Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Faith in Action 2

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how our love for God translates to action. That we are moved by the love of the Father to care for all of his children. Twice this week (and hopefully again this Sunday), I've had the pleasure of hearing Marie Joseph speak about perhaps one of the most important ministries in our area. She is the founder of the Legacy of Life Foundation. This organization operates two centers, one in Bristol and one in Center City. The centers exist to aid men and women who are dealing with the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. Marie spoke of the many situations that make it difficult to welcome a new life into the world. The people seeking the services of the center may be financially disadvantaged, homeless, in transition, or lacking the support of a partner. Mostly, they feel alone and afraid. As powerful as her talks were, I was particularly moved by a poster that is now at the front left of the church. It is a collage of pictures of all the babies that were born through the efforts of the center. Perhaps some of the babies on that poster would have come into this world regardless. But to see all of those hundreds of beautiful smiling faces, it hit me that many of them would not. They are real human beings. Their tiny, happy, little hopeful faces are all blessings to the world that may not have been. It hit me hard. I was no longer thinking about faceless fetuses. I was no longer seeing a political or legal situation. That's when it hit me:

Pro-Life is not about a supreme court decision made 40 years ago.

Marie was so optimistic about my observation when I shared it with her. She said plainly, "Some day when that decision is reversed, we will be in such need for all of those that viewed this as a purely political issue to show up at our doors and help." It really got my wheels turning. We can do so much for our brothers and sisters that really need our help. Allow me to be frank. Laws do have the impact of protecting those they seek to protect. But we know that drug use, violence, theft all still exist in our society even with laws that seek to prevent them. The same will be true for abortion. Laws cannot dictate morality, only what is legal and illegal. Even if one is pro-choice, my hope is that he or she can still see the good in helping someone not be coerced into their decision based on their situation. Without an alternative, many feel that there is no choice, despite in their heart wanting to bring that life into the world. The real answer is found in our hearts. We must love everyone enough to want to help them in what could be the most soul-testing moment of their lives. This is about people, not about politics.

This Sunday, Queen of the Universe is having a baby bottle drive. There will be empty baby bottles at all of the entrances. Please take one. Take it home and fill it with your loose change. It may not seem like a lot. It's money we usually don't even think about. It sits in our car consoles, under the couch cushions, or in a jar on our dresser. It may not seem like a lot, but the cumulative power of coming together turns it into a lot. Last year, this parish alone, raised $11,000. That translates to supporting over 500 babies born last year. I can't even begin to do the math on how many fathers, mothers, brother, sisters, grandparents, etc. that now have the gift of a son or daughter, brother or sister, or grandchild. Thanks to that small amount of generosity on each of our parts. So bring that bottle back the following Sunday and know that are making a real difference in so many lives.

I'd like you to consider something larger too. Think about giving your time and volunteering for the foundation. Or think about setting up an annual donation. I even know some wonderful parishoners who have adopted through the center. If you won't be able to donate through the bottle drive, please visit their website legacyoflifefoundation.org/ You can also see, in more detail, all of the wonderful things they are doing on said website. If nothing else, when someone criticizes the pro-life movement of really only being pro-birth, you'll be able to respond with what it really means to be pro-life.

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