Christmas is near, and so we approach the creche with awe, gratitude, and prayerful hearts. Approaching the beautiful scene of Joseph, Mary, and the Christ Child reminds us of the wonder of a young woman who, despite her fears and confusion, uttered an unqualified yes to the angel Gabriel.
As Gabriel said, “‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favor. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you must name Him Jesus.”
Mary trusted in the words of an angel because she had faith in God. She surrendered to His will, and she moved forward, welcoming her baby with her spouse at her side. Even though they had very little in the way of material goods, we know their first moments must have been glorious.
Comparing this to the situation today where many expectant mothers cannot bear the idea of being with child, we are stunned by the contrast. Today, expectant mothers are urged -- often by the very men who fathered the baby -- to abort their babies. And sadly, they do.
Our cultural devotion to death has grown ever riskier and more dangerous as time goes by. Consider this latest development, occurring just days before we celebrate the birth of Christ.
The federal Food and Drug Administration has decided to relax restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone (RU-486). This action is irresponsible, yet pro-abortion groups are going crazy with delight, including the American Civil Liberties Union, which called the defunct restrictions “outdated.”
But, regardless of what government professionals say about it, the FDA’s actions are deadly for preborn children and unsafe for expectant mothers.
Fortunately, there are 19 states that restrict the availability of the drug, and in the case of this recent FDA decision, state laws eclipse the FDA’s frivolous action.
This is but the most recent occurrence in a long list of hate crimes toward babies and their mothers that masquerade as healthy options for those who, for whatever reason, decide to dispose of their preborn children.
Contemplating the horror of the culture of death and its menu of hatred for human beings is in stark contrast with the peace and love Mary and Joseph felt as they welcomed Baby Jesus. Further, it reminds us of what Bishop Ricken called the job description of evil, which is to steal, kill and destroy.
Look around you. Its manifestations are everywhere, the results of a Godless culture taking hold. We turn on the news and see stories of the loss of life as a result of poverty, violence and natural disaster in places like Haiti, Afghanistan and parts of our own country. We see increasing efforts to legalize the killing of people with disabilities and diseases in the name of “compassion.” And we continue to permit and even expand access to legal abortion in this country, taking the lives of the most innocent, the unborn.
These are the fruits of a culture of death, which can only lead to more death.
On the other hand, the fruit of a culture of life is more new life.
The infant Jesus Christ, wrapped in swaddling clothes, reminds us of the wisdom of this committed bishop who calls us to witness to the culture of life, not only at Christmas but every day.
As St. John Paul II wrote at Christmas 2003:
And you, Mary, the Virgin of expectation and fulfilment,
who hold the secret of Christmas,
make us able to recognize in the Child
whom you hold in your arms the heralded Savior,
who brings hope and peace to all.
With you we worship Him and trustingly say:
we need You, Redeemer of man,
You who know the hopes and fears of our hearts.
Come and stay with us, Lord!
May the joy of your Nativity reach
to the farthest ends of the universe!
From all of us at American Life League to you and your families, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!
American Life League is the nation's oldest grassroots, Catholic, pro-life organization. Its president, Judie Brown, has led the organization since its 1979 beginning. She has served three terms on the Pontifical Academy for Life—appointed twice by Pope John Paul II and again by Pope Benedict XVI.