Letter from the Pastor
Dearest Friends in Christ,
Today is Respect Life Sunday, a day set-aside during the course of our year to reflect upon the incredible gift of life itself. The meditation of this day is that of life from the moment of conception to its natural end. Such contemplation on life naturally leads to a more profound love of our God, the creator of all life. He who breathed life into His creation, reminds His creation through the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
In our world today, the question regarding the dignity of life has been, especially in our country, linked to a question of the freedom of the mother, stating that the woman should have the right to choose to keep the “fetus” or not. However in contrast, St. Basil the Great once wrote, “A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction between its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible among us.”
Now besides the essential negation of the right of the “fetus” or child within the womb, another problem with such thought is that it negates the reality that our choices and situations in life have consequences. In most cases of abortion, the woman already made a free choice to enter into a certain activity that led to the pregnancy. Sure there are those occasions where another has forced the woman into an act that resulted in the pregnancy. However, even here to say that the woman having already experienced such a horrific act as rape, should now be allowed to take the life of the “fetus”, would be similar in saying that if someone intentional beat me up that now I should have the right to take another’s life. It just doesn’t make sense.
Now some might say, that the child that resulted from this act of rape would always remind the woman of the horribly painful experience, but so would any physical or psychological scarring from other experiences of life. The scars now serve as that reminder that such suffering and pain (i.e. each cross, that is death) can lead to joy (i.e. the resurrection, that is life). As we place our lives before the risen Christ, may we as a parish always strive to proclaim boldly His message of life-giving love, which necessarily upholds the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception to its natural end. After all, God the Creator of all life, born and unborn, reminds us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Pax et bonum,
Fr. Justin R. Ferguson