Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Mathew 10:34)
Pro life advocates are rightly encouraged by the outcome of November’s election.
Conditions now are more favorable for the ongoing battle to protect the life of unborn children in our nation. The tide has shifted, for a time, and the overall conditions present a unique opportunity to advance our cause. The troops are in good spirits and our prospects for success have perhaps never been better.
This advent season presents a perfect time to prepare for the coming battles but also to give us the proper perspective as we move ahead.
The Sword of Christ
When Jesus speaks of bringing a sword in Mathew’s Gospel, this is clearly not a call to physical violence (see Mathew 26:52.) Jesus speaks of the fact that his words, actions and teaching will cause division, foment controversy, and at times provoke a violent reaction.
But this sword also points to to the fearsome power of the Risen Christ as he comes again with his power and glory fully revealed to the nations. Jesus will consummate his victory over Satan and unleash the mercy and justice of God upon the nations:
From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. – (Revelation 19:5)
To Us a Child Is Given
We live our lives within the boundaries of this brief journey through a particular time and place. But mysteriously, our lives are also woven into an eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness that in time will reach their climax with the Second coming of the Christ.
Advent touches upon this great mystery in such powerful ways.
Israel was called forth in time to be a people set apart among the nations to love and serve Yahweh the one true God and turn away from idolatry and sin. In a similar way, the humble daughter of Israel, the Virgin Mary was set apart for her special vocation from the beginning of her existence.
Mary would receive the first redemptive fruit of her son’s sacrificial death, and be conceived without the original sin, that rejection of God’s providence, that has injured the human family from the beginning.
This Immaculate Conception of Mary was not so much a special privilege for her, but more a precious gift to each of us. Mary became the Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, and the mother of the incarnate Son of God.
The Rage of Satan and the Womb of Women
The incarnation of Christ reveals how God used the vehicle of a Jewish woman, and specifically the consecrated womb of Mary and her child Jesus, to save the human family from the power of sin, death and Satan.
Yet this action of God arouses murderous rage in the heart of Satan:
Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born… But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness…The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. – (Revelation 12)
Satan wants to devour Mary’s child as she gives birth. Thanks to an angelic warning of Herod’s designs, and the protection of St Joseph, Satan was unable to destroy the child and abort the mission of Jesus to save humanity.
But mysteriously, Satan and his demonic accomplices continue to have power to wage war on the human family. It is the all consuming passion of Satan is to corrupt and disfigure the image of God in the human heart, mind and soul and to separate as many souls as possible from eternal union with their heavenly Father.
A Gathering Darkness
Our Blessed Mother appeared to 3 children at Fatima in 1917 to warn the world of the emergence of a gathering darkness and greater war that would envelop the world.
Failing to heed Mary’s warning, we witnessed the destructive rage of the great dragon of revelation unleashed in communist and Nazi attacks on Christians and Jews across Europe, and as communism spread, around the world.
But there is another battleground where the dragon has focused his powers of deception and rage.
Given that the womb of Mary was the vehicle through which God saved the human family from sin and death, we can safely assume that this only increased Satan’s hatred and rage against humanity, and especially of women and their unborn children.
The Hellish Power of Deception
The womb of women is the battleground where Satan is manifesting his agenda with unprecedented powers of deception and destruction in our time. Satan has made a woman’s body and womb, human sexuality and reproduction as battle grounds where he would manifest his passion to deceive and destroy.
In Revelation John says Satan is “the deceiver of the whole world.”
If you want evidence of this power to deceive, consider this statement by Christian pastor Rev. David Selzer, of Concerned Clergy for Choice found in this “blessing” he wrote for abortion facilities:
Bless this building and those who work here… who provide safe, legal, caring and loving reproductive services, including abortion… they are doing God’s work.
While the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Medjugorje are still under discernment by the Vatican, the following reflections by the visionaries on their exposure to the reality of Hell help us to see the eternal nature of our struggle:
Vicka: We saw many people in hell…The Blessed Mother says that those people who are in hell are there because they chose to go there…It is their choice. In this way they choose to enter the fire of hell where they burn away all connection to God.
Marija: At the moment of death, God gives everyone the grace to see his whole life… And each person, when he sees himself in the divine light of reality…chooses for himself what he personally deserves for all eternity. Anyone who goes to hell chooses hell. God condemns no one.
Jakov: The self-chosen suffering there is beyond your ability to comprehend.
When asked if this vision was a painful experience for him Jacov replied: More than you can understand…Because no one needs to go to hell. It is the ultimate waste.
A God of Justice…and Mercy
Our Creator is a God of Mercy, reconciliation and healing. He desires that no woman or man is abandoned to their grief and despair after abortion. Most of us, if we are honest, have aborted God’s will in our lives in times of weakness and fear. We are continually in need of the repentance and healing of Christ.
The heart of Christ burns with a passionate love for sinners, and desires their reconciliation and healing. No sin is greater than God’s love and mercy. He only asks that we have a humble and repentant heart, and he will bless us abundantly with his forgiveness and healing.
But sadly, some will persist in their promotion of abortion as a social and moral good and basic human right. Those who have been wounded by abortion can be tempted to avoid the very natural spiritual and emotional pain and grief that follow abortion. They instead may justify and fiercely defend their choice. Some even become aggressive advocates for abortion rights and lead many others astray contributing to the death of countless unborn children and the sin and suffering that flow into the lives of their parents.
This places those who advocate for abortion rights as accomplices in the death of countless unborn children. They are in grave risk of ongoing deception and eternal estrangement from God. This includes those who serve in positions of public office, medical and counseling professionals and others who act in ways that facilitate the death of unborn children.
Silence is Deadly
This is seldom something we hear from the pulpit. There is an understandable desire to be sensitive to those who have experienced this loss and to invite the wounded to healing. God’s mercy and forgiveness must always be our first response and proclaimed on a regular basis from our Churches.
But are we neglecting to preach about the justice of God, and the risk of eternal estrangement from our Heavenly Father for those who are persistent in their pro abortion advocacy? Is it merciful to be silent?
This is the greatest tragedy and the endgame of Satan. He not only wants to destroy and desecrate unborn life in the womb. Satan wants to separate as many souls as possible from eternal union with their heavenly father.
As the visionaries of Medjurgorje suggest, God condemns no person to hell. Tragically, a human heart and soul can become so twisted by lies that they recoil from the light of truth, and when the time comes to encounter their Lord, they may experience the holiness of God as a repulsive darkness.
This is the ultimate horror and tragic fruit of abortion and similar types of sin that lead the soul into such deep darkness and blindness.
Prepare for Battle
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
In this Advent season we have a time of preparation to once again welcome the Savior into our hearts, homes and communities. In this time of peace and preparation – let us also prepare for battle.
We are not led by a particular political leader or party in this battle. God can use current events and even weak and sinful men and women to accomplish his will. We must read the signs of the times and fight the good fight to advance the cause of life and reduce and end the destruction of unborn children.
Yet the larger battle is for the heart and soul of the human family. While we fight against abortion and other attacks upon marriage and the family, we do so not in anger, derision or with hatred toward those we oppose. We do so with love and concern for the unborn and all who are being deceived by Satan.
We know that without God’s grace, we can do nothing. We rely on continual repentance and the deepest humility, immersion in the Word of God, prayer, rosary (and for sacramental Christians, Reconciliation and Eucharist.)
It is also important to take time to grieve our losses in this ministry. This will strengthen us in our pro life vocations.
Perhaps this prayer to St Michael the Archangel can be particular focus for us in this advent season as we prepare for the coming of our Savior and the battles that lie ahead to advance the cause of life.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God Thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
 In my personal experience, this is indeed the heart of the pro lifers I have encountered around the world. They are humble, faithful servants of the Lord acting out of love for the unborn and those wounded by abortion.