AS Roe vs. Wade is overturned in America, returning the decision on whether to allow abortion to the individual States, it seems appropriate to mention that as I write (Saturday June 24) it is the Feast of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart. It is on this day that a little hope has returned to the world.
It reminds us that God is active and that the sufferings, even of the most fragile, do not go unregarded, unmourned or unredeemed. In Jesus’s words: ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not; for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.’ (Matthew 19:14)
Jesus sees in each child His own creation, knit together in the womb with nothing but the Love He shares with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and He holds each one in His heart, no matter how tiny.
Let us remember the tenderness with which Our Lady, Mary, the Mother of God visited the pregnant St Elizabeth to share the angel-borne news of Jesus’s Immaculate Conception. St John the Baptist (whose Feast Day was on Friday), though yet in his mother’s womb, rejoiced at the coming of the Incarnate Son of God, the Saviour of all mankind:
‘When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the babe leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. In a loud voice she exclaimed, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!’ Luke 1. 41-42)
Saint John is no mere clump of cells, and nor was Our Lord even in the earliest stages of gestation, where He assumes our flesh through His dear Mother. On the contrary, Saint John, before he is even born, glorifies Jesus as fully God and fully man, waiting in His Mother’s womb to redeem mankind and open wide the gate of Heaven.
Certainly, the US Supreme Court’s decision is only the start of a spiritual process which will take a great deal of time to complete, and which will only find some resolution when the West is reclaimed for Christ. Just as Mary knew the pain that lay ahead, the exile into Egypt, the slaughter of innocent children at the sword of King Herod, the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod Antipas, and finally the bitterest Passion and Death of her beloved Son upon the Cross, so we know that the battle for the divinely patterned dignity of each human being will not be an easy nor a tearless one. Yet through all this the Mother of God knew that Jesus was truly the Incarnate Son of God and that He was to rise again on the third day to inherit His celestial majesty and grant us power to become God’s children.