Monday, February 23, 2015

The Chance to Live a Life

by Father John McCloskey

You may wonder why laws promoting ultrasounds before abortion don't have the impact that abortion opponents expected.
It is true that many people whose opinions about abortion have changed cite sonograms as critical to their confronting the reality of the unborn, and many pregnancy counseling centers find sonograms useful in this regard. However, even now, large numbers of pregnant women and their partners duck the implications of those prenatal images if the pregnancy is unwelcome.
The ultimate answer to the opening question derives, as all blindness to sin does, from the Original Sin of our first parents. As a result of that sin, in the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "human nature is weakened in its powers; subject to ignorance, suffering, and the domination of death; and inclined to sin" (CCC #418).
Fallen human beings now want what we want when we want it, and in order to avoid uncomfortable sensations of guilt, we want to think that what we want is good. In our owholy-innocentsn especially self-indulgent times, the unruly desires that are a consequence of the Fall have drawn our nation into the culture of death.
How did we come to such a pass? Mankind has traveled so far from Eden that man has now generally lost sight of God, as witnessed by the enormous killing fields of the last century's horrendous World Wars! Life became cheap rather than priceless and consciences were deformed, not only in the totalitarian countries whose ideologies launched aggression in the two "hot" world wars and the Cold War that followed, but to a lesser degree in the nations that, in resisting totalitarianism, accepted large-scale premeditated deaths of civilians in, for example, the Dresden bombings and the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The decline of traditional Christianity in developed countries has spread throughout the world, and what is known as natural law (i.e., the Ten Commandments) is ignored or simply forgotten. However, without God-given rules, as a popular song put it, "Anything Goes"; even mothers who actually experience sonograms where they see their babies in the womb, ready to be delivered into the fullness of life, can resist accepting what they see in order to remain "free" of the consequences or their actions. Who has benefitted most from all the lies? Predatory men who take advantage of women as objects of their lust, counting on the Pill or abortion to escape responsibility for unwanted repercussions of their actions.
Only God and Satan know the whole story of how human beings let themselves be drawn into actions so brutally inhumane that monumental self-deception is necessary. But the broad outline of Satan's strategy is clear: Gradually, the new standard of the Good for many people became Technology: whatever could be done should be done, in hopes that some time in the future, thanks to medical technology, we will be able to live forever. Once we accept that life is made for pleasure rather than service of God and neighbor in preparation for the true life in heaven, the measure of a successful life becomes the absence of pain and the experience of pleasure.
But there is hope for our country and the world. After all, those that abort or contracept inevitably will decline in numbers, and the millions who are open to life, following the natural law and St. John Paul's Theology of the Body, will inevitably grow. In addition, many of our fellow Christians in denominations that have been conforming to the spirit of the age will likely abandon what is left of Luther and Calvin and reunite with the Church built on the Rock of Peter and with our Orthodox brethren.
What is most important for the Catholics in this year of the family is for the Church in America to clearly proclaim at every level the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death and the true foundation of religious liberty in the traditional family, open to life.
At the same time, we must continue to save this era's Holy Innocents by every legal means, including continuing the successful ventures in states to restrict abortions, with the eventual goal of circumscribing them out of legal existence.
Remember, a presidential election is coming up and we need to help elect a true pro-lifer (and not one in name only who will cave when the going gets tough). In addition, we need to extend ourselves in love and mercy toward those women who have been deceived by the siren songs of our time into procuring one or more than one abortion. Judge not so you may not be judged!
Finally, we need to offer up prayers and sacrifices large and small for an end to the killing of innocent children inside or outside the womb and for conversion of heart for our country and the world.
First appeared on The Truth and Charity Forum in February, 2015.

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