps the reason is something like this. Our hearts and bodies were made to be temples of the living God. God joins Himself to us not in some vague, 'spiritual' way, but in the very actions of our bodies by which we give flesh to our love. And so a married couple is never along in bed. God is in bed with them. And sometimes He creates a child from their love. If they have good reasons for not seeking a new child, then they should make love only at times when making love would not invite Him to create one ( the 'infertile period'). Abstaining from sex while fertile is just another way of showing love and responsibility in marriage.

If instead, the couple tries to make the fertile period infertile so as to be able to make love then too without conceiving a child, they are trying to make sex without God. They are pushing God out of the bed. After all, if He were not going to create a child, and if they knew that for sure, they would not use contraception. They think He might just, and they use it to prevent Him doing so.

The couple using contraception are doing something to prevent the existence of a person God would otherwise create. this is not the case with the couple making love only when they are naturally infertile. They are not doing something to prevent a child's conception; the most you could say is that they are not doing something to bring it about. And that is not a sin. The Church welcomes all new life, but she does not insist that every couple have as many children as they can.

(Stratford Caldecott, Universe, Jan 17th, 1993).

When therefore,through contraception, married couples remove from the exercise of their conjugal sexuality its potential procreative capacity, they claim a power which belongs solely to God:the power to decide in a final analysis the coming into existence of a human person. They assume the qualification not of being cooperators of God's creative power, but the ultimate depositaries of the source of human life (John Paul II)

‎"There is overwhelming evidence that, contrary to what you might expect, the provision of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate." (Dr. Judy Bury, Medical Advisor and Director of Brook Advisory Service, in the Scotsman, 29/6/81).

H/T Robert Colquhoun at Discover Happiness

July 1, 2011

PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall 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.