The Dignity of Human Life

09-12-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the most powerful and vital organs in our human bodies is our hearts. Over the course of my lifetime there have been many advances to bring failing hearts back to good health. There are bypasses, valve replacements and even heart transplants. We have AEDs in our school and church for emergency situations. But once our heart fails our bodies die and we leave this world.

There has been a lot of controversy about the Texas law that was not negated by the Supreme Court that prevents abortions in Texas when a fetal heart beat is detected in the mother’s womb, which is in about six weeks after conception. Pro-abortion people, including national legislators from our president and his Democratic Party, are very angry and see this as an unjust law. President Biden sees this as an attack on women’s rights. Why do we get lost in arguing about the right to an abortion when we know that the child in the womb has a heart beat? To kill anyone with a heart beat is a crime called murder. How have we come so far away from common sense and the dignity of every human life? In fact, the moment the sperm fertilizes egg in a woman’s reproduction system, a HUMAN LIFE has come into being. To deny that is to deny the truth of who we are and how human life begins.

We all have our crosses to carry through life. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Mark 8:27-35) Jesus says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” A cross is a burden that challenges us to persevere in seeking and finding the truth of why the cross is there and how we can carry it with faith, hope, and love. The conception of a child in the womb is sometimes sought and sometimes not. But once conception takes place, a new human being created in the image and likeness of God comes into being for all eternity. Whether intended or not the child has begun to form and grow. Who or what gives us the authority to eliminate that life? NO ONE and NOTHING!

In seeking to justify the taking of the most vulnerable among us we blind ourselves to who we are created to be as human beings. Life is a gift for everyone of us, a gift we cherish. Our lives are enriched when we enrich the lives of one another, especially children. You who are parents have such a fount of love in your hearts that is constantly being poured out in concern for your children. They are not a burden but a gift. They make you more than you would ever be without them.

Abortion is not a political issue legalized by politicians or judges. It is far more than a crime. It is a grave sin. We don’t like to talk or think about sin with this issue. Every day in our parish we pray for children in the womb, families with children, and that those who have had an abortion will find peace in God’s mercy. Responsibility for this evil lies with all who make abortion possible from the politicians and judges who have legalized it, to those who promote and perform them, to those who give the authority to legislators by voting for them. What possible reason can there be to elect and support someone who will continue the slaughter of innocents in the womb at the pace of more than 800,000 a year in our country alone? Do not be deluded by irrational justification. I do not say this as a threat but as a reality we will all face someday - before God as we are judged. There is no way to justify this evil.

Not only must we avoid this evil personally, we also have the obligation to do what we can to eliminate it. As I wrote last week in this column, we will once again have 40 Days For Life beginning Wednesday, September 22nd this year and concluding on Wednesday, October 27th. We are invited to pray in front of Planned Parenthood on Maple Avenue in Smithtown during those Wednesdays at any time and to a Holy Hour on those Wednesdays in our church at 7:00 PM. If you are not able to come to Maple Avenue or the Holy Hour on Wednesdays, I invite you to pray a rosary on your own, seeking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our efforts to protect the lives of all children growing in their mother’s wombs.

It is never pleasant to confront evil, especially one that has so much support in our government and among our fellow citizens. Not only are innocent lives at stake, the moral fiber of our nation continues to erode. Once we support the taking of human lives in the womb or anyone’s life, more and more evils will divide us from one another and God. Once we stop walking with God in our journey through life there are only dead ends, and the ultimate dead end is eternal separation from Him, the aborted children, and all His angels and saints.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.