Monday, January 22, 2007
Peace! Yesterday we had the beautiful reading from St. Paul about being the one Body, and how all the parts have to work together. He mentions how those parts that seem less honorable we clothe with greater care.
We can use this to reflect on our society. How do we work together to support the whole body? An important question: how do we treat those who are least able to defend themselves? How do we treat the unborn, the ill and incapacitated, those debilitated by age or other factors?
Once as a hospital chaplain I was called in to visit a mother who had given birth prematurely. I visited the baby, so tiny and helpless. All the doctors and nurses were working so hard to help this child survive. We prayed and baptized him.
Why does our law commend, and even command, such heroic efforts in regard to a child born early, and yet gives no protection at all to a child, the same age, still in its mother’s womb? Both are precious, both children of God. The debate about abortion raises such contradictions, and reveals the dark side of our culture and society.
I know these are not new reflections, but they have to be repeated. Not so that we can attack them, those outside of us, and so feel smug in our pro-life stance. It is so we can first of all face the basic contradictions in ourselves, in all of us. And first bring that contradictory self to God, the only light in the darkness. This is what St. Francis prayed: “Lord, enlighten the darkness of my heart.”
And, yes, from that place we must act. I commend all those who are on the march for life this day, all those who are fighting in a public way to change our laws. We all have to be part of that struggle, as God guides and gives us. Again: not one of us can do everything, but each of us can do something.
As St. Francis told his brothers; “Let us begin to do good, for up to now we’ve done so little.” And yet, even our little can be taken up by the Good God.
Let us begin today!