The Eucharist and Victory Over Abortion

 

Fr. Frank Pavone

 
  4/4/1997
 

Devotion to the Eucharist is never isolated from the rest of life. Rather, its purpose is to unite us to Christ, and this union means that we live in His life all the hours of our day. There are particular links between Eucharistic devotion and the fight to end abortion. Abortion is, according to the bishops, "the fundamental human rights issue" (NCCB, "Resolution on Abortion," 1989). Abortion destroys the most defenseless members of society, the babies in the womb. How does the Eucharist help us to be pro-life?

God Loves Small Things

The Eucharist teaches us that the importance of something cannot be judged by its size or appearance. Christ, the Son of God, takes on the appearance of a small piece of bread and cup of wine. Our Faith leads us beyond the appearances. We know that after the consecration there is no more bread or wine on the altar. Now it is Christ who is present, in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. The Host is a Divine life and also a human life, because Christ is a Divine Person with both a divine and human nature. Yet the Host certainly does not look or act like the Son of God. Nevertheless, we worship the Host and cry out in our hearts, "My Lord and my God!"

If we can see Christ in the Host, then we can also begin to see Him in the poor, the weak, the terminally ill, and the repulsive and ugly person. We can also see Him in the baby in the womb. This child is hidden behind the "veil" of the womb, much as Christ is hidden behind the "veil" of the Eucharist. Yet Faith takes us beyond appearances, and we can say of the preborn child, "There is a person like me! There is my brother, my sister, for whom Christ died!" Even when this child is a single cell resulting from fertilization, we are not deceived by appearances. He or she is one of us, equal in dignity.

The Victory of Life

The Eucharist is the victory of life. Christ gave us His Body and Blood as a memorial of His Passion and death. In other words, Christ says to us in the Eucharist, "Never forget that I died for you and rose again. Death is conquered and life is victorious. Come to me and share in this life!" If death is conquered, then abortion is conquered. It is up to us to spread this victory of life throughout our world. We do so by living out the Eucharist, namely, by giving our own lives that others may live. We, too, say "This is my body, this is my blood." We give our time, talent, effort, and painful sacrifice so that our brothers and sisters in the womb may be saved.

Practical Suggestions

Because there is a deep link between Eucharistic devotion and pro-life work, we should let that link be seen and heard. Some ways include the following:

Hold special pro-life holy hours and Masses. (Priests for Life offers a booklet of devotions for pro-life holy hours.)

In the prayers at holy hours and Masses, offer a petition for an end to abortion.
Request announced and unannounced Mass intentions for an end to abortion, for aborted children, for mothers who have had abortions, and other pro-life concerns. Masses, which we usually offer for the deceased, can actually be offered for any intention. Besides the benefit of the Mass itself, in the case of announced intentions, the people will be reminded of the need to end abortion.

At holy hours and other gatherings, always have pro-life literature available.

Let us never tire of worshipping Christ in the Eucharist!

Let us never tire of fighting abortion! In Christ we have the victory!

Amen!