The Greatest Commandment
“And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him: Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40)
Some time ago, I came across an analogy while I was doing a bit of research on the American Catholic author, Phil Lawlor. It was from a blog that his wife Leila writes, called ‘Like mother, like daughter’. Here’s how I like to put it.
Saving Unborn Babies
Imagine a woman walking along by a river on a glorious spring day. She notices something floating down stream and on closer inspection she realises that it is a baby and that it is headed to certain death at the waterfall a little way down the stream. She realises that she must do something, so she looks around trying to find some way to save the baby. As she is frantically searching she notices that there are other babies in the water too, all heading for certain death.
She gets help and eventually more and more people are saving babies from the stream but not all the babies can be saved and some die. The woman realises that someone must leave the water’s edge and travel upstream to find the source. Where are these babies coming from? Who is putting them in the water? She realises that, without tackling the source, it will be impossible to stop the baby deaths.
To Rid the World of Abortion One Must Find the Source of Abortion
The main reason that this has stayed with me is that on her blog, Lelia finishes as follows.
“Abortion is the result of forgetting that God had a plan for man and woman. It’s not a terrible evil that befalls the child randomly. Rather, abortion on the scale that we witness today in America is the logical consequence of forgetting that a baby is meant to be the expression of love between a man and a woman who have pledged themselves to unity.
Marriage is the solution to abortion.”
Promoting Catholic teaching on marriage and family is the Long-Term Solution to Abortion
This is something that I have come to realise myself. In our analogy, some people must stay by the river and keep on rescuing whatever babies they can, but others must leave the side of the river and head up stream to tackle the problem at its source. Promoting Catholic teaching on marriage and family life and helping and encouraging people to live by those teachings and to see the beauty and rightness of those teachings, is the long-term solution to abortion because it tackles the problem at its source.
Three Exciting Projects of The Lumen Fidei Institute
Given that we are facing a monumental battle against abortion with this year’s proposed referendum, I want to mention three exciting projects that ‘The Lumen Fidei Institute’ is hoping to organise this year as part of our effort to combat this evil.
The first is our inaugural conference which is to be held from Wednesday 22nd to Thursday 23rd August 2018, in the Ballsbridge Hotel, Pembroke Road, Dublin 4.
Initially this conference was titled ‘The World meeting of Catholic Families’, but several people pointed out that this title could be interpreted in a provocative way as if we were setting ourselves up against the official ‘World Meeting of Families’ being held in Dublin at the same time. So, we have changed the title to simply, ‘A Conference of Catholic Families’.
To Proclaim the Authentic, & Unchanging Teachings of the Catholic Church
It is not our aim to be provocative or to be a source of division. Our aim is simply to proclaim the authentic, perennial and unchanging teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and family life at a time in her history when these teachings are being attacked from every side. As Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a recent interview.
“In fact, the greatest service that any one of us can give to the Holy Father is to speak the truth of the faith, and this then assists him in being what the Second Vatican Council rightly calls the principle of the unity of all the bishops and of the Church itself.
There is just no other way to view it, and I find it first of all ridiculous, but secondly very harmful, that people who simply present the Church’s teaching to the best of their ability are accused of being against the Holy Father or are accused of being divisive in the Church – even to the point of being accused of leading a schismatic movement in the Church. These are techniques that are used to advance certain agendas, and we ought not to be intimidated by them or to be led into silence by them. Rather, we should be encouraged even as Our Lord Himself encourages us, to speak the truth and to give witness to it in our daily lives.”
Assisting the Holy Father by Proclaiming the Truth
This then is our purpose in hosting ‘A Conference of Catholic Families’, to assist the Holy Father by speaking the truth about Catholic teaching on marriage and family life, to give witness to that teaching in our daily lives and in so doing, to help others to live by these teachings also.
We are currently organising the speakers for the conference and we will publish the official list shortly after Easter. Please keep this conference in your prayers and if you would like to help to defray the costs of this ambitious project then please feel free to make a donation as the costs are quite considerable.
The Eucharistic Miracles of the World
Our second project is to bring the Vatican International Exhibition of ‘The Eucharistic Miracles of the World’ to our Catholic family conference in Dublin and to travel around Ireland with this exhibition afterwards. This exhibition is described by the organisers as follows.
“With an extensive assortment of photographs and historical descriptions, the exhibition presents some of the principal Eucharistic Miracles that took place throughout the ages in various countries of the world and which have been recognized by the Church. By means of the panels, one can “virtually visit” the places where the miracles took place. The current exhibition includes 153 panels that are used to explain 152 Eucharistic Miracles with an additional 22 country and historical panel maps.”
This project stems from our recently published leaflet on ‘Three Eucharistic Miracles from the last 25 years’, all three of which were taken from this exhibition. The distribution of these leaflets is going extremely well, and they can now be ordered directly from our website www.lumenfidei.ie or by contacting me directly.
Fr John A Hardon
There is a booklet available, based on a conference given by Fr John A Hardon titled, ‘There Is No Stopping Abortion Without The Eucharist’. In it he puts forward this thesis.
“Our thesis may be stated in one declarative sentence. Professed Catholics must become channels of extraordinary grace to the modern world. And they will become channels of grace to others in the measure, I repeat only in the measure, of their own reception of grace through the Holy Eucharist as the sacrament sacrifice of the Mass, as the Communion sacrament of Holy Communion and as the presence sacrament of Christ’s Real Presence now on earth in the Holy Eucharist.”
With this exhibition we aim to rekindle belief in the real presence of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist throughout Ireland, to encourage adoration of the Eucharistic Christ and to call on Christ to help us in our battle against abortion.
Direct Connection between Liturgical Decline and the Increase of Abortion
Readers of Catholic Voice will be very aware of the Institute of Christ the King and their promotion of the traditional liturgy of the Catholic Church, but not many Catholics are aware that there is a direct connection between the exponential increase in abortion worldwide, and the decline in the beauty of liturgical practices that have occurred since the introduction of the New Mass and the subsequent widespread abuses that have been tolerated and promoted. With your help, ‘The Lumen Fidei Institute’ has campaigned against some of these abuses through this paper.
We must never underestimate the importance of Christ’s real presence in the Most Holy Eucharist or the importance of the proper celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The four ends of the Mass are Adoration, Thanksgiving, Reparation and Petition. It is primarily through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that we fulfil our obligations to “Love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.” Matthew 22:37)
Our third project, ‘A National Living Rosary for Ireland’ is being launched this week and is based on the Living Rosary Association founded by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot. It involves groups of fifteen people committing to saying one assigned decade of the Joyful, Sorrowful or Glorious mysteries each day. There is no need for these people to gather in a group, just to commit to saying their decade daily which will be assigned to them. The overall intention of this Living Rosary is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We are also including a secondary intention of praying for our bishops and priests. Initially we want to establish a ‘Living Rosary’ group in each diocese so that the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries are being prayed daily for each of our bishops. Once we have the bishops covered, we want to begin extending this Living Rosary to cover our priests who are all so much in need of our prayers and some of our priests are faltering in the promotion of the Catholic faith. We must lift them up by means of the holy Rosary.
Sr Lucia of Fatima is quoted as having said.
“There is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”
If you would like to join with us in this National Living Rosary for Ireland, then please see the notice elsewhere in this edition of Catholic Voice for details of exactly what is involved. You can contact me directly or sign up online.
In these times of great struggle for the Catholic faith and for our nation, it is time to stop cursing the darkness and to begin lighting the ‘Lumen Fidei’ – the lights of faith.
Please pray for us as we seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice. If you can support us with a generous donation or with a donation of any size, no matter how small, then we are most grateful. We are under the direct patronage of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and St Joseph, in whom we place all our trust depending on them to send us the support of your prayers, your generosity and your good will in support of these three projects.
Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about any or all of these exciting projects.
May God bless you.
© John Lacken 2018
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