Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Spirit & Life - Our Lady of Czestochowa, Grant Us Victory in the Battle for Life
This week's Spirit & Life is by Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International.
Spirit & Life is the weekly e-column of
Human Life International.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, Grant Us Victory in the Battle for Life
decline of moral and family values, the rise of relativism and the
visible assaults by the media and our own government on people of faith
are heavy burdens. Some might feel, with good reason, that our culture
has already collapsed under the weight of moral decay. But hope remains,
and help is on the way.
On Saturday, August 24, a new chapter in the struggle to build a
Culture of Life begins as Human Life International welcomes the icon of
Our Lady of Czestochowa to North America. This historic pilgrimage
has already touched the lives of millions of Christians across Europe.
At each stop of the icon at hundreds of Catholic and Orthodox churches
from Vladivostok, Russia to Fatima, Portugal, those in attendance heard
calls to prayer and action to renew the faith and defend the innocent
For the past 40 years in the United States, Roe v. Wade
has allowed millions of lives to be destroyed with the legal consent of
our government. What's more, this destruction of life has too often
been encouraged by political leaders, and policies which assume that
there is no such thing as a right to life.
is a war with political, cultural and spiritual fronts. But it's a war
that we can and will win - with God's help. In the Old Testament, we see
the Israelites carry the Ark of the Covenant into battle. Mary, the
mother of Jesus, has been understood since the early centuries of the
Church to be the new Ark of the Covenant, the one who carried the living
Word of God. Meditating on the stories of the wedding feast at Cana and
Jesus' last words on the Cross helps us to understand how Jesus' mother
has always had a special intercessory power with her Son.
history of the Black Madonna icon is replete with victories in battle,
and with miracles. Legend holds that after the icon was displayed from
the walls of Constantinople, her people won a critical 4th century
battle against the Saracens. After an attack on the kingdom of Galicia
in the 11th century, the king prayed in front of the Black Madonna for
the intercession of Our Lady to aid his small army. Darkness overcame
the enemy troops, and they began attacking one another. The icon is also
credited for Polish victory in 1655 against the forces of Sweden's King
Charles X. After Poland was almost entirely overrun, only the area
around the monastery which housed the icon remained free. The monks of
the monastery were somehow able to successfully defend against a forty
day siege, and eventually Polish forces were able to drive out all of
is given to the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa for numerous
miraculous events over the centuries, including what is now referred to
in Poland as the "Siege of Jericho," when thousands of Poles prayed to
the Black Madonna for their pope, Pope John Paul II, to be allowed to
visit his homeland. At the end of the novena, the Communist government
reversed its decision to bar his visit, and we know what happened next.
We now turn to Our Lady in prayer and sacrifice seeking help for another
miracle: the end of abortion around the world.
must continue to make reason-based arguments, since reason and truth
are on the side of life. But don't you also see something very strange
going on? That is, the utter disdain for reason, and for law, from those
who govern our nation who seem to see themselves as rulers rather than
as civil servants. They are accumulating great power, more quickly than
most realize, and they have no respect for any limits on their own will.
We need God's help. We need to turn to Him, and we have a no more
powerful advocate than the mother of Jesus.
are not only seeking legal and legislative victories, though those
would be most welcome, but victories of the mind, heart and soul. The
Black Madonna has already come halfway around the world inspiring
hundreds of thousands to seek Christ, to deepen their faith, hope and
love, and to defend the innocent. As the icon travels to Catholic and
Orthodox parishes across the United States and Mexico, our Blessed
Mother calls all of her children to unite in the defense of life in an
effort to build a civilization of life and love.
HLI's Father Peter West will be accompanying Our Lady on the journey through the United States. Many stops are already scheduled, but you can still contact HLI to request the icon visit your parish.
this next chapter of the journey begins on St. Clement's Island,
Maryland this weekend -- the site of the first landing of Catholic
pilgrims in the American British colonies of the 17th century -- we
ask for your continued prayers for Fr. West, for all those
participating in the pilgrimage around the continent and for our
pro-life missionaries. And please pray that millions more of our
brothers and sisters will be inspired by this historic voyage to renew
their faith and join in the defense of all human life from conception
until natural death.