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Crying Out

 

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director of Priests for Life

February 15, 1999

   
 

"I am 'the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord!'" (Jn.1:23).


Lent brings us an urgent cry to repent. The Kingdom has arrived. It is a Kingdom of life, and calls for a people of life.


Yet the wilderness is with us as well. The light shines, but it shines in darkness. The voice cries out, but it cries in wilderness, which is why it must cry in the first place.


The call to repentance is a cry also because of its urgency. We don't have all day. The business of the Kingdom, the business of salvation, is urgent business. It deserves a cry.


Salvation history is a drama. It is the very drama of the conquering of death. If there is a lot to be gained by Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection, then there is likewise a lot to be lost if we miss it.


Jesus, therefore, in dying on the cross, cries out in a loud voice (see Lk.23:46). Death does not simply overtake Him. He goes out in strength, in victory, to meet it and to rob it of its power.


The cry continues.


The People of Christ are a People of Life. The wilderness of death continues to surround us in so many forms. The form in which death claims the most lives is abortion. The People of God cry out against it.


If you spend any time at all following the progress of the pro-life movement, there is one thing you know for sure: our opposition does not only want abortion to remain legal; they want it to remain unchallenged. There is a clear trend afoot in many laws and court decisions: to make the cry illegal.


On the Federal and local levels, laws are passed prohibiting not only criminal activity, but certain forms of perfectly peaceful and moral activity designed to save lives at abortion mills. "Bubble zones," RICO statutes, and FACE laws are all used to dissuade the forthright proclamation that abortion is evil. I will never forget standing in front of the blue line drawn on a public street around an abortuary in Melbourne, Florida. Had I stepped over the line I would have been subject to arrest. That's all I would have had to do…no violence, no damage to people or property, no harmful words…just step over the line.


Increasingly, those I talk to on the pro-abortion side designate as hate speech the direct and accurate assertion that abortion is "baby-killing." They bring us to court for just saying that. They interpret is as a threat. That's how bad it has gotten.


I don’t know about you, but if I am ever sent to jail for saying abortion is baby-killing, to jail I will go, gladly, willingly, and proclaiming that truth more vigorously with every passing day.


The lesson of Lent, after all, has trained us. The cry of the People of Life can never be silenced.

   
 
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