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Holy Week and the Preborn

By Judie Brown

As pro-life people, we strive to defend and protect the innocent at all times and in every place where we are needed. This is part of our vocation as defenders of truth, but during this Holy Week it serves us well to think specifically about how each aborted child is a victim of bloody crucifixion in the same way that Christ was a victim on Good Friday. Reflecting on His suffering brings us a bit closer to understanding the reality of what it means to kill the innocent babe, or for that matter, a vulnerable person at any stage in her life.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen knew this well, even though his reminders throughout Holy Week were not based on the horror of decriminalized abortion. As a man of God, he understood that suffering knows no historical event but has been with us from the moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden.

Sheen once said, “No stage was ever better set for the drama of hope than Calvary.”

And it is on this thought that we proceed through Holy Week as we pray for those who have aborted their children, those who have committed the crime of aborting the innocent, and those who strive to end the slaughter. It is not too much to ask God to heal the heart of this nation as we strive to be His witnesses in our quest to teach truth in a world grown icy cold to the healing power of the one who is Truth.

When Archbishop Sheen reminded us: “There is only one thing in the world that is definitely and absolutely your own, and that is your will,” he was teaching an incredibly valuable lesson. You and I strive to end the killing, to heal the culture, and to live our own lives according to God’s will, but without His grace we cannot achieve any of that. We are like the crushed reeds spoken of in scripture—people in need of His mercy and fair judgment.

And so as a special challenge during these final days of Holy Week, it would be good for us to reflect on the misery that is wrought by the killing of the innocent as we pray for peace. Our world has run amuck, and it is only through the mercy of God that we can hope for His healing to occur.

Aware of this truth, Pope Benedict XVI preached these words on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2007:

The Lord took his wounds with him to eternity. He is a wounded God; He let himself be injured through his love for us. His wounds are a sign that he understands and allows himself to be wounded out of love for us. These wounds of his: how tangible they are to us in the history of our time! Indeed, time and again, he allows himself to be wounded for our sake. What certainty of his mercy, what consolation do his wounds mean for us! . . . And what a duty they are for us, the duty to allow ourselves in turn to be wounded for him!

Holy Week is the perfect opportunity for you and me to allow ourselves to be wounded for Christ for the sake of the babies and all those who have knowingly inflicted the pain of killing the innocent, not to mention those afflicted because of it.

In Your mercy, Oh Lord, prepare us for Your glorious Resurrection. Amen.