By fr Maurice Colgan OP
In the film ‘It’s a wonderful life’, Clarence the angel states that “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole”. One tragedy of abortion are the millions of lives lost that had the capacity of touching so many.
God became man to help lead us to the Truth and encourage us to follow the Light of the world. However, as one distances themselves from the light it becomes harder to see the truth – to distinguish right from wrong – and so many have started calling evil good and good evil, Isaiah 5:20.
There is a famous Indian story about six blind men who encounter an elephant who had escaped from a zoo. All the men being blind have their different understanding of what it is. From feeling the elephant’s tail one insists it is a rope; from bumping into the body of it one blind man is convinced it is a wall; from feeling the elephant’s legs one is satisfied that it is four tree stumps, etc… ultimately, they all fail to see what the elephant truly is.
This story reflects the culture of Irish society today, as a relativist attitude predominates, ‘my opinion is king’, to the detriment of the truth. The truth about things comes from God shining His light on matters; and as we are all partially blind – as a darkened reason still remains even after baptism – we are grateful for this assistance when making our decisions. However, if one ignores this help, and turns away from the light of Christ then what’s left to illuminate one’s decisions? The media, opinion polls or one’s own ‘feelings’?
This is what is so worrying about many leading political figures in Ireland today, that if right and wrong is not guided by an openness to God’s Word, then, where are they gathering their values from? And to what end are they leading this nation of ours? These politicians are like the six blind men in our story, groping in the darkness searching for clues.
The abandonment of Christian values by the Irish political establishment has led to an abandonment of one basic truth – that all human life is sacred from the moment of conception. And this is why we are faced with a referendum to remove the rights of unborn children from our constitution.
As Christians, indeed as citizens, we are bound to act. So what can we do? Three suggestions:
Pray. Prayer is the fuel that will keep pro-life activists across Ireland motivated, courageous and strong, as they work night and day to save the 8th amendment of our constitution.
Preach. To encourage our priests to speak out, in sermons and during the prayers for the faithful, as their leadership is essential in this battle.
Proclaim. To be witnesses ourselves to the Gospel of life as we speak to family, neighbours and friends about the sanctity of life; and also to consider joining one of the local Life Canvass Teams (phone 01 8730465 to find out where the local group is in your area).
The film It’s a wonderful life, is about a man who gets so stressed with life that he feels there is only one way out for him and that is to take his own life. He is persuaded not to go through with it by an angel who shows him how worse off his community and family would be if he had never been born.
This is what we are asking people in this referendum: to give children the opportunity to be born, and so be free to choose, alive to experience and available to taste the wonderful gift of life that God has given us.