Friday, November 08, 2002

You are an act of God

Recently I was involved in some debates about politics and abortion rights. A GOP political operative complained that if the Republicans ran pro-life candidates in the Northeast, they would lose, because the battle has been lost. New Jersey and states like it are thoroughly secular, he said, and there is no hope, short of an act of God, for them ever to change their minds on abortion.

It would certainly be nice if God were to do something extravagant and miraculous. Perhaps Mary could appear atop the statehouse, imploring all who entered to respect life. Or perhaps there could be a plague of locusts, or the rivers could run with blood. I doubt that these miracles would be any more effective than they were with Pharoah; belief has to do with the will, and no number of miracles can change a human will.

What can change a will? Reason and charity. We need to explain the gospel of life. It is not that there has been a debate between life and death, and death won, but rather the debate hasn't happened. Abortion is accepted as a fait accompli, contraception is thought to be a natural and normal as sunrise, and casual sex is the rule, not the exception. The opponents to the culture of death have left the battlefield. We have left it unopposed from fear of being rude. This cannot continue. Those of us who recognize the true dignity of human life must speak up. If we don't engage the enemy, who will? Waiting around for God to solve the problem with a miracle ignores an obvious fact: You are a miracle. God created you, calling you by name into existence. Everything you do that is good is an act of God. You have a mind, and you have a voice, created by God for a purpose. Perhaps your purpose is to proclaim the Gospel of Life. If your voice speaks the truth and your life bears witness to the love of God, hearts may be opened and minds may be changed.

God rebuilt his Church in the twelfth century not through miraculous signs, but through the human miracles Francis and Dominic. It is certain that he is calling you and me to do the same in the twenty-first century.

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