Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The child speaks -- and eloquently

Though I've been reading pro-life books, periodicals, and blogs for quite some time, I had never yet encountered this poem by G. K. Chesterton, until I was browsing through a little anthology of his writings on the family that I picked up almost by accident at a used book sale. Which is surprising, since it's a moving and aesthetically appealing rebuttal to the pro-choice arguments that "I don't want to bring a child into this terrible world" and "Think of the abusive / impoverished / etc. conditions this child will be brought up in. He's better off dead."

And it's all the more effective because you only gradually understand, as you read, that the speaker is a child in the womb.

By the Babe Unborn
G. K. Chesterton

If trees were tall and grasses short,
As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
Beyond the breaking pale,

If a fixed fire hung in the air
To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
I know what I should do.

In dark I lie: dreaming that there
Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
And living men behind.

Let storm-clouds come: better an hour,
And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
The empires of the night.

I think that if they gave me leave
Within the world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
I spent in fairyland.

They should not hear a word from me
Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
If only I were born.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Let them have their cards back!"

One never knows, really, how accurate stories like this one are, but the retort from the Bishop's father is priceless:

In a diocesan magazine column, Bishop Victor Galeone of St. Augustine recounts that a social worker threatened to take away the family’s benefit cards during the Great Depression if his mother-- an Italian immigrant with a third-grade education-- did not abort her fourth child. The future bishop’s father responded, “Let them have their cards back! The Lord will provide.”