Besides the missionary martyrs there is another group of martyrs that comprise a hefty percentage over these past three decades - the unborn babies! If you've checked the headlines lately you'll see there's an alarming trend to kowtow to the politically correct crowd - not just in secular circles but in the Church as well. The legalese jabberwocky that was railroaded through early this week in a courtroom in Portland cries out for justification - both to dedicated, non-violent pro-life advocates and to God the Father. The referendum that a federal jury in Portland handed down this past Tuesday calls out to Heaven for vengeance. Innocent pro-life organizations were deemed guilty by association and held liable to keep pro-abort Planned Parenthood funded for many years to come with the outlandish verdict of awarding this culture of death organization 107 million dollars. Maybe that's a dollar for each baby killed! The First Amendment Rights be damned, this was an atrocity of the first degree, as pro-death prosecutors were able to spin a web of paranoia in the jury's collective mindset, scaring all with the fear of every abortion doctor being hunted down and killed. The facts are that any true pro-lifer decries any kind of violence, opting for the weapons of prayer and persuasion over any other weapon of destruction. The facts are that any pro-abort should be scared, not of what a human being would do to them, but what the Almighty Judge and Juror will decide. The facts are that the webmaster of the web site in question, the one which supposedly incited panic among fine 'upstanding abortion doctors' and the 'caring people at Planned Parenthood' (note the tongue in cheek facitiousness), was not even a defendant in this case as Joseph Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League pointed out. The man we are talking about is Neal Horsley who operates the Nuremberg Files web site. That's akin to non-Catholics filing complaints of harassment and fear, fear that they might be converted because the DAILY CATHOLIC is on the web. Ridiculous isn't even the term we could use here! Yet the jury threw out all logic and common sense and agreed with the slick presentation of the pro-aborts that this country will live in anarchy if that dangerous element known as pro-life advocates are not silenced. That's what it's all about. It stems from the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act which barred pro-life demonstrators from harrasment by preventing women from entering abortuaries. This case had nothing to do with that; this case was based on an internet site. Pretty flimsy to most legal experts for the freedom of speech, so they thought, would be upheld. But alas, free speech has died a dastardly death, just as millions more innocent preborns will because it is not politically correct.
The President of the United States can commit almost any immoral act he wants and not be upbraided by the PC'ers. The media can promote immorality of every kind and few will blink an eye; so hardened have their hearts and souls become. But say anything against abortion in this culture-of-death and anything-goes selfish-societal- mentality, and they come out of the woodwork crying foul. What's worse, those who should uphold the constitution, twist it and mold it to their convenience. The media's promotion of this Nuremberg Files web site and publicity over the notorious "Wanted Posters" caused a paranoia that multiplied with the number of hits on the site and mentions in the news. In short, the media created this monster. They forget the connotation of "Nuremberg." That was the city where the Nazi trials were held in the late forties in which those butchers of the Third Reich were brought to justice for the holocaust in which millions of Jews, Catholics, and ethnic peoples were eliminated because they didn't fit in with the Nazi ideal. Though we've never gone to the site, we can appreciate the title for, if this site is truly pro-life, it is not promulgating others to exact revenge, but calling on God to exact Justice for the terrible holocaust of the innocent unborn babies - these unwanted fetuses who have been eliminated because they don't fit in with the selfish, ideals of the culture of death proponents. Aren't these abortion doctors, the self-indulgent men and women who use this as an "easy way out," and those who promote the concept of killing a human being in the womb the same as those Nazi criminals? Jewish groups and the media are constantly reminding us of this terrible travesty of humanity, yet they are strangely silent about the holocaust of innocent babies. Where is the outrage against this holocaust? Think about it. As for what's happening around the world with the murders of so many missionaries, innocent citizens and the millions of helpless preborn little ones, God will have His day. As for the trial in Portland and the verdict handed down, it was, in the simplest and most painful of terms, a miscarriage of justice!
God can choose anyone He wants. No one dictates to God whom He should or should not choose. That is not for anyone of us to direct. God has no spiritual director, no counselor, no advisor but Himself. He is sufficient to Himself.
Scripture tells us that Godís ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts, our thoughts. Food for much thought!
These truths can be most aptly applied to Little Audrey Santo of Worcester, MA. If left to anyone of us to decide, who would choose a little three-year old girl, the victim of bad judgments on the part of medical persons, to become a great intercessor of prayer and procurer of miracles.
As indicated in my article last week, Audrey is in an akinetic-mutism state. She cannot move herself or speak, but she can hear, see and respond in ways that she can. Most and best of all, she can pray. She can and does offer her sufferings for the salvation of souls and prays for the intentions of others. Sometimes these prayers of hers have obtained from God real miracles.
One of the most astounding of these occurred to a young man who had been in a terrible motorcycle accident. He was fortunate to survive, but was "doomed" to use crutches the rest of his life. The young manís mother went to Little Audrey and asked her to please ask God to cure her son. When the mother arrived back home, she was met at the door by her "handicapped" boy. The miraculous thing, however, was that he was not using crutches nor has he done so since. He explained that he just felt he didnít need them anymore.
Our Lady of Medjugorje once said that it is, "easy for God to heal, but difficult for man." No human or scientific reason can be given for the young manís straightened body. For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who donít believe, no explanation is possible.
God hears the prayers of all of us. But it may be safe to say that the prayers of those who have generously offered themselves, in their innocence, to suffer and pray for others, move God to answer with an even greater Divine Generosity.
As indicated in my last article, the Bishop of Worcester has NOT closed the door on the "unusual happenings" related to Little Audrey. As a matter of fact, when he visited the Santo home recently, he said he felt very strongly the Presence of God there. He knelt and prayed near Little Audreyís bed. He stayed in the home for two hours.
If the Psalmist can call on the ice and snow, wind and rain to "bless the Lord," so can a young girl (now 14), who cannot move or speak, "bless the Lord." "How wonderful You are, O Lord, in all Your works." Yes, in Little Audrey, too!
God bless us everyone!
A person may have the knowledge of music and yet not enjoy it, as Nietzche did before his madness as he thumped the keys of the piano with his elbows. So too we may have a knowledge of love and yet not show love to others.
One wonders if an apology for want of love is not the effect of sampling one person out of every ten thousand and then writing a history of their passions. Would it not tend to substitute statistical average for a noble emotion? Then, too, is it scientific? Suppose we decided to write a history of the United States, and took only one day of every ten thousand days. That would be writing one event every twenty-seven years.
What one sets out to find, one generally finds. Those who are critical by nature, almost always find faults in others. If we start with the assumption that most people are dishonest, are we not constantly bumping up against crooks? On the contrary, if we believe people to be kind and good-hearted, these are about the only kind of souls we ever meet. They who are afraid of accidents most generally have them; their first principle of always looking for the worst makes the worst appear. Sometimes it is possible to tell a person to hide something in a room, and later discover the hiding place by taking hold of his hand and following its instinctive motions. When one begins with the idea that infidelity is common and that one ought to search for it, it is very likely that one will instinctively go to those areas and persons where infidelity is common and avoid those other groups or people where infidelity is less likely to be manifested. Tramps coming to New York, even for the first time, land in the Bowery, not on Park Avenue. What we believe is to a great extent a determinant of where we will go, like an alcoholic to a bar, and a Christian to a church.
The mood of our century is critical, partly because of its own uneasy conscience. "Misery loves company," it is said but so also does evil. The good has but few publicists. Most newspaper editors love murders, graft and scandals, but how few ever headline virtue. And yet the world is so full of good people, heroic deeds, generous hearts. Take the most sublime acts of love that is possible in this world, namely dying as a martyr rather than deny the God of Love. Never in history have there been as many martyrs as there are today. The martyrdoms of the first 250 years of Christian history are trivial in comparison to the unnumbered heroes of the soul who have died for the faith today. This is loyalty! This is fidelity! And any civilizations that can produce martyrs on such a high level must necessarily produce them on a lower level even in the home. What heat is to the natural universe, that love is to the moral universe.
It is love that needs sampling today, mostly because love does so little advertising of its own. Being humble by nature, like the violet, it is served by few propagandists. Cities report births as well as deaths; why then should not publicists be as interested in those who love as well as those who betray? It is part of the perversity of human nature to give more space to an ancient or a modern Benedict Arnold who betrayed his country than to ten thousand patriots who died for it. But the solemn fact remains that faithfulness, honor, control of errant impulses and love keep the world at peace. It would be well for us, in these days when men look for evil and find it, to look for good and diffuse it - in particular among the millions of cases of disinterested love where others are served, with no hope of ever receiving even an empty hand in grateful clasp.
Currently he is Archbishop emeritus of Genoa and, though ineligible for the Sacred Conclave because of his age, still holds membership in various Curial Offices including the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Clergy and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.