Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

Over the course of Advent the Holy Father and our bishops asked us to pray for, work toward, and raise awareness of the dignity of all human life, even nascent human life, that is, human life at its earliest stages when, instead of seeing a nascent human person, many regard the life in its earliest stages as a cluster of cells. There are three arenas when this viewpoint comes into play: early term chemical abortions of the kind enacted when the RU-486 pill is used, which is also how birth control pills often work, when seeking to use to fetal stem cells "harvested" from aborted children, and, finally, but of no less concern, in in vitro fertilization, a procedure that requires quite a number of fertilized eggs to result in a single pregnancy, which, while well-intentioned, is not a morally acceptable means to the very good end of having a child. For those in the heart-breaking situation of being married and unable to have children and who want to, don't hesitate to contact your pastor about how you might proceed. After all, we're here to help each other.

Massacre of the Innocents, Fra Angelico, c.1450

Of course, there remains the horrible scourge of abortion. I write about all of this because today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, who were, even before St. Stephen, proto-martyrs. Today we remember those innocent children slaughtered by Herod in his dastardly attempt to kill the true King of the Jews, whom he feared as a rival to his power. As Peter Hitchens wrote just before the Nativity of the Lord about Holy Innocents' Day: "I hope as many of you as possible will recall with sorrow the continuing massacre of innocent unborn babies, our society’s greatest and deepest shame, and the one of which it most hates to be reminded." On this feast, I don't mind doing a little reminding.

St. Matthew cites the prophet Jeremiah in his lament for the Holy Innocents: "A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more" (Matt. 2:18). As Pope John Paul II never tired of reminding us, without the right to life all of our other rights are pretty meaningless. So, dear friends, choose life, like our Blessed Mother, Mary, say "Yes," even when there are difficulties involved. Rather than limit yourself to engaging in activism, get involved with your local Crisis Pregnancy Center, or contact the Family Life Office in your diocese to find out how you can help, even if only as a benefactor. This makes it easier for others to say "Yes," especially those in distress.

UPDATE: Over Il Sussidiario there is an article I originally wrote for Cahiers Péguy, where I have begun posting from time-to-time, on the repeal of DADT; a delicate subject for some.

Veni adoramus


  1. To those unable to have children for whatever reason, I cannot speak highly enough about the joy of adoption. They are born and conceived in your heart. They are nit "adopted" children. They are simply your children, chosen by God to be a forever family. In the beginning God knew of these children and had a plan all along. It is truly a great miracle.

  2. Thanks Dan. I appreciate your comment because it comes from your wonderful experience of not being an "adoptive" Dad, but simply a Dad to your two lovely daughters.


God's love for us is tireless

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