Pro-Life From Start to Finish

Human life begins at the very moment of conception; human life dies when the soul leaves the body at natural death. God is the origin, the author, the sustainer, and the only one who can determine the actual moment that each and every human person dies. These are the first principles, on a human and biological level, that all those engaged in Pro-life dialogue must commence with.

Theological Foundations

At the very moment that a child is conceived, then it is God Himself who intervenes infusing an immortal soul in that human person. This immortal soul, from its inception, is endowed with an intellect with the powers of memory, understanding and imagination. Also the immortal soul is endowed with free will by which this individual can choose to love God with all his energy, strength and will. By utilizing the word immortal, we mean that this soul infused at the moment of conception will live for all eternity, that means forever and ever and ever—not until the end of the world, but forever and ever and ever! If this individual decides to love God in his life on earth and dies loving God, then he will be united with God forever in heaven.

This being the ultimate reality, what can we do as People of Life to defend life? Until the crude and horrendous reality of abortion is eliminated from the face of the earth, all of us, and we must emphasize all of us, must be involved in one way or another in the Pro-life movement. Not just once a year, in the month of January, when we lament the tragic legalization by the Supreme Court of abortion—killing innocent babies—but always! In a word, the innocent babies in the wombs of their mommies cannot speak so as to defend themselves. Therefore, we must be the clear, unequivocal, concise and determined voice of the unborn. They cannot speak or defend themselves, so we must do it for them!

Following we will offer several ways by which you can undertake the most noble task of fighting against abortion—the number one moral evil in the country—and defend the innocent and the most vulnerable persons in our country. Indeed they are persons, smaller and less-developed biologically, but they are persons. The founding Fathers of the United States of America had no confusion or identity crisis on human life when they wrote and said: Every human person has inviolable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

First and foremost, all of us can do the following: pray! Prayer gives us power. Prayer is our weapon. Prayer can change hearts. Prayer can move the mountains, even the highest mountains—remember the movie Little Boy. Prayer gives life, defends life, and sustains life. Why? For the simple reason that prayer unites us and fortifies us with God Himself. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”  Jesus also said: “I have come to give LIFE and LIFE in abundance.”  Saint Alphonsus Liguori expressed it in these words: “There are not strong people and weak people, but rather people that pray and those who do not pray.”  In other words, the person who prays well and fervently, with faith, confidence, and perseverance will eventually win the battle. If we have a nation or country in prayer, then the victory is ours. The famous Rosary-priest, Father Peyton expressed it in these words: “A world in prayer is a world in peace.”  Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta asserted: “This world will not know peace until the end of abortion.”  In sum, let us pray in reparation for the many crimes and abominations of abortion, but also for the end of abortion.

Second, we must undertake the practice of penance and fasting.  Jesus said: “Some devils can be expelled only by prayer and fasting.” Jesus conquered and overcame the devil in the desert by praying and by fasting for forty days and forty nights. Jesus said: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that issues forth from the mouth of God.”  Most likely none of us can fast forty days and forty nights in imitation of Jesus, but we can all give up something. Saint Therese encourages us with these words: “Holiness consists in doing small (ordinary) things with great or extraordinary love.”  There we have the secret to holiness: doing all we do with great love!

Third, another key to preventing abortion we might call preventative medicine by means of teaching teens the value of the virtue of chastity or holiness. Would it not be a great idea if all the Parishes throughout the country, better yet, all the Parishes throughout the world, would teach teens the importance of the virtue of chastity? How? By teaching them the beauty of chastity. Teach them that sexuality is a beautiful gift from God but it must be practiced and expressed in the proper time and the proper place. Of course, this means that while human sexuality is a beautiful gift from God, its proper time and place is only in the context of a man and woman married in the Sacrament of holy Matrimony, in the church. Only then does a couple have a right to the marital act, of course being always open to the possibility of conception, or if you like the possibility of Procreation. What a beautiful and most profound word, that of Procreation. What this word really means is that God allows two human persons, a man and a woman, to collaborate with Him in the bringing forth of a new human life by means of conception.

Another motivation for the young to embrace chastity and sexual relations only in the context of Sacramental love might be a CHASTITY MASS AND RING. What is meant by this is that young people involved in their Confirmation program would have built into this Confirmation program a chastity Mass with the chastity ring as an integral part of the program itself. Therefore, in the context of the Mass, after the homily, the priest (or priests) will place chastity rings on the young girls and boys. Then these youth will wear this ring until they are married as a clear reminder that they have made the commitment to be chaste or pure and that they will have no sexual relations until their wedding night.

All of this is said in the context of fighting against abortion on this front because many abortions are perpetrated by the young, and that is even the teenagers, and for many reasons. However, one of the fundamental reasons for the high incidence of abortions among teens, among the youth, is a very weak formation and foundation in the virtue of chastity, not taught well at home or anywhere else for that matter!!!

One last note, with respect to chastity—the virtue of modesty! Young people, possibly girls more than boys, but both, must be educated in the practice of modesty, which the Catechism of the Catholic Church states is the “Guardian of chastity.”  We must never forget that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Through Baptism we are transformed into sons and daughters of God the Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, intimate friends of the Holy Spirit, that is living tabernacles of the Blessed Trinity, Sanctuaries of God! With this knowledge of our sublime dignity, as well as the knowledge of our destiny, we must live accordingly and practice the virtue of modesty. May Our Lady be our sublime example!

Fourth, the use and viewing of the ultrasound. One of the most notorious abortionist’s in the United States in the early 70’s was a Doctor who practiced abortions in New York. He was known as the “King of abortions.”  Why? He had carried out 80,000 abortions. Nonetheless, God works miracles in strange ways according to the human perspective. The name of this Doctor was Bernard Nathanson. Divine providence worked in this way. Doctor Nathanson viewed a primitive ultrasound in which he saw the baby moving. Touched and moved by grace, Nathanson honestly admitted that it was a baby, a living human person. From that moment on, he never performed another abortion in his entire life! On the contrary, he became one of the most vocal Pro-life advocates in the country, and not only that, in the world at large. Gifted with a very keen intellect, Nathanson wrote against abortion in very scholarly terms. However, most likely his greatest claim to fame was the production of the movie The Silent Scream. In this movie, Nathanson portrays graphically a baby being torn from the womb of his mother and suffering intensely; the baby is opening up his mouth screaming, but the scream cannot be heard! Once produced and released for the public this film accomplished untold miracles of grace, definitely saving the lives of many unborn persons—babies in the womb.

Incidentally, Nathanson was converted to Catholicism and received all the Sacraments of Initiation in St. Patrick’s Cathedral by the late Cardinal John O’Conner.

Years have passed since the movie The Silent Scream was released. Now, thanks be to God and the advance of modern technology, the Ultrasound is much more advanced, clear, and graphic in the presentation of the unborn baby within the womb. A woman considering an abortion, if exposed to the ultrasound of her baby, might be able to see the baby waking up, yawning, stretching, scratching his nose, sucking his thumb, and even smiling at his mother. Many women upon viewing their baby in the Ultrasound cannot carry out the grisly murder of their innocent child.

In sum, if you know of a woman considering an abortion with an already developed child, why not bring her to view the Ultrasound. There is a good chance that after seeing this, the mother will say YES to life, graced and blessed with seeing her little baby moving and possibly smiling at her!

Fifth, the Biblical YES of two holy women! Why not present to the woman considering abortion the example of two holy women who would most likely be targets for abortion today: Saint Elizabeth and the Blessed Virgin Mary (Read from the Gospel of Saint Luke: 1: 39-45) Why? Saint Elizabeth was obviously too old—way beyond the age of child-bearing; and Mary, was too young, almost certainly a mere teenage. We all know the end of this story! Both said YES to carrying their babies and they brought forth the two greatest: Saint John the Baptist and Jesus, the Savior of the world, who is truly the Way, the Truth and the Life. If Mary and Elizabeth could say YES to life, so can all women. What is definitely needed is this attitude of the heart: Trust. All pregnant women must trust, not in the world and its false values, but in God who is not only the Origin and Author of life, but also the Provider and the Sustainer of life. With Saint Faustina let us pray: Jesus, I trust in You!

In conclusion, let all of us feel the call, as well as the duty, as men and women of life to defend unborn human life. It is God who gives life. The holy Job expressed it in clear and unequivocal words: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I return to the earth; the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!”  Indeed, it is only the Lord, God Himself, who can give life and it is only God who can take life away! As human persons created in the image and likeness of God, and through Baptism sons and daughters of God Himself, we must be staunch defenders of life from the very moment of conception to the very last breath of life. We are People of Life. May Our Lady who said YES to life encourage us by her prayers to love life at all times, in all places, until the end of time!

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Father Ed Broom is an Oblate of the Virgin Mary and the author of Total Consecration Through the Mysteries of the Rosary and From Humdrum to Holy. He blogs regularly at Fr. Broom's Blog.

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