We Must First Have Mercy

May 6, 2014 09:00 AM

What exactly does it mean to be a pro-life American today?

There are probably as many answers to this question as there are people who would contemplate the question in the first place. 

If we put the past 41 years in perspective, we see that America is descending the slippery slope to the culture of death at a faster rate than ever imagined. Society has abandoned millions of babies at every stage of development prior to birth to the practices of the abortion industry. 

Furthermore, people abort babies by deceptively selling birth control pills. They deny that an abortion can occur even though there is clinical evidence that quite the opposite is the case. The second tragedy is that these carcinogenic pills are being ingested by perfectly healthy females, thus causing pollution of their bodies and souls.

The abortion cartel manufactures drugs like mifepristone (RU-486) that abort children during the first two months of life in the womb. They tell us the death of the child is a myth; they propound that the rights of women are paramount. And when a woman dies because she used this drug, we don’t see a smidgen of media coverage or a drug recall.

And when it comes to the surgical killing of the preborn, it is astounding that even a medical destroyer like Kermit Gosnell does not seem to move us to wake up and press our elected officials to end this grisly business once and for all.

We are a nation lulled into apathy. Sloganeering hypnotizes us. Political and spiritual weakness betrays us and our progeny. We feel little regard for the dignity of the individual human person from creation to death. As a society, we are deadened to the reality of evil.

Is there a solution?

Indeed, I believe there is. Pope John Paul II provided the framework for a new definition of what it means to be pro-life. He wrote in Dives in Misericordia: “Love is ‘greater’ than justice: greater in the sense that it is primary and fundamental. Love, so to speak, conditions justice and, in the final analysis, justice serves love. . . . Mercy differs from justice, but is not in opposition to it.” (emphasis added)

The key point in this quote is that mercy (love) is required before we can begin to restore justice. There is no justice for the preborn or the vulnerable among us because there is no mercy.

Our society has lost a sense of the divine definition of love and how that translates into our relationships with our fellow human beings. Many despise others or lack all appreciation for their membership in the human family. This is where pro-life evangelization comes in.

We can start by asking these simple questions:

1. Does a pregnant woman in distress provoke others to appreciate her because she is a mother with child who needs unselfish loving care, or is she seen as a woman who may choose to do whatever she wants as long as she doesn’t inconvenience anyone?

2. Are young people treated as individuals prepared to learn how to live a life of chastity, or are they defined as needing hedonistic sex training in the classroom? 

3. Do our peers view the family as God designed it—consisting of a mother and father united with God in marriage—or is the family thought of in terms of “the new normal,” meaning any combination regardless of sexual preferences or living arrangements?

Once we answer these questions, it is up to us to answer this one: Am I willing to step outside my comfort zone to evangelize to others so that they, too, see the truth, or do I prefer wearing the business-as-usual blinders?

As the pope taught, mercy is the missing link in a culture that prefers death to life. Today, the challenge is to restore that sense of virtue by becoming the Lord’s instruments.

Here are some practical suggestions for making that occur:

Guide our neighbors and friends back to basics by showing them how to educate young people in the seven virtues.

Concentrate on raising our own children and grandchildren with an appreciation of the vulnerable—born and preborn—and by teaching the value of self-sacrifice as the greatest gift of love anyone can give to another. 

Be an evangelist to the misguided, loving them and showing them by example how adorable God has made them and every innocent human being from creation to death.

Love those who are hurting by spending time with them, sharing compassion in their hours of sorrow. 

These actions will make our culture more pro-life and less pro-self. 

By reflecting Christ’s example of mercy in our daily lives, we might be surprised to find that the hearts of others may soften; that the businesses that pollute minds, steal their souls, and kill their babies may be closed forever; and that children may once again become open to virtue.

“Love is ‘greater’ than justice: greater in the sense that it is primary and fundamental. Love, so to speak, conditions justice and, in the final analysis, justice serves love.”

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