The Legion of Mary, the Gospel of Life, and the Spiritual Works of Mercy

By Maureen Ward

In the area of Catholic Pastoral Care, the Legion of Mary is second to none. How can it not be since Frank Duff “invented” Pastoral Care so to speak. When Frank Duff, who was a Civil Servant by trade and a St. Vincent de Paul member in his free time, initially started the Legion of Mary which began as a little association to do spiritual works of mercy, the first assignment was to visit the sick in the wards of a large Dublin Hospital .

In pro life issues, I am afraid the Legion of Mary is lagging behind what I believe Frank Duff would have expected of this association that he founded.

When it comes to unborn children who unquestionably are the weakest of the weak, the most downtrodden of the downtrodden, the Legion of Mary, in many places, seems to me to be sadly lacking in mercy if we do not include them in the Legion’s ministry.  We are abandoning pre-born children and their mothers in our outreach. Some in the organization consider these pro-life works of mercy, such as instructing, counseling and praying as being political. I disagree.  It is not political to counsel and it is not political to instruct.  It is certainly not political to pray.

Unfortunately I have even had some members tell me that praying cannot count as a suitable legion work. Prayer is probably the most important legion of Mary work there is.  Here is a quotation from Pope John Paul II “Pray for the many spiritual and material needs of your families, your communities, the whole Church, and all of humanity. Indeed, prayer is the first and greatest work of charity that we must do for our brothers and sisters.” I couldn’t agree more,

There are so many ways that the legion of Mary can answer the Church’s Call to defend and promote Life.  Praying silently or counseling women at abortion sites seems like a good way to me. We could and probably should be promoting Holy Hours with prayers for unborn children and their mothers and all others who are affected by abortion. Also, there is the Spiritual Adoption Program for the unborn which I think would be an ideal project for a Praesidium to take on.  If the Legion of Mary really presents the “True Face of the Catholic Church” (Pope John XXIII) then we must visibly and with conviction, defend all of her Teachings.

Shawn Carney the National representative from 40 days for Life says:

“When you pray at the abortion facility you represent the last hope for the baby scheduled to be aborted …

… but you are also represent the first sign of mercy as the woman leaves the facility after the abortion.”

This Week’s Ask Alice: “Ask and you will receive.”



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Cathi H writes: What does Jesus mean when he says,
“Ask and you shall receive” when clearly there are a million cases when it doesn’t work out that way? And I’m not referring to selfish prayers, but for things like wisdom, peace, provision for my children’s needs, etc. Thanks!

Alice answers: Jesus wasn’t joking when he said, “Ask and you shall receive.” Our Lord does not make empty promises. He is true to His word. God answers every prayer in His own way, in His own time. When we don’t get what we want quickly, we think God has refused to give us what we ask for in faith. However, God’s prayer clock does not tick according to our time.

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens….He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11)

Clearly, God’s ways are not our ways. After praying for wisdom, we might become tongue-tied when attempting to counsel a troubled friend. Perhaps, we were called to be a listener, not an adviser, to our friend, and God answered our prayer after all. If we pray for peace in our family, God might ask us to be a peacemaker, who must endure the stress of settling family feuds.

One of my relatives has been angry with God since the death of her husband. she felt that God ignored her prayers for successful surgery. Recently, she was crying that God let him die. Recalling his alcoholism, smoking, emphysema, COPD, acid reflux and type-A personality, I suggested that instead of shortening her husband’s life, maybe God lengthened it, in answer to a prayer whispered long ago.

After they adopted a child, the husband had asked God to let him live to see his daughter celebrate her 21st birthday. That prayer was indeed answered, since their daughter had just turned 21, at the time of his death. My friend had never considered the date of her husband’s death as God’s gift of a longer life.

God’s unique way of answering prayers also involves my precious daughter, who is battling her third relapse of Hodgkins’ Disease. On April 1, she was scheduled to enter the hospital for her 2nd Stem Cell Transplant. Scores of people have been praying that she would need only a mini transplant, instead of a major one, that requires intense amounts of chemotherapy. Her suitcase was packed, and just last Saturday, she received the Sacrament of Anointing.

Last night, the oncologist informed her that a PET scan had revealed a small spot, necessitating the major procedure. Instead of feeling devastated, she was unusually peaceful, calmly asking if there was another way to eradicate the spot. Her oncologist mentioned a new drug that has been extremely successful, so she decided to try it, in the hope that the mini transplant will indeed be possible.

“Leave it to the Lord and wait for him.” (Psalm 37:7)

Our family is very happy with her decision, as we have been praying that she wouldn’t need the 2nd stem cell transplant, or that she would receive the mini transplant, instead. We believe God is answering our prayers for healing … in His way … and in His time.

“That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

 

Doug Lawrence suggests this short, daily affirmation:

God hears my prayers. God will answer my prayers. God is answering my prayers. God has answered my prayers. God will continue to answer my prayers. God will never leave me or forsake me. Amen.


Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Could lead codices prove to be ‘the major discovery of Christian history’?

British archaeologists are seeking to authenticate what could be a landmark discovery in the documentation of early Christianity: a trove of 70 lead codices that appear to date from the 1st century CE, which may include key clues to the last days of Jesus’ life.

As UK Daily Mail reporter Fiona Macrae writes, some researchers are suggesting this could be the most significant find in Christian archeology since the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947.

The codices turned up five years ago in a remote cave in eastern Jordan—a region where early Christian believers may have fled after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE.

The codices are made up of wirebound individual pages, each roughly the size of a credit card. They contain a number of images and textual allusions to the Messiah, as well as some possible references to the crucifixion and resurrection.

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Just call him “Chuckie … open mic … Schumer!

Moments before a conference call with reporters was scheduled to get underway on Tuesday morning, Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, apparently unaware that many of the reporters were already on the line, began to instruct his fellow senators on how to talk to reporters about the contentious budget process.

After thanking his colleagues — Barbara Boxer of California, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how to cut spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John A. Boehner of Ohio, the speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said. “That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.”

A minute or two into the talking-points tutorial, though, someone apparently figured out that reporters were listening, and silence fell.

Link

Al Sharpton’s Obscene Support for Margaret Sanger’s Genocidal Legacy


Al Sharpton
, the so-called champion of civil rights angrily opposes the billboards: they’ve “depicted black women in an unfair way…The way you address that is not by demonizing black women.”

How would you address it, Al?  Continue supporting Planned Parenthood’s assault on black women, continue turning your leftist blind eye to the truth? Every time Planned Parenthood convinces black women to have abortions, they demonize black babies as unfit for America.

Link

Have the bishops been duped? Or is the leftist political agenda really more important to them than protecting America from terrorism?

On Tuesday, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., testified before Democratic Senator Dick Durbin‘s committee hearing on the civil rights of Muslims. Though he acknowledged the existence of extremist ideology within Islam, he opted to characterize this ideology as being something different from “authentic Islam.”

Even more troubling, however, particularly for a Catholic like myself, was his insistence that criticisms of the radical Wahhabist theology of ISNA, the group selected for dialogue by the USCCB, are misplaced. He further mentioned the “common good,” a legitimate term in worldwide Catholicism but co-opted by the radical Left in America, in the context of dialogue with these particular Muslims.

In our pluralistic society, religious values and commitments are assets for the common good, not sources of division and conflict. Today we note with particular sadness that Muslim Americans with whom we have had a positive dialogue for over the decades have had their loyalty and beliefs questioned publicly in sweeping and uninformed ways. This compels us to reach out in solidarity and support of their dignity and rights as Americans and believers. We worry about the rhetoric and actions that target our Muslim neighbors and friends. Like our own historical experience, their very loyalty as Americans and traditions and values are being threatened.

There are very troubling realities involved in this statement. First of all, Catholics should be concerned that the USCCB has opted to have Muslim-Catholic dialogue with ISNA.

According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, ISNA “is a radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation”; “convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred” (for instance, al Qaeda supporter and PLO official Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi was invited to speak at an ISNA conference); has held fundraisers for terrorists (after Hamas leader Mousa Marzook was arrested and eventually deported in 1997, ISNA raised money for his defense); has condemned the U.S. government’s post-9/11 seizure of Hamas’ and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s financial assets; and publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Islamic Horizons, that “often champions militant Islamist doctrine.”

That is really just the tip of the iceberg. ISNA is the largest Muslim Brotherhood front group on the North American continent. Has Cardinal McCarrick read the Team B II Report, Sharia: The Threat to America?

Link

Bishop Tobin prefers to maintain a positive view of things happening in today’s church.

I see a Church in which the vast majority of priests are good and sincere men who work very hard, conscientiously and generously, to serve the Lord Jesus and His people.

I see a Church in which most of our parishes are strong and vibrant; parishes that are filled every Sunday with good and faithful people who assemble to hear the Word of God, to receive the Holy Eucharist, and to thank God for the many gifts and blessings they’ve received.

I see a Church in which thousands of individuals, women and men, young and old, assist the Church either as paid professionals or volunteers in diverse fields such as Catholic education, religious education, youth ministry, Catholic Scouting, parish leadership and liturgical ministries.

I see a Church that has dedicated lay organizations – such as the Knights of Columbus, the Daughters of Isabella, the Saint Vincent de Paul Societies and many others – which invest lots of time, talent and money to do great, but often unseen things, in service to our Church and community.

I see a Church that’s not at all afraid to wade into the turbulent waters of intense public debate and bring the truth of the Gospel to issues such as health-care reform, immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage.

I see a Church that provides outstanding social services – supporting nursing homes and food pantries, helping refugees get settled in their new homes, teaching immigrants to speak English, providing heating assistance for families, and opening shelters for homeless folks during dark, cold winter nights.

I see a Church that’s determined in its defense of human life, with brave and hardy individuals praying in front of abortion clinics on frigid January mornings, generously providing for the needs of single moms, and testifying on behalf of holy matrimony in the halls of the State House.

I see a Church in which scores of remarkable young people spend their vacation time travelling to Jamaica and other Central American countries ministering to impoverished, handicapped children who will never have the material blessings that they themselves have.

You see, in the Catholic Church there are so many good people; so many good things that happen everyday. This is just a snapshot of the Church I see, and no doubt I’ve missed other parts of the beautiful mosaic. To those I haven’t mentioned, I apologize, but thank you too, for your dedication and truly good work.

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