Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Spirit & Life - Digging Deep
This week's Spirit & Life is by Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International.
Spirit & Life is the weekly e-column of
Human Life International.
traveling to Hagerstown, Maryland last Saturday, I encountered highway
construction. The workers were removing every level of topcoat in order
to reach the underlayment. The project demanded an extensive procedure:
the removal of every level down to the foundation of the highway. In
order to have a level, smooth and long lasting surface, the foundation
itself must be durable and sound; otherwise, its flaws will be
transmitted to the top layers, compromising the structural integrity of
the road. The entire road, top to underlayment, must be removed and the
foundation restored. Only then can the surface be rebuilt.
image of the highway construction makes me think of the transformation
that must occur in order to build an authentic and lasting Culture of
Life. If we are going to truly change society, then we must get down to
the foundation. This will require an honest assessment of the problem --
the rejection of man's true identity and purpose.
course, many don't think there is a problem at all. Humanity is fine;
we just need to remove all that hinders us -- God and religion -- from
achieving what we truly desire; what we consider necessary and of value.
Life International has been confronting the assault on the dignity of
the human person since 1981 (and before that as Fr. Marx's Human Life
Center founded in 1972). Like you, we have seen firsthand the denial of
man's true identity and the attempts to replace it with mere secular
definitions. In order to satiate his hunger for pleasure,
self-gratification and power, man will embrace any ideology that
promises to "free" him of obstacles to achieving his immediate desire.
His appetite is insatiable. Anyone or anything that gets in the way of
obtaining his goal is expendable.
Nowhere in these ideologies is there room for true love -- self-sacrificing, self-giving love.
cannot live without love. Not an ordinary love based in sentimentality,
but a love that finds its origin in God, who is Love. "God is love and
he who lives in God lives in love" (1 Jn 4:16). Apart from the Origin of
love, man's understanding of himself remains incomprehensible and
senseless. He moves about his world grasping at what is immediate and
tangible. He anchors himself in that which cannot satisfy what his heart
truly is made for and desires.
man who wishes to fully understand himself will not be satisfied with
illusions; he must look outside himself to find the answer. Man cannot
redeem himself; he needs a Savior. He needs someone to show him the true
meaning of love, how to love, how to be loved and ultimately how to
participate in love. To expose the foundational problem of sin -- the
rejection of God -- and answer man's dilemma, God intervenes in human
history and becomes man.
answer to our societal problems is found in the love of God, revealed
by Jesus who is our hope and strength. We must return to His words,
teachings and commands. The transformation of society from a Culture of
Death to a Culture of Life requires a radical stripping of those
hardened layers that blind man from seeing his true self and vocation.
As long as we cling to earthly definitions of man, we will continue to
alienate ourselves from God and one another and societies will continue
to collapse on their broken foundations. When we allow ourselves to be
loved by the One who loved us first, we will once again find our way to
Him and to each other.
In order to build a
genuine Culture of Life, we must lead humanity, in action and
conversation, back to its true identity as revealed in Jesus, the
Redeemer of the world; otherwise, we are only dealing with the surface
issues affecting humanity and our pro-life efforts, though
well-intentioned, will remain limited in impact and scope. We must dig
down to the foundation and in order to begin anew.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Shenan J. Boquet President, Human Life International