Sunday, October 3, 2010


I spoke this morning in the homily (especially the one primarily aimed at our young people being formally enrolled as candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation) about wanting to be pro-life in its fullest dimensions. I mentioned that I wanted less to condemn the “Culture of Death” and more affirm the “Gospel of Life.” What do I mean by “fullest dimensions”?

I want to affirm the fundamental dignity of the human person in ALL aspects of our existence: I want to celebrate and support and defend unborn babies and infants, children and teens and young adults and mature adults, parents and grandparents. I want to affirm those in ICU units or in nursing homes, in prisons (even on death row) or in war zones (even those we consider the “enemy”). I want to embrace those that are physically or mentally or emotionally challenged; I want to say YES to them all—we are ALL children of God, ALL brothers and sisters (even when we behave like cats and dogs with each other).

But along with life itself, I want to celebrate and affirm those human activities that are life-giving in and of themselves: literature and music, art and architecture, good food and good drink, generosity of spirit in energy and finances. I want to enjoy the blessings of forgiveness and friendship and love, of prayer and adoration, of praise and worship. In short, even though mixed in with sin, I want to say YES to all that can be found within the Church and its long history. There is much to be grateful for here, and to rejoice in (as well as to repent of, it is true).

To enjoy all of this is, for me, truly to be pro-LIFE. It means presenting a vision that attracts to Truth/Beauty/Good rather than condemns those we think are too far away. I want to be part of doing what Mother Teresa called "something beautiful for God." Surely to celebrate life means to be joyful people are attractive to others.

Who wants to be pro-LIFE with me in this way?
Enjoy this recording of the 16th century English composer Thomas Tallis' anthem "If Ye Love Me," which coincidentally was the first anthem I ever sang in the choir of my Oxford College, Oriel, during Evensong when I was a student there.






  2. I cannot imagine for even a split second, to place in the same category the death/murder/dismemberment of an innocent unborn/preborn child to one that has committed of his/her own free will a murder. It is easiest and most convenient to see only the beauty and attractive in this world, but we cannot forget, however uncomfortable, and inconvenient, difficult, and unattractive, the battle that must be fought against the dark forces lurking among us seeking the destruction of souls .
    Lisa Adams

  3. All the original blog is portraying is the epitome of God's LOVE for all of his creation - good and evil - awaiting a reconciliation for many and an overall burst of JOY when this is achieved. The fruits of man's creativity are there and don't negate the impact of evil ever. And while we do penance and pray for compassion and justice, we can also be aware of the creative sanity of individuals which co-exists with the evils of abortion, since we are imbued with darkness and light - a free choice.

  4. There is an overriding importance of defending the most vulnerable right now: the child in the womb. Of course one soul is not more valuable than another, no matter how broken that soul is. The sheer amount of slaughter occurring right now to all of us (1/3 of our population) is overwhelming to many people, and heightens sadness and frustrations. I appreciated the article, because it's focus was to "live" prolife. Not to be dower, or cynical, but to love art, to work for the protection of ALL those in danger of planned and executed death, especially those who are most in danger!

  5. All souls are infinitely valuable, though, whether in the womb, or outside the womb. We should do our best to protect all life.
    However, we shoud keep in mind that the church does teach:

    "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
    “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles,” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger July, 2004.

  6. I don't have fancy "five dollar words" to impress people with my knowledge, however I was present at that homily and can say that loving art and music is not the point. The point rather is to love all lives including your own!

  7. No, no, I wasn't try to impress anyone, just help those who read the comments to understand one of the commenter's frustrations.

    I agree with you, anonymous! To me, this was a precious part of what we believe, and I completely agree with this beautiful expression of it! :)

  8. What will we say when we meet our Creator and are asked to give an account of our actions/inactions? That We decided to have a piece of cake, draw a picture and sing a song. I hope to say, "I passionately wanted to help save your most innocent, your most vulnerable, your helpless, but was met with incredibly unbelievable lukewarmness."

  9. Part of fighting for those who are most vulnerable is to remember and promote beautiful expressions of life, joy, holiness, in art, music and writing. In our attempt to "rescue those being dragged to death," we shouldn't forget those who are alive! God has given us so many beautiful gifts to help us grow, and we should share and promote these gifts and talents. It all leads to the truth that life is beautiful...we must help each other live this every day! I think if we all followed Father's sermon here, there would be much less abuse of life in general, because we would appreciate every life and encourage every gift and talent to the fullest. :)