Abraham and a March-on-Washington Partnership

us-capitolGod established His alliance with Abraham and promised a wonderful future. Abraham’s faith in that future makes him our father in faith. He willingly left behind everything that was familiar to him, in order to obey God.

Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ. The Messiah fulfilled the promises God had made so many centuries before.

So: On the one hand, Abraham’s all-consuming faith, which freed him to pursue the mysterious future God had prepared. On the other hand, the reward of that faith.

Now, what is it? The reward of faith? What can we call it, other than life? The day of Christ = the day of Life. Not toilsome life as we know it now—ephemeral, fleeting, dangerous, burdened by one anxious care after another. No. The life of Christ crucified and risen is life liberated from all these diminishments. Life primordial; life full of promise; endlessly youthful life.

Which brings us to: the youthful spokespeople for this Saturday’s “March for Our Lives.” They paint an evocative picture in their speeches. Where would the lost friends and classmates be now, had they lived?

The students killed in Florida last month would be preparing for mid-term exams. The little children killed in Connecticut in 2012 would be in middle-school. The high-schoolers killed in Colorado back in 1999 would be parents themselves, with their own children in elementary or middle school.

unbornLife. A future. Doesn’t it seem utterly obvious that this March-for-Our-Lives rhetoric could also take into account the other young victims of unjust violence—the little ones who never lived to see the light of day at all?

I myself am just old enough not to have to number the classmates and confreres that I might have had. I was already 1½ by the time Roe v. Wade came down.

But everyone younger than me has to live with the Roe-v.-Wade ghosts. The victims of violence who might have been childhood friends, or co-workers in the first job, or the Mr. or Mrs. Right that you could never find.

Christ came to reward faith with life. Our Gospel is the Gospel of Life. Can’t we imagine a better day, if all the true advocates of life could unite? If we could stand up together for all the innocent victims of violence that could have–and should have–lived to see the sun rise this morning?

Nature, Sterility, and How Love Really Wins

Rebecca at the Well Pellegrini
Rebecca at the Well by Pellegrini

Abraham, our father. He had a son, Isaac, as we read at Holy Mass today. Bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and of his beloved wife Sarah. By the miracle of human nature.

The fundamental theme of our Holy Father’s encyclical letter is: Everything is inter-connected. God’s Wisdom permeates. The Creator wills the harmony of the cosmos, and He has endowed all His creatures with a part to play in the beautiful symphony, which sounds to His undying glory.

The word we have for the wise ordering of each part of creation: Nature. All creatures have a ‘nature.’ The things that exist are not just atoms in a random cloud. They are atoms united according to the genius of God. That genius has given us creatures a ‘nature,’ a fruitful path to follow.

Abraham never claimed to be perfect. But he followed one guiding light: the fruitful path laid before Him by God. When Isaac came of age, Abraham had one preoccupation: May my son, too, follow the path indicated by God.

Pope Francis pulls no punches in his encyclical. The human race faces a dire crisis. Because we have departed from that path. We have put ourselves in God’s place. The result? Sterility.

us_supreme_courtExtinction of species. Desertification of land. Hopeless poverty for millions. Exploitation of the weak, because the masters of the machines have no real vigor of their own.

I mean no offense by pointing out the following. Even a gay person–at least one who lives in something other than an utter fantasy world–would have to acknowledge it. Nothing could be more fundamentally sterile than the idea of ‘gay marriage.’ The slogans have it that today’s Supreme-Court ruling means that ‘love wins.’ But, actually, sterility won.

The oxymoron of ‘gay marriage,’ however, is not the only fundamentally sterile thing. It still seems like a silly sideshow, to be honest with you, from where I’m standing. Maybe I’ll go to jail someday for refusing to perform a ‘gay wedding,’ but I regard that as the least of my worries. Divorce, abortion, artificial contraception, wage slavery. Godless hopelessness. These things do the real damage. The act of sodomy is a fundamentally hopeless act, to be sure. But so is looking at pornography, or littering. And those sins are a lot more common.

We have to choose. We have to choose to walk with Pope Francis, and with St. Francis, and with Christ–poor, chaste, and obedient to the Father.

The path of what is beautifully natural always lies before us. We just have to kneel down before God, in order to keep our eyes fixed upon it.