We CAN Do Something About Abortion
Thursday January 22, 2004 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Second Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7) Gospel (St. Mark 3:7-12)
In the first reading today from the First Book of Samuel, we hear about King Saul wanting to kill David, and we hear about Saul’s son Jonathan trying to talk to his father about why he would be doing such a thing. He said to him, “This is innocent blood. Why should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood?” Saul, for the moment, listened; but, of course, once he had determined that he wanted David dead, it did not stop. He kept coming back to it and he kept trying in different ways. He was bound and determined that David was going to die.
What happens at a time like that is you recognize it is not something which is purely natural. There is something which is preternatural at work because the devil gets in there and he begins to mess with people’s minds to recommend to them that death would be the better thing to do, to give them all kinds of convoluted reasons, that at the moment seem to be logical, and then the person tries to carry through with the plan that the devil has hatched.
Well, today, of course, we commemorate thirty-one years of this exact same problem in America, of people coming up with lots of convoluted reasons as to why it will be okay to kill an innocent baby. Forty-five million babies later, we still continue. It has gotten so bad now that it is just commonplace. If you talk about abortion, people just sort of shrug their shoulders. It is just like it’s happening everyday and it’s no big deal because it has been happening now for thirty-one years and nobody really pays a whole lot of attention to it. The day is coming when we will have to deal with this. You cannot continue to shed innocent blood and think that it is not going to have an impact. There is going to be a huge backlash.
There already is when you look at the lives of the parents whose babies are no longer, as they struggle with the guilt and the hurt and the pain and all of the emptiness that comes. Of course, they were promised by Planned Parenthood, and all of the unfortunate souls associated with them, that there would not be any kind of problem. They told them that this would solve all of their problems, that this would help them. Of course, we all know better than that, but at the time when you have a young lady who is confused and scared, it sounds like a good thing. The devil is quite a liar, and he has managed to confuse lots of people for lots of years. Yet the reality continues. These are little babies, human persons from the moment of conception, and their lives have been destroyed.
But there is now an army of little babies who are praying, and they are praying not only for their parents, but they are praying for the country that is allowing their destruction. They are praying for God’s justice; they are also, of course, praying for His mercy. The mercy is going to be shown to the young women who (through whatever circumstances in their life) were led to do such a thing, to those who (in whatever confused circumstances) may have recommended this to these women – but justice to those who know better, for the politicians, for the people who vote for those politicians, for these hideous souls who are killing the babies in cold blood, and for those who would work for them. Justice will be coming and it will be swift.
There is some good news at least when we look at the whole situation. That is, we finally have a couple of bishops in America who are standing up and doing something about this. We have Bishop Bruskewitz who (a couple of years ago, down in Lincoln, Nebraska) excommunicated the abortionists. They were automatically excommunicated at the moment they committed their first abortion, but he simply made it formal. Bishop Burke in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a few weeks ago made it public that he has been in contact with the Catholic politicians in his diocese who publicly support abortion. He contacted them privately first, and when not one single one of them responded to him, he made it public that they could no longer receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. He has now said that there have been several other bishops who have been in contact with him, not only to support him in what he is doing, but also so that they would be able to do the same in their diocese.
There was also a wonderful story on the news – Catholic news (you are not going to hear this in the secular media) – a week or two ago about a man in Texas who was hired to build a building. As they began the work, he found out that the building he was hired to build was for Planned Parenthood, so he refused. But he did not stop there. He then contacted all the subcontractors, and he told them that if they had anything to do with building this that he would never give them another job, ever. So they contacted their subcontractors and told them the exact same thing, right down to the toilets or the thermostats or anything else, and said, “If you sell one thing to this job, we will never give you another job again.” And it worked. None of them were willing to have anything to do with the job, and this became an example for others.
We can see that as laypersons, especially in the workplace like that, there are things that can be done to make clear that this is not something that is acceptable and that there are ways we can work against this. It is something we can do, and we need to do what we are able to do. We need to pray; we need to do what we can. We may not be able to turn over legislation right away, but there are things that all of us can do. We need to do whatever we are able. Prayer, of course, is the most important.
An interesting point: When Bishop Burke was asked about his activity in forbidding these so-called Catholic politicians from receiving Communion, he was asked, “Do you think this problem would have been solved years ago had the bishops acted right away?” His answer was “yes”. It has been thirty years of inactivity on the part of the bishops and on the part of the priests. One of the tragedies is that even in LaCrosse, where the bishop has told his priests that they cannot give Holy Communion to these politicians, some of the priests are bucking him and saying that they are going to give Communion to these people anyway. So you see where some of the root of the problem is.
Remember that every single sin, every evil, flows ultimately from the altar of God. If we have priests who are in the state of mortal sin saying Mass, that is why we have abortion. If we have people who are receiving Communion in the state of mortal sin, that is why we have abortion. It is, in essence, an abortion of Christ every time these things happen because people are receiving Jesus in the state of mortal sin and they are committing sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament. If it is okay to commit sacrilege against God, then it just follows that it is not going to matter if we do the same thing to a human person. After all, if we can commit sacrilege against the Creator, what is the creature by comparison? That is where it all begins.
So we need to pray – and we need to pray hard – for our bishops, for our priests, and for the conversion of the people, that all of us together would recognize the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and that we would approach Him only with the greatest reverence. Through that prayer and that reverence, flowing once again from the altar of God, all good will come. And from the good of the Blessed Sacrament, and the prayers and the sacrifices of the people united to Christ, we can put an end to this heinous practice of the shedding of innocent blood in our land.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.