This Friday, January 22nd, something very special will take over our nation’s capital. No, it won’t be another political debate… thankfully! It’s unlikely aliens will take it over. That’s refreshing 🙂 It won’t be an NFL playoff game either since the Washington Redskins just lost at home to the Green Bay Packers. Sorry to disappoint you. So what is it?!?! Many young people – Catholic youth, tens of thousands of them as well as many young families from around the country, will gather for a great cause as they walk down Pennsylvania Ave. for the annual March for Life.
What’s the reason for an event, which I was blessed to attend twice, that features an incredibly large gathering of faith-filled folks for life? To commemorate and stand up against the grave injustice of abortion that has plagued this country ever since abortion was legalized in 1973.
Pope Francis kisses a baby before the start of a general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Dec. 18, 2013.
(CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis said the primary reason for his visit to the United States was to stand up for human life. “I appreciate the unfailing commitment of the Church in America to the cause of life and that of the family, which is the primary reason for my present visit,” he said at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle back on Sept. 24th in Washington D.C. (Source: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/24/pope-francis-pro-life-cause-is-my-primary-reason-for-coming-to-america/).
A literal modern-day holocaust has occurred over the past 40 years here in the U.S. According to Life News, as of January, 2015, over 57 million known abortions have occurred since 1973 when abortion became the law of the land (Source: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/21/57762169-abortions-in-america-since-roe-vs-wade-in-1973/), and therefore could be considered one of the gravest, if not the worst, social injustices and sins of our time in terms of the number of deaths. If you average that out over the past 42 years, that is 1.37 million abortions in this country per year, which include chemical contraceptives like RU-486. That’s above 3,700 abortions per day. That’s like saying we have a 9/11 every single day of the year in this nation and then some… If you break it down further, it’s approximately 157 abortions per hour in this country or like losing more than a set of twins every second in America. What’s interesting is that the government agency known as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the #1 leading cause of death in 2013 was heart disease with 611,105 deaths. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm). That’s not possible if you believe human life starts in the womb. If you believe that, which medical science does, then abortion is more than double the annual deaths of heart disease, having just stated that the national average is 1.37 million abortions/yr. If that’s not enough, the CDC also reported that 3,932,181 babies were born in 2013. It further stated that in the same year, 4 in 10 (or 40%) were aborted (Source: http://www.operationrescue.org/about-abortion/abortions-in-america/). That equals 1,572,872 abortions and equates to nearly 200,000 more abortions per year than the conservative, average number just given.
While many prayers and sacrifices have been offered, many more will be needed. There is hope despite the continued support of abortion as well as the silence, especially by those in authority. Pope Francis commented on behalf of the innocent victims in the womb. He stated: “It’s wrong to look the other way or remain silent” (Source: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/23/pope-francis-on-abortions-innocent-victims-its-wrong-to-look-the-other-way-or-remain-silent/).
While much silence continues and the future of overturning the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision looks bleak, at least in the near future, there is hope… hope in other ways, particularly in our youth, the Church of today and tomorrow. The Holy Trinity Parish Junior High led by Laura Somogy, and the High School Youth Group, led by Chelsea Janderwski, took a field trip to the Blue Water Pregnancy Care Center off of 1211 Griswold on Saturday morning, Jan. 16th to go on a tour of the facility and to donate much-needed, baby care items. Also, our two youth groups will take part in the annual Port Huron Pro-Life Walk and Ecumenical Prayer Service the following day, Sunday, Jan. 17th. They will gather at Arby’s off of Pine Grove (M-25) between Holland and Sanborn streets between 1-1:30pm. After their walk of prayer and peaceful protest, they will head over to St. Mary Catholic Church here in Port Huron for the Ecumenical Prayer Service which will end at 3pm. All are invited. For more information, please contact Laura Somogy either by e-mail at moc.l1516616088iamg@1516616088su4ya1516616088rpsle1516616088gnana1516616088idrau1516616088g1516616088, or text or call her at (810) 334-5101.
In addition to the hope of our youth and the continued hope of them to support and defend life in the womb, there is also hope as well as healing in other areas that surround the important pro-life/abortion issue. Rachel’s Vineyard (www.rachelsvineyard.org), for example, offers weekend retreats of healing and forgiveness for post-abortive women. Also, there was a positive testimony given by Ashley Troy in The Times Herald back on Nov. 22nd on the topic of adoption, which is a worthy second option that gives the baby a second chance at life to grow up in a loving home. Check out her inspiring story called “Choose Adoption” at the following link: (http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/news/local/2015/11/22/choosing-adoption/75703932/).
Just as Pope Francis has declared this year as a Year for Mercy, Blessed Mother Teresa, who visited the U.S. back in the 80’s, was a sister and woman of mercy who rescued, served, and loved the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India. Though she is scheduled to be canonized a saint in the Catholic Church later in September in this Year of Mercy, she once remarked that “any country that accepts abortion is the poorest of the poor.” She also stated “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” Flowery or not, we have a loving and compassionate God who is merciful to those who repent of their sin. May those who have committed or been involved in the act of abortion be reminded of the mercy of God and our call to show mercy and compassion to them.
While the horrific Planned Parenthood videos were recently exposed and brought out into the light of truth, the evidence shows that abortions are still being performed in droves across a country whose Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson himself, a co-author of that famous statement, a Founding Father of this great country, and the third president of the United States further stated, “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”
Abraham Lincoln helped to make those rights a reality through the abolition of slavery. Martin Luther King Jr. helped to secure rights of equality and make dreams comes true for those of color and race. But both courageous, American men, Lincoln and King, paid for it with their lives. The innocent victims of abortion, 57 million +, have already paid the price with their lives. How many more will we allow? Jesus, the innocent, sinless Son of God and Savior also paid the price of his life but out of love and mercy for you and me. When will the love and mercy be shown to these children?
Martin Luther King Jr.
Isn’t it enough yet? When will the lives and the rights of the unborn be secured? Hopefully, soon but not soon enough. Sadly, the right to life for the unborn aren’t secured in our country at this critical time. These young lives in the womb TRULY matter and are TRULY equal. God bless the youth of our parish, the youth in the Church, and the youth across the country. May we be humbled by their courageous witness for life and learn from them. May we continue forward to pursue a culture of life knowing that God, the Creator is on our side. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).
One comment Pope Francis made in his address to Congress back on Sept. 24th was “defend life at every age stage of development.” May we as a country defend life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. By doing so, we will be blessed and protected again. May we as a country wake up and heed the pope’s urgent call. Life may eventually be lost in this country more than just in the womb if we as a nation continue to support the death of innocent children as they cry out to God for justice. The blood of these aborted babies is on the hands of America, tens of millions of them, and the numbers continue to mount every second. We are the voice for their silent screams. What will we do? Will we as a country continue to turn away in silence and cowardice, or will we speak out with courage and truth? Hopefully, the latter. God states in the 5th commandment, “thou shall not kill/murder” (Ex. 20:13, Dt. 5:17). What are we doing to our children right now? Furthermore, God says, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to him” (Dt. 30:19-20). Life is a gift. Let’s treasure it. It is our hope, our joy and our future.
In Jesus, “The Way, The Truth, and The Life,” (Jn. 14:6)
Fr. Jeff Allan, Associate Pastor, Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron