By Steve Buhagiar
As the members of the Upper House make their final vote on the NSW Abortion Bill, it is so very important that we come together as a family and pray for the defeat of this devastating legislation. But how can we do this in the busyness of family life when our days seem to flow one into the other and where there seems to be a million and one things that we need to do each day? Here, we might just look at three points which can help us prioritise a period of time in which to pray as a family for the defeat of this Bill.
‘Intentional’ family prayer time
The situation we are in at this time is quite extraordinary. There is a very real sense that our society is losing respect for the fundamental value of human life and especially for the unborn child in the womb. The topic of abortion is certainly in the news so let us take advantage of this and use it as an opportunity to bring it to prayer in our daily family routine. We must not allow ourselves to be desensitised to the reality of abortion in our culture and have the courage to call it out for the travesty that it is. If we are not in the habit already, let us call our family together ‘intentionally’ to pray for the defeat of this Bill; it is that important! When we mark this issue as something that we are called together to pray for, it will surely be impressed on the minds and hearts of our teenagers and young ones.
Praying the family rosary for conversion and openness of heart
The rosary was given to us a gift from heaven and through the maternal hands of Our Lady herself. The Blessed Mother gave it to St Dominic as a means by which to convert hearts and to enflame those who had become lukewarm or had even left the Faith. The same rings true today. We are living in a world of the walking wounded and in a society which has become complacent and even antagonistic towards the Catholic Church. This is why the call for abortion, euthanasia, gender ideology has found fertile ground in which to grow and fester.
The rosary is the means that heaven has given us to bring about peace and especially peace in the family and in our hearts. Is this not what we yearn for most of all? When Our Lady appeared at Fatima in 1917 and during each apparition to the Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, she asked them to pray the rosary. The consistency of this request has come down to us today and is in fact more urgent than ever. Let us get down on our knees and pray together as a family asking Our Lady to intercede for our politicians that they will have openness and conversion of heart and know the truth of the inherent dignity of every human life.
Accompanying our prayer with fasting and daily heroism
In the early 1990’s a book was published entitled Only Heroic Catholic Families Will Survive. At its heart, the book developed the idea that in order to survive the forces in culture that continually assail the family, marriage and the dignity of life itself, parents need to take on a daily ‘heroism’ that stands up for the good in spite of the counter cultural position one needs take in order to do this.
A family discussion on what ‘daily heroism’ looks like today is well worth the time. Our children know that to live the Catholic Faith among their peers at school often means being labelled as ‘different’. When we name it and share our experience of being ‘different’ even as adults, we impress on our children the vital sense of solidarity that the Faith provides. We are part of the Communion of Saints and are striving for an eternal reward. This is a strong context in which to present the good of fasting and daily heroism. We fast because our efforts do make a difference not only to ourselves and our families, but also to the wider community. The lives of the saints down through millennia give ready example to this aspect of the lived Christian life.
In this last week before the determining vote on the NSW Abortion Bill, let us be intentional in our family prayer time and lead our children in doing what we should at this critical period in our nation’s history. Our children will see it as normative that “we pray” when we are faced with danger and uncertainty in the cultural battles that we will continue to face. Let us believe that our prayer time is powerful and efficacious and that Our Heavenly Father always listens to our prayer in spite of how difficult or dire the situation looks around us. Ave Maria!