Lord, Have Mercy
04 August 2015, Fr. David R. LeFort
Please, pardon the reality that I have not, nor will not, speak of such things in our gatherings for worship. Thankfully, there are too many children and youth present that I cannot see a strong value in issuing such teaching to young, vulnerable minds, hearts, consciences and souls. I trust, however, that their parents—who know them well—will share the values contained herein when their children can understand, grapple with, and appreciate such matters.
In the last few weeks, we have all been witness to the Planned Parenthood exposé which considers—as has been reported by media—such things as “fetal tissue”, “parts for sale”, “abortion rights” and “women’s reproductive health”.
No matter the “politics” or “rationalizations”, we as Christians cannot stand for a government that continually and forcefully employs and funds programs that not only denigrate women (babies that are female in gender are aborted at least 50% of the time), but more essentially, seek not to serve the good of human persons, but rather, works to craft laws and policies that allow, enable and engender within us a sense that we ourselves are able to appropriate what is good, right and valuable within Creation. Lord, have mercy on us when we act in such a way.
As a Roman Catholic pastor, I am fully—truly FULLY—aware of the challenges of pregnancy. So many mothers come to me with their sorrows and concerns…so many fathers come to me with their worries and fears—so I’m not immune to the “practicalities” of bringing a child into this broken world.
That having been said, I have watched over the last few weeks a great and actual fear being realized, and I can no longer be silent.
I so love the families who worship with me each Sunday. They are of all kinds and stripes: single, married, divorced or separated…; young, growing, older or “hunched over”; black, brown, pale or sun-burned (after all, it is the height of the summer!); with or without little tykes…. Over the eight years I have been with them, I know every one of them, and I love them for who they are and for who they can be, as created in God’s own image, and beautiful in His eyes. Sure, some are in challenging circumstances: homosexual couples who are struggling to rear children, as so many are and do; coping with and trying to manage depression or another mental illness; watching the painful decline of a loved one moving closer to death. They are not “less” or cursory…they are my people…my flock…and I love them unequivocally. They are the husbands and wives who are accepting of, and loving, one, two, even six or more children within our society…gosh, these people are truly a loveable lot!
Yet, there are others who are fearful or doubting: afraid to take a step toward covenant and commitment; convinced, unfortunately, that their strengths are overcome by their weaknesses; doubtful that they can see virtue victorious over their sins and inclinations. All I can offer them, outside of my love and companionship is the solace: “Do not be afraid: the Lord is king and He is so merciful, full of love to all who call upon Him”.
Again, that having been said, I have watched over the last few weeks a great and actual fear being realized, and I can no longer be silent. I am not so concerned with “the tone”, “the manner of speaking”, nor the “inappropriate atmosphere” of such conversations as they have been taped and reported. I am, however, extremely concerned with the reality that evil exists in our everyday world. I am sickened that we, as civilized, informed and developed human persons, are continuously and recklessly abusing our stewardship of all of creation, most especially the precious gift of human life in all its forms and expressions.
Yes, we need healthcare for all…women are so crucial…and their healthcare is essential to all of us, but healthcare is worthy of something other than “planned unparenthood”. Yes, we need help in screening, health options, decisions for moving along the “healthy” continuum, but this should never be at the expense of any one of us, most especially at the expense of our most vulnerable, our truly most innocent, our most precious: our little ones, sisters and brothers, yet to be born into this world from their mothers’ wombs. If we need an organization called “Planned Parenthood”, then it should rightly serve to educate, form and encourage healthy ways of parenting our children and families, but at present, it appears that oftentimes, the very opposite is true. Yes, help us to plan well, care well, foster well…but don’t cut short—and violently—the newest of our human race!
In closing, it will no longer be enough to simply “like” this post or retweet this listing: that just doesn’t cut it in the world in which we live: yes, social media can do a lot but it can’t effectively urge our legislators. We must ACT: please, I urge all people of goodwill, write your senator s and representatives, talk with neighbors and loved ones, challenge this terrible and deadly status quo. And may the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we are fashioned and made, through whom we are redeemed, and in whom we live, guide us in all goodness.
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