Night to Life

My parents and I attended a prayer vigil hosted by Oakland University's Students for Life this evening. Due to the inclemency of the weather, the event was moved indoors, so candles were no longer an option. But a bright flame was lit by the speakers, the first of whom read from Psalm 139, "You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb." Then the priest at the parish where I go to Mass read from Mother Teresa's 1994 address at the National Prayer Breakfast, wherein she declared:

...I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

The priest then shared a very personal anecdote. His father, formerly of Soviet Czechoslovakia, was among the few of us who had gathered at Oakland University for this vigil. During the Soviet regime, one of the methods the government had for reducing religiosity among the people was to offer free abortions (because they knew the guilt/despair it would unleash upon souls). So this young father of three, when expecting his fourth child, was handed a sheet of paper to sign; he and his wife refused. Today that fourth child is one of six and now a devoted pastor of souls, including my own (I go to him for the Sacrament of CPR). He thanked his father for the gift of Life given to him and his two younger siblings.

Third at the podium was a woman from Silent No More who spoke of being sent to jail after her abortion-- the jail of her mind, where guilt and anguish kept her imprisoned in the belief that she could never be forgiven for her crime. She had only considered how much she had to lose by keeping her child rather than seeing how much the world could have gained by her choice. Freed from this prison by Christ, she now knows that forgiveness is possible, that healing can take place even decades after the fact.

Finally, they played for us the pro-life anthem of Nick Cannon, "Can I Live?" a tribute to his mother, who chose not to abort her child, who grew up to become a superstar, who used his wealth to a produce a music video in her honor.

Upon our return, we watched the 12-minute DVD about Stem Cell Research sent to our household and over 500,000 households like ours in the state by the Michigan Catholic Conference. The DVD was produced as part of an education campaign endorsed by the state's bishops to inform the Catholic electorate that Adult Stem Cell Research has been proven to cure multiple maladies with no risk to human dignity while Embryonic Stem Cell Research has been proven to cure nothing at devastating cost to human lives and human dignity.

To my astonishment, the process of cloning human embryos for stem cell harvesting actually requires an electrochemical jolt once the ovum had been fertilized in vitro. Mary Shelley's prescience in this matter leaves me slack-jawed. We routinely claimed in my various secondary and post-secondary classroom discussions that very few decisions are black-and-white or life- and-death. Yet, here we have two options: one gives life and one takes it away. Family planning follows a similar vein: one can contra-cept, or one can abstain prayerfully. The bumper sticker I took home from my evening with the OU Students for Life puts forward another clear choice: aDoPtion rather than aBoRtion. One so clearly gives life upon life and the other so clearly withholds the gift.

How many children's lives could have been spared if people had chosen to see gift and possibility rather than misfortune and despair? How many children with Downs Syndrome have been deemed too inconvenient a burden? How many African-Americans have died precisely in the manner the leaders of the Eugenics movement had foreseen?

Let's pray for an end to abortion. Let's all choose LIFE~

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD,
plans for your welfare, not for woe!
plans to give you a future full of hope.
When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.
When you look for me, you will find me.
Yes, when you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me with you, says the LORD,
and I will change your lot.
-Jer 29:11-14

1 comment:

Therese said...


Great article. I came here from the Catholic Carnival link.

I am very interested in the adult stem cell research dvd. I am off to look at it now.

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