Nature Pushes Back

GamalielThe rabbi Gamaliel wisely counseled restraint, for the sake of discerning God’s will. Go gently. Let the Lord show His designs by how things unfold.

When I watched the news late Tuesday evening, a painful memory came flooding back into my mind.

Let me warn you now, we have to tackle come unpleasant facts today, to try to obey Gamaliel’s wise counsel.

One summer morning , back when I was still a layman, I was praying the Rosary in front of the Planned Parenthood abortuary at 16th and L Streets, N.W., Washington. A distraught young woman emerged from the building and began to talk to me about the ordeal in which she was involved.

This young lady had brought a friend for an abortion, and they botched it. The baby could not survive. But in the meantime her friend was in serious danger health-wise. They told the mother that she would have to go to a hospital and await an eventual stillbirth.

The young woman talking to me had suddenly come to realize: Abortion is something we are not meant to do. It is not swift and neat and simple. It is ugly and messy and unpredictable. The force of nature itself presses back at you.

Planned Parenthood 16th StI remembered that morning when I heard the news about the cruel “execution” that occurred Tuesday evening in Oklahoma. Granted, this man had committed a crime that deserved the severest punishment. But doesn’t this botched execution show us the same lesson that the young lady learned at 16th and L that morning—that this simply is not meant to be?

As the Bishop of Oklahoma City put it: “The execution of Clayton Lockett really highlights the brutality of the death penalty, and I hope it leads us to consider whether we should adopt a moratorium on the death penalty or even abolish it altogether.”

People try to defend abortion on all kinds of airy, theoretical grounds, like a woman’s “rights.” But when we confront what abortion actually involves, when we see how hard nature herself pushes back, we can’t help but see: God simply does not will this. We are obviously violating His will.

Same thing goes for lethal injection and all the other forms of the death penalty.

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