Monday, January 29, 2007

A new lion

Fr. Erik Richtsteig over at Orthometer has posted his homily for the recent anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

One of my favorite things about being a Catholic is that we have saints. Not only do they pray for us, but their lives give us examples of how to follow Our Lord in very concrete situations. There are saints for every situation and every state of life.

Roger that. By comparison, the lack of attention to saints always struck me as a huge hole in Protestantism during the years I wandered there. The big Presbyterian church I worked at for several years hardly ever said a thing even about John Knox, their founder.

Each year as this weekend approaches, I turn in prayer and thought to one of my favorite of the new saints, actually a blessed, Clemens August Graf von Galen. (Isn’t that a wonderful, German name?) Blessed Clemens was the Bishop of Munster in Germany during the time of Hitler. He had the nickname of “The Lion of Munster”. What do lions do? They roar. Blessed Clemens roared against the injustices perpetrated by the government of his own, beloved country. He was a patriot, but this did not stop him from denouncing the evils of the Nazi regime; against the Jews, against the handicapped, and against the sick. He did not shrink from doing so even though by doing so he took his own life in his hands. I pray that I will have the courage to be like Blessed Clemens.

So should we all, if only to get things changed before we have to face what Clemens faced. We don't have to fear being hauled off to a concentration camp -- yet. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer that things never get that way here. But the only way to see to that is to turn things around now, not years or decades from now.

What then are we to do? First, we need to pray and do penance both in reparation for the sins of our country regarding innocent human life and also for the conversion of those who are pro-abortion. Conversions are possible. Conversions have been remarkable. Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe, worked many years in abortion clinics. Yet, through the prayerful witness of Christians and other people of good will, she is now a pro-life, believing Catholic. Second, every Catholic need to learn what the Church teaches about the sanctity of innocent human life and why She teaches it. We need to learn this so we can speak intelligently on this issue at home, work, school, or even socially. We need to learn this so we are not silent in the face of so much pro-abortion propaganda. Lastly, we need to work politically to change our country’s policy. It has been through politics that we have been stuck with this abomination and it is partially through politics that it will be changed. Like it or not, it is through political means that things happen in our country; by elections; by voting for candidates and politically parties who support our position on the sanctity of innocent human life. Unfortunately, there are some candidate and some parties that are directly opposed to the Church’s infallible and certain teaching on this issue. We cannot vote for these people regardless of their stand on other issues. Nothing is more important than the right to life, not the economy, not national defense, nothing! If you are dead, nothing else matters.

Habemus leonem!