O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life

Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult,

of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killedby indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

The miraculous image produced on the apron or tilma of Saint Juan Diego is rich in symbolism. The luminous light surrounding the Lady is reminiscent of the “woman clothed with the sun” of Rev. 12:1. The light is also a sign of the power of God, who has sanctified and blessed the one who appears…. more powerful than the sun god of the natives.

The girdle or bow around her waist is a sign of her virginity, but it also has several other meanings. The bow also demonstrates plenitude and fecundity to the native Indians. The high position of the bow and the slight swelling of the abdomen show that the Lady is “with child”.

At the time of Mary’s appearance 1531, Mexico was in the throes of human sacrifice where blood of infants were offered up to appease the pagan gods. When Mary appeared, she brought a message of compassion, “I am the merciful Mother, the Mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate their suffering, necessities, and misfortunes.”

Mary holds within her the unborn Christ proclaiming the sanctity and blessedness of life within the womb. In her appearance to Juan Diego there is such simplicity and reverence expressing calm in a turbulent world. She patiently bears our Savior and soon humanity will be reunited in relationship with divinity. Within just a few years, 11 million native Americans were converted, and the practice of human sacrifice stopped, along with the promotion and practices of Cultures of Death.

No more did the people need to cower in abject terror before the bloodthirsty gods who demanded the death of their children. They found refuge beneath the gracious protection of a gentle Mother. How much we need her intercession today. Since 1973 Roe V Wade there have been over 60 million abortions in the United States, alone and over a billion worldwide.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”

As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Call your local diocese or parish to find out what events might be taking place in your area.

Contact your representatives state and federal. While our efforts to change hearts, minds and laws through courageous public witness are essential to ending abortion, our most powerful weapon is prayer.

Pope Benedict XVI, Emeritus addressed lawmakers about this issue, “Children truly are the family’s greatest treasure and most precious good. Consequently, everyone must be helped to become aware of the intrinsic evil of the crime of abortion. In attacking human life in its very first stages, it is also an aggression against society itself. Politicians and legislators, therefore, as servants of the common good, are duty bound to defend the fundamental right to life, the fruit of God’s love.”

We must shout it from the rooftop “that all life is sacred.”We are all evangelizers by virtue of our Baptism. All of us are commissioned through our baptism to be other Christs in the world. Baptism means for us exactly what it meant for Jesus when He was baptized by John before entering His public ministry. His baptism was his initiation. He emerged from the water commissioned by the Father to do His work. Similarly – In our own waters of baptism – we have been initiated, called, and commissioned. Trusting in God we must fearlessly go forward in our quest to support a culture of Life.

Abortion is often a temptation when expectant mothers face the challenges of loneliness, of spiritual emptiness, of unstable relationships and absent families. Poverty is often a factor in choosing abortion, but spiritual poverty, isolation, and hopelessness are far more powerful factors. The Lord calls on all of us to be present in support in the lives of women and families who might be tempted to consider abortion.

The earliest Christians used as their “moral guide of behavior” the admonition God made to his chosen people, through Moses, His Prophet, Deuteronomy 30:19. I” am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live





There was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew).
The headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

Mary, Jesus, and his disciples were invited to this wedding banquet. Must have been a pretty big affair to run out of wine…wedding celebrations lasted days back then and preparations were made…Could it be that it was not an accident but Divine Providence…Jesus addresses his mother as Women. Is He insulting her of course not! Could it be the title Women represented all mankind in need….Seek and you will find…Mary had no doubt her request would be answered; she told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”.Mary did not know what her Son would do, but she trusted Him. Do we trust Jesus to answer our prayers…

My hour has not yet come“…God’s time is not our time…Jesus had not yet begun his public ministry…but then who can turn down a mother’s request….Jesus discerned this as a sign from his Father that it was time to let the rest of us in on the Good News..Jesus performed this first of His signs and revealed His glory… and so the disciples began to believe in Him…the kingdom of heaven is at hand…what are our expectations,,..what are the signs of Jesus’ intervention in my life…look closely… give thanks…




On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side of the lake.”

Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.

They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”

The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”


Jesus was crossing the Sea of Galilee with his disciple…He was exhausted from all the teaching He had done to the multitudes, worn out emotionally too with the needs of the people and demands placed on him for healing…. Jesus fell asleep in the back of the creaky old fisherman boat. Afierce storm came up that terrified his disciples. Jesus must have really been tired since it didn’t awaken him or else He wasn’t worried by nature’s unpredictability.

So often storms come into our lives…We feel all alone…frightened…how long do I thrash about in the storm by myself…am I able to make the storm go away by myself…do I invite Jesus into the eye of the storm…He is my refuge, my only refuge…his disciples (fishermen) were afraid in the boat and woke Jesus..Jesus saw and heard their fear…He rebuked the wind and told the sea to Be still…the wind ceased and the sea became calm…Why child are you so terrified…I am with you…Be still and know that I am God….can we respond Yes, Lord, I trust you!




Last week I wrote a blog reflecting on the Feast of the Holy Family including trust, fidelity, and the importance of parenting. Today I want to extend those reflections supported by Catholic Church Teaching on the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage.

Marriage was one of the first gifts to mankind when God presented Adam with his wife, Eve, flesh of his flesh and they would become one flesh and produce and fill God’s kingdom with the fruit of their love. Marriage is probably the greatest human metaphor for the Most Holy Trinity, God in relationship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirity.

                                    MARRIAGE FEAST AT CANA

At the Marriage feast in Cana, John 2:1-12, Jesus raised marriage to a sacrament that gives grace. We are now in the midst of a heated debate about what marriage is. When Jesus was asked by some Pharisees about whether divorce was possible, in Matthew chapter 9, Jesus gave a clear teaching about the real meaning of marriage that is as relevant to the debate about whether homosexuals can marry as it was to the subject of divorce-and-remarriage.

Have you not read that in the beginning God ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:3-12

Later His disciples asked Jesus, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Wow! Even Jesus says marriage is not for everyone, some may even be born not able to fulfill the procreative and unitive requirements of marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church continues to expound on God’s awesome plan for mankind with emphasis on the unitive and procreative role of Marriage, neither of which can be fulfilled by a homosexual couple.

“In the beginning, God made them male and female.” There is great meaning to our masculinity and femininity in God’s plan. God didn’t clone Adam, but made Eve, who was equal to him in dignity, but complementary. God’s plan is not that a man leave his parents and cling to whomever he wants, but to cling to a wife.


“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #601

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1643), there are three goods of marriage. They are: unity, fidelity, and openness to children

The choice of contraception denies the intrinsic meaning of giving and receiving which is proper to the conjugal sexual act and closes it arbitrarily to the dynamics of transmitting a new human life. “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and they become one body.” (Genesis 2:24)

This unity is beyond mere unity of the flesh; it demands permanence (indissolubility) for the entire life of the married couple. The union is so profound and total that only death can dissolve it.

The very nature of conjugal love, total union for life of a married couple, demands fidelity and prohibits any disorder such as adultery. This “good” of married fidelity is a sign of the faithful union between Christ and His Church.

The good of “openness to children” is the fruit of total self-giving love. Accepting children and nurturing them leads the married couple to a deeper union and exclusive commitment to one another.

The conception of new life is the ultimate perfection of marital union itself. Contraception renders this perfection impossible. One aspect of man in the image and likeness of God is procreator, sharing in God’s creative work, the completion of the human race.