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And after the devil was cast out, the dumb man spoke, and the multitudes wondered, saying: Never was the like seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, by the prince of devils he casteth out devils. And Jesus went about all the cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease, and every infirmity. And seeing the multitudes he had compassion on them: because they were distressed and lying like sheep that have no shepherd. Then he said to his disciples: The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest. (Matthew 10:32–38)
And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. … But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. … The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents and put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. (Matthew 10:1, 10:17, 10:21–22)
And fear ye not them that kill the body and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
I thought of the admonition of Christ, last quoted above, this weekend as I pondered the challenge of Catholics and other staunch pro-lifers who seem oblivious to the profound connection between the force of evil that promotes the so-called "right" of abortion, on the one hand, and on the other the so-called "right" of homosexuals to marry. People who consent to be the hosts and representatives of this evil promote both these specious rights as the sine qua non of human freedom. They demand tolerance for both, claiming each to be an essential manifestation of compassionate love.
But according to the Gospel, the creation of all things, including humankind, is the archetype of love, which benevolence wills all that contributes to the well-being of the beloved. It is also the paradigm of freedom — for what is more freely given than that which comes of itself, altogether unbidden, from the activity of One Whom no pre-existing order can compel, intimidate or constrain? As the Word through Whom all things are made, Christ epitomizes freedom of guide, acting of itself for the love of all of God's creations — freely given, before there was yet one of them. God loved, therefore, we are.
So it is, as Christ himself makes plain: Anyone who means to love as he loves must act, as he does, from no motive but the love of God. For God's willingness to love is His very being in Creation. With love He extends Himself continuously, in and through His Holy Spirit, to inform and preserve every way of being His love calls upon itself to foresee, inform and perpetuate according to that insight, yet and still unknown or seen by any other.
Could this be the meaning of our secret name, by which God calls us up from nothing even before we are able to hear of it? Right now, this seems impossible for us to understand, yet the fact that we are here proves that it is not beyond being understood. And insofar as Christ represents that understanding by his instruction, and by following his example, we can knowledgeably act to share his love with one another. But if love is the pure will that all should be as God (foreseeing all) intends, how can it be loving to reject His intention, disregarding the spirit that bids us welcome it ecstatically, as God's extension of our very selves? Far from being an expression of compassionate love, abortion is the will utterly to reject God's love, suppressing that which, in procreation, He absolutely means for us to be.
To most people who profess to be pro-life, this last observation is easily understandable because they live with and by the knowledge (referring that word to conscience and to acting conscientiously) that makes it so. But in the act of abortion, what is to be most feared? Is it the bodily slaughter of the child, or surrender to the vile spirit that would have it so? What is that spirit if not the will to sunder what God has joined together — the Spirit with the Dust, so that together they become, as Adam and Eve were first supposed to be, the distinct expression of God's love, made one by His will. (Genesis 5:2 — "He created them male and female; blessed them: and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.")
Now, I ask anyone who professes to be pro-life, please ponder this: What abortion sunders in the flesh, slaughtering the body of the nascent child, the homosexual act turns away from entirely. It treats as a solitary one what is, by God's will, two in one. It thereby denies and suppresses the third one, the already borne by God, and conveyed by His Spirit. Though His Word of Creation He foresaw, in all particulars, the gift of love He has already foreordained. And once, by their ecstatic union, man and woman embrace the conception God already had in mind, they too have already given themselves to another, as God gave Himself to us, even before the world He fashioned, in the womb of time.
What abortion suppresses in bodily form, the concept of so-called homosexual marriage suppresses as a spiritual belonging, a pearl without price, already informed and preserved by the will of God. In the very concept of their being, God brings man and woman together, as such, to be as one. Yet homosexual relations, turn them away from one another. They, therefore, tear apart what God has joined together. Like the fruit of a bad tree, homosexual marriage is the fruit of the refusal to accept God's concept of our nature, the Spiritual seed of God's gift of our life; God's love of our being here — two as one, distinguished yet made one again, in the eye of His Creation.
But to disrespect God's love in this way is to reject Christ, who is God and Man, living almost as one. Christ represents to us, and even unto death itself, the imperishably renewable energy of God's making, the love that, in the time of His Creation, fills every second of all being to the brim and overflowing, so that what is in one may yet still be when billions have passed, even when time itself has perished.
Those who destroy the body by abortion are, if Christ speaks true, not the only ones to fear. Rather, look for the one who involves body and soul in destruction. Who is that one? We think of God, though God's will favored (and still does) the act of Creation by which He calls our lives into existence. We think of His adversary, the lying evil one whose arts distort some ornaments of God's Creation (like bodily pleasure and self-satisfaction) into deadly snares, luring us, body and soul, toward perdition. But with the Word of God within us and the life of Christ before our eyes, do we not have a choice of blessings and curses? Is it not revealed to us by seeing with Christ's eyes, eyes that we may use once our hearts have recognized His presence and our heart's desire impels us to take him in?
Christ shared with His disciples His power over unclean spirits and physical infirmities. In like fashion, doesn't he offer to us, if we will have him, the power to turn again to God and say with all His heart (now ours as well): "Not my will but Thine be done"? We have the power, by admitting Christ, to save our lives. But by that same truth, if we neglect to let Him in, are we not the matter and makers of our own destruction — forever lost because we will not admit that we are found only in Him?
If this be so, which offense involves the sin against the God's Holy Spirit — the one that rejects the body Christ took on for us, in life and death? Or the one that, in conception, rejects the Spirit of God's intention for our unity, which intention ought to inform the act by which our mortal body is brought to life, under God, so as to seek and find communion with Him again, in Jesus? This rejection of the Spirit brings to mind Christ's warning against the unforgivable offense (Mark 3:28–30). Is it consistent with this admonition to treat the evil that assaults the body as a material object as somehow more urgent than the evil that assaults the Spirit of God's wholesome love for us, in light of which the body is properly understood and employed? In doing so, do we faithfully represent Christ's Gospel of salvation? Or are we consigning ourselves and those we fail truthfully to instruct, to a fate beyond forgiveness, one that words cannot inadequately to convey?