Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Staircase wit and being pro-life
I walked for an hour praying the rosary by myself this past Sunday in front of an abortion clinic as a part of the 40 Days for Life. It was relatively quiet, being early in the morning, and very few cars drove by. None of them slowed or seemed to notice me. That's why I was a little surprised when a bleach-blond woman in a bright red bug yelled out as she drove by, "Adopt a crack baby!" I wasn't quite sure what she was saying by that. Maybe that crack babies could never be wanted or loved, that they would be too messed up to actually be able to live in this world with any hope of happiness or maybe she was just calling me self-righteous...good enough to pray silently but not good enough to step up and endanger my own equanimity by taking on an unwanted child.
She made me realize as I looked at the "Choose Life" sign I held over my head and the rosary beads dangling from my hands in front of me that while I may be praying these decades for mothers with unwanted pregnancies, children in danger of abortion or the healing of those who have undergone abortive procedures in the past...I was also praying for every person hurting or stuck in a place they feel they can't escape from evil: the people of Syria, those living under ISIS, those dying and watching the people around them die of Ebola in Africa, those caught up in addiction: porn, drugs, gambling, alcohol, and those who live in abusive situations. Sin hurts both by its consequences and its allure.
Yesterday morning a co-worker turned to me and asked what I thought about the Pope's Synod on the family. He said he hoped it caused some changes to be made; that the ones attacking the Pope and stopping these changes the most were American Bishops, and that the church in America is in big trouble. His main hope is that the Pope will make it easier to get divorced as this is what he views as the main problem for the church dying out here. His views included that the church is strong in third world countries but on its way to the grave here. I was so shocked that he thought the Pope could make divorce morally okay that I could only say, "No, that would never happen." I was thinking how the gates of Hell cannot prevail, how the Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals, and how the Church is the only bulwark keeping our society from completely collapsing on itself as it embraces all the things geared to destroy society. I thought how marriage would no longer mean anything if the Church were to back down on its stance that marriage is between one man and one woman, brought together by God and not to be brought asunder by any man. But what I said was a quote I read from Time Magazine (I think) that said Pope Francis "isn't changing the words, just the music" and shared that with him. Because I couldn't think of how to say the rest of it.
Since then I have wished I had a better answer. The Church in America isn't a sign that the Church is in trouble. It's a sign that America is in trouble.