Rebuilding a Culture of Life #prolife


In John Paul II’s encyclical, Familiaris Consortio, (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), he states (p. 45) “The Church is called upon to manifest anew to everyone, with clear and stronger conviction, her will to promote human life by every means and to defend it against all attacks, in whatever condition or state of development it is found.

Our society has become a culture of death. This is most obvious now that several states in the USA allow for abortion up to the moment of delivery.  In January, Gov. Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, which expands abortion rights and essentially allows abortion up to the moment of delivery.  In the photo of the signing, every person is smiling joyfully. Crowds cheered when the news came that New York would allow abortion up to the moment of birth. World Trade Center 1 was lit in pink to “celebrate.”

I’ve been pregnant eleven times with twelve babies (five living sons), and I just cannot comprehend how anyone could be elated and happy that a baby can be killed up to the moment of delivery.   Just 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton said that abortion should be, “safe, legal and rare.”   What happened to that attitude?

Since 1969, Canada has had no restrictions or law regarding abortion. Killing an unborn child is legal right up to the moment of delivery.

Until recently, the movie “Unplanned,” was banned in Canada. Based on Abby Johnson’s compelling book , theaters here in Canada initially “claimed” that it was too controversial. However, these same theaters also regularly show movies with graphic sexuality, language and violence. Thankfully, Landmark and others have overturned this decision and we will be seeing Unplanned at theaters in Canada beginning July 12.

Our own grandchild is currently weeks away from being born and yet here in Canada, my daughter-in-law could legally walk into any clinic or hospital and kill her baby. Thankfully, she and my son are staunchly pro-life.  But thinking about the innocence and defenselessness of a small baby being murdered at any point in pregnancy breaks my heart.  How has our world gotten to this point where such an evil act can be considered a good thing and something to rejoice about?  And can anything be done to turn the tide back to embracing all life from conception to natural death?

“The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then defend life.” St. John Paul II

What about cases of rape?  That’s what my husband and I are always asked when we talk to high school students about the evil of abortion.  First, pregnancy from rape is rare.  Yes, it happens, but it’s less than one percent of all abortions. Second, seventy percent of women who are raped and become pregnant decide to continue the pregnancy. Some keep their babies; others give their babies up for adoption.  The innocent baby does not deserve the death penalty for the sin of his father.  For a compelling story, watch this beautiful testimony from Jennifer Christie.

We must do more to fight against the culture of death by rebuilding a culture of life. Here are a few ways to do so:

Prayer and Fasting
Never underestimate the power of prayer and fasting. Daily Mass, the daily Rosary, a weekly fast (especially on Fridays) and other forms of prayer have more effect than we can possibly realize. Spiritually adopting a baby in danger of abortion is a beautiful way we can build the culture of life. Try to recite the Litany of the Saints daily. We can never know the effect that our prayers have had (until we die), but be assured this is one of the most important ways to rebuild a culture of life.

Chastity, NFP and Openness to Life
All Christians (not just Catholics) are called to practice chastity and be open to life. Being chaste before marriage and practicing marital chastity (faithfulness) is essential for building a culture of life. Contraception is “intrinsically evil,” (CCC 2370) it harms marriages and separates couples physically and spiritually. Natural Family Planning (www.ccli.org) is a safe, moral and effective way to avoid and plan pregnancies.

Some contraceptives are actually abortifacient (cause early abortions), rather than preventing conception. In certain parts of the world, abortion is used as a contraceptive and pre-born baby girls are being killed by the thousands simply because they are female.

This also includes treating children as blessings rather than burdens.  Children are a gift from God.  Is parenthood hard work?  You bet it is.  But these little human beings deserve our attention, love and respect.

Vote Pro-Life
Make sure that your voice heard. Register to vote and vote often and whenever the opportunity arises. This can be no more evident than in our upcoming presidential election. Although I have been living in Canada for 37 years, I remain a US citizen and I have continued to vote in US Federal Elections.

Corporal/Spiritual Works of Mercy
Performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy will also help to rebuild a culture of life because these works will help build spiritual character. When we are closer to Christ, we are closer to a culture of life.

The corporal works of mercy, based on Matthew 25:31-36, are: 1. feed the hungry 2. give drink to the thirsty 3. clothe the naked 4. shelter the homeless 5. visit the imprisoned 6. care for the sick 7. bury the dead.

Being pro-life doesn’t mean that we stop support for women with unplanned pregnancies when they have their babies. Donating clothes and food to crisis pregnancy centers and spiritual support are essential in rebuilding a culture of life.

And being pro-life also doesn’t just mean being against abortion; it also means respecting and defending life at all stages. Donating blood (if you’re able to), visiting the elderly, the sick and those who are confined to their homes are all wonderful ways to rebuild the culture of life.

The spiritual works of mercy, commanded or encouraged in many places Scripture, are: 1. admonish the sinner 2. instruct the ignorant 3. counsel the doubtful 4. comfort the afflicted 5. bear wrongs patiently 6. forgive all injuries 7. pray for the living and dead.

Peaceful Pro-Life Events
Attend peaceful pro-life events like the National March for Life (in the USA it is held every January; in Canada, it is held every May around Mother’s Day), the Hike for Life and other Pro-Life rallies.

Patience and Charity
It’s important to be patient and charitable when speaking to, interacting with, or debating with, those who are pro-abortion. Many of these fiercely pro-choice women have had abortions.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.” Try not to be judgmental of the person (always separate the person from the sin). In some cases, these women were coerced by their partners or parents (those who should’ve been protecting them) into having an abortion.

Be a Good Example
Being a good example of Christian virtue is another great way to rebuild a culture of life. Volunteer at or support a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, embrace faithful Catholicism and donate money to causes that will rebuild the culture a life.

Helpful Pro-Life Resources:

Familiaris Consortio by John Paul II

Persuasive Pro-Life: How to Talk About Our Culture’s Toughest Issue by Trent Horn and Fr. Frank Pavone (foreword)

Abolishing Abortion: How You Can Play a Part in Ending the Greatest Evil of Our Day by Fr. Frank Pavone

Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions by Randy Alcorn 

Pregnant from Rape: Jennifer Christie

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

Unplanned by Abby Johnson

If each of us does our own part, we can rebuild a culture of life, one in which every life is respected and valued from conception to natural death.

Copyright 2019 Ellen Gable Hrkach

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The Father’s Son by Jim Sano #nowavailable

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The Father’s Son by Jim Sano is now available on Kindle and in Print.

Amazon Synopsis:  Despite a traumatic and difficult childhood, 39-year-old Boston sales executive, David Kelly, seems to have it all. While building a life of achievement, material success, and professional respect, an unexpected friendship with Tom Fitzpatrick starts him on an emotional and courageous journey that allows him to confront the truth of his past and the impact it has had on the relationships in his life. The Father’s Son is a highly engaging and masterfully written story that will make you think about faith, family, friendship, forgiveness, redemption, love, and truth, and may prove to profoundly impact how you look at life itself.

Reviews:

More and more baptized Catholics are walking away from the Church. Many have simply never been evangelized. Many have simply never been given a proper opportunity to encounter Jesus. Many have simply been hurt in their lives, some even by the Church. If we are serious about evangelizing them we will need to fully embrace Pope Saint John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization: “new in ardor, methods, and expressions.” The Father’s Son is a beautiful example of answering that call. For those of you who are striving to evangelize baptized Catholics – especially men – I would recommend getting this book into their hands. It is a story that will resonate with those who are dealing with wounds in their lives and might be what they need to set them on the path towards happiness, which ultimately will lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.   Michael M. Lavigne -Assistant Cabinet Secretary for Evangelization and Discipleship, Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship, Archdiocese of Boston

 I admit that I am a bit of a sucker for an engaging conversion story, but Jim Sano provided not only a book that I had to exercise great discipline to put down, but into the story of this young executive’s journey of faith he weaved a clear, relevant and attractive description of the Catholic Faith and its power to transform.  Today it seems all too easy to drift away from the Faith that had perhaps once been ours, and then to suffer the consequences of that neglect.  Here is a book that leaves its reader not only longing for more of the story, but wondering if the same hope and healing might be possible for them too.  Read this book, and get it into the hands of somebody you know who might need to remember what it means to be a son or daughter of a good father.   Ron Bolster -Assistant Professor of Theology, Director of Catechetics at Franciscan University

 Jim Sano’s The Father’s Son weaves a wonderful story around childhood misconceptions that lead to misshaped adult values, and how providence can lead people into our lives to set things straight. In this case, God leads sales executive David Kelly to Tom Fitzpatrick, who becomes both a friend and spiritual mentor, which in turn takes David on a journey that unravels the truth of his past and restores the faith he had abandoned. Definitely a book you’ll want to share with anyone who needs gentle nudging toward putting faith in God.   Michelle Buckman, author of CALA winner Rachel’s Contrition

 Questions galore filled my head as I kept reading with anticipation each chapter of The Father’s Son. Because David seems so together in most areas of his life, it kept gnawing at me. Why can he not commit? Why is there a chill running through the family’s relationships? It did not seem to fit. Tom is the catalyst who brings out David’s best, and worst, too! This novel “makes you laugh, makes you cry, and keeps you waiting.” Now, that’s a good book.   Florence Henderson

To get your copy, click here.

#FREE on #KINDLE Pondering Tidbits of Truth Volume 2

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Today through Thursday, Pondering Tidbits of Truth (Volume 2) by Michael Seagriff will be available FREE on KINDLE.

Volume 2 of Pondering Tidbits of Truths, like the other four books in this series, presents 100 potentially life-changing quotations for you to read and ponder, one morsel at a time, at your own pace and at a time of the day that  you  find  most  convenient – when you first begin the day, during your coffee or lunch break, while you are in the waiting room of your doctor, or before settling in for the night.  All five volumes are also excellent for group reflection and discussion.

Each of the books in this series is a simple but sure-fire tool to make certain you spend some time every day thinking about, and being in the presence of, the God who loves you and desires to spend eternity with you. It is an inspiring way to learn more about the Catholic Faith. (You can view a short book trailer on this series here.)

AS AN ADDED BONUS!!! – In addition to this free giveaway, the first 10 readers of Pondering Tidbits of Truth – Volume 2 who post a review on Amazon.com and send the author a link to their review will receive a free, signed paperback copy of Volume 5! The ten lucky winners will be well on their way toward having the full 5 volume set!

GET YOUR FREE Copy of Pondering Tidbits of Truth – Volume 2!!!  – From Tuesday, August 20, 2019 through Thursday, August 22, 2019 only BY CLICKING HERE

There are 1440 minutes in each day. Give God just five of them. Slowly read and chew on one quotation at a time. Ponder the truths and challenges it contains. Ask God to let you know how He wants you to respond to what you are reading. Then do as He tells you!

This is what a recent reviewer had to say about Volume 1. His comments would apply to any of the five books in this series:

“…I usually try to find some good spiritual reading before bedtime – either something very inspirational, or else something very informative about spirituality, a relationship with God, or about the Church. This book was quite different – I could not quite make it out. I ended up reading it through a number of times, trying to size it up, and found eventually, in the midst of snow-shoveling or some other mundane task, that quotes from the saints from the book would pop out to me. It dawned on me then what this book was – none other than a primer, an exercise manual in saintliness! As one would read a book to improve one’s tennis game, or knowledge of a foreign language, or relationship skills, Vol I offers us a clear path to holiness! Ordinary goodness / kindness / spirituality will only go so far – to approach sanctity, we must go EVEN FURTHER, and Vol. 1 gives us 100 examples from the testimonies of the saints, as to how far we are called to go, on the path of love, for God and His people. WWTSD? ‘What Would The Saints Do,’ indeed, in thought, word, and action!”-Armand Di Scenna

Don’t miss out on your free copy! Please share this post with your readers, friends, family and fellow bloggers. Tell them to get their free copy as well!

 

An Open Book – August 2019

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Today I am joining with Carolyn Astfalk and CatholicMom.com for An Open Book.  Here is what I’ve been reading and planning to read!

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On sale for only .99 this week! A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer!

Amazon Synopsis:  WINNER in the 2016 Catholic Arts and Letter Award (Young Adult Category)!  Heaven Intended (Book One) Amara McKirnan and Nathan Simmons share a devotion to their Catholic faith but their loyalties lie on opposite sides of the Civil War. Dedicated to the Confederate cause, Amara offers to help out at her uncle’s makeshift hospital in Atlanta. Fate brought Nathan to their doorstep and into Amara’s life. Little does Amara know that the wounded soldier she cares for harbors a secret that will not only jeopardize his life but hers as well.

Follow Amara and Nathan’s story from the heart of war-torn Atlanta to the Northern Georgia battlefields to the plains of East Texas as their lives become intertwined in a way that shatters the separate worlds they once knew.

 

MidwifeThe Midwife by Gay Courter

Amazon Synopsis: In this blockbuster bestseller we meet Hannah Blau, the midwife, who fought savage religious prejudice to gain medical training in Moscow’s legendary Imperial College. She fought her own doubts and fears as she plunged into a forbidden love affair and an even more hazard-filled marriage. She fought the awesome odds facing a Jewish immigrant and the bitter hostility of male doctors in turn-of-the-century New York. She fought for her burning dreams and desires. She fought and she won. This sweeping novel follows the courageous and passionate Hannah from the corridors of the Imperial Palace to the Lower East Side, and finally to New York’s Fifth Avenue mansions — recreating a whole world of striving, of love, of lust, of life, death and birth.

My review:  I’ve read this book numerous times, but it’s one that I enjoy reading over and over again because I enjoy the time period (early 1900’s) and the topic (midwifery).

The author doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties and challenges of being a midwife and a Jew at this time period in Europe.  There are underlying themes, but in the end, Hannah is a believable, well-developed person of the time period.  5 out of 5 starts.

 

Lance Veil

The Lance and the Veil by Kevin Rush

Amazon Synopsis:  “[A] richly imagined novel…A big, bold Biblical saga to fire the Christian imagination!”  Kirkus Reviews

On the fateful road to Calvary, his part was cruelty; hers was compassion. The Lance and the Veil tells the story of Veronica, a princess of Rome, and Longinus, a career soldier. Each, alone in a violent world, comes to a holy land during a time of miracles.

Veronica wiped the face of her Lord moments before His death. Longinus pierced his captive’s side, then declared, “Truly, this man was the Son of God.”

The Lance and the Veil imagines how these two witnesses to salvation came to their moment in  history. Kevin Rush weaves imperial history, Holy Scripture and forgotten Christian folklore into a fast-paced, romantic adventure that uplifts, educates, edifies and entertains.

Kevin Rush has mastered a seemingly forgotten art…the ability to write engaging, faith-infused historical fiction in the tradition of Taylor Caldwell.
– Cary Solomon & Chuck Konzelman, screenwriters for God’s Not Dead

My review:  on my To Read shelf.

Warrior

Warrior of the Kizan by Ann Margaret Lewis

Amazon Synopsis: To save a princess, he must first save himself.Star Wars meets Edgar Rice Burroughs in this techno-magic tale of war and redemption!

Dakhar Talin, a member of a cursed, telepathic people, who is the new head of security for the Royal House of Emun. When the princess, Tasia, is kidnapped, Dakhar’s investigation leads him to a sinister planet called Earth. But inner demons from his military service torment him, threatening his sanity, integrity, and the success of his mission. Can he bring the princess home before he loses his soul to ever-corrupting madness? Read Warrior of the Kizan, the new space opera adventure by former Star Wars author Ann Margaret Lewis!

My review: Warrior of the Kizan by Ann Margaret Lewis is a highly entertaining, well-written sci-fi tale that brings aliens and humans together in one story. The two main other-world characters, Dakhar and Tasia, are from a planet that uses soul speak (can talk without words). Tasia is the heir to the throne and is kidnapped. It is Dakhar’s job to find her and bring her safely back home. Dakhar has unresolved issues of his own. She ends up on earth, where she meets friends and enemies alike. Lewis builds both the alien world and the earth settings with excellent precision and her characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional. Even if you aren’t into sci-fi or space operas, you’ll enjoy this story. Highly recommend.

Three Married

Three to Get Married by Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Amazon Synopsis: One of the greatest and best-loved spokesmen for the Faith here sets out the Church’s beautiful understanding of marriage in his trademark clear and entertaining style. Frankly and charitably, Sheen presents the causes of and solutions to common marital crises, and tells touching real-life stories of people whose lives were transformed through marriage. He emphasizes that our Blessed Lord is at the center of every successful and loving marriage. This is a perfect gift for engaged couples, or for married people as a fruitful occasion for self-examination.

My review:  I recently watched a biography of Fulton Sheen and it renewed my interest in reading some of his books.  This has been on my To Read shelf for many years so I’m in the process of reading it.  Loving what I read so far!

 

Blind Justice

Blind Justice by James Scott Bell

Amazon Synopsis: Jake Denney has hit rock bottom. His wife has left him. He’s drinking again. And his five-year-old daughter is in the middle of it all. When a judge calls him “a disgrace to the legal profession,” Jake starts thinking things might be better for everyone if he wasn’t around anymore.

Then a childhood friend’s mother phones him. Her son, Howie, has been accused of murdering his wife. Jake takes the seemingly hopeless case in a last-ditch effort to save his client and his fading career.

Meanwhile, Howie’s little sister, Lindsay, has grown into a beautiful woman. Though Jake is drawn to her, there’s something about her he doesn’t understand, even though it may be the very thing he needs to reclaim his humanity.

With the evidence mounting against his client, and a web of corruption closing around them both, Jake Denney faces the fight of his life–not only in the courtroom, but in the depths of his own soul.

“Move over John Grisham. James Scott Bell has done it again with Blind Justice. A must read!” – Nancy Moser, author of The Invitation and The Quest

My review: Downloaded this for free on Kindle. On my To-Read shelf!

 

 

 

#FREE on #Kindle Emily’s Hope #NFPWeek

My first book, Emily’s Hope, is free on Kindle until Friday!

Emily's Hope

 

Amazon Synopsis: Emily’s Hope is the gripping story of one young woman’s physical, emotional, spiritual journey from high school to adulthood. Interspersed throughout the story are flashbacks to Emily’s great-grandmother’s troubled life, with a climax culminating in the surprising revelation that Emily and her great-grandmother are connected more deeply than by ancestral ties alone.  Based on a true story.

Reviews:

“I would encourage everyone to read this book, certainly young women.” David Beresford, Catholic Insight Magazine

“While this book is definitely about Natural Family Planning, it is also about the love of husbands and wives, the love of parents for their children and the agonizing moral choices we sometimes face. It is also about real people…and about being witnesses to a culture of life in a world overshadowed by the culture of death.” Kristie Wellman, One More Soul Magazine

“There is so much to love about Emily’s Hope: the innocence of young love, the beautiful, miraculous, healing power of love and the beauty of sacrificial married love and its life-giving splendor. This story is not a fantasy, but is a tender and sensitive portrayal of what makes love real and lasting.” Jean M. Heimann, blogger, Catholic Fire and author

To download Emily’s Hope for FREE on Kindle, click here:

NFP Week July 21-July 27, 2019

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National NFP Awareness Week – JULY 21 – JULY 27, 2019

Love, Naturally!

Natural Family Planning

Cooperating with God’s design for married love

“Celebrate and reverence God’s vision of human sexuality.”

NFP Articles:

Rebuilding a Culture of Life 

NFP and Resolutions for the New Year

Humanae Vitae and the Benefits of NFP

Responsible Parenthood and NFP

 

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Ella’s Promise Cover Reveal

The third book in the Great War Great Love series, Ella’s Promise, will be released on November 1, 2019.

Synopsis: When she joins the war effort during the Great War, American nurse Ella Neumann doesn’t see allies or enemies. The daughter of German immigrants, all she sees are human beings in need of care. A promise to herself and a promise made to her by an enemy officer become the catalyst for the life she plans to lead after the war. But a handsome Canadian soldier may complicate her plans. In this third installment of the Great War – Great Love series, join Ella in a tale of promises, betrayal and unconditional love.

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