Tomorrow marks 43 years of legalized abortion in the United States. In 1917 Our Lady said at Fatima that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world. At the heart of Soviet communism was disregard for the human person, where individuals are merely “capital,” cogs in the great machine of economic history. The Roman Empire, which recognized no inherent value in human persons, was built on the same economic principles. Only when Jesus and His Church brought the good news that each person is made in the image of God, did the culture of the west begin to recognize human rights. While the Soviets outlawed Jesus and His Church for 70 years, Russia did indeed spread her error of depersonalization throughout the world. Soviet Russia was the first large government to legalize and promote abortion. We have embraced that error of depersonalization, and it is now America who is spreading her errors throughout the world. Tomorrow is a day of prayer for the full legal restoration of all people’s right to life, and a day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person through acts of abortion. Your priests are instructed to wear violet vestments tomorrow in acknowledgement of the darkness and pain we are spreading.
What a grace to offer Mass, then, on St. Agnes’ Day at Mother Teresa’s sisters’ women and children’s shelter. The full might of the American Government is behind the abortion industry, but here six simple sisters are providing a home for 12 homeless women and their children. During my homily, a child began shouting somewhere in the building, and I was a little irritated. how can I preach in this chaos? And then God corrected me: it is impatience—even intolerance—for children that has led us to legalized abortion. If, as Marx wrote, human beings are just “laborers” with no greater value than moving parts of an “economy,” than children have no right to life unless they contribute to the economy. At the shelter this morning, these poor mothers and children, a liability to the American economy thrown out by our economically-driven society, knew that they were more than pieces of a machine. They knew the love of these sisters, who show them great patience day in and day out. Love is patient, and love is kind, wrote St. Paul. Long after the “economy” has collapsed, that loving kindness will still be with us, thanks to God’s grace and the witness of the martyrs.
Don’t neglect your prayers and fasting tomorrow, Friday, January 22, and I’ll see many of you at the Walk for Life in San Francisco on Saturday. I’ll be under our blue 15’ Star of the Sea parish flag.