This Christmas our hearts are compelled to think of Connecticut. No doubt, we will enjoy our own families, but we can’t help but envision empty Connecticut homes on a cold Christmas morning, imagining the presents that will not be opened, the toys that will not be enjoyed, and the childish laughter that will not be heard. Our hearts break like the rest of this nation over this horrible tragedy.
When a horrific event like the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut occurs, everyone seems to grasp that each of those beautiful first graders were of incalculable value, worth, and potential. At Elizabeth’s New Life Center we can’t help but also draw comparisons with the littler ones who are hidden from our view. We, of course, think about these things all the time because we daily engage women who are wavering with decisions that mean life or death for an unborn child. It is so amazing that the vast majority of these women choose life, especially once the humanity of the child is revealed through ultrasound.
At this time of year, when the tender image of a babe in a manger is being forced to compete in our imaginations with a grisly killing field full of first-grade children, it’s difficult to believe that anyone would not be receptive to a newborn—but we all know that is not the case.
Mother Teresa once eloquently voiced the reason why our attempts to compartmentalize the unborn cannot and should not be segregated from our desire to protect children later in their lives:
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child—a direct killing of the innocent child—murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love –that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
Beginning in the womb, may we do all we can to protect children, all the days of their lives.