Sunday, March 27, 2011

April 2011

For St. Joan of Arc Praise Ministry and Knights of Columbus Newsletters, April 2011

With April comes the end of Lent and Holy Week, culminating in the greatest celebration of the Church year, Easter. One of the principal focuses of Lent this year in the Archdiocese of Denver is extra prayer in support of the gift of life. The evil of abortion has become big business in our country, with abortion providers profiting from the deaths of the unborn and the scarring of mothers who yield to the horrible temptation of killing the child within. As our culture has become accustomed to this evil, other attacks on the sanctity of life grow stronger: assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell “research” (experimenting on embryos to create clones, thereby killing the unborn, and use the products for “healing” of other people), and euthanasia (the intentional murder of the elderly and the disabled).

The primary weapon against evil in the world is prayer: pray for the defenseless who are endangered by these threats. Pray for the conversion of those who advocate these evils. And, especially, pray for the pregnant woman tempted by abortion and for depressed and suffering people tempted to suicide. Offer everyday pains and suffering along with prayers for life. Additional weapons include writing and calling key political leaders to oppose further anti-life legislation voting for pro-life leaders.

It makes sense to have Lent provide the opportunity to focus on the gift of human life as a prelude to celebration of the gift of eternal life at Easter. The Lord Jesus, the son of God, freely emptied himself of his divine prerogatives so as to be born of a Virgin, and to live a human life like ours in all things but sin. He walked among us, teaching, healing the sick, and casting out evil He drew a small group of disciples around him, taught them, and showed them what they, too would be called to do. He then suffered from their lack of understanding and their abandonment of him (the beginning of his Passion), and he gave himself over to be scourged, taunted, crowned with thorns, and, finally, the culmination of the Passion, crucified. By his death, our sins (when we confess them) are forgiven. By his wounds, we were healed! But the gift of Christ Jesus is greater than that, because, by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was raised from the dead. And, His resurrection opens the gates to Heaven. For those who say “yes!” to the gift of faith in Christ Jesus, are baptized, and seek to follow him in the paths he lays out, eternal life is a reality even in this life. By our seeking to do the will of the Father and follow his Son, the Father comes to us to make a dwelling place of both of them with us. We Catholics believe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which allows the Holy Trinity to live within us, comes with Baptism, and is strengthened by Confirmation and nourished by Eucharist.

The Catholic Church is pro-life, in the everyday, and pro-eternal life, for that which is to come.

Pray in all ways, always.

May you have a fruitful Lent and a happy and holy Easter.

Deacon Rex Pilger     

A special day...

Today our third oldest grandchild, Abigail, celebrates her third birthday. She will now get to share her day with the memory of her Great-Grandmother Louise, my mother, who passed away this morning.

We were blessed to have Grandma Louise here in Colorado since July of last year. And, I hope that she was blessed with the presence of so many family -- not only four of her seven grandchildren and two of seven great-grandchildren, but also cousins of my father, both of their generation, but also mine and younger. Rest in peace, Mother.

Four generations: Louise with (front-to-back): Abigail on Mary's lap, Mackayla with Andrew, and Rex (August, 2010).