These creatures of government funding now attack the living

By Steve Mosher, president of Population Research Institute
 
Originally published in the Washington Times on June 22, 2015.
As a conservative, I don’t have much use for foreign aid, preferring to support private charitable efforts overseas. But when Washington politicians began to dole out huge sums of money several decades ago, existing nonprofits lined up for their share of the take.

Groups like CARE, Population Services International (PSI), and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are still thought of as charities, but have less and less in common with America’s vibrant voluntary tradition. They are too busy administering population control programs for USAID.

Take CARE, for instance. Today’s CARE bears little resemblance to the food relief organization that was set up by Christians in the wake of World War II. CARE packages full of canned goods have been succeeded by “Sexual and Reproductive Health” (SRH) manuals and programs, which in practice means abortion, sterilization and contraception.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to CARE itself: “Effective programming in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a vital component of CARE’s work to reduce poverty and social injustice. and must be addressed to achieve sustainable reductions in poverty.”

Well, no. It is not at all clear that forcing birth rates down is the road to riches. The opposite is certainly true — Europe and Japan are dying precisely because higher living standards invariably result in lower birthrates — but CARE’s views reverse cause and effect.

Now you may agree or disagree with its new population control agenda, but it is undeniable that CARE doesn’t care in the same way it used to. Its foreign aid programs have become indistinguishable from those of its largest donor, the U.S. government. In fact, CARE receives about half of its annual budget, or $266 million, from the U.S. and other governments.

However low it has since sunk, CARE at least had an honorable beginning. The same cannot be said of so-called non-governmental organizations likePopulation Services International (PSI) that were, from the beginning, little more than government subcontractors.

Founded by a purveyor of sex toys, PSI initially received almost all of its funding from the U.S. government. There was, it seems, a natural fit between Phil Harvey’s porn business and USAID’s anti-population bomb agenda: Lots of sex and no babies. And of course there is the necessary back-up when contraception fails: PSI’s patented “Safe Abortion Kits.”

Even today, with revenues of 349 million in 2011, PSI continues to receive the lion’s share of its funding from USAID and European government agencies focused on population control. PSI would scarcely exist but for the vast infusions of government money that it receives on an annual basis.

PSI is, in effect, a mask worn by Western governments to avoid the unpleasantness that would ensue if U.S. officials themselves were to tell Africans or Latinos that they were having too many children. Better to let employees of a government-funded “charity” — possessing an incomprehensible acronym instead of a proper name — give them the bad news.

Finally, there are charities like Catholic Relief Services (CRS) who are still ostensibly trying to maintain their own identity in the face of what is essentially a hostile takeover by the government. At least that’s what organizations like Catholic Relief Services (CRS) would have us believe that it is doing.

But how Catholic can “Catholic” Relief Services be when over half of its funding comes from the federal government? This comes to several hundred million dollars a year.

And not as if this money comes with no strings attached. Say you apply for a grant from the U.S. government as a Catholic organization and thus want to preferentially hire Catholics, serve Catholics, and work through Catholic Church abroad.

“Sorry,” says the Obama administration. “That would be discrimination on the basis of religion. If you want a grant you have to hire all comers — including former Planned Parenthood employees and others who flout the teachings of the Church. Not only that, you can’t work through the Church overseas, you have to work around it.”

CRS‘ senior executives understand who’s paying their salaries, and it isn’t the ordinary pewsitter.

This dual loyalty means that the population control priorities of USAID sometimes win out, as when CRS was caught supervising the distribution of abortifacient contraceptives in Madagascar’s Santenet2 program. Or scandalizing Kenyan Catholics by promoting population control programs. All paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, of course.

I don’t know which is worse: Front organizations that were created by former USAID employees who engaged in the equivalent of insider trading by taking advantage of their knowledge and contacts to get huge new government grants. Or “real” charities, the majority founded by Christians, which have been baited by the lure of all that easy government money into vehicles for delivering population control programs into the bedrooms of the world’s poor.

Truth be told, I am less bothered by the first than the second. The first is a merely a manifestation of greed and opportunism, while the second marks a real perversion of purpose away from the noble intentions of their founders.

* Steven W. Mosher is president of the Virginia-based Population Research Institute, a charity that receives no government funding.

Obama Pressures UN to Drop Family Language

Dear Colleague,

Obamanation

It is a travesty the kinds of pressure Barack Obama puts on poor countries to advance a radical agenda. Over the past six years, Obama has tried to force poor countries to reject family language that has been a part of international law since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration and other documents refer to “the family”. To Obama and his leftist friends in Europe, this is not inclusive enough and they insist upon “all families” or “various forms of the family.” Seventy groups from around the world complained to the UN General Assembly this week about what he is trying to do. Stefano Gennarini reports. (Austin Ruse, C-Fam )

Groups From Around the World Tell the UN “Don’t Scrap Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

By | July 30, 2015  Source: C-FAM

UN general assembly

NEW YORK, July 31 (C-Fam) As countries negotiate the overhaul of the UN development system, they are also re-negotiating the place of family in UN policy.

Over 70 organizations from around the world petitioned the UN to keep the long revered language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights about the family as the “natural and fundamental group unit of society” in an influential new UN agreement.

Leftist governments, including the United States, are trying to convince the Genral Assembly to discard family language from the Universal Declaration and instead use phrases that critics consider to be ideologically freighted, specifically “all families” and “various forms of the family.” These types of phrases have been rejected in recent years but the Obama administration has made it a priority to have them used in this important development document.

“70 years after the founding of the United Nations, this language continues to be the mainstay of virtually every UN resolution and conference that has mentioned the family,” the groups state in joint statement on the agreement that is currently being negotiated and will be adopted in September as the UN celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding.

It adds that it would be “tragic” to see the insertion of ambiguous family language in the agreement instead.

The statement urges UN member states to include the language of the declaration in order “to ensure the post-2015 summit outcome reflects the majority view that the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society, where children are the natural fruit of the love between men and women.”

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has accompanied virtually every reference to the family in UN agreements since the declaration was first adopted in 1948. This may not be the case for much longer.

The paragraph that mentions the family in the draft agreement that is currently being negotiated leaves out the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The African group, consisting of 57 African nations, and the largest regional negotiating bloc at the UN, is the only group of nations to express their desire for the language from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be included in the new development agreement so far this week. They said they would prefer to have no reference of the family in the final outcome than not include the language of the declaration.

Other negotiating blocs that would normally side with the Africans, such as the Arab group and the Caribbean nations have dithered under pressure from the United States and European countries. While they will not commit to recognizing same-sex relations, they have accepted to leave out the language of the declaration.

During negotiations countries from Europe and America have said the family is irrelevant to social and economic development, and have asked for deletion of the paragraph or recognition of “various forms of family”—a phrase by which they also mean same-sex relations. None have supported inclusion of the language from the declaration.

Insiders know this is a negotiating tactic.

The Europeans and Americans don’t want a reference to family with the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because it excludes any international recognition of same-sex relations as capable of constituting a family. A reference to family accompanied by the language of the declaration would qualify any reference to family in the context of the implementation of the new development agreement.

By leaving out the language of the declaration these countries will feel they have the necessary wiggle room to promote same-sex relations as families through the UN system.

Due to the recent uproar over undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees callously speaking about harvesting body parts from aborted babies, there are probably some pro-choice (in all honesty, pro-abortion) persons who are having second thoughts about their support for abortion. The uproar has compelled me to resurface what I feel is one of the most important posts you will find on this blog. Even if you’ve read it before, please do so again. In any case, you might be able to enlighten someone you know by sharing it with them at this particular time.

For those who can’t afford the time to read the whole piece,  please at least read the following excerpt:

No matter what type of killing procedure is used – whether it mutilates the victim or not; whether it is perceived as a brutal and barbaric act of violence or not – a life is exterminated. Someone’s future eliminated. A pre-born infant, child, adolescent, adult – a person – is deprived of its very existence in the physical realm.

All of us must come to the realization that all intentional killing of human life is barbaric unless in legitimate defense.

We all must come to sufficiently recognize the human person in everyone who is victimized, rejected, abandoned, and defenseless in the worldwide community. This cannot be accomplished if we do not firstly recognize and protect the most defenseless among us – the unborn.

WHAT ABORTION REALLY IS

As the caesarean incision was made,
before the abortionist broke the water,
I could see the baby moving
underneath the sack of membranes.
My mind exclaimed “My God, that’s a person!”

And when the water was broken
a pain pierced my heart,
like the time when I first assisted in a suction abortion.

And when he delivered the baby,
I couldn’t touch it.
I wasn’t much of an assistant.
I just stood there.

The reality of what was going on
finally began to seep deeply into
my calloused mind and heart.

They took that little baby
that was making little sounds
and moving and kicking,
and set it on a table
in a cold, stainless steel bowl.

And every time I would look over
while we were finishing the surgery,
I would see that little person
kicking and moving
in that cold, stainless steel bowl.
Kicking and moving
less and less
as time went on,
in that cold, stainless steel bowl.

When we were finished I went over to the baby.
I watched as it struggled to take tiny breaths.
Its tiny chest was still moving.
Its tiny heart was still beating.
In that cold, stainless steel bowl.

Then I really hurt inside.
Then I began to realize what abortion really is.

The above was adapted from the extract, which follows the comment below.

Comment:

Although the author of the testimony presented in the extract below, after assisting at his first suction abortion, recognized that the severed body parts of the victim were those of a person he eventually became desensitized to this reality. It wasn’t until he witnessed the agonized movements of his first non-mutilated aborted baby, as it struggled to survive outside its mother’s life-nourishing womb, that he sufficiently recognized a human person in this rejected, abandoned, defenseless, dying innocent victim. Enough so that he finally came to his senses and recognized what abortion really is.

No matter what type of killing procedure is used – whether it mutilates the victim or not; whether it is perceived as a brutal and barbaric act of violence or not – a life is exterminated. Someone’s future eliminated. A pre-born infant, child, adolescent, adult – a person – is deprived of its very existence in the physical realm.

All of us must come to the realization that all intentional killing of human life is barbaric unless in legitimate defense.

We all must come to sufficiently recognize the human person in everyone who is victimized, rejected, abandoned, and defenseless in the worldwide community. This cannot be accomplished if we do not firstly recognize and protect the most defenseless among us – the unborn.

Read on.

Extract from WorldNetDaily.com March 23, 2004:

In a special edition on abortion last year, WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine profiled several medical doctors who explained why they quit doing abortions. One of them, David Brewer, M.D., who performed abortions for 10 years as a military physician in Ft. Rucher, Ala., described his medical-school abortion training this way:

I can remember … the resident doctor sitting down, putting the tube in, and removing the contents. I saw the bloody material coming down the plastic tube, and it went into a big jar. My job afterwards was to go and undo the jar, and to see what was inside.

I didn’t have any views on abortion; I was in a training program, and this was a brand new experience. I was going to get to see a new procedure and learn. I opened the jar and took the little piece of stockinet stocking and opened that little bag. The resident doctor said, “Now put it on that blue towel and check it out. We want to make sure that we got it all.” I thought, ‘That’ll be exciting – hands-on experience looking at tissue.’ I opened the sock up and put it on the towel, and there were parts of a person in there.

I had taken anatomy. I was a medical student. I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm; I saw some ribs and a chest, and a little tiny head. I saw a piece of a leg, and a tiny hand and an arm and, you know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I had a conscience, and it hurt. Well, I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head and so forth, and I turned and said, “I guess you got it all.” That was a very hard experience for me to go through emotionally.

Here I was with no real convictions, caught in the middle. And so I did what a lot of us do throughout our life. We don’t do anything. I didn’t talk with anybody about it, I didn’t talk with my folks about it, I didn’t think about it. I did nothing. And do you know what happened? I got to see another abortion. That one hurt too. But again I didn’t do anything, and so I kept seeing abortions. Do you know what? It hurt a little bit less every time I saw one.

Then I got to sit down and do an abortion. Well, the first one that I did was kind of hard. It hurt me again like a hot poker. But after a while, it got to where it didn’t hurt. My heart got calloused. I was like a lot of people are today — afraid to stand up. I was afraid to speak up. Or some of us, maybe we aren’t afraid, but we just don’t have our own convictions settled yet.

One particular abortion changed Brewer’s life.

I remember an experience as a resident on a hysterectomy (a late-term abortion delivered by caesarean section). I remember seeing the baby move underneath the sack of membranes as the caesarean incision was made, before the doctor broke the water.

The thought came to me, “My God, that’s a person.” Then he broke the water. And when he broke the water, it was like I had a pain in my heart, just like when I saw the first suction abortion. And then he delivered the baby, and I couldn’t touch it. I wasn’t much of an assistant. I just stood there, and the reality of what was going on finally began to seep into my calloused brain and heart.

They took that little baby that was making little sounds and moving and kicking, and set it on the table in a cold, stainless steel bowl. And every time I would look over while we were repairing the incision in the uterus and finishing the Caesarean, I would see that little person kicking and moving in that bowl. And it kicked and moved less and less, of course, as time went on. I can remember going over and looking at that baby when we were done with the surgery and the baby was still alive. You could see the chest was moving and the heart beating, and the baby would try to take a little breath like that, and it really hurt inside, and it began to educate me as to what abortion really was.

PRI Blew the Whistle on the use of MVAs years ago

Jonathan Abbamonte, Population Resource Institute – Source

2015 JUL 27

MVA (manual vacuum aspirator)

A second video alleging Planned Parenthood’s gruesome selling of fetal body parts surfaced last week. And once again we find a senior executive of the organization, Dr. Mary Gatter, willing to put women’s lives at risk in order to make more money for the organization and for themselves.

As Gatter explains, “I wouldn’t object to asking Ian, who’s our surgeon who does the cases, to use an Ipas [manual vacuum aspirator] at that gestational age in order to increase the odds that he’s going to get an intact specimen.”

“Intact specimens”, you see, are worth more money. And Planned Parenthood gets them by using a device that regular readers of our PRI Review are all too familiar with: a manual vacuum aspirator.

Manual vacuum aspirators are murderous machines used to abort babies between three and fourteen weeks gestation. They are large, unsophisticated syringes operated by hand that work by suctioning the fetus from its mother’s womb. The baby’s delicate body is crushed and sliced as it is aspirated through a long cannula. After the abortion procedure, the baby parts are emptied into a bowl of water or vinegar and inspected to insure that all pieces are there and accounted for. One must wonder how a “doctor” can can justify abortion as he or she inspects baby parts floating in a pool of vinegar.

Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) uses less suction than electronic vacuum aspiration (VA), perfect for preserving more organs intact for harvesting. It’s for this reason Gatter refers to MVA in the video as a “less crunchy technique.”

Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) devices are used particularly in developing countries because they can be used without electricity. Since MVA devices require little training to operate, they are often used by non-physician abortion providers. Their small price tag and portability allow them to be widely distributed in remote locales, often in areas with poor sanitation and poor healthcare.

PRI has long documented the use of MVAs in developing regions. Unsterilized reusable MVAs have likely contributed to the spread of AIDS in Africa and STIs worldwide. The painful MVA procedure is often done without anesthesia such as in the Marie Stopes clinic we documented in Kenya. MVA devices have been reported to be used up to sixteen weeks gestation under the guise of “menstrual regulation” and “post-abortive care,” the abortion advocate’s code words for first trimester abortion in countries where abortion is illegal or largely restricted.

Planned Parenthood would stand to benefit financially from switching from VAs to MVAs. Electronic vacuum aspiration equipment is far more expensive than MVA devices. Some researchers argue MVAs can be done in the doctor’s office, saving the cost of having to invest in maintaining expensive operating rooms. Alisa Goldberg, MD concludes her study comparing MVA and VA procedures by saying as much, “Whereas purchasing an electric vacuum machine requires a large initial investment, the manual aspiration equipment is inexpensive…These factors, together with the simplicity of use…could increase the number of physicians who offer abortion to their patients in an office setting.”

MVA devices are not subject to FDA approval. PRI years ago tried to have the FDA pull the MVA abortion devices off the market but the FDA would not budge. In fact, they would not even subject MVAs to the same safety standards required of all other medical devices on the market. The FDA claims the devices do not require a pre-market review because they were available prior to May 28, 1976. New iterations of MVA devices are not subject to review as long as they do not deviate too far from their original design. Even so, according to the FDA, “manufacturers are primarily responsible for determining whether changes that are made to their device require the submission of” the proper forms.

While the FDA has refused to review the device for safety, a number of adverse reports have been filed with the federal regulatory organization including a report of uterine perforation and even death.

The lead manufacturer of MVA devices, Ipas, is not a pharmaceutical or medical device company but rather an international abortion advocacy organization. Ipas declares on its own website that it is dedicated to expanding “comprehensive abortion care.” The abortion activist organization is also actively involved in “work[ing] with nations’ ministries of health to interpret laws governing abortion in the broadest terms possible and to write standards and guidelines for abortion care accordingly to ensure access for as many women as possible.” In other words, the MVA device manufacturer is actively involved in pressuring independent nations into loosening restrictions on abortion and in finding loopholes in the law to increase access to abortion.

Ipas also advocates for non-physician procured abortions. MVA abortions procured by mid-level practitioners have higher failure rates and complication rates than MVAs procured by doctors.

PRI blew the whistle years ago on Ipas’s deceptive practice of distributing miscarriage-inducing misoprostol to women in South American countries where elective abortion is illegal. When women report to their doctors, hemorrhaging from the drug, the physician completes the abortion procedure under the guise of treatment for a spontaneous miscarriage.

Ipas claims to have distributed over 800,000 reusable manual vacuum aspirator devices worldwide. Ipas asserts that this is enough to commit 20 million abortions.

As one of Ipas’s leading donors , Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) stands behind Ipas’s mission to promote abortion. In fact, Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States accounting for about one-third of all clinical abortions.

During its fiscal year 2013-2014, Planned Parenthood committed 327,653 abortions, roughly the equivalent of the population of St. Louis, Missouri. At this figure, Planned Parenthood aborts children at a rate of 37 every hour. PPFA’s parent organization, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), aborts over 1 million children every year worldwide.

PPFA receives approximately $500 million every year in federal and state grants and reimbursements. Half a billion tax dollars are funding the largest abortion provider in America every year.

Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Planned Parenthood’s selling of fetal body parts. A recent Rasmussen poll indicates that only 25 percent of likely voters find the practice permissible.

Planned Parenthood’s abortion business is out of touch with public sentiment. The most recent Gallup poll on late term abortion indicates that 64 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in the second trimester and 80 percent believe it should be illegal in the third trimester. Many Planned Parenthood clinics provide abortions after the first trimester.

Last Tuesday, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 which strips all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The bill has already garnered 137 cosponsors. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) has since introduced a similar bill in the Senate.

Americans should not be forced to subsidize an organization that sells fetal body parts for profit and procures late term abortions. An abortion giant like Planned Parenthood does not need our taxpayer dollars.

Dr. Gatter can be seen at the end of the video bartering for maximum profit while settling on a price that doesn’t look suspicious. “Let me just figure out what others are getting, and if this is in the ballpark,” Gatter says, “if it’s still low, then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini.”

It is a sad fact that many reject the food we in the Church offer; many even deny that they are hungry. But they are hungry and Jesus is about to ask our help in feeding them. Thus, while we may see opponents to the faith, this text lifts up an image that is rooted in the universal human problem of hunger, physical and spiritual.

What Are Your Five Loaves and Two Fishes? A Homily for the 17th Sunday of the Year

By Msgr. Charles Pope (posted with permission – source)

We have in today’s gospel the very familiar miracle of the loaves and the fishes. One is tempted to say, “Oh, that one …” and then tune out. But the gospel today contains a personal appeal from the Lord’s lips to your (my) ears: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”

Immediately, objections begin to pop up in our minds. But let’s be still and allow the Lord to instruct us by applying this Gospel in three stages.

I would like to apply this gospel in such a way as to illustrate our need to evangelize the culture in which we currently live. It is an immense task, one that can overwhelm us, and yet the Lord still bids us to get busy and join him in feeding the multitudes.

I. THE IMAGE THAT IS EXTOLLED – The text says, Jesus went up on the mountain and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him.

The text says that Jesus saw a large crowd. I wonder if we do? Generally today when we think of the Church, we think of declining numbers. This is because we tend to think in terms of the number of members. In contrast, Jesus thinks in terms of those who need to be reached. And, as we know well, the number of those who need to be reached IS large! So while it seems clear to us that the gospel is currently “out of season,” we must never forget that everyone is precious to the Lord; He wants to reach all and feed them with His grace, mercy, truth, and love.

So, the image that is extolled is that of need, not of believers and non-believers. Is this how you and I see the world? Jesus sees all the world as a vineyard, as a mission field. He sees all as hungry, no matter how obstinate they are. It is a sad fact that many reject the food we in the Church offer; many even deny that they are hungry. But they are hungry and Jesus is about to ask our help in feeding them. Thus, while we may see opponents to the faith, this text lifts up an image that is rooted in the universal human problem of hunger, physical and spiritual.

II. THE INSUFFICIENCY THAT IS EXPRESSED – The text says, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” Jesus said this to test Philip, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fishes; but what good are these for so many?”

There is a human tendency to feel overwhelmed. This is understandable since the task of evangelizing and feeding the world is daunting to say the least.

Yet note that they are NOT without any resources. It may seem insufficient, but it is not nothing.

And so it is for us who may feel overwhelmed by the cultural meltdown taking place before our very eyes. It seems that every number we want to go down is going up, and every number we want to go up is going down. The cultural war seems to be occurring on multiple fronts: family, marriage, sexuality, life issues, religious freedom, schools, church attendance, the rise of secularism and atheism, and the lack of personal responsibility and self-control.

The list could go on and on. It is not difficult to demonstrate that the disrepair in our culture is enormous. The task of evangelizing our culture may seem far more difficult than coming up with two hundred days’ wages.

But note that Jesus says, “Where can WE” get enough to solve the problem. For it is not only up to us, mere mortals, to resolve the grave issues of our day. The Lord asks us to work with Him. Now, it would seem, we have a fighting chance!

III. THE IMMENSITY THAT IS EXPERIENCED – Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,” Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves.

By now this story is so familiar that we are not shocked by the outcome. But no matter how many times we hear it, we still do not really accept its astonishing truth.

· I can do all things in God who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).

· All things are possible to him who believes (Mk 9:23).

· For man it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God(Mk 10:27).

· Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness (2 Cor 9:10).

We all know that this world is in an increasingly bad state. The problems seem overwhelming and our resources seem so limited to turn back the tide. What will we ever do with only five loaves and two fishes?

Jesus says, “Bring them to me.”

A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. The conversion of the whole world begins with me. As I look the huge problems before me, I (this means you) assess my loaves and fishes:

· I work on my own conversion. A holier world has to start with me. If I get holier, the world gets holier.

· I look to the poor I can serve, maybe with money, maybe by using my talents to tutor or counsel, maybe just by giving of my time to listen.

· I pick up the phone and call a family member who I know is hurting.

· I love my spouse and my children.

· I spend time raising my children to know the Lord and to seek His kingdom.

· I exhort the weak in my own family. With love, I rebuke sin and encourage righteousness.

· If I am a priest or religious, I faithfully live my vocation and heroically call others to Christ by teaching and proclaiming the gospel without compromise.

· If I am young, I seek to prepare myself devoutly for a vocation to marriage, the priesthood, or religious life.

· If I am older, I seek to manifest wisdom and to provide a good example to the young.

· If I am elderly, I seek to prepare myself for death devoutly and to display the desire for Heaven.

· I pray for this world and attend Mass faithfully, begging God’s mercy on this sin-soaked world.

It is too easy to lament the condition of the world and, like the Apostles, to feel overwhelmed. Jesus says, “Just bring me what you have and let’s get started.” The conversion of the whole world will begin with me, with my meager loaves and fishes.

Jesus will surely multiply them; He will not fail. Already there is renewal evident in the Church, through a faithful remnant willing to bring their loaves and fishes (some of the things mentioned above and more besides). They are bringing them to Jesus and He is multiplying them. Renewal is happening; signs of spring are evident in the Church.

There is an old saying that it is easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth. Indeed it is. If it is a converted world that you want, start with yourself. Bring your loaves and fishes to Jesus; bring your slippers and let’s get started. It begins with me.

This song says,

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song,
If I can show somebody, how they’re traveling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

If I can do my duty, as a good man ought,
If I can bring back beauty, to a world up wrought,
If I can spread love’s message, as the Master taught,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

head-in-sand