Dear HLI Family,
What joy it must have been that glorious day when the world received its Savior, and all that had been anticipated had came to pass in the little town of Bethlehem. Since that first glorious morn of awe and wonder when an angel from on high announced to shepherds tending their flocks "Do not be afraid," every generation since has reflected upon the gift that forever changed man's history and destiny.
Like that of the shepherds, the pilgrimage of the present age is no different, and its challenge to recognize the King of Glory and heed His voice have become ever more obscure as the darkness, the bitter fruit of sin and alienation from God, envelopes a broken world. Yet, the cry of a "child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" still resonates in the darkness reminding every age the lengths to which God would go to save the world.
Human Life International has since its foundation strived to carry the voice of the Savior to the ends of the Earth, proclaiming the sacredness of Life. Often times our Missionaries for Life have had to face the darkness of the world as they work with other nations to build a Civilization of Love. In the midst of such opposition it would become easy to lose hope and become indifferent. This is the ploy of the Evil One and all who participate in his works. Like the shepherds who kept vigil over their flocks at night protecting them from the wolves, pro-lifers with the same vigilance defend Life against the cold and bitter darkness of an age that has lost its way. Armed not with sword or shield of metal, but with hearts of love, these modern day warriors proclaim a message ever ancient and new. Their words resonate what the great Apostle to the Gentiles proclaimed of to the people of Corinth, that "God was rich, but He became poor for our sake, so that we who are poor might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). The heart of the pro-life message is the message of salvation - Jesus is the One Who Saves.
Last Saturday I participated in a Mass for Life at Saint Philip's Catholic Church in Falls Church, Virginia. The Most Reverend Paul Loverde, Bishop of Arlington Diocese, was the Celebrant and Homilist. Bishop Loverde, in witness to his people, offers a monthly Mass for Life in one of his parishes. Following Mass, as is the practice, he invited the faithful to join him in a peaceful witness of prayer in front an abortion mill in the Falls Church community, just outside of Washington, DC. We stood in solidarity with our bishop praying the Rosary asking Our Lady to intercede for us as we prayed for an end to abortion and all acts of violence against the dignity of Life. We stood in the cold to remind the world that God came to save all people and to defend those who could not defend themselves.
For a moment, nothing else mattered. The cold and the cars passing behind us didn't matter. All that mattered was praying for an end to abortion, especially in the mill in front of us. I remember thinking of those who on that most holy morning did not recognize the King of Kings because of his lowly birth, and how today in this building they fail to see Him still.
There we stood facing the doors of a place of murder. We faced people who worked as escorts guiding mothers into the mill to abort their children. Our hearts were indeed heavy as we confronted the evil in front of us, but as He so often does, Our Lord brought comfort to our hearts in the words of Bishop Loverde who concluded our prayer that morning by telling us, "Do not lose hope even as you face such obstacles. Remember we are doing God's work."
Christmas is a wondrous time of joy, love and innocence. I pray this Holy Season will fill your heart with the warmth of His abundant love. Please join me in a special intention during Holy Christmas Season. Let us with one heart humbly lay before the King of Kings our humble petition, that all Life may be protected from natural conception unto natural death. With these prayers, and in sharing the love of Christmas with those we love and with those who do not know the love of Christ, we are certainly doing God's work.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International