I just finished reading another commentary on the upcoming elections. It is said that this is a defining moment in our nation’s history, not to mention the history of the pro-life movement. Some even say that all that we mere human beings have accomplished politically in the fight's brief, nearly-40-year history could be totally undone.
As I was reading these commentaries, a few thoughts came to mind, and instead of keeping them to myself, I am inspired to share them with you. They all revolve around one of my favorite Catholic priests, the late Father John Hardon, S.J. I miss him terribly, but have never forgotten some of his most profound words, which apply to each of us in these days leading up to November 4 and certainly the days that will follow.
Writing on a Catholic's responsibility in the pro-life movement today, he commented,
Saint Ignatius explains it all in his Spiritual Exercises. The followers of Christ are in constant conflict with the followers of Satan. Who would doubt that the massive genocide in the modern world is the result of demonic seduction? Not only individuals but whole nations have been seduced by the devil. Jesus told the unbelieving Jews who challenged His claims and wished to kill Him by telling them, "The father from whom you are is the devil, and the desires of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning." (John 8:4-1).
So it was in first century Palestine. So it is at the close of the twentieth century in America.
Not to know this is not to know that the devil is behind the global genocide that has spread like an epidemic of death throughout the world.
Though Father Hardon wrote these words nearly 10 years ago, they apply more today than ever before.
Regardless of how the world views it, abortion is a curse that has been brought about by human emotions, attitudes and desires. Whether we care to admit it or not in polite company, it is most certainly an evil action promoted with extreme vitriol, night and day, by Satan himself and his minions.
In fact, if you think about it for a moment or two, it is clearly one of the vilest acts in human history. What is even more grotesque is that we are living in an age when the killing of a preborn baby is described as a "right," and in fact, is lauded by many in politics, not to mention private life.
Abortion is the direct murder of an innocent child – a child whose future is known to God, but who will never be known to his parents or the world itself. These children go silently to their graves, which are frequently trash bins or incinerators. There is no regard for their integrity as perfect expressions of God's love for the world.
They are, in a manner of speaking, martyrs whose only error in life was that their fate resided in the hands of human beings who thought nothing of taking their lives. Their killers assuaged any possibility of guilt with excuses that differ, one from the other, like the trees in a forest. It is a tragedy that words cannot possibly describe. It is a pox upon our land that will never be resolved in a voting booth.
So, while others will expound endlessly about this coming election being a defining moment or the most historic event in our nation’s history, I would like to reflect on this coming Tuesday in a completely different way. It is, as is every day, an opportunity for pro-life Americans to renew our commitment to God, not to partisan politics.
Let us prepare for whatever may come and whatever horrors may await mankind by most sincerely surrendering today, tomorrow and every day to Christ. Let us offer Him our meager efforts with a prayer of trust in His power to right every wrong and to work through us toward His victory for the human person.
His name will not be found on any ballot, but His power is undeniable.
The perfect prayer for this daily spiritual exercise is the Lord's Prayer. As Father Hardon taught,
The perfection of the Our Father is unique because it comprehends everything which it behooves us to ask of God as either necessary or useful for salvation. Its seven petitions have been variously compared to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, to the seven Sacraments, and to the three theological and four cardinal virtues of the New Law.
Surely in our day and age, we should be begging God as never before to protect us from sin, to lead us away from the temptation to betray or deny Him, and to deliver us from the worldly attractions that are constantly before us.
Let us recall these profound words written by Father Hardon: “To heroically live out what we believe is not child's play. It means that our lifestyle reflects our faith which does not believe that we have here a lasting home.”
Let us pray for our nation, and more importantly, for each human being, so that respect for the human person becomes the defining reason why – in the land of the free and the home of the brave – votes are cast in recognition of Our Father, Who art in Heaven.