Thursday, January 22, 2009

On This Day


Today marks the 36th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision by the Supreme Court, and this article by Robert George is a brilliant reflection on what is at stake in the present battle for the lives of the unborn. Here is a short excerpt:

"Of course, it is not given to us to know just how much we will, in the end, be able to achieve. Despite the triumph of the pro-abortion party in the recent elections, there is no good reason to believe that our efforts in the domain of law and policy are futile or doomed to fail. Yet we have no guarantee of success. As the great Fr. Richard John Neuhaus so often said: for us, there is only the trying. The rest is God's business, not ours. Yet we are given to know that in trying, we fulfill God's commands, and build up His kingdom."

As I watched President Obama take the oath of office on Tuesday, I was touched to the point of tears. Yes, I was touched by the historicity of the moment: President Obama is of a race that just 40 years ago was treated very poorly in our country, and I do believe that his election brings great hope to those who still feel the effects of racial prejudice today. But I believe that my tears were also for President Obama, who heretofore has demonstrated a terribly misguided position on the issue of abortion. I pray for President Obama, and as I pray I find myself trying to figure out how this man can believe what he believes. How can this man, who shows such great love for his family, such grace in recent days when he could have poked fun at Chief Justice Roberts, such a desire to protect the weakest in our society, how can this same man afford no rights to the unborn? It seems that he truly believes his stance to be the most just one, and it seems that he is ready to fight for increased "reproductive rights" for women because he believes that it is the right thing to do. 

So, today I pray for a complete change of heart in President Obama, and I believe in the power of prayer. At Mass this morning, I again found myself moved to the point of tears as I walked forward to receive the Eucharist. The weight of the moment did not escape me: here I was, with my daughter in my arms and my son at my side, participating in the heavenly banquet with all of the angels and saints, including all of those innocent souls who never had a chance at life. Today, around the world, millions of Catholics will celebrate Mass, participate in Marches for Life, and pray for an end to a culture that supports abortion. There is great power in all of these acts, and I am again reminded of the words of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus: "For us, there is only the trying. The rest is God's business, not ours. Yet we are given to know that in trying, we fulfill God's commands and build up his kingdom."

11 comments:

Kat said...

JM, thank you for your beautiful post, I didn't see it until after I wrote my post, but I think that on this day it is great to have more than one reflection!

Fr. Christian Mathis said...

Wonderful thoughts. I offer similar prayers today.

Juris Mater said...

Kat, thank you so much for this reflection! I'm really taking to heart the quotation from Fr. Neuhaus, along with your moving words.

Joanne said...

This is just beautiful. I will think of it again and again, I'm sure.

Molly said...

Thanks both JM and Kat for these thoughts today.

Bethany said...

If anyone is curious. My husband attended the March for Life, today. He has pictures from it posted at www.vinumnovum.org If anyone wants to take a look.

Mary Alice said...

Kat, thank you for sharing these reflections. During the past few months I have really enjoyed the various interviews with older Black Americans, those who participated in the Civil Rights movements, who were seeing hopes, dreams and prayers fulfilled in this moment. For the pro-life movement, there are lessons to be learned. So many of the freedom marchers were religious, and certainly their cause was just, so the first lesson is that justice will prevail, so keep working and keep hoping. Many of the marchers did not live to see this change in America, and really it is a turning point in the journey, not a final destination for racial equality. We may not live to see the day that brings the new dawn of the culture of life, but it will come. We have learned from President Obama and his supporters that this country is capable of change.

The civil rights movement had to front, the public, as in the marches, and the personal, when African American leaders met face to face with Robert Kennedy they were able to impress upon him the importance of their cause and the great civil rights legislation began from there. So, too, the culture of life will be built one conversation at a time, as hearts are changed. Some of us will march on Washington, but we must also be part of a personal apostolate for life, bearing witness one encounter at a time, and never losing hope that change will come.

As an aside, a previous commenter has a really neat blog post "Ten Tips for Attending Mass," which has given me some food for thought. Check it out !

JesusThroughMary said...

My older son went to his 4th March for Life today. Not bad for a 2.5 year old....

It's closer to one in three who have been slaughtered since 1973. The results of the last election show that we need to do a better job of getting out the truth about abortion. If there are no suitably pro-life candidates running for a particular office, then we need to run ourselves. We need to be more loving, more eloquent, and more educated than our opponents. And above all, we need to multiply faster than or opponents (which the ladies of this blog definitely have mastered). If we do these things, then abortion will be a relic of history soon enough.

Alex said...

Beautiful posts, JM and Kat. And thank you, Mary Alice, for your wisdom in identifying the lessons that can be gleaned and hope found by pro-lifers in Obama's leadership and our country's capacity for change. Our prayers will not be fruitless!

B-Mama said...

Kat, I just loved reading this--thank you for taking the time to share such beautiful thoughts!

ChrisV said...

Your reflections on the events of the past week are thought provoking. Thanks for sharing your insights.
My family attended the march yesterday and saw the Princeton marchers. I thought of you, Mary Alice, but I couldn't get a decent angle to get a picture. I did post some pictures on my blog, if anyone cares to take a look.
May God Bless all of you and your families!