“The Church's great liturgical tradition teaches us that fruitful participation in the liturgy requires that one be personally conformed to the mystery being celebrated… Otherwise, however carefully planned and executed our liturgies may be, they would risk falling into a certain ritualism. Hence the need to provide an education in eucharistic faith capable of enabling the faithful to live personally what they celebrate.” (Pope Benedict XVI, SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS, 64)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Defining Moment?

You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy.  But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:  That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.  For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this?  And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?  Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.  (Mt 5:43-47)

Timing is such a mystery.  Today, at about the same time (give or take a few hours) thousands, if not millions, of people in our country were offering the sacrifice of our Lord for an end to abortion, a gunman was entering a Lutheran church to turn a notorious abortionist into a martyr.  What are you up to Lord?

I often ask that question.  I appreciate the fact that He tolerates such questions from finite creatures.

A few things come to mind.

1.       -- The murder of George Tiller will be manipulated to silence the pro-life movement.  He is now the trump card to silence all debate, today and for the next 20 years.  Here are the “facts” that the pro-death mentality will make the following assumption, which they do in many cases:  Criminals, like this gunman, aren’t really responsible for their own actions.  Sociological elements cause such behavior.  This gunman, therefore, is the product of the groups that promote the idea that abortion actually kills a human being.  So if you oppose abortion, you are encouraging acts like this.  DON’T BE SILENCED!  PUT THEM ON THE DEFENSIVE! It's important to understand that these people have a self-serving agenda, and explaining to them a thousand times over the next ten years that you don’t condone the murder of abortionists plays right into their hands.  Don’t play that game.  “So, are you accusing me of murder?”  Make them answer that question, yes or no.  Don’t let the conversation go any further until they give you a definitive answer.  If the answer is “no”, then they have no business linking your pro-life views with the actions of a terrorist.  If the answer is “yes”, then you need to call a spade a spade.  “Maybe in your Orwellian universe it is murder to support the lives of unborn children, but that stands to reason, since it was similar logic that allowed, and continues to allow, millions of unborn children to die year after year.”  Counterattack the logic in short-order.  Abortion proponents have been waiting for this moment to turn the tables on the pro-life movement.  They wont’ let it pass.  Don’t run.  Meet them head on.  And whatever you do, do not wear this man.  Make the abortion advocate wear their lame attempt to silence and brand you.

2.      -- The murder of unborn children happens silently, while abortionists get front page attention.  By my count, this is 6 abortionists and their staff to be murdered since 1993.  In that same time period, there have been about 20 million unborn children killed in their mother’s wombs by surgical abortion.  Every life is precious to God.  So we cannot simply write-off six lives as insignificant.  But neither can we ignore the disparity.  Being an abortionist is dangerous, but much less dangerous than being an unborn child.  Keep this reality in mind as the media targets the pro-life movement.

3.      -- Do you take our Lord seriously when he tells you to love your enemy?  Well, here He is presenting an excellent opportunity.  Tiller is a particularly egregious foe.  His participation in needless late-term abortions means that this man brutally killed many helpless children at a stage in life when they were unmistakably human.  This is about as cold-blooded as it gets.  Did he die in his rebellion or did he receive final mercy?  We don’t know.  His particular judgment is likely over.  But our God is not bound by time.  We can pray now that this man repented at the moment of his death and was spared eternal fire.  Both God and Satan want his soul.  I don’t think it does us much good to side with Satan on anything.  So please, offer prayer  that Tiller be granted eternal joy, as well as all his supporters in the pro-death camp.  Rosary, Mass or Divine Office intentions would be best, but offer something for this poor soul.  That’s about the only love we have left to offer George Tiller.  But at least it is something, and it may make a difference for him. 

It’s important to remember in times like these to avoid cynicism.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.” (John 12:32) God seems to be littering our world with crosses.  A person of faith, as we all should be, should gaze out on those crosses and praise God for drawing the world closer to Himself.  That is his promise, and that should be our hope.

As always, act as a Christian should.  The murder of George Tiller could be a defining moment in the pro-life movement.  Will we go forth or retreat?  Stay faithful, and you put the definition on this moment.  Don't let the pro-abortionists and one lunatic terrorist do it for you.

We've just celebrated the mass of Pentecost.  Now is not the time to hide the truth, but proclaim it without fear.  "The Spirit of the Lord fills the whole world. It holds all things together and knows every word spoken by man, alleluia." (Wisdom 1:7, Introit for Pentecost)

Update: Jeff Miller has a roundup of some reactions from Catholic bloggers.  While you're praying for Tiller, remember also his grieving family.

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