“God said, ‘Let the earth produce every kind of living creature in its own species: cattle, creeping things and wild animals of all kinds.’ And so it was. God made wild animals in their own species, and cattle in theirs and every creature that crawls along the earth in its own species. God saw that it was good.
God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, and all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground.’
God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it…’” (Genesis 1:24-28, New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday, 1990)
This weekend I was immeasurably blessed to take part in a weekend silent retreat with my Secular Discalced Carmelite brothers and sisters at our nearby retreat centre. It was enlightening and very spiritually uplifting and gave me a real purpose to focus on…to promote the Culture of Life.
Currently we live in the darkness of the Culture of Death. It takes many forms. Satan has devised an insidious way to get revenge on God and to damn us all in one fell swoop. He has done it subtly and he has done it blatantly, it just depends how blind we are to his wiles. I will speak of a blatant example first.
Our annual retreats always consist of conferences with a Carmelite priest. This year we were blessed to have our local priest attend our retreat. Our first day of the retreat was eye opening. Father warned us of a picture he was going to pass around. He had stated that he had wrestled with himself as to whether he should present this picture to us (up to this point he had only ever shown it to his own mother), and then asked God about it as well. It came about that he was convinced we should see it. I was terrified to see it. I had no stomach to see this picture. I dreaded seeing it as it was passed from person to person. I could see the revolted looks on the faces of my brother and sisters and I knew I would feel the same, and I was correct. It was a picture of a dinner scene. Two men were eating their meals and on the table before them was the partially eaten body of an aborted child.
This picture, I am sure, will haunt me for the rest of my days. One of our Aspirants asked how this picture could even be taken and shown, being so completely distasteful and disgusting. Unfortunately, this revolting picture needs to be shown. The soul of this child deserves to be heard. His/her life was taken from him/her before they could even live it. This child was not a mistake, it was not unwanted. This child was God’s child and God wanted this child to roam our earth, to make a difference to someone’s life. This child has made a difference….to me. He/she, in the beauty of their near existence, has taught me that standing by and doing nothing is NOT an option.
This was the blatant deviousness of Satan, that two people could be so completely oblivious to their actions that they could actually commit cannibalism! But, let’s be serious, there are more than two people who do this.
This photograph was taken in Asia. Okay, I know what you are thinking, “Well that’s Asia, we don’t do that here, in the western world, in North America.” Don’t we? Are we really that naive that we think only one portion of our world commits atrocities against human flesh? Developed nations are responsible for the massacre of their unborn in the millions! Here are some statistics about abortion, worldwide and regionally:
Worldwide: 43.8 million
Developed countries: 6 million
Developing countries: 37.8 million
Africa: 6.4 million
Asia: 27.3 million
North America: 1.4 million
Europe: 4.2 million
Latin America: 4.4 million
Oceania: 0.1 million
(“Facts on Induced Abortion Worldwide” January 2012, Guttmacher Institute, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html)
The subtlety in Satan’s deviousness is that we do not see these abortions. Abortions in the “developed countries” are commonly performed in a room with a doctor and nurse in attendance and a child is torn to pieces inside a woman’s womb, only to be vacuumed out and discarded as rubbish. No one has shown this mother that the child in her womb is indeed a child….it’s just called “tissue”, as if it was a tumour. We, the general populace accept that abortions happen and we just let them happen, everyday. The United States is currently going through the public debate on whether they should legalize publicly funded abortion, while Canada has been publicly funding abortions since the early 1970′s. It is very interesting though that the majority of Canadians feel that we need to change our laws and provide for the protection of the unborn. Why though do I hear nothing about this majority of Canadians standing up at the doors of Parliament and demanding that these laws be changed? It’s a messy business to stand up for something, something that really matters; it takes courage, a courage that only God can give us, that we need to ask for.
Here is a different idea to consider. You give your child something precious to you, something you love more than anyone could comprehend. You know that this great gift would be the crowning glory to your child’s life; it would give them purpose, it would make them so much more than they are without it, and the gift would make a difference to many. But, your child rejects your gift and breaks it telling you the gift was unwanted and ill-timed. How would you feel? Imagine that feeling and multiply that feeling by a thousand and you still could not fathom the hurt that God feels when we do this to the precious gifts of the unborn children He bestows on the people of this world everyday. Yes, a human baby is indeed an incredible gift, it is the image and likeness of the Father, His beloved creation, a creation He knew was worth dying for.
As Father said in our retreat, it will take great prayer to stop this “nonsense”. We must pray to God to change the hearts of mankind to see all human life as sacred. We must pray for a stop to the Culture of Death and let God transform it into a Culture of Life.
“God blessed them saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, and all the living creatures that move on earth.’ God also said, ‘Look, to you I give all the seed-bearing plants everywhere on the surface of the earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this will be your food. And, to all the wild animals, all the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that creep along the ground, I give all the foliage of the plants as their food.’ And so it was. God saw all he made, and indeed it was very good.” (Genesis 1:28-31, New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday, 1990)