The Human Life Foundation needs your help!
This Giving Tuesday, consider a gift:
b) To help us support (via matching grant programs) one of many pregnancy resource centers nationally—these places shelter, educate, and support moms and babies who may have nowhere else to turn.
c) To feel good this Holiday Season! You’ve made a difference for life.
What makes us special? We think this invocation, given at our Great Defender of Life Dinner last month, really explains why we do what we do—and what makes us different. Here it is in its entirety–please read–and consider a donation? No amount is too small.
Invocation from Father John McCartney
Human Life Foundation
Great Defender of Life Dinner
October 27, 2016
Thank you, from all of us!
On May 4, 1865, Bishop Matthew Simpson of the Methodist Episcopal Church delivered an address at the burial of President Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois. A close confidant of Lincoln, the Bishop first spoke about the sentiment of the American people five years earlier as they confronted the great crisis facing them:
“Many said, ‘Is it possible to save our nation?’ Some in our country … declared it to be impossible … and many an honest and patriotic heart was deeply pained with apprehensions of common ruin; and many, in grief and almost in despair, anxiously inquired, ‘What shall the end of these things be?’ …”
But the Bishop continued: “Often did [President Lincoln] remark to friends and to delegations that his hope for our success rested in his conviction that God would bless our efforts, because we were trying to do right … To a minister who said he hoped the Lord was on our side, [the President] replied that it gave him no concern whether the Lord was on our side or not ‘For,’ he added, ‘I know the Lord is always on the side of right;’ and with deep feeling added, ‘But God is my witness that it is my constant anxiety and prayer that both myself and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.’”
Tonight we gather again here at the Union League Club, an institution born of that civil war fought to rid our country of the great moral evil of that time: the evil of slavery. And we assemble as modern soldiers engaged in a new civil war, which has become a world war, to end the great moral evil of our age: the war on life. This year, for the fourteenth time, we honor a Great Defender of Life, Mr. Carl Anderson, even as together we renew our resolve to continue to “war on death for life.”
It was in this club, in 1979, at a dinner to honor our beloved founder, James P. McFadden, that Malcolm Muggeridge praised J.P. for being someone whose best cause was a “lost cause.” Now, I would certainly not want to commit heresy here tonight by disagreeing with “St. Mugg”, but what J.P., and Faith, and Maria, and Carl, and all of us have been fighting for over these years is not a lost cause, because it is not our cause at all.
We must always remember that it is not we who ask for God’s help to win our cause; it is rather God who allows us to help Him win His cause. This is the truth that President Lincoln understood so well: that God’s cause is right because it is His, and because it is His, it can never be lost. Oh, we may suffer defeat in battles, be routed in skirmishes, or be forced at times to engage in tactical retreats; there have been dark days before and there may be other even darker days ahead. We ourselves, perhaps, may not live to see the ultimate victory. But none of that matters, and we must never grow discouraged. As long as we are faithful to serving on the Lord’s side; we can trust that the day of His victory will come.
Let us pray:
Almighty and merciful God, Lord of Life and Conqueror of Death, we humbly ask your blessing upon us this night as we gather to honor those who have dedicated their lives in defense of Your Gift of Life.
Forty-two years ago you inspired your son and servant James P. McFadden to establish this Foundation to be a voice crying in the wilderness, proclaiming Your Truth in a time growing ever more dark and confused.
We thank you for the many Graces you have bestowed on us over these years, and tonight, with temerity, we ask for even more.
Give us the gifts of wisdom and courage, according to our state in life,so that we may always respond to Your call to serve as Your instruments, to protect and defend the sacredness of all human life in these crucial times.
Help us never to become discouraged in this battle You have called us to,and assist us in witnessing to Your Truth always with charity, love and joy.
Give us, too, the grace of personal conversion, so that we may convert others by example before words.
And help us to see the great love you have for all the vulnerable souls of this world: the child in the womb, the disabled, the poor, the sick, the elderly, and those who do not know You or have forgotten You, so that we may be better channels of Your Grace to others.
May we always perceive that Your side is our side, that Your cause is our cause, and may we always strive to be worthy to be called Your Great Defenders of Life.
We ask this in and though Your Most Holy Name. Amen.