One woman was sharing her memory of January 22, 1973 – tears were rolling down her cheeks at the thought that it was now legal to kill babies in the womb.  Her mother comforted her, “No honey, it doesn’t mean that.  This is only for extreme cases where the mother’s life is at risk or in cases of rape.  It doesn’t mean that America thinks its ok to kill babies in the womb”.  Whatever original intentions may have existed at the time of Roe v Wade, the result is that we live in an America where abortion on demand is deemed a right.  St. Mother Teresa’s prophetic voice rings true:  “And if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another”.  Roe v Wade has led not to compassion but to a fundamentally flawed way of life, far from what was promised.

Now, 45 years later, we are not here to place blame, point out fault, or shame anyone.  Rather, we work for healing.  We want healing for women, who through force or fear have had to experience abortion.  Healing for men who failed in fatherhood or who never knew they were fathers.  Healing for those who remained silent when dutiful speech was needed.  Healing for generations whose thought and understanding have been formed to believe that children are a choice not a gift.  Healing for a generation who fail to understand that it's a life, not a right.

Now is a time for healing, compassion, mercy, and truth.  We must actively choose to treat every person with dignity and respect.  Enough with prejudice and discrimination; let us go back to the beginning and get it right – back to the dignity of every human person.  As Catholics, we are a people of life and for life; we see every person, regardless of race, age, socio-economic, nationality, or whatever quality as a gift.  Each person, chosen to exist and given the breath of life by God Himself, brings beauty into the world.  Again, we echo the sentiments of Mother Teresa, “How can there be too many children?  That is like saying there are too many flowers”. 

January 18-26 will be a time of prayer, penance, and pilgrimage as a part of “9 Days for Life” (https://tinyurl.com/ny3obg6).  Take time to sign up for an email, download the app, or print the prayers so that you can be part of bringing healing to our country by honoring the dignity of every human person, choose to speak and act to proclaim the truth that life is a gift.  We can be a part of forming the next generation to trust not in human thinking, but in what God has promised.

“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to Him” Deuteronomy 30:19-20.