Human dignity is not respected: people are treated as objects and the “virtual reality“ encourages us to see people as objects to be manipulated. While many will challenge this idea, there is no doubt that fear of living and a rejection of true happiness in this life drives us postmoderns to euthanize the self (think of the recent suicide pack of deaf twins), or the growing selection of the desired sex and traits of babies (girls aren’t wanted in this country either) or the marginalization of the elderly and mentally challenged. Members of our society kill children because the are are seen as threats to freedom, to our lifestyle, or position in society. I don’t think it is an overstatement to quote Pope John Paul II who said we live in a culture of death. Think of Newtown and Aurora, think of many cities were abortion, murder, rape, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, isolation and thievery are rampant. And sex is rarely seen as a beautiful event shared between a married couple and that we relate to one another within the family unit.
Today we recognize that Roe v. Wade is 40 years old and c. 55 million lives have been lost.
Merely remembering is not enough. We all need to work for a culture of love, a culture of life. Prayer is essential, but the Holy Spirit requires that His grace be extroverted. Contemplation and action….
The culture of death has determined that pregnancy is a disease. But, in truth, bringing life into the world is not a pathology. Let’s agree that abortion kills innocent life; it scars both the woman and the man alike. The trauma both face following abortive act is so tremendous that it has frozen people in time. Next week the nation will be holding up the barbaric act of abortion as a human right; the pro-choice crowd will argue that abortion and contraception is a matter of women’s healthcare and freedom of choice. They will not talk about the high health risks a woman faces after abortion like depression, cancer, and the inability to have children.
The innocent children are honored as contemporary martyrs by some people. Frank Sheed in his book To Know Christ Jesus said in light of the feast of the Holy Innocents:
There is anguish for us, twenty centuries later, in thinking of the slain babies and their parents. For the babies the agony was soon over; in the next world they would come to know the one they had died to save and for all eternity they would have that glory. For the parents, the pain would have lasted longer; but at death they too must have found that there was a special sense in which God was in their debt, as he had never been indebted to any. They and their children were the only ones who ever agonized in order to save God’s life.
The 40 years of Roe has bequeathed to generations violent deaths of innocent children in a “more civilized time” have produced an estimated 55 million abortions. Some liken the Roe v. Wade decision as the modern King Herod and the aborted babies as the new Holy Innocents.
In thinking about human dignity and self-giving no other way to make sense of the 40 years of RvW than to say God brings good from bad. That God’s mercy and love heals and brings all things to the good.
But next week, too, members of our nation will hold up another proposal: life. Life is the only option. Believers and non-believers will give testimony to the fact life begins at conception and that life ought to end naturally. The March for Life on January 25 in Washington, DC, is an opportunity to reflect upon our own humanity and to have an affection for it.