Life is Beautiful / Right to Life

Life is Beautiful
by Deacon John Grant, Right to Life Committee Chairman

(April 13, 2013 - Volume 13, no. 4)

We have just celebrated the most solemn time of the year.

Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil, Easter. We continue in
Easter Season to Ascension and Pentecost.

It is time for reflection.

We especially remember Paul’s words to the Romans:

“Christ is in you, although the body is dead, because of sin, the spirit is alive because
of righteousness. If the spirit of the one who raised Christ from the dead, dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through
His Spirit that dwells in you.” [Romans 8. 10-11]

It is a time for life, the life He has bequeathed us by becoming one of us, His
incarnation, life, passion, death and resurrection:

though he was in the form of God,
he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance.
He humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. [Philliipians 2. 6-11]

Blessed John Paul II tells us of the inevitable suffering each of us endures in life.:

“suffering seems almost inexpressible...nothing else requires as much as
suffering...(we cannot)...merely...(give) ...a description of suffering...human
suffering is multi-dimensional...” It is not always considered in the practice of
medicine, even in its advanced specialties.
“...the words suffering and pain can be used as synonyms only up to a point. There is
pain which psycho or social analysis or therapy cannot touch...” [Salvifici Doloris, Par 7]
such as
“...the danger of death(5), the death of one's spouse and children(6)...the lack of
offspring(8), nostalgia..(9), persecution and hostility of the environment(10), mockery and
scorn of the one who suffers(11), loneliness and abandonment(12)...the remorse of
conscience(13), the difficulty of understanding why the wicked prosper and the just
suffer(14), the unfaithfulness and ingratitude of friends and neighbours(15)...the
misfortunes of and persecution by one's country, one’s state (16).” [Salvifici Doloris, Par

Some members of the New Jersey legislature are proposing to “solve” sufffering by
State endorsed and facilitated suicide. An individual- “may obtain medication that the
patient may self-administer to end his life” in the name of “death with dignity”.

They would set a time for death - the end of life.

Created in seconds and minutes, New Jersey legislators are proposing to end the
life of a human in minutes, hours or days at one’s own hand regulated and supervised
by the State and its agents.

Life is always a good. Given by God, life “is a manifestation of God in the world, a
sign of his presence, a trace of his glory” [Evangelium Vitae 34]

The Catechism teaches:

2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is
God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully
and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not
owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and
perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of
neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other
human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for
the living God.

Blessed Pope John Paul II reminds us of pain - physical, emotional, mental and that
which psycho or social analysis or therapy cannot touch.

By the works of mercy we come to the aid of our neighbor’s spiritual and bodily

By spiritual works of mercy we instruct, advise, console, comfort, forget and bear
wrongs patiently.

By corporal works of mercy we feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, cloth the
naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, and bury the dead. Giving alms to the poor is one
of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:

Charity, unity, fraternity are the essentials of each Knight of Columbus.

We have just celebrated the Light and the Life of the world.

Let every Knight of Columbus stand with those in depression.

Let every Knight of Columbus be at the side of those in despair.

Let every Knight of Columbus serve those in need, the poorest of the poor.

Let every Knight of Columbus show forth the glory of Father Michael J. McGivney,
our founder, serving in charity, unity and fraternity.

Our Holy Father has shown us the way, the truth and the life.

Life is beautiful.

Vivat Jesu

(Feb 13, 2013 - Volume 13, no. 2)

“Life is Beautiful” Vol 13 No 2 is devoted to the 1/25 witness in Washington, DC

Almost unnoticed was the date of the witness 1/25 -the Feast of St. Paul’s conversion.  The annual witness is ultimately to convert the minds and hearts of those who view people in the safety of the womb as dispensable.  The reasons are manifold.

One context is the pressure on women exerted by family, husband, boyfriend and employer.  In such cases a woman must feel pressured to follow the dictates of family, husband, boyfriend, or employer.  

Good Counsel Homes in New Jersey provides housing, education and job training for women who know that Life is Beautiful.  Organizations, including schools - from grade to high school - governments - local, state, and federal will provide mere plastic and pills for cents instead of the love which requires more than distributing trinkets and carcinogens.  A love beyond any understanding for Mothers and their unborn children.

This year’s witness, as projected, showed a marked increase in young women, particularly carrying children in their arms, pushing children in carriages, with older children in tow - and some Mothers carrying their unborn children.  

From the West - Benedictine College from Kansas (30 hour bus ride each way with 28 buses)

From the South - a high school from Florida, the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  

From the North high schools and Dioceses of Michigan

From the East - no shortage of kids, moms, children  and dioceses including the Diocese of Trenton.

High schoolers with the sound of drums ricocheting from the building walls, others chanting, still others with instruments ranging from solo trumpets to semi-organized bands.

My sense was that all were present for a reason, universal recognition of the dignity of the unborn.

I have seen estimates ranging from 50,000 to 500,000.  I think I can tell the difference. Between 40,000 and 500,000.  What I can say for sure was there were a whole lot of people.  Standing on the steps of the Rayburn office building, I could not see the end.

Videos of the gathering on youtube are at eye level - pretty much what we saw all day.   Many wintessses in the path of getting a good picture.  

When 20 paces apart, we could not see each other, despite our noticeable yellow scarves.

Other than finger tips, I did not feel the 20o temperature.  The size and closeness of others might have attenuated the effect of the 20 degree temperatures and snow.

The prayers, sacrifice and witness must have turned minds, at least prompting questions.

Many thanks to our Grand Knight, Aaron Verguson, using his velvet glove to encourage. and prod.

We left St James at 8am and returned at 930pm - a little the worse for wear, a lot better for having been among the stouthearted and blessed witnesses

There is already talk of 2 busses next year.  

We are way closer than the College which shares the name of our Holy Father.  I am sure there are more busses here than in Kansas.  A 4 hour ride is somewhat less than 30 hours.  

There are 344 days to January 22, 2014.  

One bus every 114 days, one more witness every 4 days –
and then to 4 busses.  

What started as a wish, if not a dream from the parishioners of St James, St. George and St. Alphonsus is a reality.  

Respectfully submitted,

John D. Grant, Chairman
Knights of Columbus
Hopewell Council 7103

PS Can we return to “with liberty and justice for all - born and unborn” in our Pledge of Allegiance?

(Jan 13, 2013 - Volume 13, no. 1)

Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude. - Pope John Paul II, Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists, Easter, April 4, 1999, Par 16 (

Life begins with the fusion of sperm and oocyte (human egg).

The oocyte is the largest cell in the body.  Released by the ovary to the fallopian tube, it is in stasis, referred to as meiotic rest.  It travels the fallopian tube until its energy is  depleted (approximately 24 hours), or until it encounters a sperm.

The sperm enters the oocyte resulting in a flurry of explosive activity for 1-3 minutes.  The sperm introduces its unique molecules to the oocyte radically altering its unique molecules.  By virtue of its new structure the oocyte is a new system, never to be duplicated.    .

During the 1-3 minutes, a powerful release of calcium from the sperm destroys the molecular inhibitor of cellular activity in the oocyte.  A chain of reactions drives cell division and differentiation.  Left alone, the self-driven, self perpetuating process will continue for nine months and beyond - for life.  The oocyte which has a lifespan of 24 hours, has given way to a living system having a span of “seventy years or eighty for those who are strong.”  It is capable of independent and self-sustaining existence until  natural death.

(Dec 2012)

LIFE is also pretty complicated. In recent articles, Scientific American

extend previously known mutual benefits between mother and child during pregnancy. Psychological and physical bonds shared by mother and her child begin during gestation. The developing child receives comfort and nourishment from its mother. The rhythm of mother’s heartbeat is the source of soothing continuous movement. The placenta connects mother and child. The placenta is an organ built of cells from mother and child. Nourishment, gasses and waste materials pass through the placenta between mother and child. Cells move through the placenta between mother and child, finally residing in such organs as lung, thyroid muscle, liver, heart, kidney and skin; effecting tissue repair, cancer prevention and resistance to immune disorders. Studies, above, have discovered cells from other(s) to be in our brain. “male cells were found in the brains of women and had been living there, in some cases, for several decades.” Is it not astounding that cells move and become become a part of another person’s body - even our brains? That remnants of brothers and sisters reside in their mother's organs and her brain? Does this not evidence the beauty of creation? Despite thinking ourselves to be independent of one another many (lots?) of us bear cells of another, "for decades?" We already know that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. Is not LIFE awesome? Is not the CREATOR all the attributes we will cry out in the next days leading to the Solemnity of His birth? What a CREATOR


 -- John Grant 
Dec 2012