God has created me to do Him some definite service, He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another . . . He has not created me for naught. Saint John Henry Newman
In 2013, Melissa Villalobos, a Chicago mother of four, expecting her fifth, was diagnosed with a rare kind of internal bleeding at the placenta that threatened both her life and that of her unborn baby. Doctors put Melissa on bed rest, though they told her a miscarriage was inevitable. One week after her diagnosis, Melissa collapsed in her bathroom, because the bleeding had become so severe. Alone, and without her cell phone, she desperately prayed for the intercession of Cardinal John Henry Newman, a 19th century theologian and British convert to Catholicism.
According to Melissa, the bleeding stopped within seconds of her prayer, and the scent of roses filled the air around her. Ultrasounds confirmed a complete healing had taken place, and she later gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Gemma. Doctors found no medical explanation for Melissa’s return to health, nor did the Vatican. Instead, Church officials, with the support of Pope Francis, not only attributed the healing to Newman, but classified it as his second miracle, thereby opening the door to sainthood. (His first miraculous healing is believed to have occurred in Boston.)
Today, John Henry Newman was canonized in St. Peter's Square and, despite his once controversial departure from the Anglican Church, people of all faiths across England are celebrating the occasion. Prince Charles even attended the Pope's ceremony.
Upon becoming a cardinal in 1879, Newman established a crest for himself that included three red hearts. The motto that accompanied the image: Cor ad Cor Loquitur ("Heart speaks unto heart"). According to a biographer, the three hearts "represent the three relationships between hearts: God speaking to humans, humans speaking to humans, and humans speaking to God."
I took a good look at this crest for the first time today. I read and reread his motto. Within both I see you and me and our cause; humans speaking to humans as we work to change the hearts of others.
You are a part of Massachusetts Citizens for Life because you believe, as Newman did, that you’ve been created for “some definite service.” I encourage your continued or enhanced engagement with MCFL as a volunteer, a supporter, as a member, or all three. You don’t need to perform a miracle to demonstrate love in action. You just have to respond to the spoken words in your heart.
Enjoy the week ahead.
P.S. Our annual banquet will feature a resource table where you can learn more about how to get involved, whether you've got hours to give or only enough time to add your signature to a petition. There are still a few seats left. Reserve yours today.