For over a month now, we’ve seen many senseless attacks against pro-life centers, resource organizations, and perhaps most tragically, Catholic churches. In a statement, the group Jane’s Revenge recently admitted to organizing violent demonstrations in more than 16 American cities, saying they work in “countless locations invisibly,” finding it “easy and fun to attack” as it provides a source of “joy and courage” to them. A recently published map at the Catholic News Agency has identified over a dozen states where these acts have occurred. CatholicVote is also tracking violence against Catholic Churches – now recording over 100 incidents.
Why the violence? Because we face the spiritual struggle of our lives. What proves that the abortion conflict is predominantly spiritual? Perhaps the tragic effects of abortion could shed some light on this.
One of our recent guests on EWTN Pro-life Weekly pointed out that the abortion culture is a root problem compounding other tragedies. He said, “When you have an entire society that founds itself upon the killing of innocent children, how can you expect people to grow up to really respect life?”
There is, tragically, a growing isolation among people, a tendency to turn inward on oneself. After all, the legalization of abortion is touted as liberating under the selfish slogan: “my body, my choice.” Abortion has warped the conscience of our nation, and stoked hate in the hearts of people who have been lied to about its devastating effects.
That hate has manifested itself, not just on the steps of the Supreme Court, but also in the states, as outlined above. Pro-abortion people are determined to destroy those working to end abortion, which they believe “frees” them from attachment to the needs of other people, such as their partners and their own little children. Those who rely on abortion as a “right” recognize that it’s not only pregnancy centers that pose a threat to them, but also the foundational tenets of our Catholic faith. So, Catholic churches are also being vandalized, and in some cases, such enmity displayed as the Body of Christ Himself being egregiously violated, tossed from Tabernacles and strewn about chapel floors. Journalist Matthew McDonald recently wrote that in some cases, such as the recent Brooklyn church heist, many downplayed the gravity of the Tabernacle being attacked and celebrated it as a good thing, due to their rejection of Catholic Church teaching on abortion. The ugly reality is that some abortion activists are threatening to destroy the source and summit of our faith.
Isn’t it heartbreakingly clear that we face spiritual foes? Support for abortion has moved some people to attack the Eucharist, and has also sown division among the Catholic faithful. A recent Wall Street Journal piece shines an ugly spotlight on the “divide” in thinking among Catholics as to how the faithful should approach abortion. This, despite the fact that Catholic teaching makes the simple truth abundantly clear: that abortion is a preeminent evil.
Our Catechism reads:
“… abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime… the Church does not…restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society (Paragraph 2272).”
And Pope Saint John Paul II writes in Evangelium Vitae, referencing Cain’s murder of Abel:
“Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in man… Brother kills brother. Like the first fratricide, every murder is a violation of the “spiritual” kinship uniting mankind… Not infrequently the kinship “of flesh and blood” is also violated; for example when threats to life arise within the relationship between parents and children, such as happens in abortion…”
We must also remember the Scripture passage: “…the dragon stood before the woman… that he might devour her child when she brought it forth (Rev. 12:4).” St. JPII says these words should help us realize that “life is always at the centre of a great struggle between good and evil…and that child is also a figure of every person, every child, especially every helpless baby whose life is threatened…”
Abortion is a new crown of thorns for our Lord, as His innocent children are senselessly killed, the very people He came to save. A priest recently told me that when he was a novice, he witnessed a memorial mass for an unborn baby. He told me the tiny body of the baby was directly in front of the Holy Eucharist exposed for adoration. That tragic juxtaposition of death and life is what he thinks of when he hears the word “abortion” to this day… it’s clear that what happened to this baby was the result of an evil that stands in contradiction to the new life Christ wants to give each one of us.
Abortion wounds Jesus at His core. We must persevere against those who continually attempt to separate us from the Lord’s goodness and His truth. We must pray that they will experience freedom from evil influences, and a radical conversion of heart, for Jesus is never lacking in mercy, and there is always hope of renewed life in Him.