By Judie Brown
To truly know and understand love is to truly know and understand Christ. Yet what happens when we lose sight of our faith and deny that love?
Over the past 43 years it has been my experience that few people actually personalize the human being in the womb. So it is appropriate that on Valentine’s Day we reintroduce ourselves to the unseen human person.
For many years, the word “issue” has obscured the fact that a pregnancy means that a mother and her preborn child exist together for a period of time until the child comes fully into the world and can be seen.
We pro-lifers often speak of this unseen person as a preborn child or a baby, or when being technical about it, a human embryo, human fetus, or human being. Of course each of these words describes someone who, for the nine-month term of a pregnancy, will not be “seen” by the outside world. The child’s mom and dad know he is there, but even they cannot see him without an ultrasound.
It is commonplace these days for most of us to pretend that there is no baby there, that a woman has a right to choose, and that in fact the act of abortion itself is a woman’s right. All of these loveless attitudes toward preborn babies add up to a callous disregard for the most vulnerable in our midst.
Sadly, the very same thing has happened to the Eucharistic Christ.
Catholics believe and know that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in the Holy Eucharist. We believe and know that each time we approach the priest, deacon, or Eucharistic minister, we will personally receive Christ into our hearts and souls.
We know that He is there. Yet we cannot see Him! It is on faith alone that we meet Him and encounter His physical presence miraculously there under the species of bread and wine. Just as the hidden human being in his mother’s womb is not seen but is truly there, so too Christ is not seen but is truly there in Holy Eucharist.
But tragically, He too is becoming an “issue,” and in the process He too is being depersonalized. Loving Christ has taken a back seat, and in some quarters it is politically correct to say “I can be pro-choice and Catholic.” We know that this language is a sham—a rhetorical deal made with the devil. Language is twisted to obfuscate reality, and desecration is perpetrated against the body of Christ while mutilation is perpetrated against the innocent preborn. Love for the person of Christ—and the baby who is His child—is dead.
How did we get to this point? Where is our faith? Where is our reason? Where is our zeal?
Writing about the Bishop’s Synod in 2015, Father Regis Scanlon observed that no discussion was conducted on the question of Canon 915 and the situation created by sinners who receive Communion when not in a state of grace. He suggested that not only is the Catholic Church a “Church struggling to be honest, but also a Church where many appear to be languishing in doubt about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and doubts about the possibility of eternal punishment.”
Love for the person of Christ is dead! Love for the gift of the child throughout pregnancy is dead—or dying.
Something is terribly wrong with this picture. One has to wonder if public opinion has become more important than protecting Christ and preborn children.
In an article for Celebrate Life Magazine in 1994, Father Eugene Keane wrote that if we wanted to witness the epitome of human selfishness and wickedness, we would only need to look at a picture of an aborted child. And if we wanted to witness the epitome of human generosity and love, we need only behold Christ on the cross.
How can anyone deny the incredible love of God whose only Son gave His life for us? And how can we deny this love by killing the most innocent among us, while dismissing the act as a “choice” or just another “issue”?
Politics is not the end game; choosing between heaven and hell is what this is all about.
The challenge we have before us is clear. We must, as Father John Hardon used to say, “recover the zeal and the spirit of the first century Christians.” We must be willing to do what they did and pay the price that they paid.
If you take no other action, resolve to always PERSONALIZE the human being in the womb and PERSONALIZE Christ who is in the Holy Eucharist.
Be evangelists for the truth so that true love for the unseen person once again becomes the norm.