28 December 2016

'Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by those children who are not allowed to be born . . .' Pope Francis

The Massacre of the Innocents, Pieter Bruegel the Elder 

28 December, Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

Let us allow the Child in the manger to challenge us, but let us also be challenged by all those children in today’s world who are lying not in a crib, caressed with affection by their mothers and fathers, but in squalid 'mangers that devour dignity'. Children who hide underground to escape bombardment, on the pavements of large cities, in the hold of a boat overladen with immigrants… Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by those children who are not allowed to be born, by those who cry because no one relieves their hunger, by those who hold in their hands not toys, but weapons. (Pope Francis, Homily, 24 December 2016). [Emphasis added]

TORONTO, December 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner will be in jail for Christmas following her arrest December 12 while attempting to save unborn children and their mothers from the violence of abortion.
Wagner, 42, was arrested at the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic and charged with breach of probation and mischief.
A devout Catholic, Wagner does not agree to bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion facilities, so remains in custody until her trial and conviction.
Sister Immolatia of the Fraternity of the Poor of Jesus Christ, a fraternity founded fifteen years ago in Portugal and which ministers to the homeless and those in prison, witnessed Wagner’s arrest.
“My response to expressions of distress about her arrest is that the radical, subversive love that Mary is living, the personal sacrifice and hardship, are necessary,” Sister Immolatia wrote in a reflection on the day’s events.
Read the full report here.

Adoration of the Shepherds, Caravaggio [Web Gallery of Art]

May we too be challenged and called by Jesus. Let us approach him with trust, starting from all those things that make us feel marginalized, from our limitations and our sins. Let us be touched by the tenderness that saves. Let us draw close to God who draws close to us. Let us pause to gaze upon the crib, and relive in our imagination the birth of Jesus: light and peace, dire poverty and rejection. With the shepherds, let us enter into the real Christmas, bringing to Jesus all that we are, our alienation, our unhealed wounds, our sins. Then, in Jesus, we will enjoy the taste of the true spirit of Christmas: the beauty of being loved by God. With Mary and Joseph, let us pause before the manger, before Jesus who is born as bread for my life. Contemplating his humble and infinite love, let us simply tell him: Thank you. Thank you because you have done all this for me. (Pope Francis, Homily, 24 December 2016). [Emphasis added]

Read more about Mary Wagner and another courageous Canadian pro-life activist, Linda Gibbons, who has also spent much time in jail, here.

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