A nation that does not respect innocent human life!
This post is an excerpt taken from my, TRANSFORMED BY CHRIST series. This is the third part centering on the important question: Does God care about human Life?
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THROUGH A LENS OF HISTORY
Consider the situation of Jesus’ birth. The Blessed Virgin Mary, after she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, created a problematic scandal to Joseph. Today, women faced with similar situations in which they are unexpectedly pregnant; aborting the child is often the choice they make. Try to imagine what would have happened had Mary been a pro-abortion woman and had aborted her baby, Jesus Christ. Everything we know, the entire Western Civilization (including the United States, Europe, etc.), would not have existed had Christianity never been there to help mold, shape and create the world we see, and we would all remain in our sins since Christ would never have died on the cross for us.
Catholics would do well to embrace the historical realities of their faith and its positive impact on the world. It is rare in our culture when books reflect a fair account of the history of the Church; however, the following titles are a sound base for Catholics to begin researching the faith:
Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church: A 2,000-Year History, by H.W. Crocker III.
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D.
As valuable as western culture is, it pales in comparison to the saving work Christ brought the world. As stated above, without Jesus’ birth, passion, death, and resurrection, we would still be living in our sins without hope for redemption and salvation.
It is critical to keep in mind that nowhere in Revelation does God state He would have chosen another woman had Mary refused to bear Jesus or had Mary chosen to have the infant Jesus aborted. We cannot place assumptions on Divine Revelation that have no support. God chose Mary, and only Mary, to bear His one and only Son. Had Mary said no to God or had Mary made a choice to abort the human life in her womb (Jesus Christ), that would have plunged the entire world into darkness — no redemption, no salvation, no hope. Consider the account of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth:
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. [Luke 1:39-44 RSVCE – Italics added]
Bible Gateway: Go HERE
The baby within Elizabeth’s womb (John the Baptist) leaped with joy when he sensed he was in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, who at that time was a growing infant within Mary’s womb. What a remarkable testimony to the sacred nature of life in the womb. If unborn persons equate to nothing more than potentials, why did the unborn John the Baptist recognize the Lord so clearly, despite Jesus being in Mary’s womb? Recall also that John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus, which means the infant Jesus in Mary’s womb was a first-trimester baby at the time John the Baptist leaped in Elizabeth’s womb.
The purpose of this section is to help us understand why abortion is a moral evil and that no one can ever rightly obtain, help with, or support abortion. Many will declare they are following the dictates of their conscience when they support abortion. However, the Catholic Church teaches we must have a well-formed conscience — a conscience that does not refer to personal judgments about critical issues (CCC #1783), as follows from the Catechism:
CCC 1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.
Considering that paragraph from the Catechism, one cannot stand against formal Church teaching on intrinsic evil and claim they have a properly formed conscience.
We return to our challenge for this nation. Each person has a choice to make. Will we be people who place a high value on every human life, from conception until natural death, or will we be people who pick-and-choose who will be allowed to live and who will die? What happens to us as people if we become a nation that does not respect innocent human life?
Let us not forget that in the history of the United States, there were four major classes of people viewed as less than equal, and less than fully human:
• African Americans
• Native Americans
• Unborn Babies
It is incredible how easily people forget the past. Women, African Americans, and Native Americans struggled to gain legal recognition all people deserve. Here we stand as a so-called modern and enlightened nation, and we are repeating history. We claim the legal right to decide which people deserve full treatment as humans and which groups do not (unborn babies). How can we be intellectually honest and still claim a moral high ground over past generations when we know we have placed the unborn in a group that we have deemed to be unworthy of life? Are we a nation that does not respect innocent human life?
The right to life is fundamental—all other rights can only exist after a person has first been given the gift of life. As we consider all points made in this short work, we must have compassion and love for those people who have difficult decisions to make. We should always recall our Lord is merciful, and in cases where a person has procured an abortion, Jesus will be there to forgive them if the person repents, confesses their sin, and turns back to Christ and the sacraments.
Repentance is the intentional turning away from sin, a radical renewal of the heart and life, along with the decision to turn to the Lord — it is not a simple personal statement of faith; it entails an authentic change of the person. Therefore, when one commits a grave sin, they must have a contrite heart, along with the full intention of never committing that sin again. Our Lord waits for us to turn to Him in love with a repentant heart. In doing so, we will find all sins can be forgiven (Catholics, please read paragraphs #1431, and #982 in the Catechism).
Sometimes the struggle over abortion comes down to people not internalizing or making personal the intrinsic evil of the actual procedure. For example, many women, after seeing their baby moving within their wombs through ultrasound images, change their minds, and do not get the abortion they had planned. It is not difficult to understand those situations—the women who change their minds do so because they see the life they would be taking in those ultrasound pictures. The old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, is far more powerful regarding abortion. A new way to say it might be, a picture is worth a human life. We have attempted to correct many injustices, yet are we a nation that does not respect innocent human life?
Maintaining an eternal outlook is vital regarding the issue of life. Picture walking the streets of Heaven with all those people you have known and loved. It takes souls to populate Heaven, and those souls only come into existence through conception in a woman. Every child, every pregnancy, every human person at every stage of life carries the image and likeness of God and has an eternal soul. Every time we allow another person to come into this life, no matter how horrific the starting conditions might be (rape, incest, etc.), we are cooperating with God in His plan for eternity. Conversely, every time we choose to kill an innocent human person at any stage of life, we have made ourselves more important than God and more important than that life — we have rejected God’s plans for the life of the person we have killed.
An easy litmus test on the issue of abortion is to imagine yourself being able to use a time machine to go back in time to abort yourself in the womb of your mother. In pure science fiction mode, after aborting yourself in your mother’s womb, POOF, you would cease to exist.
Is it not true that people tend to value their own life?
Is it not true that people are grateful their mother did not abort them?
If people are grateful for their lives, perhaps they can agree babies who are not aborted will one day be thankful for the gift of life?
This discussion (focused on the question: Does God care about human Life?) continues in part three of this topic stream. To read the first post in this blog stream go HERE.
Thank you for reading,
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