Praying for a Deeper Respect for Life

02-21-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

What singles us out as the person we are? It is not just our physical appearance, but our words and the way we interact with one another. As human beings we are created to love and be loved. Sometimes things happen that separate us from one another. It is sad to see family members divided because of some misunderstanding or unwillingness to work things out. Sadly we are divided in our nation over political and moral issues. This coming Lent our parish project is to be part of “40 Days for Life.” Everyone is invited to join in this effort to lessen and eliminate the evil of abortion that is legal in our nation. Our most powerful tool comes from our faith - our ability to pray and seek and witness to God’s truth.

I encourage everyone to pray for a deeper respect for life in our nation, especially on Tuesdays during Lent. That is the day we are invited to join together in front of Planned Parenthood on Maple Avenue in Smithtown to pray and stand up for life. Our prayers are for those poor innocents who are not wanted. How sad that we have used our technology to quickly and efficiently kill and dispose of them.

To stand in front of Planned Parenthood is to put ourselves in the public eye as we seek to do good for the most vulnerable among us. In a sense we might be considered “lepers,” people who are on the fringes of our society and out of step with our national spirit. One of the inspiring thoughts that strengthens me is that Jesus was considered a “leper” to those in power religiously and politically at His time. He was a “leper” because He was pure goodness, pure love, pure truth, and pure mercy. Becoming one with us in our humanity, He lived and loved to the fullest extent possible with the people and political and religious spirit of His time. Those in power were more concerned about their own position and the status quo in which they were too comfortable. To stand up for pure truth as Jesus does may not seem so appealing at times. But there is no peace where there is a denial of truth and those with no voice are considered “lepers” that can be disposed of legally, quickly, and efficiently.

Whether you are can join with us in front of Planned Parenthood or not, please consider praying for an end to abortion. Pray a rosary every day or at least on Tuesdays. I pray two rosaries every day, one of which is for an end to abortion and peace in our nation. I find meditating on the words of prayer and the Mysteries of the Rosary to be enlightening. There are thoughts that would not have otherwise come to mind. That is a gift from the Blessed Virgin Mary and her joy to listen to our prayers and intercede for us as she inspires us with her life of complete faith, hope, and love for God. Every Tuesday evening, we will conclude our prayerful efforts with a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament in our church beginning at 7:00 PM.

I conclude with the words of prayer from the Preface from the First Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation. It offers inspiration, hope, and direction. I invite you to take some time to prayerfully reflect on the words of this beautiful prayer.

It is truly right and just that we should always give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God. For you do not cease to spur us on to possess a more abundant life and, being rich in mercy, you constantly offer pardon and call on sinners to trust in your forgiveness alone. Never did you turn away from us, and, though time and again we have broken your covenant, you have bound the human family to yourself through Jesus your Son, our Redeemer, with a new bond of love so tight that it can never be undone. Even now you set before your people a time of grace and reconciliation, and, as they turn back to you in spirit, you grant them hope in Christ Jesus and a desire to be of service to all, while they entrust themselves more fully to the Holy Spirit. And so, filled with wonder, we extol the power of your love, and, proclaiming our joy at the salvation that comes from you, we join in the heavenly hymn of countless hosts, as without end we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.