Today, as we celebrate the gift of Life we pray in a special way for the unborn children who are vulnerable to the threat of abortion. We also lift up mothers who have suffered from abortion or who have been pressured to do so, and that the rights of women may be respected – including the right to give birth to their child and the right to raise their children in a safe environment. We also pray for those who are involved in abortion and any attacks on the dignity of life, that the Lord will open their eyes to the gift of their own lives and those around them.
In today’s world we see so many attacks on life. We have heard most recently about the attacks on Christians in the Middle East and other atrocities. And even in our own country there are victims of trafficking, all kinds of abuse, domestic violence, euthanasia, mistreatment of the poor, the sick, and the disabled.
What can we do? What can I do? Where do we start and how can I even make a difference?
A simple answer came to me when I was visiting my family for the birth of my nephew. As I watched my sister, her husband, and their new son I was struck by the simplicity and the overwhelming beauty of life and love. I saw in the love of my sister and her husband the pouring out of the love of our Heavenly Father and the love of the Son returning it all back without reservation. Out of that love was born a new person, who embodies that love between them, as the Holy Spirit is created out of the love of the Father and the Son.
And if there could be so much love on earth, in one small hospital room, between three people…how much more does the love of God surround us? As my sister looked down at her son, just seconds old, the pain was now forgotten. Only he mattered. And she didn’t hold the pain against her precious little one. That pain only made her more in love with him, and the suffering only made him belong more intimately to her who had waited nine long months to hold him in her arms.
Isn’t this a reflection of the love of Jesus for all of us? After he poured himself out upon the Cross for us, he didn’t look at us with annoyance, shame, or guilt because we had “caused” him such pain. Rather, it only brought us closer to His Most Sacred Heart, and it only strengthened His love for each of us.
How precious must we be to God! How precious must you be to Him! Experiencing His love gives us the context to celebrate the gift of life and to reverence each life no matter the circumstance. Even the greatest sinner and those who commit acts of violence, even they are looked upon as precious, and they especially are deserving of our love and prayers. So must we dare to love! Without reservation and without counting the cost we love even those who have hurt us. We can love them because they too are children of God.
I realized the truth of each person’s preciousness in the Eyes of God and how close He keeps each of us to His Heart as I looked down upon my nephew, only a few minutes old. The Lord will never let go of us even when we feel abandoned and alone. For any of you who have felt that you have failed God, remember the mother who does not cease loving her child when he cries as an infant, or when he screams and has temper tantrums as a toddler, or when he gets in trouble or struggles with addiction as a teenager, or when he loses his job as an adult, or even if he fails to be there when she is dying. Her love is always and forever.
How much more then is the love of God, who loved us into being?