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Radical Acts of Love

By Judie Brown

Red Rose Rescue, a group of pro-life heroes who witness to the humanity of the preborn child with their very selves, recently posted an inspiring YouTube video. These frontline pro-life saints act on the words of Proverbs 24:11: “Rescue those being dragged to death, and those tottering to execution withhold not. If you say, ‘I know not this man!’ does not He who tests hearts not perceive it?” 

From the beginning of this ministry, Red Rose rescuers, including Joan Andrews Bell, have stood apart because of their quiet but powerful testimony to the simple truth that because babies are dying, these rescuers are physically present to be their witnesses. Upon their recent release from jail, one of these heroic people, Lauren Handy, said, “Radical acts of violence need to be met with radical acts of love.”

In those few words are captured the essence of what it means to act in defense of the perishing innocents whose lives are taken every single day in our nation. My deceased husband Paul and I admired them for years. Paul and I drove to Delaware one time to embrace them as they were released from jail.

At American Life League we have always known that rescuers and their prayer partners are the frontline warriors in our battle to end the viciousness of abortion. Today, more than ever before, our nation needs that witness, not to mention the wide-ranging efforts of every pro-life American as each pursues the work God has called them to do.

Proof of this necessity comes every day, including the report this week that “most Americans say Congress must protect same-sex marriage and contraception.”

First of all, note that for the Americans cited in this report, it is apparent that Congress has replaced God and His divine laws. Perhaps among the most ridiculous truisms of our day, this is also a reflection of how much more each of us needs to do in our quest to rescue the innocent with our prayers, actions, and words.

We are the voice in the wilderness, the people of God who remind our fellow human beings that acts of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are intrinsic evils that harm the body and kill the soul. While there is assuredly rejection of this simple truth in our culture today, that does not change its veracity, nor does it alter God’s call to each of us.

Fr. James Schall, SJ, aptly wrote, “The ability to define what is evil is itself a good. The deliberate doing of what is intrinsically evil, while not defining it as such, constitutes the disorder affecting the world both inside and outside of ourselves, as well as inside and outside of both Church and state.”

Further, Fr. Schall clarifies that the existence of intrinsic evils is not just a Catholic thing:

In the literature, “intrinsically evil acts” are often listed as aspects of Catholic thought. But there is nothing peculiarly Catholic about them. They are not considered “revealed” doctrines; they are at bottom conclusions of natural reason, with roots in the principle of contradiction. They apply to all men of whatever era or culture, and they presuppose an existing order in nature, including in human nature. Their two simplest formulations are the command: “Do good; avoid evil” and the Socratic: “It is never right to do wrong.”

So you see that our mission, as St. John Paul II wrote in The Splendor of Truth, is clear: “The voice of conscience has always clearly recalled that there are truths and moral values for which one must be prepared to give up one’s life. In an individual’s words and above all in the sacrifice of his life for a moral value, the Church sees a single testimony to that truth which, already present in creation, shines forth in its fullness on the face of Christ.”

This is the challenge that every person confronts daily. It is up to us to be the messengers of those words by our actions, our words, and of course our prayers. Often this call to love springs from our desire to help others see why such acts are intrinsically evil and by so doing, introduce them to the very real fact that God loves each of them and wants them to love Him in return.