We find ourselves today in the midst of a fearful challenge to the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, and the divinely appointed source of human life, the family constituted by the indissoluble, faithful and procreative union of one man and one woman.
As Catholics, our most basic moral duty is to defend and foster the inviolable dignity of innocent human life and of its cradle: marriage and the family. The commandments of God calling us to respect our father and mother, and all human life, are written upon our hearts by God from the first moment of our being. If we do not respect the family and human life, it can only mean one thing for us: death. Called to be co-workers with our Lord Jesus Christ in His mission of the salvation of the world, our first responsibility, inscribed in our innermost being, is to respect the family and human life. We cannot bring the light of Christ to the world unless we first defend the family and human life from the many attacks of those who choose death, of those who are the agents of what Pope Saint John Paul II rightly called “a culture of death”..
No matter how difficult the battle may seem, we are obliged to fight for marriage and its fruitfulness in the family. To fail to engage in the battle is for us the betrayal of our deepest nature. How will we fight the battle on behalf of the foundation of human society and our most defenseless brothers and sisters? Our first and most important armament is prayer and especially the Rosary which is one of our most powerful prayers. Given the gravity of the attacks on human life and on marriage and the family today, we must storm heaven with prayer. In our communion with God, in our union with the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, through prayer, we receive the gift of the invincible love for the family and its fruit, human life made in God’s own image and likeness, so sorely needed in our time.
The Mother of God, Our Lady of Guadalupe, appeared on the American continent in 1531, at a time of the diabolic practice of human sacrifice and of the threat of a war between Native Americans and Europeans. Both of which resulted in the violent loss of life for countless thousands. She appeared to Saint Juan Diego to lead us to the mercy and love of God, incarnate in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and her Son. Drawing her beloved sons and daughters to the Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Guadalupe became the mother of a culture of life, of faith and of peace among all peoples. She is the Mother of us all, on every continent, in every age. Before the fearsome challenges we face in the battle to safeguard human life and its cradle, the family, let us turn to the Mother of Christ, asking her intercession as she interceded for us in 1531, that we may put an end to initiatives that would undermine the inviolable dignity of innocent and defenseless life and would violate the integrity of marriage and family life as God intended “from the beginning.”
Let us beg for the intercession of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Mother of God, through the powerful prayer of the Holy Rosary. Our Lady of Guadalupe is our great ally in the battle for the protection and fostering of families and of all human life. She draws us to the mystery of the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. With her, let us gaze upon the mystery of God’s unceasing and immeasurable love for us in Jesus Christ, praying the mysteries of the Rosary. Let us take inspiration from the victory which our Lord gave to the Christians of Europe in 1571, who faced enslavement and destruction at the hands of the Moslem forces at the Battle of Lepanto.
The intercession of Mary was implored at the Battle of Lepanto in a twofold manner. First, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, touched to the miraculous image on the tilma of Saint Juan Diego, was enthroned in the cabin of the Admiral of the Christian fleet, Giovanni Andrea Doria. Second, the Holy Father, Pope Saint Pius V, called for the praying of the Rosary by Christians throughout Europe. Our Lady heard the prayers of her children, and responded in a most powerful way. In a battle which seemed to be without hope, God granted victory through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her titles of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Victory, and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God and Star of the New Evangelization,
pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Juan Diego, pray for us.
Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE
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