Published on the Diocese of St. Cloud website
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
On this 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I want to share with you a few thoughts relating to the issue of abortion.
Infants seem defenseless, weak, fragile. They cannot take care of themselves. They rely on others for their survival. They are the model of innocence, dependence and helplessness.
But infants are far from powerless. Bring a baby into a group of people and watch what happens. Almost universally, faces light up. Everyone wants to touch the baby, hold the baby, make the baby laugh. Even reserved and sophisticated people make funny faces and talk baby-talk. The toughest exteriors melt when the baby smiles.
Bring a baby to a nursing home and watch the joy of remembrance and the zeal for life come back into the eyes of the elderly. Babies have the unique ability to touch the deepest of human emotions, our natural impulse to care, protect, nurture and love.
Full of potential
What evokes these responses is our common humanity. At some level, we know that this is how all of us began our lives. At our birth, we were all equal and totally dependent upon the care of others. Our new lives were full of unknown potential.
Given that, who of us can now claim to know what God has planned for each child to whom he gives an immortal soul? Every child is a distinctive reflection of the infinite goodness and power of God, from the moment of conception until natural death.
Every child counts in the eyes of God. Every child has a role to play in God’s grand design. And no matter how long we live, whether we are an embryo in our mother’s womb or an elderly person in a nursing home, our lives are of infinite value.
Reasons for hope
We have lived now with the tragic legacy of Roe v. Wade for 37 years. During that time, 50 million children have been aborted. One third of a generation has been lost to a law that defies logic in favoring choice over the value of innocent human life.
Today, we can only persevere in the hope that the tireless work of crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life voices and courageous leaders in the church and society will continue to make a difference.
We thank God that the number of abortions is declining. Our young people are increasingly motivated by the Gospel of life and bearing witness to the value of life. Our prayers for life and for the cessation of abortion continue to be heard by a loving God.
As Blessed Mother Teresa often said: “None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something.” If even helpless babies have the power to evoke hope and reverence for life, what might each of us accomplish when we let the Spirit of God work through us?