June Journal, Second Sunday after Trinity

Trinity is the long green growing season, the season of life. Our parish altars are draped in green, and our clergy are vested in green, changed only for saints and martyrs and other special feast days. It is fitting, although way beyond due, that the lives of a generation of unborn babies have been saved, will enter our world of oxygen, breathe their first breaths, cry their first cries, and begin their greening, their growing outside the womb. Earlier, they grew inside, fed not by oxygen but by their mother’s life. And now, they are allowed to breathe the air of our world, to live. Already, in just two days, thousands of lives have been saved.

This was a great course reversal for our nation and for the world we influence. This has been a victory for all humanity. And it must be added that this recent Supreme Court ruling did not stop abortion entirely, but bravely allowed we, the people, to decide, state by state, with our vote. For nearly fifty years we have lived with the monstrosity of the Roe v. Wade decision that said there was a right to abortion. It has been a great shame and stain upon our nation, and the violence condoned and even celebrated over these years has only encouraged more violence. For if the least of our people, the most innocent, are not protected, no one is protected.

We have seen this violence grow year by year since 1973. Those lucky enough to be chosen to be born in these years have grown up with the culture telling them that life has no meaning. They grew up, these chosen ones, surrounded by death, listening to the creed of self that silenced other creeds, other speech. This creed of self shouted through screens, from rooftops and public squares, hate expressed with automatic rifles. For without meaning, without love, nothing makes sense. Without God, there is no right and wrong, no true authority.

Without belief in a loving and revelatory God, the God of Abraham – of Jews, Muslims, and Christians – nothing makes sense. Without his loving law written in stone and taught by his Son, anarchy reigns. Without confession, there is no absolution.

And so, as Americans express their opinion on these weighty matters of life and death in state elections in the next few years, we become Solomons, and we pray for Solomon’s wisdom, not to harm these babies. We pray that we recognize those candidates who embrace life, so we can weed the wheat from the chaff.

Other countries seem perplexed by our drama of choice, the extremes we seem act out. But we are many states united in federation. When law is legislated by the courts, especially the federal (national) courts, it bypasses the voter. We as Americans demand a say in these vital issues. We demand that we decide when life begins, when the killing is allowed, and why. Nine justices should not be deciding such things. And so the Supreme Court on Friday said, yes, you may vote on these issues from now on. They moved the decision to the states.

There will be states – such as my own, California – that retain the hideous killing of the unborn. There will be others that honor those innocent lives.

In 1973 (to my knowledge) we did not have the images and science of when life begins. Science has discovered since then many glorious things about our humanity. We can see the first movements in the womb, and we know the full, unique, genetic identity exists at the moment of fertilization, a moment when this new life, new human being is created.

Those who believe in God generally believe in the soul or spirit, and it is at this moment that God “ensouls” this new life, so that the mother, the father, and God have all come together to create this unique, mysterious, miraculous creature we call a human being. For excellent explanations as to how this happens, described so that we laymen can understand, see the work of Francis Etheredge, especially his recently released ABCQ of Conceiving Conception (En Route, 2022), reviewed in these pages.

One would hope and pray that many Americans will examine their views in terms of life and death of the unborn. Many desire peace and go along with the cultural messaging, which has been heavily pro-abortion and highly pressured, even threatening. Perhaps now they might reconsider, consider there are many of us who desire life. They will not be alone.

And we desire life for both mother and child. For the mother who kills must live with the horror of what she has done. We pray for those who have participated in this grisly act, from pressure or fear or career demands. We pray these mothers (and fathers) be healed, so that they can embrace the joy of all creation, all human life.

There will be increased resources for mothers, increased funding and increased care. We will embrace these children; we will embrace these women; we will embrace life. Our Lady Mary taught us how to do this.

It is curious that the President who appointed the justices that overturned this bad law, that allowed a generation to be born, was a rather unconventional troublemaker, according to many. He was a rough and ready cowboy, albeit a New Yorker in a suit, an American true in heart, a maverick outsider who came to town and turned the tables. Those who manned the tables – the real moneychangers – turned on him but he didn’t flinch. He was a lone ranger, a new sheriff in town, a man with a big heart and unfailing courage. He faced the mob daily – the lies, the collusions, the tearing down, the death machine, many in his own party. But he was a bit naïve; he trusted his administration to give sound advice, to support his vision. But he learned the hard way, through experience, that they didn’t like his style.

May God bless President Trump, for he listened to God’s voice, without flinching. Those whose lives he saved will one day see what a momentous moment this has been and will thank him. Ballads will be sung, for history has been made. He has opened doors and let in light. He has welcomed the children, as we are all commanded to do. 

I will never forget a comment made by a friend of my son, sometime in 1990 or so. Born in 1971, he said that he wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t be alive, if he had been conceived a year later. His mother, unmarried, probably would have had an abortion. Why? Because like many she thought that if it was legal, it must be okay. And of course there were no ultrasound images, no genetic discoveries yet. There were only questions as to when life began.

And so I have been singing a Te Deum on and off all weekend, the thanksgiving prayer that St. Ambrose and St. Augustine sang when Augustine emerged from the baptismal pool in the cathedral of Milan. I saw the pool in the crypt many years ago, uncovered by excavations. 

It is a historic time, a moment of great celebration, but it is only a turning point, a place in time where we have taken a new direction as a people. We have given life to many with this court decision. We need to give life to every American conceived in this great nation, the land of the free and most of all, the land of the brave.

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