By Judie Brown
In a recent commentary, Fr. Jerry Pokorsky wrote of Mary’s Magnificat:
Mary’s prayer with the child Jesus in her womb prophesies the fulfillment of the promise God made in Genesis 3:15.
We face the same temptations that Jesus endured for our sake: “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning” (Heb. 4:15).
The Magnificat, recited every evening in the Divine Office, continues to crush the head of the Devil.
One glance at the carnal world in which we live is enough to remind us that we should always strive to defeat those forces that have blinded so many to the truth of God’s love. In essence, that is what the pro-life message is all about, particularly today when pagan ideals seem to have seeped everywhere.
More than 100 years ago St. Leo XIII recognized such evil, writing in Aeterni Patris about how people have embraced godless principles. He taught that anyone who has turned “his attention to the bitter strifes of these days and seeks a reason for the troubles that vex public and private life must come to the conclusion that a fruitful cause of the evils which now afflict, as well as those which threaten, us lies in this: that false conclusions concerning divine and human things . . . have now crept into all the orders of the State, and have been accepted by the common consent of the masses.”
And once this devilish disrespect for our fellow human beings—born and preborn—infects the culture, anything goes, and nothing is held sacred. This is a precise description of the culture of death.
But heroic leaders like Bishop Joseph Strickland are shining the light of common sense and reason on such difficulties, thus guiding the faithful to truth. Strickland recently tweeted that Hillary Clinton is an evil woman. He continued, “Her lies and immorality need to be silenced for the good of humanity.”
And while this is a challenging problem that every Catholic bishop should be addressing, we know that nothing of the sort is occurring. Clinton’s embrace of abortion appears to be of little interest to many of our shepherds, even during this holy season leading up to the birth of Christ.
It occurs to me that a sincere effort to crush the head of that serpent begins with the constant reminder to ourselves and those with whom we have the privilege of living and working that evil leads people to a terrible place. But it’s a fate that can be avoided when one turns to Christ and adores Him instead of the world. Again, not a difficult thing to do if one resolves to do it.
As we move toward Christmas and continue our Advent reflections, perhaps we can think about that serpent in terms of the temptation each of us has to earn human respect no matter what it is we have to avoid. My beloved spiritual director Fr. John Hardon, SJ, (1914-2000) once wrote about the ideal that should be the goal of every person devoted to saving babies. His words are a clarion call:
Those who are potential leaders in the Catholic pro-life movement are not slaves of human respect. They live as their faith teaches them. No matter how easy it is for me to say these words, how hard it is for me and you to live them. I use the words “slaves” deliberately.
Most people are slaves of human respect. What will so and so say, what will so and so think? This so and so may be your family member, wife, husband, or child.
If we always keep Christ first in our lives, at every moment of every day, we too can crush the head of that serpent. We can commit to exposing the evil of child killing and strive to end it.