Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.
The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.
This weekend the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Trinity. We worship one God in Three Persons. This feast is a lesson in unity and love: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit give themselves completely to one another, and literally have one mind, one will, and one power. As human beings, there are limits to how close we can come to others, but we can come far closer than we are.
Nothing divides human beings from one another more drastically than abortion. It cuts and destroys the most intimate union, that of a mother and her unborn child. The effects of abortion split marriages, families, political bodies, and nations.
As we prepare to celebrate Trinity Sunday, let’s renew our commitment to building unity, starting with the bond between mother and child.
The letter to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ made the sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross “through the eternal spirit.” This makes sense, because the Holy Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son, a love that is then poured out on us. It is in the Holy Spirit that we, too, have the power to love, which consists in giving ourselves away for the good of the other. “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Such is to be our response to the unborn. We sacrifice our time, efforts, possessions, positions, and reputations, in order to save their lives. By filling us with this love, the Holy Spirit unites the human family, whereas abortion divides it.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. His gifts enable us to understand created realities, their value, and their relationship to the Creator and to our happiness. We should ask the Holy Spirit to give us an understanding of the value of the human person. The Spirit enables us to cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself gives witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Abortion, on the other hand, sees the human person as a disposable object. The Spirit of Truth likewise shows us the truth about our sins. In Him we come to understand the difference between good and evil. This works directly against the dynamics of the abortion movement, which identifies a moral evil as a “right.” “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”
The creation account in Genesis 1 tells us that “a mighty wind,” the “breath” or “spirit” of God hovered over the waters and brought life and light out of chaos and darkness. The Holy Spirit is proclaimed in the Creed to be “the Lord and Giver of Life,” and this is true both on a natural and supernatural level. On the first Easter night, Jesus breathes His Spirit upon the Apostles, that they too might bring new life out of the chaos and darkness of sin. A second Creation account is taking place here. God indeed “has sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins.” To worship the Holy Spirit, then, demands that we stand against all that destroys life, and that we bring repentance to those who have done so.
Tomorrow pro-life people around the world are invited to begin a special Novena to the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life. At priestsforlife.org you will be able to sign up for this novena and download the prayer.
The period of time between the Ascension and Pentecost was the original novena, when the disciples prayed at Jesus’ instruction that they would be clothed with power from on high.
That Holy Spirit, the Advocate, made them bold advocates for the Gospel. The same boldness is needed by us as we announce the sanctity of life and denounce the many attacks on life, beginning with abortion and euthanasia.
Let us pray in this novena that He will make us bold advocates for the unborn and all the vulnerable.