Every time I write a post about the error of reducing abortion to an isolated political issue I hear from at least two types of people. One is the type who says "Oh say you're saying abortion is okay? You hypocrite." The other is the type who says "Excuse me, you coward. Those of us with courage speak out against abortion."
I have had abortions myself and thus know first-hand the excoriating wound: to the child, obviously; to the mother; to the Mystical Body of Christ. Twenty-plus years after the fact, I spent a year healing from, and three months in solitude writing a book about the violence of abortion.
Surely as followers of Christ we are called to speak truth to power in a way that while it may include, also goes way beyond, partisan politics. Surely we are called to an examination of conscience that is going to leave us deeply uncertain and deeply troubled: not on where we stand, but on what we are called to do about it.
Love, mercy, and openness to grace are not easy things. They are hard things. They require all our strength, all our hearts, all our minds, and way more integrity and courage than I, for one, often feel I can muster. They require us at times to "hate" our fathers, our mothers, our brothers. They require us to say things that are not going to endear us to much of anyone.
The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence. And the violent bear it away.
|BLESSED FRANZ JÄGERSTÄTTER (1907-1943),|
AN AUSTRIAN WHO REFUSED CONSCIPTION INTO THE ARMY OF THE THIRD REICH,
WAS EXCORIATED BY MANY OF HIS FELLOW CATHOLICS
FOR THEREBY FAILING IN HIS DUTY AS HUSBAND AND FATHER,
AND WAS BEHEADED BY THE NAZIS