Our Easter celebration has begun! This whole week is considered a single day in the liturgy – Easter Day – and initiates the entire 50-day Easter Season. Our joy in the Resurrection of the Lord overflows in our prayers, songs, and activities. I had a great Easter Triduum, celebrating and preaching these sacred days on Staten Island, then at the Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT (where I was celebrant and homilist for the Easter Vigil), and in Port Chester, NY for Easter Sunday Mass at my home parish of Corpus Christi.
This is the Feast of the Victory of Life. That’s why, of course, the celebration of the Resurrection is a perfect time to intensify our pro-life commitment, and bring the priority of the defense of the unborn higher on our personal list and on the “list” of the Church. It’s not that we need any new teaching. The Church has said eloquently was has to be said about abortion (though we can always come up with new and more effective ways to formulate it to speak to the current culture.)
It is not new teaching that’s needed. There are, instead, two simple ingredients that need to be added to the Church’s pro-life teaching: passion and priority.
We can’t make it seem to the world that abortion is just another issue, or only minimally less trivial as much of the world thinks it is. We have to have some passion in the way we respond to it, in word and deed. Passion does not exclude reasonableness or compassion; in fact, it nurtures them, and makes us all the more determined to grow in those virtues.
And we have to give more priority to fighting abortion. One of my key missions in life, as part of ending abortion, is to raise it on the list of priorities that everyone has – starting with “the Church.” When something is higher on the priority list, we talk about it more, we spend more time and money on it, we allocate more resources and personnel to the task, and we carry it out like we mean business. Those who think the Church gives too much attention to the abortion issue are missing an awful lot of what is and isn’t going on in the Church.
Ultimately, when we have a priority, we stop counting the cost, we stop fearing success, and we’re willing to prove it by martyrdom.
Are you on the same page?