Life is Such a Special Gift from God

Nearly every morning at the beginning of the streaming live of the rosary, I usually give a birthday blessing for those who are celebrating their birthday that day. I find it helpful to remember names. But with names comes lives. Each person has their story of life. Each person has their good days and bad days. Even in their worst days, God is always with them (Is 41:10). Blessings always follow from that gift of life.

God does not just give us food. Food has flavor. Chocolate, coffee, ice creme, pork ribs, spicy food, sour candy, butter and salt are some of the many blessings of food. God does not just give; He gives with a blessing. So many of us not only have a roof over our head, but have a pretty nice dwelling. We have computers, smart phones and all sorts of technology. Even if we do not have these things, God gave us a sense of humor. The ability to laugh and enjoy life. He gave us smiles to give and receive. He gave us the ability to hug and care for each other. These are things no money can really buy. These are the things that give life meaning and depth.

But without the blessing of life, how can we receive any of these gifts? Without the gift of life, we would never know the people behind those smiles, hugs and laughs… and maybe a few giggles. Life brings so much hope. When a person looks at a little baby, there is such wonder of what possibilities there are in that one 14-inch package of life. It brings hope to every soul to behold. It is something that should be cherished by all. Something so precious should be protected by all.

Abortion has stolen the hope out of so many children, mothers and fathers. A child is a sign of hope and meaning. It is immoral to take that away from anybody. Unfortunately, many people seem to think it is a right to have an abortion. They seem to think abortion is a way to be able to have a living. It is not giving hope to a woman when we tell her that she needs to have an abortion because she is too poor, single, or not educated enough. It is not a message of hope when we tell her that there is no way she can do it anyways. Hope is something that raises you up. It calls us to dream the impossible and work for it. It is a core Christian value. That is why as Catholics, we are all called to be pro-life. This is without exception.

But life issues are not just Catholic or a religious value. It is common sense. A society that kills its own innocence cannot stand. Human justice demands it. By its very nature, abortion will tear apart society. It treats life as an object, like some thing to be thrown away as Pope Francis talks about when he comments on this “throw away culture.” No Catholic can be in good standing of the Catholic Church or with Jesus Himself and support abortion. The Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church states, “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication” (Can 1398). This means that by the very act of doing it, they are excommunicated from the Church. Nobody can say that the Catholic Church will ever be ok with it. With this in mind, nobody can say that when we come to the end of our life here on earth, we think Jesus would be ok with the taking of a human life that He created.

He created that life to bring hope. There is a purpose for that life, though we may not understand it. As a society, we have lost that hope, and too many Catholics have fallen from this hope. Hope and life always raises us up. It calls us to be courageous and to do the impossible. I hope that we respond to that calling for the end of the despair that abortion preys on. We are a people of hope. We are a people of faith. We are a people of great love. Are we going to love these babies enough so that they can experience the blessings of life? Are we going to love the women who are contemplating abortion, so that they can experience the blessings of a gift of life in them? Are we going to love the fathers enough, so that they can experience the blessings of fatherhood? It is too much of a blessing not to share.

Father Barr