Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Abortion: The Great Malady of Our Time

Perspectives on Respect Life:

The following is an article by Fr. Patrick Nwokoye, Phd. The Director of Campus Ministry at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. http://www5.semo.edu/ccm/who_we_are/staff.htm
He keeps his own blog at http://regnumchristifloreat.motime.com/

Pope John Paul II marking his 22nd anniversary as pontiff spoke to the pilgrims who participated in the jubilee for families and said “what great value every human life, every human being, must have in the eyes of the creator.’’ Every human life is priceless in the eyes of the creator. At a time when life is considered a “thing” I bet making it the center of our own very existence becomes ‘difficult’ and “unnecessary.”

Why abortion? Why must we take an innocent life? I have tried finding the answers to these two questions and I cannot find a plausible reason for favoring it. Abortion has in all ramifications impoverished our families and has done lots of damage to our nation and also the human person.

How many times have we heard that the family is a domestic church that “human life is sacred from its very inception, that it reveals the creating hand of God.” Yet these profound words of Pope John XXIII seem to fall on deaf hearts and minds in our society. I will begin by stating my conviction that a culture that fails to value life is doomed to death.

We are horrified at the site of gunshots; we condemn Columbine High school shootings and the various killings that go on in our country today. Why? Because human lives are taken and reduced just to ‘things.’ We support at the same time the killing of the helpless, of those who have no one to defend and fight for them. How strange that a so-called ‘civilized society’ can ever afford to place a human life in such jeopardy. Because in any civilized society, all human beings have a natural right to be treated as persons entitled to the right to live and certainly the unborn is entitled to live as well. It is disheartening that the law legalized the killing of the unborn by defining the innocent unborn child as a non-person who therefore has no constitutional rights and who may be executed at the discretion of his mother. This sounds so cruel and I permit myself to say that in this light humans have taken up to themselves to kill their very own. It is not about eliminating a tissue, it is about killing a child an innocent child whom God has given to us and who in His divine plan has a role to play. The catechism of the Catholic Church states criteria that governs this matter: “human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.”
We have to recognize that in depersonalizing the unborn child, the Supreme Court prevents interference by anybody with the killer of the unborn child and even makes that killing a specially protected constitutional right. As Pope John Paul II said at the Capitol Mall in Washington on Oct. 7th, 1979, “If a person’s right to life is violated at the moment in which he is first conceived in his mother’s womb, an indirect blow is struck also at the whole of the moral order, which serves to ensure the inviolable goods of man. Among those goods, life occupies the first place.” It is exceedingly important that we fight for life, for all life and it should and must be made a priority in our preaching and evangelization, for we cannot promote a world that is peaceful, that respects human dignity if we still adhere to the killing of innocent babies.

Mother Teresa once said 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?” It is sad that our society has turned from being life-giving to death bringing. With abortion legalized we can never get around in solving the problem of the world.

In an article that appeared in Times magazine they raised a question: Should authorities ever intervene between a woman and her fetus? Lynn Paltrow, who directs National Advocates for Pregnant Women, says no. “Women have a right to make decisions regarding their own bodily integrity, and that does not stop when they become pregnant.” I can’t help thinking how far humans have gone in the name of ‘rights;’ it is not about ‘rights’ anymore but about being selfish and not caring. We have turned ourselves into a killer machine. A mother is supposed to be a protector. We are called to nurture and to protect life from conception to natural death.

“The church feels called to this by her Lord. From Christ she receives the “Gospel of life” and feels responsible for its proclamation to every creature. Even at the price of going against the trend, she must proclaim that Gospel courageously and fearlessly, in word and deed, to individuals, peoples and states.” All of us have a grave responsibility to promote respect for human life everywhere, in addition to proclaiming public opposition at every opportunity.

We must understand that to have a peaceful world importance should be attached to life. God the Creator guides the process of conception. God is the creator, and author, and Lord of this tiny-almost invisible-child. God infuses the unique soul into this new human being at the very moment in which the egg and sperm are united! We believe that God is ultimately over and above all that exist. In The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II wrote so eloquently:
“Human life is sacred and inviolable at every moment of existence, including the initial phase which precedes birth. All human beings, from their mothers’ womb, belong to God who searches them and knows them, who forms them and knits them together with his own hands, who gazes on them when they are tiny shapeless embryos and already sees in them the adults of tomorrow whose days are numbered and whose vocation is even now written in the book of life.
There, too, when they are still in their mother'’ womb...they are the personal objects of God'’ loving and fatherly providence.”

May the Holy Spirit, “The Lord and giver of life,” fill us with his gifts, and may Mary, the Virgin Mother who gave birth to the author of life be our intercessors.

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