Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!
Today, I want to write briefly about one of the most polarizing political, social, cultural, however you want to classify it, topics of our era: abortion. Sometimes, it seems like either you're for or against it. If you say you are pro-choice, then those on the other side label you a baby killer. If you're pro-life, your an inconsiderate, backwards thinking evangelical Christian or something. I hate to sound blunt, but this type of polarization, this black and white ideology seems pervasive in our society---especially in our country.
As a seminarian for the Catholic Church, as much as politics excites me, I am beginning to understand that, although I have a deep seeded interest in the political game, I don't think it is necessarily my place to try and wow people with my own political opinions. In reality, I don't know nearly enough about the complexities of the political system to really throw two cents in that would actually be worth a full two cents. That is, whatever your political beliefs, if you heard me try and seriously defend what I think, I fear that you'd want a bit of a refund.
Also, in this blog, I know that at times I have spoken in a voice that a few might deem too political for someone affiliated with the Catholic Church. I respect the opinion of those who feel that way, but I also feel that there is a time and place to properly fuse religion and politics. Many prominent theologians consider the proclamation of the gospel by Jesus, bringing the Word to flesh, preaching a Kingdom here on Earth to be an intricate connection of religion and politics.
I do believe that, to try and make an environment where all feel truly welcome in the Catholic Church, those people considering some form of ministry within the church (myself included) need to present our opinions and the opinion of the church in a way that always seeks to pastorally care for those who feel cast out of society for whatever reason.
Today, I want to ask all of those members of the Catholic Church to continue to support life by nurturing all life on this earth and thereby bringing the kingdom of God to the here and the now. If we truly help build a society where all feel that an intricate part of a loving community, where the hungry are fed, the weak are made strong, the sinners are shown the beauty of sainthood, the violent ground becomes a fully Holy and sacred place, then life will become not a choice, but a process---and an everlasting process at that.
A most organic way to look at protecting life is to protect life at all stages and under all circumstances. While this includes encouraging young mothers-to-be to give birth to the child of God inside of them and creating communities where they feel nurtured and supported and confident that their child can grow and develop and live a peaceful, love-filled life, it also means working patiently and courageously to stop the institutions and individuals that fall into the trap of considering war the only way out. Moreover, it calls on us as individuals and communities to take care of loved ones suffering and near death, to bring about hope and love in times of trial.
Once we realize that the kingdom of God is intimately at hand, we may come to ponder our existence in a totally new, organic, life-supportive manner. We don't have all the answers, don't know all the truths, don't understand all the wrongs in our world. But what we can do is have faith and pray that this world becomes more sustainable and supporting of all people for all generations. What we can do is live life to the best of our ability, spreading joy and peace and harmony as individuals within collective and compassionate communities.
On a more concrete level today, January 22, 2009, as we look back in history to January 22, 1973 and the Roe vs. Wade decision that has since split our country rather decisively into two factions: pro-life vs. pro-choice, I call on all people to look deep within, find the Spirit moving within your hearts, and ask God to stir your heart and allow you to wrestle with all that this issue means to you and to our entire country. It is not an easy thing to do. I myself find it very, very difficult to talk about abortion in most circles. But, in the end, I think we need to listen to our heart, to have compassion, understanding, faith and hope in the future.
Here is a short, short prayer I wrote for both members of the church and those who do not necessarily affiliate themselves with church. Feel free to agree or oppose my words. Realize that I, like you, am simply seeking to understand more fully. May we all work together to bring about a nurturing, life-giving, life-loving society.
A Prayer to Nurture All Life:
I pray that, through the love and support and prayers of community, all expecting mothers will have the strength and courage to bring a child of God into this world.
Let us pray for all men, that they may have the courage and strength to be fathers to their children.
May we work together to provide a kingdom on earth that nourishes and sustains and values all life.
May our society distribute goods and services to young mothers and fathers that will enable them to raise healthy, loving, spiritual, peaceful children.
I hope that this post did not offend anyone in any way. This is simply my way of struggling with a very difficult issue in our life. I pray for continued wisdom and guidance from the Spirit, for continued Love from God and others, so that I may spread joy to all who come along my path.
peace and blessings to all my friends!
your friend bob.