Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fr. Perrone plugs Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day - October 8!

I previously posted on the Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day, and Assumption Grotto's pastor discusses it in this weekend's bulletin. Father Perrone will be in Italy with Bob and Penny Lord, serving as Spiritual Director for their October 2-17 pilgrimage, and I know he will lead all of them in devotions that day. They requested his presence on this trip after visiting Assumption Grotto last October following the annual Call to Holiness conference.

I have asked our priests on Sunday, October 8, following the Masses, to recite the rosary with you as our part in a worldwide current of prayer For the Sanctity of Human Life. The initiative for this comes from the World Apostolate of Fatima which hopes to send “a billion prayers to heaven” that day. In Fatima, Portugal, itself there will be a congress the preceding day on the theme, “Mary, to you we entrust the cause of life.” Other cooperating agencies in this are Human Life International, Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, and the Pontifical Council for the Family. Big guns. I don’t suppose, however, that many parishes in the Detroit Archdiocese will be joining in: there’s been no publicity about it. But since both I, and now you, know about it, we ought to do some hard praying for this intention.

This is all very timely. October is the month of the Holy Rosary and the 7th of October is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Moreover, the judicial climate in our country now appears to be evermore pro-life-friendly and we may soon begin to see some changes in the unrestricted abortion laws that have stifled many of our pro-life efforts. Action from the Supreme Court would have far-reaching social and political repercussions not only here but throughout the world. Admit it or not, the USA exerts considerable influence in moral leadership–for good or ill–all over the globe through its economic and political power. There would be a lot of adjustments taking place if abortions were restricted in our country.

Of particular relevance for us would be the eventual overturning of the Roe vs. Wade decision which has been the source of untold evils that have crippled our country (and the world). One wonders whether many of our social and now political problems are a result of our involvement in the voluntary killing of human life in the womb. Can it be that the wars that are consuming so much of the world at this time are a consequence of sins against human life? As I mentioned in my Assumption day homily, a central teaching from Fatima is that war is a punishment for sin: a most unpopular and unwelcome doctrine. We have all become used to the cozy deceits of a preaching that tells us that sin has no consequences: God doesn’t punish; He’s merciful only; all people are basically good; and in the end, everybody goes to heaven. Attractive to our tendency both to deceive ourselves and to our sinful inclinations. But is it truth? Ah! that’s another matter. From the sources we have which reveal God’s mind–the bible, tradition and the magisterium of the Church–we get a different understanding of how things are. God hates sin and will, in His mercy, punish the sinner in this life in a variety of ways in order to correct him. Failing to heed these measures, man who dies unrepentant will be punished in the next life: in hell for sins of a grave nature. This is the teaching of a religion that has prevailed from the beginning until the modern era when false prophets have been preaching a new gospel of what we would rather hear. Our Lord and the Apostles warned about wolves that would attack the sheep and about false teachers who would deceive many.

And so we have recourse to prayer for the Church, for the world, for conversion of hearts and for peace. The rosary is the form of popular form of prayer par excellence for these purposes. To add to our motivation for prayer is the latest Islamic uprising against the Pope for something that he didn’t say: never mind that his words and intention were completely mistaken. We need to pray for the safety of the Pope and indeed of Catholics throughout the world. Here again, Our Lady of the Rosary is our greatest ally and source of strength. Let’s not neglect the daily rosary.