Tag Archives: human life

Spring to the defense of every human life

Springtime, or primavera as we Italians call it, is a time to celebrate new life!

In nature we see the beauty of trees blooming, colorful flowers peeking through, the new grass growing like a fresh green blanket thrown over the winter’s dead brown brush. In recent times, our appreciation and dedication for nature and the environment has grown on a global scale. If only we could elevate society’s appreciation for the new life of every human being!

Though the protection of the life of each person has gained momentum due to the tremendous efforts of the pro-life movement, it still pales in comparison to the global awareness promoted by modern-day environmentalists. The prolife movement desperately needs help from our Catholic communities to strengthen the awareness of the dignity and sacredness of every human life, especially the most vulnerable.

We must be united for this cause. Without the right to life, there is no need for the right to liberty or the pursuit of happiness. You cannot feed, clothe, or shelter a person who loses the opportunity to be born and to live.

You’ve probably heard that the staggering number of abortions in the U.S. since they were legalized in 1973 now exceeds 60 million. In 1994, the Wall Street Journal quoted St. Teresa of Calcutta: “America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation.” How prophetic!

“When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul. One life changes the world.” These words for the voiceless were spoken at the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C., by President Donald Trump. What great hope to see thousands of young people marching for life. Let us courageously join our voices, our actions, and our prayers to theirs!

We must ask: how am I promoting the protection of life? What more can I do for those in the womb, and those just born, who cannot speak for themselves? Always in truth, always in charity, let us speak to those who do not know or understand that every life is created by God, that every soul is sacred. Let us be united in prayer. For those who are able, there are so many good organizations on the front lines promoting life that could benefit from donations. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing,” wrote Edmund Burke. So let us all do something — great things!

Here’s an Italian pizza recipe that’s ideal for primavera or any season.

CHEF NEIL FUSCO is founder of Cucina Antica Foods, Corp., a specialty Italian food-products company. Raised on a farm in San Marzano in southern Italy, he learned his family’s production and cooking with the renowned San Marzano tomatoes they’d grown there since the 1800s. His 2017 cookbook, May Love Be the Main Ingredient at Your Table, presents amusing and heartfelt stories about faith, family, and recipes from his Old World childhood.


CHICKEN LA PIZZA

Ingredients:

1 jar of Cucina Antica La Pizza sauce
1 lb. ground chicken
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together ground chicken, ½ cup parmesan, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Form chicken mixture into a large round crust, about 1/2” thick.

Bake until chicken is cooked through and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and heat broiler.

Spread a thin layer of sauce, leaving a small border around the circumference of the pizza. Top with mozzarella and broil until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Garnish with more parmesan if desired.

On the greatness and littleness of human life

Our earthly life gives promise of what it does not accomplish. It promises immortality, yet it is mortal. It contains life in death and eternity in time, and it attracts by beginnings which faith alone brings to an end. When we take into account the powers with which our souls are gifted as Christians, the very consciousness of these fills us with a certainty that they must last beyond this life. That is in the case of good and holy men, whose present state is to them who know them well an earnest of immortality. The greatness of their gifts, contrasted with the scanty time for exercising them, forces the mind forward to the thought of another life, as almost the necessary counterpart and consequence of this life, and certainly implied in the life, provided there be a righteous governor of the world who does not make men for naught.

The very greatness of our powers makes this life look pitiful; the very pitifulness of this life forces on our thoughts to another; and the prospect of another gives a dignity and value to this life which promises it. Thus, this life is at once great and little, and we rightly condemn it while we exalt its importance.

And, if this life is short, even when longest, from the great disproportion between it and the powers of regenerate man, still more is this the case, of course, where it is cut short and death comes prematurely. Men there are, who, in a single moment of their lives, have shown a superhuman height and majesty of mind which it would take ages for them to employ on its proper objects, and, as it were, to exhaust; and who by such passing flashes, like rays of the sun, and the darting of lightning, give token of their immortality, give token to us that they are but angels in disguise, the elect of God sealed for eternal life and destined to judge the world and to reign with Christ forever. Yet they are suddenly taken away, and we have hardly recognized them when we lose them. Can we believe that they are not removed for higher things elsewhere? This is sometimes said with reference to our intellectual powers, but it is still more true of our moral nature. There is something in moral truth and goodness, in faith, in firmness, in heavenly-mindedness, in meekness, in courage, in loving-kindness, to which this world’s circumstances are quite unequal, for which the longest life is insufficient, which makes the highest opportunities of this world disappointing, which must burst the prison of this world to have its appropriate range.

Excerpt by Blessed John Henry Newman, from Waiting for Christ (Greenwood Village, Colorado: Augustine Institute, 2018), from “The Greatness and Littleness of Human Life,” pp. 132-135.

BLESSED CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN (1801-1890), whose cause for canonization was just approved, was celebrated for his preaching and revered as a spiritual master long before his beatification by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. He was the 19th century’s most important English-speaking Roman Catholic theologian, spending the first half of his life as an Anglican, and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both Churches.

The power of a good story

In the wake of mass shootings, Patrick Novecosky explores why we value human life . . . .

Patrick Novecosky

Patrick Novecosky

Ever since a madman went on a murderous rampage in Connecticut on Dec. 14, debate across the U.S. has swirled around the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. Pundits have debated everything from gun magazine size to violent video games and mental illness.

One point that hasn’t entered into the debate, however, is the reason we value human life at all. To most Christians, the reason is simple: We are created in God’s image and likeness (Gen 1:27). Catholics go deeper: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next” (Baltimore Catechism, #6).

Secularists recognize the value of human life to a point because we have an instinctive drive to preserve it — and as a by-product of the West’s Christian roots. Neither of these reasons, however, have been able to stop the rapid erosion of respect for human life in our culture. Newtown is just one example. Planned Parenthood’s recent annual report revealed that the abortion giant took the life of an innocent child every 94 seconds in 2011.

Pro-lifers have been working to change hearts and minds for 40 years, ever since the Supreme Court handed down its most notorious ruling, Roe v. Wade. TIME magazine even had a cover story last month noting the pro-life movement’s steady progress. More Americans than ever consider themselves pro-life and want restrictions on abortion.

Nearly half a million people took to the streets of Washington, D.C., on Jan. 25 to protest Roe, but there is still work to do. Legates are in the thick of the battle. Members operate networks of pregnancy care centers, they do advocacy work, they fund pro-life initiatives, and most members pray regularly for the unborn and abortion-minded women.

One new Legate-driven initiative uses the power of film to influence the hearts and minds of those who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise oppose abortion. Jason Jones (Hollywood Chapter) knows the power of a good story. He was an executive producer of Bella in 2006. For his new film, Crescendo, he teamed up with Pattie Mallette, mother of pop superstar Justin Bieber. (Click here for a related story.)

Jesus taught in parables for a good reason, and the best homilies contain stories that help us understand the gospel in our own day. Jones does the same thing in his 15-minute film. It’s sure to change many hearts and minds, adding to the growing number of those who respect life from conception to natural death.

Patrick Novecosky is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.