Friday, October 16, 2015

Spirit & Life - Call to Prayer: A Novena for the Synod Fathers

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As the Synod of Bishops on the Family passes the halfway mark, I ask that you please join me and the HLI Family around the world in praying a Novena for the Protection of the Family beginning tomorrow, October 17 and ending on the last day of the Synod, October 25. 
The prayer for this Novena, which comes from Pope Pius XII's Prayer for Christian Families, can be found below.
I don't know if you've been following news reports on the controversies surrounding what is taking place presently at the Synod of Bishops, but I can tell you that the Church---and the family---is in great need of prayer.
It is also true, however, that prayers have begun to be answered. Consider two extraordinary interventions reported in the last 24 hours. The first, from the inimitable Robert Cardinal Sarah of Guinea, included an apostolic challenge to the Synod fathers to recognize the true threats to the Church:
A theological discernment enables us to see in our time two unexpected threats (almost like two "apocalyptic beasts") located on opposite poles: on the one hand, the idolatry of Western freedom; on the other, Islamic fundamentalism: atheistic secularism versus religious fanaticism. To use a slogan, we find ourselves between "gender ideology and ISIS". Islamic massacres and libertarian demands regularly contend for the front page of the newspapers. (Let us remember what happened last June 26!). From these two radicalizations arise the two major threats to the family: its subjectivist disintegration in the secularized West through quick and easy divorce, abortion, homosexual unions, euthanasia etc. (cf. Gender theory, the 'Femen', the LGBT lobby, IPPF ...). On the other hand, the pseudo-family of ideologized Islam which legitimizes polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery, child marriage etc. (cf. Al Qaeda, Isis, Boko Haram ...)
Some synod fathers have not understood correctly the appeal of Pope Francis for an open discussion and started to bring forward ideas which contradict the bi-millennial Tradition of the Church, rooted in the Eternal Word of God.
Unfortunately, one can still perceive the smell of this "infernal smoke" in some items of the "Instrumentum Laboris" and also in the interventions of some synod fathers this year.
To my mind, the main task of a Synod consists in indicating again to the Gospel of the marriage and of the family and that means to the teaching of Our Savior. It is not allowed to destroy the fundament - to destroy the rock.
Prayers are being heard. Courageous shepherds are telling the truth without fear, though we note with regret that such statements are both necessary and considered by many to be controversial.
Our culture's embrace of the contraceptive mentality, which HLI Founder Fr. Paul Marx boldly preached against and warned people about, has led to pornography addiction; promiscuity; cohabitation; no-fault divorce; "designer babies" created in Petri dishes (treating children as commodities instead of gifts from God); and yes, the horrible evil of abortion.
Now we must face another great evil: the legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
It's only been a few months since the U.S. Supreme Court decision redefining marriage, and one Christian has already been jailed in the U.S. for defending the Biblical definition of marriage. Others have lost jobs, or their entire businesses.
Mainstream media and pop culture are hard at work pressuring you and me to accept a vision of marriage and human sexuality that is evil and sinful. This corruption is even reaching into the media's coverage of the Synod of Bishops. The public is being led to believe that Church teaching on contraception, pre-marital sex, divorce, and marriage between one man and one woman will soon be changing . . . as if that is even possible!
Sadly, (and I personally find this greatly disappointing) much of this hysteria and the media pressure to "get with the times" is being fed by the public statements of some Church leaders.
That's why I hope you will join me and the HLI Family in praying the below Novena for the Protection of the Family beginning tomorrow, October 17, and ending on the last day of the Synod, October 25.
My friends, faith in God and prayer for His divine intervention has resulted in many mighty deeds being worked---from victories in battle to the conversion of many who work in the murderous abortion industry. With God's help we can defend Life and Family and change the culture!
This is what HLI's pro-life missionaries around the world are working to do every single day. This life-saving work would surely not be possible without your prayers. But this work also would not be possible without your financial sacrifices. So, if you can, please consider making a financial gift today to support HLI's life-saving mission. Thank you for your many sacrifices in defense of Life and Family.
May God bless you and your family!

Novena Prayer for the Protection of the Family
O Lord, God of goodness and mercy, Who in the midst of an evil and sinful world hast presented to the society of the redeemed the Holy Family of Nazareth as a spotless mirror of piety, justice and love, behold how the family is being undermined on all sides, every effort being made to desecrate it by stripping it of faith, religion, and morals. Regard the work of Thy own hands. Safeguard in our homes the domestic virtues, for these alone will ensure us harmony and peace. Come and stir up the champions of the family.
Under Thy paternal gaze, O Lord, and with confidence in Thy Providence and in the loving patronage of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the family will become a sanctuary of virtue and a school of wisdom. In the sight of the world it shall render glory to Thee, O Father, and to Thy Son, Jesus, until the day when, through Him, we shall, together with all His members, sing the Divine praises in the eternal ages to come. Amen
Recite: Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, and Glory Be

Sincerely yours in Christ,  
Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International
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"We have known for the last couple years the heroic sacrifices that Patricia was making to be at our meetings, and being the primary caregiver for her mother, Dutchie," said Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of HLI. "We have a deep sense of gratitude to Patricia, and to her family for allowing her to serve HLI as chairman during these years. You don't meet many people in the pro-life movement who have led for so long, at a very high level, and with such a great spirit. Patricia is an exceptional woman and a great friend, and her regular contributions will be missed."  - continue -
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There was no legislator who did not pay attention to what Humberto said, with conviction, for it was well-founded information, had the primary sources, documents; there was no way refute the arguments. It was solid and objective.... There was no legislator who was not surprised by Humberto's knowledge, bravery and candor. He was tireless in the halls of Congress, while he carried the little 12 week baby models and demanded an answer to the question: Who will defend the defenseless? But all was not just aimed at technical effectiveness, a particular vote, a certain moment; each approach aimed to also touch the soul of the decision-maker, because for him it was really an evangelizing mission...  - continue -
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