Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mary of Nazareth - Patron of the Innocent

How Sacred Your Life is - Lumiere remembers Belfast

Mary of Nazareth, Patron of the Innocent

Today in Belfast there were scenes of protest as 
people made their voices heard for the innocent unborn

People from all parts of Ireland and from different countries made their way into the beautiful city to stand outside the premises where an abortion clinic was due to be opened today.

Fifty protesters and children in one bus alone
Lumiere Charity was invited to come to add our dedication to the sacredness of each person's individual life, gifted by God. Our one bus from Dublin brought fifty protesters and their families to the event. As we arrived, buses and cars were streaming in from all over Ireland.
So many protesters packed the pavement and road in front of the proposed clinic, with more arriving throughout the day, that the courteous and efficient police had to constantly keep moving the overflow of people to other areas such as over the road where the pavement became packed too. The police had to clear single pathways for passersby on both sides of the road through the peaceful and praying protesters, who carried placards and banners.

Many nationalities from all over Ireland
Throughout the day, I was privileged to speak with many of the protesters. 
Protesters to whom I spoke were from Counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh. Londonderry and Tyrone, Dublin, Cork; from the UK, Dundalk and elsewhere.
Parishioners, clergy representatives of many denominations, fathers and mothers with their babies and children packed the sidewalks.
Different nationalities had come to make their protest at the proposed clinic. 

'Beep for Life'
People were encouraged to beep their car horns if they were in support of the Pro-life protest.  At one stage I was on the phone to South Africa speaking to the South Africans who were holding an all-day prayer vigil for all the protesters in Belfast, when one of the praying group asked me,
"What's that deafening noise?" It was the ongoing sound of the cars registering their protest against the proposed new clinic. So many cars supported the protest that we arrived home with ringing ears from the constant noise of car horns hour after hour, as they passed our protest area.

General public consensus at protest
The general consensus of the public was that 
We fully support the right of the woman within the woman to her life.
We fully support the right of the unborn man within the woman to his life.
Life, according to the Holy Law of God, is sacred and not to be taken.

Lumiere Charity is dedicated to equal rights for all. The basic and first right of each man and woman is the right to live out his or her personal life, once that life has been called into being.  Ireland has always been greatly admired on the international stage for her noble history of deep spirituality and respect for life. 

Stormount investigation
During the day we were informed that a Stormount investigation is to be carried out into the legality of the clinic.
In the spirit of Lumiere, why not write an email/ post a letter/ phone your protest against the opening of the clinic in Belfast?

Can you help?
Also, in the spirit of Lumiere, why not help a teenager/woman in pregnancy crisis? If a woman is considering availing of the service, it means that she is in dire need of assistance. Perhaps she cannot afford to continue her schooling or education while being pregnant, or afford other needs for the newly pregnant mother. Perhaps she needs emotional support during this vulnerable time. As a member of our global human family, let us help her to make a decision which will not have the power to haunt her in years to come, either with physical illness, possible infertility problems, regrets or emotional sadness.

If you are a counsellor, why not offer your services gratis for a period of time each week to a pregnancy crisis/group and/or helpline?

If you are a mother in pregnancy crisis
If you are a mother in pregnancy crisis reading this post, please consider contacting a pregnancy crisis centre for the assistance you need. There are many people who dearly wish to adopt a little one - if you are anxious about your pregnancy, why not consider carrying your little one to birth, while exploring the adoption option.
The following link will lead you to a crisis pregnancy programme

Candles have been lit
Candles have been lit by Lumiere Charity in remembrance of Belfast, and for
Mothers in pregnancy crisis

 "Not In My Name"
Stop Abortion

Precious Life
Keep Ireland Abortion Free - Protect Life

Protesting the clinic

So sad

The sad reality 

*Photographs taken by Rev Catherine Nicolette with permission
*With thanks to and 
*With thanks to northern ireland

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes

The evangelist Luke recounts the way Mary and Joseph searched in vain for an inn before finding refuge in a stable in these poignant words (II;7):

   And she brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him up
   in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger : because
   there was no room for them in the inn.

This stark verse depicts Mary as a woman who scorned to exhibit hysteria and distress and tackled the task at hand with the resources at her disposal, regardless of their paucity. Angels sang in the sky above Bethlehem and shepherds arrived at the stable to pay homage to the newborn King and she held her tongue, while she "kept all these words, pondering them in her heart." (II:19)

Eight days later, claiming no preferential treatment on account of Christ's divinity, Mary took Him to Jerusalem for His presentation to God in terms of the Law of Moses. The holy Simeon took the Christ Child in his arms and praised God for His gift of salvation. Simeon then forecast that this Gift was a Light of Revelation to the Gentiles. He then warned Mary, saying (II;35):

   ... thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many
   hearts thoughts may be revealed.

*Photograph taken by Catherine