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Pope John Paul II to be beatified May 1

By Sean Martin
John Paul II Generation

There has much excitement lately in the Church over the fact that Venerable Pope John Paul II will be beatified on May 1, 2011! He literally influenced the entire world in some form or fashion.

Pope John Paul II fought against Communism; he fought for religious freedom and the truths of our Catholic Faith. He truly rose up an army of youth that is currently renewing the face of the Catholic Church. He has inspired millions and millions to have a deep love for Jesus, to be proud to be Catholic, to have a deep love for the Blessed Mother, and to defend life in all stages!

I still can remember these words of Pope John Paul II as I sat in Cherry Creek Park in Denver in 1993:

At this stage of history, the liberating message of the Gospel of Life has been put into your hands. And the mission of proclaiming it to the ends of the earth is now passing to your generation. Like the great Apostle Paul, you too must feel the full urgency of the task: ‘Woe to me if I do not evangelize’ (1 Cor 9:16). Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people's hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love. Now more than ever, in a world that is often without light and without the courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh, vital spirituality of the Gospel.

Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (cf. Rom 1:16). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (cf. Mt 10:27). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern “metropolis''. It is you who must ‘go out into the byroads’ (Mt 22:9) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:15-16). (Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day 1993)

One of the most tragic events in our country’s history is the legalization of Abortion, the killing of an innocent human baby in the mother’s womb, with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade on Jan. 22, 1973. Each year since this dreadful decision people from every state and walk of life travel to Washington D.C. for the March for Life to stand up for the right to life and the dignity of the unborn.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has marked Jan. 22 as a day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. Regardless of where we are on this day, let us offer to Our Heavenly Father our prayers, penances, sufferings, and sacrifices in atonement for the sin of abortion and that the Lord may have mercy on us, on our country, and on the whole world. Let us be inspired by Venerable Pope John Paul II to not be afraid to preach the Gospel of Life and to defend and respect life, especially the unborn!

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