Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

7/5/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

the new civil war is now a culture war between the culture of life and the culture of death

The new civil war has no army and has no set territories. It is a cultural war that knows no boundaries.  The battle between the culture of life and the culture of death affects every city, every family, every business, every school, and every church community.  This new civil war is even more intense than the first one. 

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/5/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: culture war, Pro-Life, Right to Life, Fr James Farfaglia, Independence day


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776).  We have heard and read these famous words many times.  Yet, it should be interesting for us to note that of the three fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the founding fathers of our nation recognize life as the first of these three unalienable rights. 

Why is the right to life the first of these God given rights?

Life is a gift from God.  The first pages of the Holy Bible direct our gaze to the awesome gift of life.  "And now, from the clay of the ground, the Lord God formed man, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and made man a living person" (Genesis 2: 7).      Life is entrusted to man as a gift.  Thus, man has a responsibility to this gift. 

In his encyclical letter The Gospel of Life, Blessed Pope John Paul II reminds us that this responsibility is carried out in three ways: love life, respect life and promote life. 

Regarding the love for life, Mrs. Lucille Dippolito provides an amazing example of someone who is committed to life.  She is a nurse and the mother of twenty children. The youngest is twenty-two, the eldest forty-three.  She says, "The more children, the more love". When the incredulous question how she and her husband can afford to have a large family, she responds, "For every little mouth that God sends, he sends the little bit that is needed. I had faith in God that as he had sent me each child, he was going to feed that child. We have lived better than some families with two or three kids. Our kids started doing things! It's not how many kids you have; it's your faith in God."

Lucille goes on to say, "Everybody is going to have a dark side; we're not here to have heaven on earth. What are people afraid of today? People that don't have kids have worse crosses than those who do! People need to start reading books on the joys of children. They are going to miss out on a lifetime of happiness. A baby is joy! Having children makes you healthy. After each child I got stronger; couldn't wait for the next one to get here! God gives you these things. You never have a dull moment.always something that you can look forward to. If you are always around young children, you will always be young at heart."

Aside from a love for life, we are to respect life as well.  My grandmother spent her last years in a nursing home because she was unable to care for herself.  Alzheimer's completely sapped her joyful vitality and totally changed her personality.

Every time I went home to visit my parents, we always spent time with my grandmother.  The visits were always very sad.  After my mother briefly reminded her whom we were, my grandmother would be delighted by our visits.  Our sadness was caused by our loss: what the illness had done to the once lovely, vibrant woman, my grandmother.

The nurses at the nursing home were extraordinary women.  In their own simple way, they attended to every detail of patient care.  There were many other patients there in worse shape than my grandmother.  I often wondered how the nurses could be so cheerful and so loving in such a difficult environment.

One day during one of our family visits, the nurse who always took care of my grandmother told me that she could not wait to retire so that she could come back every day to the nursing home and spend her entire day with the patients at no charge to the home.  She was so excited about the possibility of generously giving of herself without any restrictions.

Many people and many organizations are committed to the promotion of life.  The country is filled with millions of unsung heroes who each day work to promote life.  Locally, in the city of Corpus Christi, there are many who continue to do sidewalk counseling at the only remaining abortion clinic, and there are the hardworking individuals who are committed to the important work of Hope House, Birth Right, the Gabriel Project, the Society of the Body of Christ and Rachel's Vineyard.  Each year, Celebration for Life draws supporters to an evening of fine dining and entertainment and raises the much needed funding to support pro-life activities here in South Texas. 
   
The Founding Fathers got it right.  They understood that there is a relationship between life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Freedom and happiness are impossible without the fundamental right to life.  Why is this so?

Let us remember that no matter how small a little baby may be in the mother's womb, a new human being begins at the moment of conception.  This new human being is entitled to the right to life as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. If anyone has the right to terminate the life of an innocent human being, not only are those who are being terminated no longer equal under the law, but proponents of abortion are laying the ground work for choices to be made about the extermination of other groups of people.

Was this not the case in Nazi Germany?  Not only were Jews, Gypsies and Catholics considered less equal than others, but a favored few took upon themselves the right to determine which individuals had the right to live. 

Is not this the case of slavery?  Not only were Africans considered to be less equal, but also once again the strong exerted their power over the weak, giving themselves the right to choose who would be enslaved and who would go free.

If a woman has the right to kill her baby, what is to keep a sniper from executing his next victim?  If a doctor has the right to murder an innocent child, what is to keep a child from killing his own classmates?  If a hospital has a right to sponsor homicide, what is to keep a state from supporting terrorists?

The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights.  All other rights depend upon the right to life.  Abortion is a horrific evil claiming over 4,000 lives every day.

Man is not autonomous.  He is created by God and therefore, must live in union with his creator.  When humanity rebels against God the results are obvious for all to see in the news every day. 

James Madison, the fourth president of our nation and one of our founding fathers once said, "We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

As you walk up the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, you can see Moses holding the Ten Commandments. As you enter into the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.  As you sit inside the courtroom, the Ten Commandments are displayed right above where the Supreme Court judges sit.

The Fifth Commandment states, "Thou shall not kill."  On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in America. 

Many years ago, during a parish bible study that I was directing, a young parishioner asked me if I thought that we would soon see another civil war in this country.  I answered him by saying that a civil war has already been taking place. 

The first civil war took place from 1861 - 1865.  The horror of slavery was not the only cause of the war, but it was certainly the main issue at hand.  During his famous Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln wondered if the nation could endure.  Through his presidency, which cost his very life, his dream did take place: "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

The new civil war has no army and has no set territories. It is a cultural war that knows no boundaries.  The battle between the culture of life and the culture of death affects every city, every family, every business, every school, and every church community.  This new civil war is even more intense than the first one. 

Again, looking back at Blessed Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter The Gospel of Life, he even wrote about a "conspiracy against life."  "As I emphatically stated at Denver, on the occasion of the Eighth World Youth Day, 'with time the threats against life have not grown weaker.  They are taking on vast proportions.  They are not only threats coming from the outside, from the forces of nature or the 'Cains' who kill the 'Abels'; no, they are scientifically and systematically programmed threats.  The twentieth century will have been an era of massive attacks on life, an endless series of wars and a continual taking of innocent human life.  False prophets and false teachers have had the greatest success" (Evangelium Vitae, 17.2).

The culture war of today is dramatic and very challenging.  What will bring about a new birth of freedom?  What will allow our government to be a government of the people, for the people, and by the people? What will keep America as we know it from perishing from the face of the earth?

Blessed Pope John Paul II provides us with the answer in his encyclical letter.  "What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life.  All together, we must build a new culture of life: new, because it will be able to confront and solve today's unprecedented problems affecting human life; new, because it will be adopted with deeper and more dynamic conviction by all Christians; new, because it will be capable of bringing about a serious and courageous cultural dialogue among all parties.  While the urgent need for such a cultural transformation is linked to the present historical situation, it is also rooted in the Church's mission of evangelization.  The purpose of the Gospel, in fact, is to transform humanity from within and to make it new" (Evangelium Vitae 95.2).

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11: 28).  These words from this Sunday's gospel passage will give consolation to all those who are the tired soldiers of the culture of life.  The overwhelming demands of family life, the constant struggle to be faithful within a nation dominated by the culture of death, the weariness that may be caused by years of commitment to the pro-life apostolate can cause occasional discouragement.  But, Jesus tells us today to persevere.  We will find our strength in him. 

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."  These words from the gospel will give consolation and peace to all those who have had abortions or who have helped someone obtain an abortion.  Remember, Jesus does love you and his open arms wait for your repentance.  Only in him will you find healing and the opportunity to begin again. 

-------

Father James Farfaglia is the founding pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church and is currently the new pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.  Both parishes are located in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Visit Father James on the web at http://www.fatherjames.org and purchase his new book Get Serious! A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics and his first book, Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life.  Father has a hard hitting blog called Illegitimi non carborundum. 


 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Living Faith

MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey

Image of Take the Ash Wednesday survey so we can better serve your needs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is conducting a global survey on Ash Wednesday practices. Each reader is asked to participate once. The survey will take less than a minute to complete. The results of the survey will help Catholic Online determine how best to serve your needs in the ... continue reading


Pope Francis' message for Lent (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH) Watch

Image of

By Pope Franics, Vatican Radio

"I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13).The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee 1. Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelizedIn the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I asked that "the season of Lent in ... continue reading


'There is nowhere else for us to go': Nuns who feed homeless face eviction after rent nearly doubles Watch

Image of Nuns who feed homeless were told to pay or leave (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The cost of living in San Francisco has skyrocketed to the point that and new reports indicate Bay Area housing has reached such heights that the area's average income can no longer support it. Unfortunately, this means everyone is downsizing or moving - including ... continue reading


The 'Martyred Country': Pope Francis' powerful words on Syria Watch

Image of Pope Francis led the crowds in praying the Hail Mary

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

The plight of Syrian civilians involved in the nation's ongoing conflict was at the heart of Pope Francis' appeal to the international community on Sunday, in an address where he also called for a renewed commitment to the protection of life at all stages. ... continue reading


POPE FRANCIS ANGELUS: February 7, 2016 (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

Dear brothers and sisters, Goodmorning!The Gospel of this Sunday says - in the drafting of St. Luke - the call of the first disciples of Jesus ( Lk 5,1-11). The fact takes place in a context of everyday life: there are some fishermen on the shore of Lake Galilee, who, ... continue reading


Is this where the Annunciation took place? Ancient artwork sheds light an old mystery about the Virgin Mary Watch

Image of The Annunciation, 1859 (oil on canvas), Pinchon, Auguste.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

One of the oldest depictions of the Virgin Mary is casting new light on the Annunciation. A new look at an ancient depiction in the Yale University Art Gallery is making some question what they believe about the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


How do presidents pray? The beginning of a beautiful tradition Watch

Image of John F. Kennedy praying during the 9th annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 9, 1961 (Prayers for America).

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

This morning marks the 64th annual National Prayer Breakfast and President Obama's last time attending the remarkable tradition while in office.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On the first Thursday in February, the members of Congress and evangelical ... continue reading


Pope Francis will travel to Mexico as a messenger for peace Watch

Image of Pope Francis has participated in a collective interview, in which he responded to four questions posed by 33 people from various states across Mexico (Catholic News Agency).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis will leave for Mexico in just over a week. In a new interview with a Mexican news agency, he told citizens of the crime-ridden country that while there, he hopes to be a messenger of peace, which must be fought for daily. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Sparks fly over Pope Francis' interview with Asia Times Watch

Image of Pope Francis did not speak of religion or freedom when praising China as a progressive country (Vatican).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis' exclusive interview on Tuesday afternoon has been met with harsh criticism. Though the pontiff spoke highly of the country, he steered clear of religion and freedom talks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis spoke ... continue reading


Sis boom bah! American Circus cheerleaders perform for Pope Francis at the Vatican Watch

Image of Pope Francis enjoyed a cheer by the American Circus, which performed at the Vatican on Wednesday (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Following his general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis enjoyed cheers, acrobatics and juggling performed by the Italian troupe "American Circus." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During the Papal Audience, the American Circus performed before the pontiff and ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Palm Sunday HD Video
  • Stations of the Cross - Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother HD Video
  • Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • St. Scholastica: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 2:12-18
12 'But now -- declares Yahweh- come back to me with all your heart, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
1 'Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Corinthians 5:20--6:2
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 10th, 2016 Image

St. Scholastica
February 10: St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, ... Read More