“Kids just ruin things!” Recently, I witnessed these words spoken by an individual. I was sitting in a barber chair (not in our neighborhood, for the record). The statement was not addressed to me; nevertheless, it was as though the clippers being used on my hair suddenly cut into the flesh. This same young man went on to indicate that his parents had told him, in effect, “You weren’t intended.” While his tone was very matter of fact, I am convinced that there must be some wound within his soul, yet unhealed.
I believe that various versions of this insidious fallacy are in wide circulation, in our society and in our world— a mindset that a human life is a commodity rather than a miracle. One of the highlights of my Christmas visit with family was extended time with our cousin Noreen. Noreen lives with Downs Syndrome...she is 60 years young. Because of technology, conditions such as this are nowadays tracked during pregnancy. Tragically, this can lead to a “recommendation” to terminate. When I consider the joy Noreen has brought to many lives, not to dismiss the challenges that come with special needs, I praise God for her life and presence.
As we mark the 46th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in country, I exhort us to tap the powerful resources of prayer and fasting, in a spirit of love for ALL victims of this and all forms of genocide. What a sign it would be, for us to fill Saint Mary Church for the 7 o’clock morning Mass this Tuesday, January 22, when we celebrate a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. There is also Eucharistic Adoration all day long.
It is possible that along the way, we can grow frustrated or even discouraged by what appears to be slow progress in the cause for life—protecting each life at every stage against many attacks to which it is subjected. I offer the following passage from Saint Paul, an option for Mass on the memorial of martyrs in the Church:
1 Corinthians 4:9-10, 12-13
For as I see it, God has exhibited us apostles as the last of all, like people sentenced to death, since we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and human beings alike. We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute… When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently. We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment.
As this week we also mark the cause of justice for all races, and the week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us recommit our hearts to Christ, who alone is the source for all authentic peace, justice and harmony.