Monday, November 21, 2005

The Little Ones

“It is not the will of my Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14). Who are the little ones? In the Gospel, they are the innocent children, the simple believers, those who are in need of the mercy and providence of God, the vulnerable and defenseless. And who among children are more innocent and vulnerable than the unborn?

I know of a young woman who is planning to go to an abortion clinic today, under pressure of others, to kill her little one. We are praying for a change of heart, for the life of the baby, because it is not the heavenly Father’s will that this little one should perish. Today in the United States 4000 little ones will be killed, as they are every day. In the rest of the world the total will be well over 100,000 little ones murdered every day—sacrificed on the altars of convenience, selfishness, economics, coercion and fear.

There are some people who work tirelessly to educate others about the evil of abortion and the other evils it spawns or supports. There are others who publicly protest against it, even at the price of imprisonment. There are those who preach, those who pray, those who suffer on behalf of the little ones and their misguided parents. Yet the butchery goes on, and we must call it that, for what is done to the little ones would be forbidden to be done even to an animal. If someone were to dismember a live dog or cat, or puncture its head and suck out its brains with a machine, they would be arrested for cruelty to animals. But this kind of thing is done daily, routinely, legally, to live human beings—in or (almost) out of their mothers’ wombs.

It’s a crime, a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance. But God is not primarily interested in vengeance (though his justice and truth will not be mocked with impunity), but rather in repentance, in love for life and goodness, which He has tried for millennia to impart to his wayward and sinful people. We cannot be silent, indifferent, looking the other way, shrugging our shoulders, resigned to our powerlessness to stem the tide of the blood of the little ones. We should not cease our prayer, our protest, our withholding money and votes from those who promote or contribute to this barbaric slaughter of God’s precious children.

There’s a controversy in the Church about whether or not politicians who call themselves Catholics but promote abortion can come to the table of the Lord, to receive the mystical and Holy Communion of Jesus’ precious Body and Blood—after they have approved the dismembering of tiny bodies and the shedding of innocent blood against his divine will. Controversy? Why? It’s a no-brainer. When someone asked that question of Cardinal Arinze, he was appalled. You have to ask me that question? he said, incredulous. Any child who knows his catechism could answer it for you!

Here is the Lord’s answer to those who would approach his holy altar after approving the legalized murder of the little ones: “Even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:15-17). America the Beautiful! “How the faithful city has become a harlot, she that was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers” (1:21).

Lord, have mercy on us! All who have ever hurt an innocent person are complicit in this. There’s not enough outcry, not enough action, not enough prayer and sacrifice. We lazily tolerate “pro-choice” rhetoric and at the same time lament sex crimes and other atrocities. Take the rhetoric to its logical conclusion. If it is a "right" to choose the death of unborn innocent human beings, what then are the limits to what or who we can harm or destroy? Someone once suggested that if the right to kill babies was legally connected to a right to kill politicians, abortion laws would change immediately (let’s be clear, I’m not advocating the killing of anyone).

Don’t think you will find peace and justice in this world if you tolerate the slaughter of the little ones. End atrocities such as abortion before you expect success in creating a just and peaceful society; the two cannot co-exist. God’s righteousness will see to that. Meanwhile, ask God what He’s asking you to do to help put an end to the painfully violent holocaust of his little ones. The Church must stand united in defense of innocent life. Enough of this “I can do what I want with my body” baloney. They can’t do what they want with their baby’s body. And their children will rise on judgment day and tell them so.