Halfway Through Lent

Fossils and Amethysts 100

©Heidi Bratton Photography

The time of Lent is an occasion that the Lord has given us to deepen our Faith. This weekend we arrive upon the fourth Sunday of Lent, also called Laetare Sunday, and the middle of this Holy Season. It is called Laetare Sunday because in the midst of the austerities of Lent we are called by the liturgy of the Church to rest and to rejoice, to gaze at the Heavenly Jerusalem where all our desires and longings should be focused. We endure the struggles on earth because we are hoping to live forever in the joyous company of Our Lord, Our Lady, the angels, and all the just who have fought the good fight.

So it is a good time to take stock of how seriously we are taking advantage of this time of grace. Remember also that, as many great thinkers have said, an unexamined life is in some ways similar to an animal’s life: a life that is not proper to a human person who is created in the image and likeness of God.

We should recommit ourselves to seeing how central the faith truly is to our lives. We might find that our faith does not have the priority that it should have. We have to remember that an existing, but detached or nominal faith might be satisfying from an intellectual point of view, but by itself it does not save us. So we have to pray and act to make our faith the leading light that guides us in our daily lives.

As we have discussed here before, we must also ensure that we are living our life with coherence: That is, we must assure that there is great consistency between the Faith which we proclaim and in which believe, and how we are conducting our everyday life.

And how are we following the particular calling that the Lord has given us? All of us receive a general call to reach the Kingdom of Heaven, but in addition we also receive a particular call, such as a vocation to marriage or religious life, and even a call to serve God and society in given trade or profession. To fulfill this calling to each of one of us the Lord has given us particular talents, so we also have to examine how we are using our God-given gifts. We have to be careful not to devalue these gifts through false humility, as we see in the parable of the man who received only one talent and thought that the most prudent thing to do was to bury that talent and protect it. Talents are given by God to be used, not to hide away.

Last but not least, we must examine how we are participating in the most crucial struggle of our time, the defense of life and marriage. Do we in some active way defend all human persons from conception or the biological beginning of the human being through to his natural end? Do we defend and promote marriage as the most basic institution of human society, as established by the Creator and as perfected by our Redeemer? In this struggle, there is no place for fence sitters. Keep in mind the terrible judgment that the book of Revelation has on the tepid, “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3-16)

It is obvious that if all are called to this enormous struggle, not all are called to participate in the same way. Some who have heavy family responsibilities, or are elderly, or are called to the contemplative life might only be able to participate with their prayers. But that will be more than enough, because the prayers of the truly faithful can move mountains and open the minds of many minions of the culture of death, helping them to receive the graces of conversion.

Many more, however, must discern whether, in addition to prayer, they are called to a more active participation in this struggle. There is no doubt that the Lord will grant them the graces to fulfill their duties in the right and proper way.

As we have been saying lately, there is an opportunity right now for those who want to get into the fight, but are not sure how. We at HLI have been joining our many pro-life partners here in America in calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded. This sick, destructive organization, the largest performer and promoter of abortion, receives over 360 million of our tax dollars annually. We are forced to subsidize the performance of abortions and the distribution of carcinogenic contraceptives to young women. This must end now, while there is an openness in Congress to make cuts to the budget.

You can join the fight by doing something as simple as calling your Congressional representative or writing a letter to the editor. Just click here to learn how you can help. We can all do this, in addition to increasing our prayer to end the scourge of the culture of death in our nation and around the world.

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula is the  Interim President of Human Life International.

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