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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holy Innocents

On Sunday morning just before Mass, I was reading one of the last chapters of "He Leadeth Me", by Father Walter Ciszek, S.J., and it struck me that the following passage comes a bit too close to home - although, sadly, the United States, a "free" country, has sunk further down that slippery slope than even the Soviet Union did in the grips of Communism.

Abortion is legal in the Soviet Union. Anyone who wants one can have it performed. The government says it had to be legalized in order to prevent private abuses. The wages of husband and wife together make it hard to support more than one or two children, so everyone wants an abortion. Yet the question haunts them. The hallways of the clinics adjoining the abortion rooms were full of posters, not praising abortions but informing patients of the possible detrimental effects on both mind and body such an operation could have. The doctors, mostly women, and the nurses and other personnel would try to dissuade patients from the operation. Women confided years later that they could not rid themselves of feelings of guilt about it. And these were not “believers”, but women and girls who had received a complete atheistic education in Soviet schools.

Even for communism, it is a basic question of life and death, of wrong and right. If life at its very root can be treated so lightly, people would say, what is going to stop such a mentality from spreading? Society? Hardly. Society cannot even handle properly its present problems of crime and other social disorders. And when a society actually endorses evil, where will it end? Can man alone be trusted to solve mankind’s problems? Look at history, and the depths to which civilized countries have sunk, time after time.

("He Leadeth Me", p. 193-194)

Today is the feast day of the Holy Innocents; those children who were murdered at the order of King Herod to spare him the inconvenience of worrying that his life might change at some point in the future. During Advent, we reflected upon, not the actual birth of Jesus, but upon Mary's fiat and Elizabeth's unborn child leaping in her womb when the Mother of the Lord came to visit her. It is now, even as we celebrate the birth of our Savior that we must also consider the message of life; not just present human life, but life as an unborn child, God incarnate, carried in the womb of the Blessed Mother. We consider the life of St. John the Baptist, unborn in Elizabeth's womb, a miracle child, leaping for joy at the presence of his King.

And so we MUST consider the evil of Abortion, and isn't it ironic that in a Communist nation, so long ago, abortion was legal, even encouraged by the atheist regime...and yet women in clincs adjoining abortion centers counseled the women as to the dangers of abortion on MIND AND BODY! These were women who were schooled and indoctrinated by atheists, where God was looked upon as myth, where believers were ridiculed as part of everyday Communist propaganda. And yet these women still recognized the inherent truth; that life was precious, and that the violence done to women to destroy that life would also destroy them.

Yet here, in the United States, a smug, wealthy nation of "freedom", a democratic and capitalistic society, not only do the medical clinics NOT warn against abortion, but they ENCOURAGE it! And here, we are free to believe, we are free to practice our faith, and we do not have to suffer the institutionalized ridicule and persecution Soviet Catholics and other Christians suffered. Yet more babies are killed here every year than ever under atheist Russia, and these abortions are encouraged and promoted by our government and other educational institutions.

Thus, let us not forget those children, those Holy Innocents of our own time, who did not even have the opportunity to see the light of day, thanks to the institutionalized deaths ordained by the culture of death that surrounds us. Let us remember to thank God for those children who have been born this year and will be born next year, thank God for the "yes" given to God at the announcement of their pregnancy; and let us beg God for mercy upon us all and to remove the evil of abortion from our midst.


Cathy_of_Alex said...


Anonymous said...

And people call us an "advanced" society. It's very sad.

Anonymous said...

I love Walter Cisek - you are reading the classic of modern spirituality. It is a very holy book written by a saint. It is the modern adaptation of "Abandonement to Divine Providence" and done in the very best of Jesuit spirituality. It is Theresian through and through - in the sense of the Little Flower. You must re-read it again and again - and so must I.

You are a very good woman. God bless you!

Adoro said...

Terry, I love Fr. Ciszek, too!

I had been praying to saints "known and unknown" and sent up a prayer that if there were any Saints who were interceeding for me to make themselves known. Then someone gave me a prayer card. (The prayer of Surrender I posted some time ago).

Well, that prayer gets me through some terrible moments at work.

And I've recently come across another connection to him, which provided a sort of affirmation of his intercession (although not on my behalf, which makes it even better!). I know he has adopted me and I sense his presence even now. He is a powerful Saint, so I am praying for his are you, likely.

And I DO plan to read and re-read his book! But I lent it to the priests at my parish on Christmas. I will likely purchase another copy because I may not get this one back any time soon. And I have promised it to other people as well! But it will likely join my other Advent reading this year (Devout Life), which I also read for the first time, as my lifetime spiritual companions.

Amazing stuff.

God bless you, Terry. :-)

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Hey, Adoro, you just gave me an idea(it's alright come out from under your desk!). I know you do a lot of spiritual reading. I would find it interesting, and helpful, if you would post a list of recommended Advent readings.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll work on that. But of course, since Advent is now done and I think that we should do spiritual reading throughout the won't be an "Advent" list! :-)

~ Adoro

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I was givin' you lots of time to think about it. :-)

Anonymous said...

I saw you recommending Fr Ciszek over on Fr Longenecker's blog. I think I'll have to get that book!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful priest I know has said (and I'm paraphrasing) that perhaps what Russia released on the world wasn't Communism but abortion, i.e. this is what Our Lady of Fatima was referring to.