Our Lost Generations

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One of them might have cured cancer. Another one could have flown us to the stars. One of them might have helped the world find a way to peace in places that have known far too much war. They would have been doctors, farmers, mothers, fathers, teachers, firemen and priests. They might also have been burglars, layabouts, swindlers and yes, even murderers. But every one of them had been created in the image and likeness of God. They were known by Him before all ages and loved by Him beyond all knowing. Fifty-eight million Americans. Lost.

This week is the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision which effectively made abortion legal in this country. The justices based their decision on an understanding of a woman’s right to privacy. Abortion was found to be a private decision. But it is not. Many women are coerced or even forced by husbands, boyfriends, or parents into having an abortion. Many may have an abortion because they can’t see any other option for themselves. Every woman will remember the abortion they had. Most of them will come to say that they regretted their decision as the years went by. Abortion kills a child and it wounds everyone else. And it has wounded our culture as well.

Abortion allows us to see all human life as less sacred and more disposable. We begin to see assisted suicide as a right and we form groups to support legislation to make it legal. We hear talk about death panels and we’re no longer shocked. We begin to withhold food and water from the terminally-ill so as to hasten death. We abort babies we see as imperfect. China has murdered a generation of women through gender-based abortions. Minority women in America have a disproportionate number of abortions. Yet we condemn racism or sexism in other contexts. Abortion is anything but private.

And yet, there is hope. God’s mercy can heal the heart and soul of any woman who has chosen abortion. Anyone who has encouraged a woman to have an abortion, driven her to the clinic, assisted in the procedure, or promoted abortion—all are offered God’s mercy and forgiveness. No sin is beyond the reach of His love. There is hope for the unborn when their fathers accept their responsibilities and support the mother of their child. In many ways, the rise in abortions parallels the decline in faithful fatherhood.

As a Church we must welcome and support mothers in need. We can’t just shake our heads and preach about sin. We must be God’s mercy to them. We have to open our hands and help. We have to support pro-life programs that offer real help to moms in crisis. We have to support adoption. We must elect politicians at all levels of government who will protect life from the moment of conception until natural death.

As individuals we have to do all that we can to transform our culture, one person, one heart at a time. Pray. Vote. Protest. Fast. Offer sacrifices and perform works of mercy. When we do nothing in the face of evil, will we also be held accountable for it? Be a defender of life, a voice for the child who has no voice, a friend to the woman considering an abortion. Welcome her and her baby into your pew, your home, and your prayers.

“Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion.
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent.
Never to be passive.
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Priests for Life

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