I urge you to stand up for life!

| January 5, 2012
Archbishop Nienstedt

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt

Just before Christmas, I was privileged to preside at the baptism of the newborn son of some friends of mine. Now, in my heyday as a pastor of a large parish in Royal Oak, Mich., I had the opportunity to do many baptisms. In fact, six baptisms were scheduled every Sunday of the year, including the Lenten season. Since becoming a bishop, my opportunities to preside at such a service is considerably less frequent so, when the occasion arises, it is special indeed.

What struck me as I prepared for that recent Rite of Baptism was the awesome destiny that this child was being given. It is summed up so powerfully in the words, “May the Lord soon touch your ears to hear his Word and your mouth to proclaim his praise to the glory of God, the Father.” Indeed, that young child had become a disciple, a son of God whose ultimate destiny will be life with God in heaven.

But there would have been no such destiny if his parents had chosen not to give the gift of life, or worse, snatched that destiny away in the vile act of abortion.

Many victims

Sunday, Jan. 22, marks the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which legalized abortion on demand throughout our country. What our forebearers had enshrined in the Declaration of Independence as the first of the inalienable rights given to every citizen of the land, had now been trod asunder as a modern day “slaughter of the innocent” became the law of our nation.

Indeed, this is institutional injustice in its most appalling form. For abortion victimizes the mother, destroys the child, tramples on the rights of the father, assaults the family and denies grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and cousins the experience of a new family member. In all, it is a violent assault against the entire social order.

Last year, I made my first pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., to participate in the March for Life. The marchers numbered a million strong.  That is more than the make-up of any one demonstration of Egyptians before their government’s collapse.

Do you remember how much media coverage was paid to the Arab Spring uprising? Well, our million plus pro-life marchers received no coverage, not a mention, in the press or on the news. Could that have been a mere press oversight? I hardly think so.

Getting the message

Archbishop John Nienstedt joined other marchers from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis at the national March for Life last January in Washington, D.C (File photo)

The good news, however, is that young people everywhere seem to be getting the message that life is precious from the moment of conception until natural death. Advanced technology unmasks the lie that a baby in the womb doesn’t feel or react to stimuli. Youth today get that message and in increasing numbers are rising up to protest the destruction of human life.

Each of us can make a difference as well. We must be courageous enough to speak up for life at home, in school, at the workplace and in the public square. We must be responsible enough to vote for politicians who are committed to life and willing to work for restoration of these legal guarantees. We must be faith-filled enough to offer daily prayers for an end to abortion and to commit ourselves to forms of penance in order to promote and strengthen a culture for life.

On Sunday, Jan. 22, our Archdiocesan Mass for Life will be celebrated at 12 p.m. in the Cathedral of St. Paul. Afterwards, the congregation will be invited to march to the State Capitol, where a prayer rally will begin at 2 p.m. I encourage you to attend. I urge you to stand up for life!

God bless you!

Category: Only Jesus

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