Recently over on Fr. Longenecker's blog Standing On My Head there has been quite a lot of back and forth about abortion and war, and the numerical comparisons of which is a greater or lesser evil and in writing a response to a post over there, I began to write the following and thought it should really stand on its own over here.
None of us were alive when Christ walked the earth, yet we believe through our hearts, our minds, our faith and our understanding through His revelation in the world and in our lives that Jesus the Christ is the Messiah and the Son of God and that no one comes to the Father but through Him. Even for those with doubts it would be better to err on the side of belief, than of disbelief. Make sense?
None of us have ever seen a soul enter an unborn baby so no one can say beyond a doubt at which definitive moment a human being is created. Our Catholic Church states that it is at the moment of conception and that is the wisest of choices. Imagine the scandal if it was said that an unborn baby became human at X number of weeks only to later be proven wrong! Better again to err on the side of life, rather than death.
We then agree, as all Catholics should, that all abortions are wrong. Many are constantly making the comparisons to war but fail to understand a few basic facts. First is that a child in the womb is completely defenseless, while a combatant is not. An unborn child has not formed a conscience, while a combatant has. A defenseless child in the womb is at the full and complete mercy of the mother and does not God desire mercy?
I agree that the taking of an innocent life is inherently evil and that the taking of any other human life is something to be avoided at all costs, but I cannot say that it is always wrong, or that all war is wrong because innocent life must be defended against evil that would take that life. Sometimes that evil is personal, sometimes it is societal. Sometimes is means dealing a lethal blow, sometimes it means war and hopefully it will always be a Just War.
If I recall, God Himself commanded armies to war for righteousness sake, and St. Michael led battles in Heaven and defeated Satan and I'm sure it wasn't over a friendly game of Acey-Deucey. So then logically all war and all battles, in and of themselves are not necessarily wrong, but often necessary to defeat evil.
To say that you personally would not wage war or do battle is to say you would bend to the will of Satan, for indeed we all must at all times be ready to do battle and wage war against evil and the devil himself. Don't believe in the devil or his works? Well, His Holiness John Paul II is said to have spoken "He who does not believe in the devil does not believe in the Gospel."
My opinion on abortion is as clear as the position of our Church, that it is one of the most despicable and grievous sins against humanity. A far greater evil than war. I base that not on numbers or calculation of casualties. It is based on my moral conscience, my faith in the Magisterium and in the Holy Spirit that guides our Church.
So why do so many worry over which evil is greater or lesser, abortion or war? The lesser of two evils is still evil. Comparing which is the lesser or greater, counting the numbers of abortions or war casualties does nothing but place your focus on evil, instead of good. Why then not err on the side of belief in our Church and on the side of God?
And why also do we focus so intently on things over which we have no control? Can any one of us stop all war? No, there have even been battles in Heaven. Choose if you must to not participate in a political war and educate others through Love on the horrors and reality of such wars. Can anyone of us stop all abortions? No, people will too often choose convenience and self over life. Choose to not have an abortion and educate others through Love that may not know or understand the issue as we do. Can any one of us stop poverty? No, there will always be poor amongst us but we can be a living examples of Christ Jesus to one another, giving what you can when you can.
We must always have faith not only in the promises that Jesus gave us, but in each other and indeed in ourselves for we are living as the body of Christ! Are we not His Church in the world today? Did not Jesus also say "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)
While evil may exist, men may be corrupted with greed and power, abortions and wars will continue, governments and laws may lead men astray, sinners will walk amongst the Saints even at times in the Church, but as Christ Himself has promised us even the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church, against us! What a beautiful and perfect revelation!
There is no need to sit and ponder all these things until we work ourselves into quite a lather. We are not morally alone and much of work on questions of morality has already been done for us! If your thinking is clouded or something is unclear, turn to prayer and turn to the Church. Since as Jesus taught us our Catholic Church will stand against the very gates of hell, she MUST be correct in both her authority and her teachings!
Perhaps we should stop trying to analyze everything in our own narrow-visioned worldly ways and have faith that God's plan will unfold in His way and His time, not ours. Only Jesus can bear the sins of the whole world. While still keeping our responsibilities to do unto one another as Jesus commanded us, perhaps we need to focus less on all the social ills of the whole world and before attempting to remove the speck in your brother's eye, remove the plank from your own.
Besides, it's so very hard to see the face of Christ in one another with a plank in your own eye.
May God Bless Each of You.