October 4, 2020
Sunday’s Respect for Life homely expands on the most controversial human rights issue of the day – abortion. Fr. John Mary gives us greater insight on this delicate issue and how to extend a loving, merciful hand to those who favor the “right to choose”.
- The most dangerous place to be in our country is in the mother’s womb.
- Priest for Life’s website offers helpful insight on speaking the truth about abortion in a loving and merciful way.
- The Church and the pro-life movement provide better choices than abortion.
- The Church offers healing and forgiveness after abortion.
- Myth: Because abortion is legal, it is safe and tolerable.
On this Respect Life Sunday, Father provides five ways we can help others understand about the painful topic of abortion by sharing the truth in love and mercy. The Priests for Life have an excellent website for references that can be used.
The prolife message is deeply rooted in the Mass. Christ gives Himself away on the cross and in the Eucharist, by sacrificing Himself for the good of all mankind. This is the reversal of abortion, which says, I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself. The same words our Lord uses to proclaim His love is used by the defenders of abortion, “this is my body.” The unborn child could say “this is my body.” Some say they control their bodies, so other must die. Christ says He gives His body away so that others may live, “This is My body, given up for you”, by the power of these words, the culture of death will be transformed into the culture of life.
“Let me now sing of my friend, my friend’s song concerning his vineyard” – readings today speak of the Lord confiding us the responsibility for his vineyard – and the vineyard is also a care for our society, culture and country – critical moment for our country will all unrest – this Sunday is Respect Life Sunday – providential it’s right before our election – it reminds us that all lives matter – especially those most attacked and most vulnerable – among those most vulnerable are the unborn children – most dangerous place to be right now in our country is in the womb of the mother – US Bishops in 1989 said that abortion is the fundamental human rights issue of our day – this year is the 25th anniversary of St. John Paul II prolife encyclical “the Gospel of Life” – issue of abortion is a painful issue – how can we be instruments of truth and justice and at the same time of love and compassion – scripture says “Speak the truth in love” – how can we speak the truth on this painful issue in a loving and merciful way – mainly from the website of the Priests for Life – what are the five points, what do we really need to convince people – 1st point is people need to know that we are on their side – acknowledging the pain most everyone feels about this issue – make it clear to other person that you are not my enemy – 2nd point is that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman – pro-choice message says you can separate the two (woman and baby), pro-life message says you cannot separate those two – pro-life message is that you can’t love the baby without loving the mother – abortion defendants say they are loving the woman, even as they admit they are killing their children – nor can one not harm the child without harming the mother – message has to be clear that to be pro-life you have to be pro-woman – challenge is in why can’t we love them both – one reason people choose it is because they think they have to make a choice between defending the rights of the baby or those of the mother – or that they have to consider the baby to be more important than the mother – authentic pro-life message is one of equality – 3rd point is that people need to know that to oppose abortion does not mean to oppose those who have had them – they are often victims themselves of the lies told of the pressure and manipulation of the society that traps them into abortion – we are called to be instruments of the healing and forgiveness the Church and pro-life movement offer to those who have been involved in abortion – the last thing they need to hear is what you did is no big deal – someone needs to tell her she does not need to feel silly about feeling sad, that there is indeed reason for the grieving in her heart – what her heart is telling her is true, her child was killed – a great disservice was done to both her and her child, when someone convinced her that the abortion would be no big deal – accepting that line is a major act of denial – healing now begins when she breaks out of denial and calls the evil what it is – clear teaching of the Church helps her to do that – another lie is to tell the woman – you are rejected, there is no hope – as she realizes the healing , she will be tempted to say this to herself – message of divine mercy is important for our time – whether it’s for the mother, father, grandparents or even the abortion provider – trust in God’s infinite mercy – 4th point is that abortion is our business – abortion defenders say if you are against them, don’t have one, but leave the rest of us alone to exercise our own belief and make our own choices – many people who oppose abortion will lament it and feel out of place trying to stop it – they see it as a wrong but as a private wrong, with which it is none of their business – but we would never say ,“I would never abuse my child, but if other people want to abuse their child that is their choice” – that’s the same argument that was used about slavery – you don’t have to own slaves, but you shouldn’t oppose your morality on those who choose to – someone’s choice to destroy or end someone else’s life, that’s everyone’s business – so abortion is our business – the 5th point is that people need to know there is something they can do to stop abortion – there is very much that is legal, peaceful and effective – as lay workers there’s much we can do – a life chain is one example – project Rachael – how can these elements be expressed these points – three elements – 1) there are alternatives to abortion – those who procure abortions do so because they feel they have no freedom and no choice – the Church and pro-life movement are providing better choices than abortion – wide range of help is available – financial assistance, medical services, legal advice, counseling and support, a place to live, jobs, education, and assistance to keep the child or to place the child for adoption – 2) Church offers forgiveness for healing after abortion – message of forgiveness – this is critical for many feel they can’t be forgiven – but the gospel of life is the gospel of mercy – being pro life means embracing with the love and mercy of Jesus, all who have been involved in abortion – Priests of Live mention there is a national office for post abortion reconciliation and healing – hotline is 1-800-5WECARE – Project Rachael works with post abortion healing – 3) after speaking of healing, is to help people to see through the slogan which makes tolerance of abortion seem so reasonable – safe and legal abortion is a slogan, that leads people to think if it is legal, it must be safe – and to keep it safe we have to keep it legal – the abortion industry is the most unregulated surgical industry in medicine, and regularly destroys the lives of the woman who procures in legal facilities – there is an abortion every 20 seconds in America – it is legal and happens throughout all nine months of pregnancy – less than 1% of abortions in our country occur because of rape or incest – many more resources at the Priest for Life website – they also address the issue of when someone is angry – suggest don’t lecture or respond with anger, but listen and then gently invite them to speak of the cause of their anger and to reflect upon it – This Sunday in which the Lord is inviting us to care for His vineyard, to care for each person beloved by God, to help create a true culture of life – one practical way is simply to learn more and see what more can be done – Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn – ask our Lady of Victory, with the power of the rosary to lead us to the victory of life and love in our country – final point, as we celebrate this Mass is to remember how deeply the pro life message is rooted in the Mass – Christ is on the cross, and gives Himself away on the cross and in the Eucharist – there we find the meaning of love – I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person – this is the reversal of abortion, which says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself – the same words our Lord uses to proclaim His love is used by the defenders abortion “This is my body” – the unborn child could say “this is my body” – some say they control their bodies so other must die, Christ says He gives His body away so that other may live – “This is My body, given up for you” – the power of the words the culture of death will be transformed into the culture of life – remember all the mothers who have given of their body to give life to their children – Respect life Sunday, remember Jesus’ words.