Amid the gloomy culture of death that debases modern society, Catholics can find hope in the zealous and relentless commitment of life advocates who work “to foster in our country a culture of life. Says Archbishop J. Michael Miller. “It really is a blessing.” ‘a
Archbishop Miller’s celebration of the pro-life work of Catholics was a key part of a powerful homily delivered on December 28 at his annual Mass for Life, marking the feast of the Holy Innocents.
But while commending those who âpromote and encourage the sacred dignity of human life,â Archbishop Miller also had harsh words for the advocates of abortion and euthanasia.
He drew a direct line between Herod’s slaughter of innocent people two millennia ago and “governments, professions, [and] the media âwhich supportsâ crimes against life in Canada â.
âIn Herod we see the darkness of a tyrant who wants to control life and death,â Archbishop Miller said. âInsecure, ruthless and power-hungry, he reacts to news that the sages have deceived him into ordering the slaughter of all Bethlehem children under the age of two. In our fallen world, then and now, even the innocent can to be ruthlessly eliminated in order to satisfy the will of the powerful. “
Yet “even though there are bloody Herods these days,” he continued, “there are still choirs of happy angels singing the majesty of our Savior and our God.”
This theme – supporting Christian engagement in life amidst a dark, anti-life landscape – was also brought forward before Mass when Michele Smillie of the Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Marriage and Family s ‘is addressed to the congregation of the Cathedral of the Holy Rosary. Noting that the feasts of the martyrs of St. Stephen and St. John the Apostle were also commemorated that week, Smillie said, âWe are reminded that being Christians and standing up for life comes at a price.
She said she hoped that “with prayers and a public witness, we can change hearts and minds. [to] make every life precious and meaningful, whether it is a crisis pregnancy early in life or loneliness or fear at the end of life âthat can lead to assisted suicide.
Archbishop Miller said in his homily that such a witness is at the heart of the Christian faith, explaining, “To be a Christian is to choose life against the rule of death.”
He quoted Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, who said earlier this year: âThe radical reluctance of the old Christian community to tolerate assaults on life has been a key factor in attract people to the new movement. That is why, even today, the Church opposes any attempt to attack human life at any stage of its development.
Archbishop Miller also noted that when Pope Francis was asked in September about âa woman’s right to chooseâ abortion, he said: âAbortion is more than a problem, abortion is murderâ¦ anyone who performs an abortion kills â.
In the same interview, Pope Francis said that science clearly shows that the embryo is fully human. âAnd this human life must be respected,â Pope Francis said. âThis principle is clear, and to those who cannot understand it, I would ask two questions: Is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem? Scientifically, it is a human life. Second question: is it okay to hire a hitman to solve a problem? “
The “moral tragedy of abortion” is particularly distressing when considered at Christmas, Archbishop Miller said. âIn the midst of the joy and wonder of birth, we must open our eyes and ears to what is going on around us and be attentive to the muffled cries of the unborn child.
âAnd that requires us to work to persuade others to face the truth, to face the truth about the social and, of course, moral tragedy of abortion. The Christmas season is a time that challenges us to protect life. “
This Catholic commitment to life includes ministry to women who have abortions, Archbishop Miller said. He quoted the encyclical âGospel of Lifeâ of Pope John Paul II, which addressed these women, declaring: âThe Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the sacrament of reconciliation. You will understand that nothing is definitely lost, and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child who now lives in the Lord.
Monica Roddis, of St. James Parish in Abbotsford, was among dozens of pro-life volunteers who attended mass. She said in an interview that she was especially happy to hear Archbishop Miller’s intervention with women with previous abortions.
“Too often pro-life people are accused of only caring for babies,” said Roddis, who, along with her husband, Malcolm, received the Benemerenti Medal in 2010 for their service to family and to the cause. pro-life. âBut these words of our Holy Father show that our movement of love has always been concerned with women as well and that in fact we have always strived toâ love them both â.
She also said she was encouraged by Archbishop Miller’s exhortation on Catholics to become true evangelizers of life. âThese words from him are what we all need to listen to at this time in our country’s history,â Roddis said. âFace the culture, be courageous, make our voices heard. “
Indeed, in concluding his homily, Bishop Miller encouraged Catholics to defend life, whether by action or prayer, so that “the minds and hearts of our fellow citizens and the laws of our country [can] to be converted to support a culture of life.
âWith the grace of God, and only by the grace of God, we can still end the scourge of abortion in our country by making it unnecessary no matter what the law says.