The modern barbarians at the gate!

      Yesterday the world made a big to-do about a 19,000 pound whale being freed back into the Pacific. We're talking, of course, about the escapades of J.J., the gray whale who had beached as a baby on the western shores and was adopted by Sea World in San Diego. A year after, and a week's delay due to everyone's nemesis this year - El Nino - the great gray was slung from a sling back into the briny blue. The attention given this was due, in part, to the scientific experiment of migrating mammals, but the media practically personified this giant of a fin-bearer. It left us thinking why we give so much credence to an animal, devoid of a soul, and so little credence to the infitesimal embryos beating within a woman's womb. The latter definitely has a soul. This, as science and our faith have confirmed, begins at conception when the sperm fertilizes with the egg. But the world has grown so hardened to this that it hardly notices the mounting millions slain in the name of "choice." Rather, they label those who defend life, who cherish what God hath made, as rabble rousers, as obstacles to freedom. Sometimes we think if they had their way, they'd gladly offer up the pro-lifers to the same fate as the aborted babies. Such are the ways of satan, such are the ways beelzebub clouds mens' minds. This hits home this week with the announcement from Australia where hundreds of frozen embryos are being destroyed in the in vitro fertilization clinics in Melbourne. Like so much bad food that has sat on the shelf too long, they discard the remains. Don't they realize that each embryo is a soul? Don't they realize they will be held accountable when the time comes to answer to their Maker? Don't those who legislated this, those who promoted this vulgar, vial act realize they are accomplices and will have to answer for the same? In our News & Briefs today, Catholic World News reports that the Archbishop of Melbourne called for prayers and his spokesman labeled these poor, helpless embryos "the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters." One week ago five people - four youngsters - died in a school ambush in Jonesboro, Arkansas and the world was aghast with outrageous indignation at these senseless killings. But they remain silent when over 495 more will be viciously eliminated without ever breathing the air God gave us. Talk about senseless!

     That is what all this killing is throughout the world: senseless! On every continent there are reports of killings and massacres, plundering and rape. We are no better than the Huns of the fifth century who were called barbarians. Are we not barbarians as well? In Chiapas the senseless slaughter by the rebels continues as it does in Rwanda, and Burundi, and India, not to mention the killings in Northern Ireland and the mideast. Then there are the killings in so-called "civilized" countries such as throughout Europe, in the far east and, yes, right here in America where a confessed killer of over one hundred is exalted. We're speaking of Jack Kervorkian, the "suicide doctor" who is allowed to continue his maniacal ways hiding behind loop-holes in the law while harmless women, converted to Christ, and having paid their debt to society, are offered up on the altar of public execution. What's wrong with this picture? Have we lost all sense of sanity? Are we no different than the time of Christ when the people first hailed Him but then offered Him up as the sacrificial victim because He was not complying to what they wanted?

     With Holy Week fast approaching it is a time to do some serious soul searching, to ask what each one of us can do to stop the senseless slaughters and to help turn this topsy-turvy world around. We can't do it by ourselves. Only through and with God. Many years ago, there was a powerful book by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, we believe, called "You Can Change the World" and it had so much truth and common sense spirituality to it. It had no grandiose plans, no great overnight conversions, no miracle cure-all remedies. The main message was to do your part, little by little each day in unison with God's Will and slowly, but surely you can change the world. That is our charge today, to go back to the basics and make prayer our focal point, to latch on to one of the greatest weapons we have - the Rosary, and to stay the course no matter what obstacles stand in our way. If we can do that, we can be assured God will stand with us, just as He stood with Pope Saint Leo the Great at the gates of Rome when the Scourge of Christians, Atilla the Hun threatened to crush the eternal city and Christ's Holy Church. Through the Almighty's intervention and Leo's obedience millions of souls were saved, including, we pray, Attila's. Our mission today is to employ prayer and the tenets of our faith to the task at hand and enlist Heaven for Mercy on His children who refuse to acknowledge His laws, His natural and sacred order of life. As we begin this assault on Heaven, let us pray that the beating embryos of the unborn and the wrinkled brows of the aged will mean more to people than a whale. If they don't realize this, if they don't acknowledge God's power and mastery over the entire human race and all creation, then they will have become no better than the followers of Attila. They will have become the modern barbarians at the gate!

Michael Cain, editor

Daily CATHOLIC          April 2, 1998