I asked my six-year old son, “Do you know what abortion is, Isaac?”
“I think so,” he replied, and his big, brown eyes said, “Blink, blink.” “Isn’t it when a man leaves his wife and wants to marry someone else?”
We were at the March for Life in Victoria, and it suddenly occurred to me that he might not really understand why we were there. The day before we went to the Butterfly Garden, then walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf for fish and chips, and to feed the fat, crippled seal that hangs out by the dock. This year he was joined by six other freeloaders … and a sea otter. The kids love it. We headed back to our cheap motel and spent the evening at the dingy, indoor pool.
So, to spend the next day walking under dark clouds to stand in front of the Parliament Buildings listening to different, unknown speakers must have been a bit confusing.
By the time I was 12 I had seen graphic images of aborted babies.
By the time I was 12 I had seen graphic images of aborted babies. I accidentally watched a part of The Silent Scream by former abortionist Bernard Nathanson. Those images never left my mind, and they led me into a passionate time of pro-life work.
Our house was always pro-life. We knew what abortion was, which logically means that I never questioned its sacrilege. We knew that women in desperate situations needed compassion and practical help, and that post-abortive women needed the same. We attended protests and supported the movements financially.
So, it surprised me that my son wasn’t sure of the meaning of the word. But then, he wasn’t completely wrong, because abortion almost always starts with a man leaving a woman.
The 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima are increasingly relevant. Sister Lucia wrote that “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” And then she concluded, “However, Our Lady has already crushed his head.”
Marriage and family is the “decisive issue,” she said. It seems a lot of lines are being drawn in the sand. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen innumerable attacks on marriage and family. I think many of us have stood around, like a deer caught in headlights, unsure of what to do, or kind of ambivalent. Maybe we think it won’t really make any difference anyway, that our standing up to something that seems inevitable is a waste of our valuable time and efforts.
I don’t think standing up to these things is a waste of time. The example we give our children is reason enough.
In one sense I guess I could say that these abhorrences are inevitable. They surely are happening faster than I can keep track of. But I don’t think that standing up to these things is a waste of time. The example we give our children is reason enough.
How many of us are witnessing the attack on marriage before our very eyes? We don’t even blink at the idea of divorced family members. “Everyone has a right to happiness,” we say, “If they weren’t happily married, then who am I to judge his (or her) adultery?”
The attack on family is hitting all sides. The very children who make us family are not only killed before they can look into the face of their mothers, but the children left living are abandoned by a parent, or stolen from us by devices that gloss their eyes and numb their sense of morality and truth.
Catholics are sometimes ho-humming about things, afraid to seem counter-cultural. We’re afraid to be judgmental and intolerant, or to bring discomfort to our children’s lives. And so, many of us do nothing, while our divorce, adultery, abortion, and “mercy” killing rates rise to an unimaginable number.
I cannot even fathom going back in time, even just 100 years back and telling the people there, “We are so grateful for the work you’ve done, exploring and settling new lands. You have broken your backs, suffered poverty, pain, loss and hunger for a people you will never meet. But you have persevered, your families stay united and you sacrifice yourselves for the good of other people. And in your name, we kill over 100,000 of our own babies every year, and put our sick and elderly to sleep. More than 50 per cent of married people abandon their spouses, and the over-privileged children we leave behind are stoned on social media.”
Sister Lucia spoke her prophesy with a true and startling clarity. The lines are being drawn in the sand. Our children need no other witness than our own. The time to choose a side is now.