SFX for Life
A Web Ministry of the Gospel of Life Committee,
The Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier, Hunt Valley, Maryland
Building a culture of love and life in the face of a culture of utility and death

Abortion

Articles on this Page (Click on item to go there):
More content available on the abortion archive page

Pope Francis on Respect for Life

Memory and Promise

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Defend the Unborn

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Featured Articles

Pro-Choice Annunciation

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Kenny Chesney - There Goes My Life

This is one of my favorite Kenny Chesney Songs

So, a baby is on the way, and it wasn't in your plans. Now all your dreams are going down in flames, but wait, there's more, so much more!

Click twice. It will take you to youtube.

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These Hollywood Celebrities Aren’t Afraid to Speak Out and Say They’re Pro-Life

by Steven Ertelt | 4/4/14 5:31 PM
It’s not easy being pro-life in Hollywood. Tinseltown USA is notorious for its left-wing politics and actors and actresses who push all sorts of political causes that are politically correct or en vogue at the time.
But when it comes to abortion, a few Hollywood celebrities and entertainment icons are willing to speak out and say they are pro-life. Here are a few of them, in their own words:
Jack Nicholson
Nicholson’s opinions on abortion were formed by personal experience. He was a grown man when he discovered the woman he thought was… Read More

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The World's View and Christ's View

Abortion is not the answer to Rape. Meet a man whose mother rose above her trauma to give him life.

Ryan Scott Bomberger
Ryan has a rather unique perspective of the innate nature of Purpose. His biological mother was raped yet courageously chose to continue the pregnancy, giving him Life. He was adopted as a baby and grew up in a loving, multi-racial Christian family of 15. With siblings of varying ethnicities, he grew up with a great appreciation for diversity. Ten of the thirteen children were adopted in this remarkable family. His life defies the myth of the “unwanted” child as he was adopted, loved and has flourished.... Read More

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DEACE: If we’re really pro-life, let’s start acting like it

By Steve Deace Monday, March 24, 2014
Imagine having your own murder debated on national television, and then you’d know how people like Rebecca Kiessling often feel.
Ms. Kiessling, a 44-year-old Michigan attorney, was conceived in rape. Her birth mother was sexually assaulted at knife-point by a serial rapist. It wasn’t until she learned the truth of her origin that she even considered the scorching hot debate that has been raging since Roe v. Wade 41 years ago.
“I had never considered this applied to my life, but once I learned the truth of my conception, it suddenly did,” Ms.... Read More

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Formal complaint filed with Maryland medical board over Carhart patient's death

BALTIMORE, February 21, 2013, (Operation Rescue) - Operation Rescue has filed a formal complaint with the Maryland Board of Physicians against the medical license of late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart in the death of Jennifer Morbelli, a 29-year old kindergarten teacher who died from complications to a 33-week abortion she received from Carhart.
Operation Rescue is asking for an immediate emergency suspension of his Maryland Medical License until his disciplinary case can be fully adjudicated and his license permanently revoked.
The complaint provides a detailed timeline of events surrounding Carhart’s patient’s abortion at Germantown Reproductive Health Services, which began on February... Read More

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Aymond on Planned Parenthood abortion clinic: “We cannot cooperate with evil…”

Published Friday, February 14, A.D. 2014 | By The Motley Monk
Planned Parenthood is constructing a new $42.M, 8k-square foot building in New Orleans.The City of New Orleans has already approved the construction permit and the facility is scheduled to open later this year. It is estimated that 30 abortions will be able to be performed each day at the facility.
Archbishop Gregory M, Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans isn’t taking the news sitting down, taking direct aim at the facility in a letter published in the Archdiocesan newspaper, the Clarion Herald.
“We cannot be silent in view… Read More

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New Perpectives

VIDEO: Astounding Viral Video Depicts an Unborn Baby's Full Development

November 25, 2011 Alexander Tsiaras, an image-maker and the author of the book “From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds,” gave a recently-published TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk, during which he unveiled a spectacular video about fetal development.
The video, which graphically shows the process of human progression, begins by showing an egg being fertilized and ends by illustrating a baby’s actual birth. Throughout the clip, viewers see the full fetal development, with explanations about what, exactly, is happening at each phase. But the imagery is spellbinding.
Watch the astounding video,... Read More

Video Length 9:38

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Abortion - Action

The Hero You've Never Heard Of

From Focus on the Family: Posted by Jim_Daly on Sep 8, 2011 9:24:33 AM
Over the course of the last ten years, in the shadow of the White House, Richard Retta has quietly saved over 350 lives. richardretta1.jpg
But he's not a doctor, fireman, paramedic or a policeman.
The 79-year-old grandfather is a sidewalk counselor outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington D.C.
Mr. Retta's approach is understated and gentle, but direct. As a woman approaches the entrance, he walks within earshot of her, politely striking up a conversation. In those few fleeting seconds he tries to convince her to… Read More

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Judge Advances Obama Administration’s Case Against Elderly Pro-life Activist

by Ben Johnson WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - A federal judge has ruled that the Justice Department’s may proceed with its prosecution of a peaceful 80-year-old pro-life counselor.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Emanuel (“Jeb”) Boasberg denied Richard Retta’s petition to have federal charges dismissed. The Obama administration alleges that Retta violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in January 2011 by standing in front of a woman at a D.C. abortion mill, blocking the entrance. The federal complaint states she was only able to enter the facility with the “extraordinary assistance” of two… Read More

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Obama’s Labor nominee Thomas Perez boasted of prosecuting pro-lifers

by Ben Johnson WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The man President Obama has nominated to become the next Secretary of Labor has been accused of filing baseless lawsuits against pro-life protesters in order to chill their right to free speech.
On Monday, Obama named Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, to replace outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis.
Last September Perez boasted, “We have opened 20 civil investigations under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, and filed eight complaints under the Act – compared to just one civil FACE Act... Read More

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Abortion - Information

Taxpayer Funded Abortion: Beautiful lies about Evil are more effective than ugly lies about Good

April 1, 2014
Used to be, the Father of Lies told lies that were not simply false, but lies that looked ugly.
The Nazis proclaimed, for example, that Jews were miserly, baby-sacrificing vermin. Such lies achieved, in the terrible short-run, their intended impact, but, from a rhetorical point of view, the tactic of ‘uglifying’ the good suffered from the flaw that eventually derails all lies so crudely launched, namely, their own off-putting ugliness.
Seriously, who, having seen one of Goebbels’ propaganda films, wants to recall images of rats running through dank sewers or defecating in sacks of grain? The disgust... Read More

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NYC: More Black Babies Killed by Abortion Than Born

February 20, 2014 - 12:31 PM By Michael W. Chapman
(CNSNews.com) – In 2012, there were more black babies killed by abortion (31,328) in New York City than were born there (24,758), and the black children killed comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in the Big Apple, according to a report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The report is entitled, Summary of Vital Statistics 2012 The City of New York, Pregnancy Outcomes, and was prepared by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Statistics. (See Pregnancy... Read More

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Abortion vs Cancer

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So How Does That Work?

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Martin Luther King

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My Mom's Going to…

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Cardinal Arinze on Pro-Choice Politicians

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The Most Dangerous Place

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Even the Animals…

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The Unhappy Shotgun Marriage of Abortion and Maternal Health Advocates

By Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.
NEW YORK, March 7 (C-FAM) Global health advocates agree the rate of women dying in childbirth worldwide is unacceptably high. Usually, getting help from experienced advocates with political clout would be a boon to any campaign. But a new study finds family planning and abortion advocates have diverted resources and hindered progress in helping women from dying in childbirth.
A recent analysis by two Belgian researchers explains how progress on maternal health has suffered from uneasy alliances between activist groups with differing goals – one that seeks to make birth safer while others wants to ensure... Read More

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“brutal, cruel, ferocious and inhuman crimes”

Posted on 20 July 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
On the Pro Life Wisconsin blog there is a good remind of how strong has been the Church’s teaching – not “policy” as many liberals, even catholics, claim – about abortion.
In 1588, Pope Sixtus V issued a Papal Bull, called Effraenatam, excommunicating anyone directly involved in abortion, and calling on civil authorities to punish abortionists severely. He uses strong language to condemn abortion, calling attacks on the unborn person “brutal, cruel, ferocious and inhuman crimes.” Here’s some more from the declaration:
Who will not condemn to a most grave punishment… Read More

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Abortion - Wisdom

Pro Choice and China

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Protected by Law

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Trees?

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Resources

Relevant Excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

2272

Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

1463

Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them. In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.

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Relevant Quotations

Abortion - the human sacrifice to the god of convenience.
unknown

The legalization of the termination of pregnancy is none other than the authorization given to an adult, with the approval of an established law, to take the lives of children yet unborn and thus incapable of defending themselves. It is difficult to imagine a more unjust situation, and it is very difficult to speak of obsession in a matter such as this, where we are dealing with a fundamental imperative of every good conscience — the defense of the right to life of an innocent and defenseless human being.
Bl. John Paul II

[Abortion is] a defining issue not only personally but socially. Poverty can be addressed incrementally, but the death of a child is quite final.
Francis Cardinal George

A woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy also deserves to experience unplanned joy.
Patricia Heaton, Actress

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

How can there be too many children? It’s like saying there are too many flowers.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

When a mother can kill her baby, what is left of civilization to save?
Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

What is a 'proportionate' reason when it comes to the abortion issue [and voting for a pro-choice candidate]? It's the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life - which we most certainly will. If we're confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap

Woe to those, particularly Catholics, who dare to try to convince us that their 'choice' of a radically pro-abortion leader is within the parameters of conscience.
Bishop Robert Finn

No one today would accept this statement from any public servant: 'I am personally opposed to human slavery and racism but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.' Likewise, none of us should accept this statement from any public servant: 'I am personally opposed to abortion but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.'
Bp. Michael Saltarelli

The right of our children to be protected from destruction is greater than my right to a thriving economy...My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion...Those 47 million children our nation destroyed are still living. We have destroyed their bodies, but their souls are still alive. When our Lord comes again, they may very well be there to judge us. Even worse, Jesus tells us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren, we do to Him. We would truly shudder if we heard the words, ‘I was in my mother’s womb but you took my life!’ It is quite possible that we might see these children, but, depending upon the choices we have made, we may very well be separated from them by a great chasm which cannot be crossed, much as the rich man who ignored Lazarus, the poor man, during his lifetime here on earth but was separated from him after death.
Bishop Robert J. Hermann

There are objective and transcendent truths. There is such a thing as right and wrong. There is a legitimate hierarchy of moral evils, and the direct willful destruction of human life can never be justified; it can never be supported. Do you believe this firm teaching of the Church?
Bishop Robert Finn

No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.
Fr. John Corapi

The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide.
Fr. John Corapi

The first principle of Christian social thought is: Don't deliberately kill the innocent, and don't collude in allowing somebody else to do it. The right to life is the foundation of every other human right. The reason the abortion issue is so foundational is not because Catholics love little babies - although we certainly do - but because revoking the personhood of unborn children makes every other definition of personhood and human rights politically contingent.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap

I was born out of wedlock (and against the advice that my mother received from her doctor) and therefore abortion is a personal issue for me. From my perspective, human life is the highest good, the summum bonum . Human life itself is the highest human good and God is the supreme good because He is the giver of life. That is my philosophy. Everything I do proceeds from that religious and philosophical premise.

Some of the most dangerous arguments for abortion stem from popular judgments about life's ultimate meaning, but the logical conclusion of their position is never pursued. Some people may, unconsciously, operate their lives as if pleasure is life's highest good, and pain and suffering man's greatest enemy. That position, if followed to its logical conclusion, means that that which prohibits pleasure should be done away with by whatever means are necessary. By the same rationale, whatever means are necessary should be used to prevent suffering and pain. My position is not to negate pleasure nor elevate suffering, but merely to argue against their being elevated to an ultimate end of life. Because if they are so elevated, anything, including murder and genocide, can be carried out in their name…

There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of higher order than the right to life. I do not share that view. I believe that life is not private, but rather it is public and universal. If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as you please, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside of your right to concerned.

Another area that concerns me greatly, namely because I know how it has been used with regard to race, is the psycholinguistics involved in this whole issue of abortion. If something can be dehumanized through the rhetoric used to describe it, then the major battle has been won. . . .[W]hites further dehumanized us by calling us "niggers." It was part of the dehumanizing process. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder; they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified.

In conclusion, even if one does take life by aborting the baby, as a minister of Jesus Christ I must also inform and-or remind you that there is a doctrine of forgiveness. The God I serve is a forgiving God. The men who killed President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. can be forgiven. Everyone can come to the mercy seat and find forgiveness and acceptance. But, and this may be the essence of my argument, suppose one is so hard-hearted and so in-different to life until he assumes that there is nothing for which to be forgiven. What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person, and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?
Jesse Jackson, 1977

What is idolatry some ask? Idolatry is to sacrifice our babies’ blood in the abortion mills, and then cause their little bodies to pass through the fire of the incinerators that rob them even of a decent burial. Idolatry is to sacrifice the virginity of our sons and daughters on the altars of the lewd music and films and Planned Parenthood’s sexual revolution that entice them into explicit sexual conduct before they reach the marriage bed. Idolatry is to worship the un-mighty and dirty dollar to such a point that we spend everything on ourselves and have nothing left for the least of these. Our powerful elected officials are leading us down a path of destruction. Many of them are lining their pockets while our children are dying.
Dr. Alveda King

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A Poem

Let Me Live

Let no stranger take a knife
And cut away my infant life,
I want a chance, my love to give
So mother dear, please let me live.

To you, I'm just an embryo,
An act of love, not long ago,
But know you well, O mother dear,
That in God's eyes, I'm real, I’m here.

I want the sun, far out in space
To shine down warm upon my face.
I'd like to see the moon at night
And wonder at its glowing light.

I'd like to smell a rose in spring
And hear the birds so sweetly sing,
And feel the grass beneath my feet,
And touch the hearts of those I meet.

As time goes by and I have grown,
And have some children of my own,
I'll show them how their love to give,
For mother dear, you let me live.

Dick Robinson 11/18/87

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The Gift of Life - A Poem about Regret and Forgiveness

(From Family Friend Poems) As a post abortive woman, I realize that the shame of my abortion kept me from revealing how an abortion really affected my life to others. It is our fear of admitting what we have done that separates us from God. If more women would come forward, we could reveal the truth about abortion and the life long pain it causes.

The Gift of Life

©Marni Fults

I received a gift from a stranger,
A stranger I did not know
I had heard his name before,
But just in passing, so I let it go

I did not think it was a gift,
But rather a terrible burden
They said it was nothing I wanted,
Of this they were certain

I was told it was something bad,
And more then I could bare
No one mentioned it was precious,
It was as if they didn’t care

I sent the gift back to the stranger,
Where it came from up above
If only I had met him sooner,
I would have seen the gift was made with love

Instead I treated the gift like it was nothing,
I quickly sent it back
They told me I did the right thing,
But they left out an important fact

See the gift was made just for me by a stranger,
And God was his name
I had never even noticed him.
Yet he loved me just the same

He had created that precious gift,
Each piece he made by hand to my surprise
And yet I didn’t even see it,
My life was based on lies

When I found out what the gift contained,
And realized I had thrown it away
I believed I would always suffer,
And be punished everyday

But to my disbelief, that stranger
Who I had ignored and turned away
Created three more gifts for me
And sent them all my way

I begged for his forgiveness,
I prayed and felt his love
I wondered what had become of the first gift
Sent from above

I later learned the gift would remain
With our loving God and then
I would meet my baby in heaven,
And receive the gift again

I have no fear that I will not know
Which gift was meant for me
So many have been thrown away,
But mine I will surely see

For I have dreamed of my little boy
Whose eyes were big and bright
I will run right over to him,
And know him at first sight

I will say “Mommy loves you!”
I know that is how I’ll start
Then I will thank God for taking care of my baby
While we were so far apart

If I could just help one person,
See their gift contains such love
And that the life inside that little gift,
Came from God above

It would honor my precious baby,
Whose life was lost to a lie
It would stop the suffering of another child
And a mother who would otherwise be too scared to try

Webmasters note: Click Read More to see this poem and more such poems. Read More

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Post-Abortion Suffering - A Psychiatrist Looks at the Effects of Abortion

From an article on the Family Research Council website By Dr. Martha Shuping and Chris Gacek
Hat Tip: Our friends at Project Rachel.
The growing weight of scientific studies and the voices of women themselves tell the story of abortion as a life-changing, adverse experience for many. Relying on Dr. Martha Shuping’s experience as a psychiatrist, we can describe the psychological impact of abortion through the lens of her clinical counseling and the emerging scientific literature. First Impressions In 1973, as a 19-year-old pre-medical student, I worked as a volunteer at a clinic that helped women access abortion services. Although the clinic originally sent women to New York for their abortions, in the early days following Roe v Wade, we began referring to... Read More

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Speech of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the National Prayer Breakfast,
Washington, DC, February 3, 1994

From the Priests for Life website with special thanks

(Click here for Spanish version.) (priests for life website)

Listen to the audio of this talk. (priests for life website)

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand,

"Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them,

"Whatever you neglected to do unto one of the least of these, you neglected to do unto me!"

As we have gathered here to pray together, I think it will be beautiful if we begin with a prayer that expressed very well what Jesus wants us to do for the least. St. Francis of Assisi understood very well these words of Jesus and His life is very well expressed by a prayer. And this prayer, which we say every day after Holy Communion, always surprises me very much, because it is very fitting for each one of us. And I always wonder whether 800 years ago when St. Francis lived, they had the same difficulties that we have today. I think that some of you already have this prayer of peace - so we will pray it together.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. where there is hatred let me sow love, where there is injury let me sow pardon, where there is doubt let me sow faith, where there is despair let me give hope, where there is darkness let me give light, Where there is sadness let me give joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not try to be comforted but to comfort, not try to be understood but to understand, not try to be loved but to love. Because it is in giving that we receive, it is in forgiving that we are forgiven, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Let us thank God for the opportunity He has given us today to have come here to pray together. We have come here especially to pray for peace, joy and love. We are reminded that Jesus came to bring the good news to the poor. He had told us what that good news is when He said: "My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." He came not to give the peace of the world which is only that we don't bother each other. He came to give the peace of heart which comes from loving - from doing good to others.

And God loved the world so much that He gave His Son - it was a giving. God gave His Son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with Him? As soon as Jesus came into Mary's life, immediately she went in haste to give that good news. And as she came into the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, Scripture tells us that the unborn child - the child in the womb of Elizabeth - leapt with joy. While still in the womb of Mary, Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist who leapt for joy in the womb of Elizabeth.

And as if that were not enough, as if it were not enough that God the Son should become one of us and bring peace and joy while still in the womb of Mary, Jesus also died on the Cross to show that greater love. He died for you and for me, and for that leper and for that man dying of hunger and that naked person lying in the street, not only of Calcutta, but of Africa, and everywhere. Our Sisters serve these poor people in 105 countries throughout the world. Jesus insisted that we love one another as He loves each one of us.

Jesus gave His life to love us and He tells us that we also have to give whatever it takes to do good to one another. And in the Gospel Jesus says very clearly: "Love as I have loved you." Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good to us - to save us from our selfishness in sin. He gave up everything to do the Father's will to show us that we too must be willing to give up everything to do God's will - to love one another as He loves each of us. If we are not willing to give whatever it takes to do good to one another, sin is still in us. That is why we too must give to each other until it hurts.

It is not enough for us to say: "I love God," but I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor.

How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live?

And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.

It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must "put on Christ" as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love and to be loved, and God has become man to make it possible for us to love as He loved us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, "You did it to Me." On the last day He will say to those on His right, "Whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me," and He will also say to those on His left, "Whatever you neglected to do for the least of these you neglected to do it for Me."

When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, "I thirst." Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.

I can never forget the experience I had in visiting a home where they kept all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them into an institution and forgotten them - maybe. I saw that in that home these old people had everything - good food, comfort- able place, television, everything, but everyone was looking toward the door. And I did not see a single one with a smile on the face. I turned to Sister and I asked: "Why do these people who have every comfort here, why are they all looking toward the door? Why are they not smiling?"

I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people, even the dying ones smile.

And Sister said: "This is the way it is nearly every day. They are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten." And see, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we there to be with them, or do we merely put them in the care of others? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as we begin this year of the family. We must remember that love begins at home and we must also remember that "the future of humanity passes through the family."

I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: "Because there is no one in the family to receive them." Our children depend on us for everything - their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So the children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child which is where love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace.

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion which brings people to such blindness.

And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere - "Let us bring the child back." The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things - to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.

But what does God say to us? He says: "Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand." We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.

I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption - by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: "Please don't destroy the child; we will take the child." So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: "Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child." And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child - but I never give a child to a couple who have done something not to have a child. Jesus said. "Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me." By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but, by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.

Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.

From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.

I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning.

The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception.

In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.

I also know that there are great problems in the world - that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning. We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.

The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: "You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other." And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.

When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society - that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome. And abortion, which often follows from contraception, brings a people to be spiritually poor, and that is the worst poverty and the most difficult to overcome.

Those who are materially poor can be very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: "You take care of the other three; I will take care of the one who looks worse." So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face.

She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: "thank you" - and she died.

I could not help but examine my conscience before her. And I asked: "What would I say if I were in her place?" And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said: "I am hungry, I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain," or something. But she gave me much more - she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. Then there was the man we picked up from the drain, half eaten by worms and, after we had brought him to the home, he only said:

"I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die as an angel, loved and cared for."

Then, after we had removed the worms from his body, all he said, with a big smile, was: "Sister, I am going home to God" -and he died. It was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that without blaming anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel - this greatness of people who are spiritually rich even when they are materially poor. We are not social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of some people, but we must be contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the body of Christ and we are always in his presence.

You too must bring that presence of God into your family, for the family that prays together, stays together.

There is so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice, are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do.

If we are contemplatives in the heart of the world with all its problems, these problems can never discourage us. We must always remember what God tells us in Scripture: "Even if a mother could forget the child in her womb - something impossible, but even if she could forget - I will never forget you."

And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people first. And find out about your next door neighbors. Do you know who they are?

I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. I didn't bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and Muslims, to enjoy the joy of sharing.

But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy and peace with their mother because she had the love to give until it hurts. And you see this is where love begins - at home in the family.

So, as the example of this family shows, God will never forget us and there is something you and I can always do. We can keep the joy of loving Jesus in our hearts, and share that joy with all we come in contact with.

Let us make that one point - that no child will be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, or killed and thrown away. And give until it hurts - with a smile.

Because I talk so much of giving with a smile, once a professor from the United States asked me: "Are you married?" And I said: "Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at my spouse, Jesus, because He can be very demanding - sometimes." This is really something true.

And there is where love comes in - when it is demanding, and yet we can give it with joy.

One of the most demanding things for me is traveling everywhere - and with publicity. I have said to Jesus that if I don't go to heaven for anything else, I will be going to heaven for all the traveling with all the publicity, because it has purified me and sacrificed me and made me really ready to go to heaven.

If we remember that God loves us, and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world.

From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak - the unborn child - must go out to the world. If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!

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Relevant External Links

Abortion Changes You

Hat Tip: Phil Steinacker

This is a marvelous support site. Check it out for yourself, even if you’ve not ever had an abortion so you can get a strong understanding of its depth.

There are resources to help these so badly wounded women (and men) identify and express what they’ve carried within. This resource is also available to those who may have supported or even pressured a lonely, scared young woman into this decision – and now have come to regret the role they played.

Two things to check out first, before going through all the features of the site (make sure you have a box of tissues handy):

First, spend some time reading the testimonials on the rotating cards on the Home Page. Place your mouse cursor over a card when it comes to the front to make it stop. Leave the cursor in place, and allow the “voices” on the back of the card to speak to you. After the final message on the back of any card, remove your cursor to allow the rotation to continue, and select the next card you wish to read by placing the cursor over it, as before.

Then, select Explore from the menu on the left. You’ll be presented with a series of small panels (as in a quilt), each one leads to a personal story by someone grievously wounded by their role in an abortion – central or “supporting”.

After you’ve been good and wrung out, check out the healing resources called Healing Pathways.

Link: http://www.abortionchangesyou.com/home

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