Podcast by Fr. Luke Fletcher, CFR. The reality and role of the angels can be a challenge to our modern mentalities. The testimony of the Bible and other private revelations are shocking! Listen to learn more!!
STATEMENT OF THE COMMUNITY OF FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE RENEWAL
The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a Catholic Religious Institute of Pontifical Right existing in various dioceses throughout the world, offers the following statement on the occasion of the “Red Rose Rescues” which have occurred on September 15, 2017. Fr. Fidelis Moscinski, CFR, a professed member of the community, in partnership with other pro-lifers, participated in a rescue at Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, 101 S Whiting St. #215, Alexandria, Virginia.
An essential part of our work of evangelization and care of the poor is our public and prayerful witness to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. We recognize that the human right to life is the foundation of a just and peaceful society. Furthermore, we recognize that those whose right to life is denied them, for whatever reason, are truly poor and most in need of Christian service and the saving power of the Gospel.
Through our prayers, public witness, and solidarity with the unborn, the elderly, and all those whose lives are threatened by death as the proposed solution to problems, we seek to uphold the right to life and the dignity of every human being. We try to accomplish this within a variety of apostolic works and commitments including supporting crisis pregnancy centers and homes for expectant mothers, prayer and counseling at places where abortions occur, spiritual retreats for those who have been affected by abortion, and providing programs for inner-city youth.
The Constitutions and Directory of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal provides that “with appropriate permissions, the friars do not hesitate to participate in acts of conscientious objection to actions that attack the inviolability of human life and seek to break the common bond of human solidarity.”
In this regard we recall the clear teaching of Pope John Paul II in The Gospel of Life who reminds us that abortion is a crime which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. From the very beginnings of the Church, the apostolic preaching reminded Christians of their duty to obey legitimately constituted public authorities (cf. Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-14), but at the same time it firmly warned that "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. "They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live" (Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: "the midwives feared God" (ibid.). It is precisely from obedience to God-to whom alone is due that fear which is acknowledgment of his absolute sovereignty-that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born. It is the strength and the courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned or put to the sword, in the certainty that this is what makes for "the endurance and faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10). (Cf. The Gospel of Life, n. 73).
Therefore, remembering the pro-life witness of many who tried to rescue unborn children and their mothers from abortion, especially the inspiring activity of Bishop Austin Vaughn, Bishop George Lynch, and our own Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR we fully support our confrere, Fr. Fidelis Moscinski, CFR as he joins with others in the “Red Rose Rescue.” He, along with other individuals in a number of U.S. cities, has sought to persuade mothers seeking abortion instead to choose life for themselves and their babies. They have reached out with love and compassion and offered life-affirming alternatives, abiding in solidarity with the innocent unborn babies scheduled to be aborted.
Finally, as disciples of Jesus Christ and followers of St. Francis of Assisi, we call upon all people to acknowledge, respect, and zealously defend the right to life of our unborn brothers and sisters, to reach out to mothers and fathers in crisis pregnancies, and work together to build an authentic culture of life.
As a kid I dreaded the month of September. The last days of August caused my mind and my body to revolt. I felt depressed, angry and frustrated. Life, as I knew it, was ending, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was unwilling to surrender; yet I was surrounded on every side. My friends, who promised never to leave me, all of a sudden disappeared. I was alone.
Every June the last bell would ring, singling the end of another school year. Summer had begun. My eyes flung wide open as my heart began to jump inside my chest. I bolted out of class as quickly as I could without looking back. I didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to do, but I knew one thing: I was free.
For the next two months, nothing but a constant stream of bliss lay before me. There were no teachers telling me what to do, what to think or how to act. There was no alarm clock shouting at me. There was no school bus to catch, no homework to complete and no curfew to obey. Days were bright, and nights were open. I had no responsibilities and no plans, just time to explore, relax and experience life in its naked simplicity.
This newfound freedom and the ecstatic joy it brought was short lived. The days and weeks passed quickly. The thrill and the excitement I possessed at the beginning of summer was turning quickly into despair. Something had to happen, I thought, and quick. Time was slipping away from me. I still felt incomplete. Summer was my only hope, the one chance I had to live a life without interruption.
Reflecting on that period in my life now many years later, I understand the mystery of what I was hoping for. My summer vacations were a desperate attempt to experience heaven on earth. The freedom, excitement, and joy of summer sunk deep into my own heart, where I discovered what could be called heaven’s radar: the desire for complete and infinite happiness.
It wasn’t necessarily spending all day at the beach, camping with friends, or road trips that I was looking for, but what I thought those activities contained: endless joy without interruption. Heaven has been defined as “the state of supreme and definitive happiness, the goal of the deepest longings of humanity.” If that is true, as I believe it is, then it comes as no surprise to me that the beginning of summer felt like a new birth, while the end of summer felt like a slow and painful death.
St. Paul reminds us that, “our commonwealth is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21). In my eagerness for this change to occur I have often ignored an important word in this passage, will. This change St. Paul speaks of is occurring now in this world, but is never complete in this life.
Returning to school again in September brought me face to face with this reality. Time, freedom, talent and even happiness all had their boundaries in this world. When I did possess them, even if for only a brief moment, they were exposed to constant interruption. The problem wasn’t that summer vacation was too short, but that it took place in a world that “is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31). Summer, for me, has become a foreshadowing of a future destiny. Though I no longer have those summer vacations of my childhood, they have provided me a glimpse of what heaven will be like: a happiness that is boundless and a summer day that never ends.
Podcast by Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR. On this feast day of Mary's birthday we discern the presence of God. Listen to learn more!
Prayer from Saint Mother Teresa:
O God, we believe that you are here.
We adore You and love You with our whole heart and soul
because You are most worthy
of all our love.
We desire to love you
as the Blessed do in Heaven.
Flood our Souls with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess
our whole being utterly,
that our lives may only be
a radiance of Yours.
Shine through us, and be so in us,
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel Your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us,
but only Jesus! Amen.