In John’s Gospel, we read the story of the man born blind. He receives his sight, and then gets the spiritual eyesight to know that Jesus is Lord. The Pharisees, instead, insist on remaining blind about Jesus, even though the evidence of his power is staring them in the face.
So it is today with those who support abortion. In spite of clear and present evidence about who this child is, and how violent abortion is, some refuse to see. That is why, along with presenting the evidence, we pray that they may have open hearts to receive that evidence.
The same openness of heart that enables one to believe in Jesus enables one to welcome the truth about the unborn child. But if we miss who the child is, we’ve really missed Jesus too.
One day, the Lord Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain, and was transfigured before their eyes. His clothes became as bright as the sun, Moses and Elijah were seen speaking with him about his upcoming passion, and the Father’s voice was heard declaring that he was his Son.
All this was a sign to those apostles that they should not be troubled by the events that would unfold. The betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus were to fulfill the Father’s plan for our salvation.
The Transfiguration is also a sign to us. Circumstances can make us forget that every human life is part of the Father’s plan, and that the glory of God is to be seen in every person, no matter how burdensome, unplanned, or ill that person may be.
Aerosmith singer and “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler has written and spoken about the son he lost to abortion in the 1970s. The baby’s mother was Julia Holcomb, a young woman who was 16 years old when she became Tyler’s legal ward and went to live with him in Boston.
After Kevin Burke, full-time pastoral associate of Priests for Life and co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, wrote about Tyler’s abortion experience in a piece published May 4th in National Review Online, Julia contacted Burke to say that for years, she has been looking for a way to respond to the many published accounts of their relationship, most recently in Tyler’s autobiography, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? The compassion with which Burke wrote about Tyler as a post-abortive father prompted her to entrust her own story to his care.
On May 24th, in an essay published on LifeSiteNews.com, the former Julia Holcomb gives a behind-the-scenes look at life with a rock legend, including a harrowing account of a near-fatal apartment fire and the abortion.
“My National Review article on post-abortive father Steven Tyler and his high visibility as an Idol judge, with a new autobiography and song just released, provide a providential opportunity for Julia to share her experience of the dramatic events that took place during her three-year, live-in relationship with Tyler,” Burke said. “This is an intense and at times frightening and disturbing journey…but in the end it is an inspirational story of hope and healing. Julia is a woman of great courage and faith and it has truly been a blessing and a privilege to be entrusted with her story.”
Father Frank Pavone said, “Julia’s story of redemption and the incredible turnaround she has seen in her life should serve as a powerful witness to women who are still struggling with their own abortions.”
“Forgiveness and healing are available for all women and men who have had their children aborted, for every abortionist, for every abortion clinic worker,” Father Pavone said. “Julia’s story should serve as an invitation for each one of them to face the truth about abortion, and to seek healing.”
Read Julia’s incredible story at:
Burke’s original story on Steven Tyler can be found at:
Father Pavone today announced that plans are underway for a special prayer gathering in 2013 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision.
“In January of 2013, in observance of the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, Priests for Life, its family of Gospel of Life Ministries, and the National Pro-life Religious Council, along with many other groups, will convene a large interdenominational prayer gathering in Washington, D.C.,” Father Pavone said.
“Each year, of course, we have a prayer service on Capitol Hill, as do many other groups. This special occasion will be marked by the effort to bring these various separate initiatives together into a common expression of our Christian commitment to end the killing.
“Stay tuned for more information at prayercampaign.org as the plans progress.”
The First Commandment is “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods besides me.” There are many ways of having false gods. Pope John Paul II once wrote that to think we are the ones who decide whether a child should be created is to say that God is not God. At the root of the contraceptive mentality, and at the root of the so-called “pro-choice” mentality, is idolatry. We place our choices before God’s choices. We break the first of all the commandments. In the Old Testament, we read that God’s people committed idolatry when they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire to demons. Until we end the child sacrifice of legal abortion, we are guilty of the same kind of idolatry. Let us worship the Lord of Life!
Public opinion about abortion in America can best be described as ambivalent: uncomfortable with unrestricted abortion, yet unwilling to ban it totally.
Another word for public opinion on abortion is “stalemate.” It has not moved much over the years since Roe vs. Wade. One time it did move was when partial-birth abortion was being debated publicly in the late 90’s. People were more willing to identify with the pro-life position during and after that debate, because the debate focused on abortion itself, rather than on abstract issues of freedom and choice.
And it is only in the specific arena of partial-birth abortion that our nation has succeeded, at any time since Roe vs. Wade, in actually prohibiting an abortion procedure in many states and on a federal level, and have that prohibition upheld by the highest court in the land.
When the question is, “Should we allow abortion?”, the debate is unwieldy and ambiguous, catching people in a seemingly endless and wearisome maze of arguments and counterarguments. But when the question is, “Should we allow a child to be pierced in the skull with scissors while still alive and partially delivered?”, the public comes much more quickly to a consensus. And that consensus in turn affects their view of the overall abortion question.
Now it’s time for Act 2.
The most common abortion procedure performed after the first trimester of pregnancy is the “D and E” (Dilation and Evacuation), a procedure which is legal throughout the nation, and which the Supreme Court itself described in this way:
“The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix …, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed.”
(Gonzales vs. Carhart, April 18, 2007)
Now is the time to ask the American public, whether pro-life or pro-choice, a simple question: Should dismemberment of a living child in the womb be permitted? Let’s go beyond the all-encompassing question of “Should abortion be allowed?” and ask, “Should this specific procedure, in which a child’s arms and legs are ripped off, and head crushed, be allowed?”
As we saw in the partial-birth abortion debate, we will see again that many people who consider themselves “pro-choice” and who would want abortion to be generally available will nevertheless oppose this specific procedure and even work with us to prohibit it by law. It is time to mobilize that segment of the public.
Every abortion is wrong, no matter what method is used; every child must be protected. We do not in any way retreat from that principle and goal. But helping people focus on one procedure at a time is a quicker way to get there. See StopDandE.com for more info.
The debate in America about partial-birth abortion did a lot to shift public opinion in a pro-life direction, because it focused attention on what actually happens to the baby during an abortion – and what happens is not pleasant. That procedure was banned. But the D and E procedure is one among those that remains legal. In a D and E, the baby, while alive, is dismembered limb from limb. Medical textbooks and sworn court testimony describe how the abortionist pulls off the arms and legs and crushes the head.
Above and beyond any thoughts they have about abortion in the abstract, it’s time to ask our fellow citizens what they think about D and E. Many who call themselves pro-choice nevertheless oppose this procedure. Find out more at stopdande.com.
On September 29, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Michael led the faithful angels in the battle that broke out in heaven when Lucifer rebelled.
The devil and his followers thought they could be like God by their own choice.
But Michael, whose name means “Who is like God?”, represents the fact that it is only by God’s sovereign choice that we can be exalted to His throne.
The battle between pro-life and pro-choice is the same battle. They are wrong who think that the only thing that matters in the end is their own choice, or that such a choice determines right and wrong.
Rather, it is God’s choice that matters, and when He chooses to create a little child, it is our duty to welcome and protect that precious gift.