I am reading Francis Etheredge’s latest book, just released by En Route Books and Media, the ABCQ of Conceiving Conception. While I needed no argument to know when conception occurs, at the moment of fertilization, it is valuable to have a philosopher’s scholarship to back up my natural instinct and common sense conclusions. I hope to review this title in the near future.
He speaks of beginnings. What is, had a beginning, by definition of existence. All human life is sacred, he claims, from conception to death, for all human life reflects the Creator, God.
Bioethics and its demands upon human reason are insisting we take a closer look, reach for a deeper understanding of human life’s beginnings. With the scientific tools we have today, we know more, we see more. We see movement in the womb, reflecting life. We see reality in all of its mystery and glory. Some of us are blind, choosing not to see. But we must not turn away from this reality. We must face the ultrasound images, as loving, responsible, men and women. After all, we have been given our own gift of life. We are accountable. We will be judged accordingly.
The Supreme Court of the United States will be weighing in on allowing citizens to vote on the legality of abortion, considering this new scientific information detailing the living embryo, the living baby in the womb. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, allowing this right to kill our unborn children, we didn’t have such tools. Times change and knowledge advances and today we must allow citizens to weigh in on these vital decisions of life and death. Abortion will not be outlawed with a reversal of the Roe decision, but it will be a matter for voters to decide at the state level, rather than unelected judges at the federal. This, after all, is what freedom means, what elections mean, what our republic is all about, or should be. We should all have a say in this.
I was recently introduced (through Francis Etheredge) to another bioethicist, Dr. Monique Robles, a pediatric critical care physician in Colorado. She blogs about these scientific/medical issues at Human Dignity Speaks. Not only is her website a beautiful one, but she speaks with authority, with not only facts but from her own experience. Her data is mined from her work as an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Science and Statistics for Life, another site highly recommended.
These connections, all occurring so close to Mother’s Day, in May, Mary’s month, point to the work of the Holy Spirit connecting us once again, forming networks of Christians who see it is time to connect, re-enforcing one another, encouraging one another, and sharing the engrafted Word we have been given, to choose life.
And so I smiled this morning when I heard the lovely Epistle by James (1:17+):
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.”
So we were created with the Word of Truth, the engrafted word, “which is able to save your souls.”
And Christ in the Gospel of John speaks with loving care to his disciples (John 16:5+). This is the risen Christ, the Jesus Christ who appeared to his frightened followers in the locked room, who showed his wounds to Thomas in proof, who appeared to the two in Emmaus at the breaking of the bread, who joined the disciples on the shore after helping them with their catch of fish and told Peter, “feed my sheep.” This is the Christ who must teach us slowly and lovingly each day, carry us on his shoulders the next bit of path, protect us from the beasts seeking to devour us. This Christ tenderly explains he must leave his disciples once again, so that the Holy Spirit of Truth will come to them and guide them into all truth.
We are to be gifts to one another, good and perfect, if we are to allow the Holy Spirit to work among us, connecting us, fortifying us, filling us with the knowledge of God and his love. For it is the love of God that creates that miniscule embryo; it is the love of God that recreates each one of us; it is his Word expressed in Christ that we engraft upon our souls, that we feed upon in the Eucharist.
Looking back over the last few weeks, I see so many good and perfect gifts given to us. We must share them with others. We must breathe life into our world of death, engrafting Christ upon our souls.