In two separate incidents this past week, newborn babies were brutally murdered by their own parents in India. In both cases, the babies escaped abortion but ended up facing similar violence after being born. Clearly, if human life is not respected inside the womb from the beginning, it can more easily be devalued immediately after birth […]
On February 2017 the Supreme Court of India allowed a mumbai woman to abort her 24 weeks child while the present Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 of India allows abortion only up to 20 weeks. Long story short. The couple from mumbai have approached the courts to abort their 23 week old unborn child. We do not have the information if the child was boy or girl, but let’s name the child Hope, since the baby in this mother’s womb courageously faced the martyrdom in the face of rejection, manipulation, deception, lie and hopelessness of not just the parents and the family and media but the entire justice system of the country- INDIA. The couple had been married only a year and Hope is their first child. However they seemed to have a troubling situation in the pregnancy. It’s said that Hope (the baby in the womb) was diagnosed with Bilateral Renal Agenesis/ Potters Syndrome and anhydromnois (doctor’s report on Hope) in lay man’s terms – the mother had low amniotic fluid which results in complications in baby’s growth in-utero and one such complication is potters syndrome.
Now, does all children with Potter’s syndrome die before birth? No. Does all women who have low amniotic fluid do not have a successful pregnancy? No. Is there a chance for the baby’s survival after birth? Absolutely. Can the mother be treated to have a positive pregnancy experience? Absolutely. There’s always a huge space where reason and logic has it’s limitation and things cannot be explained by ‘medicine’ and science alone and incidents happen defying popular opinions. That’s called Miracle. But it’s mind boggling to see that the medical panel appointed by Supreme Court of India said that the woman with anhydromnios is endangering her life by continuing the pregnancy and the baby with Potters Syndrome has no chance of long term survival after birth. Lie! it’s a lie. there are cases where babies with Potter’s syndrome had lived outside womb, undergoing kidney transplant and living life and loving others. So what is long term survival according to the doctors panel appointed by Supreme Court? Will they decide in future only those baby who can live long should be allowed to be born? Are they making criterion for other people’s lives?
Everyone who is born in this earth has to face some risk. disease, accident, natural/man made disaster, just about anything and everything. But should we kill ourselves because of the possible risks we might face in life or hope to live the days in love? While there are similar cases where Abortion was recommended but the mother chose to go ahead with hope and courage being witness to the ‘sacrificial love’, the panel of doctors and the Justice system of India rather dealt with this child in a trashy manner. There was no respect for human life, nobody brought up the aspect of the Right to Life of the child, no one argued about prenatal or perinatal hospice as a humane choice or any other dignified approach in dealing with this issue. Everyone were so quick to kill the child. What kind of society have we become? By this case the Supreme Court of India has shown people that a few people will decide who should live and who shouldn’t and it’s ok to kill a baby with disability therefore encouraging discrimination against people with disabilities. The Supreme Court of India is legitimizing “Eugenics”. Shameful !
We had a choice here. To be hopeful, to surround the family with love and prayers, and make the child in womb feel loved, to teach the society of the value of ‘unconditional love’. At least when things go otherwise, the child would know that his or her mother and father fought for him/her, loved him/her and would continue to love in eternity. But to deal with this condition as if the child is unwanted, or some kind of trash is to teach the society “the survival of fittest”. Today they eliminate this poor little baby on accounts of disability, tomorrow they’ll eliminate you and me on the criterion they fix as they like. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta says : “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion”.
If you believe in “Karma” then you should expect to be treated like trash when you reach the stage where you would go dependent on someone else to take care of you. The karma of abortion settled in same life is Euthanasia. If you kill your child on accounts of disability, dependency, inconvenience well the same will be measured for you in the coming years. That’s how things work in the drama of life. India will learn her lesson the hard way: that, the Right to Life is a God given right, bestowed on every human life, not a right given by State. She will open her eyes when the Fertility Replacement level of the nation dips down to 2.0. That’s not quite far. You reap what you sow.
“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion”.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
News Articles dealing with the above discussed case :
“This old man stands here every day, every single day for years….”
“Oh where’s he? there he is…he’s been here for years…”
“He’s around here for a very long time, he comes everyday and stands here . ..”
These are the conversations I overheard as I stood by the door next to the Brooklyn’s largest Abortion Clinic where babies are killed up to six months for reasons varying from ignorance to arrogance. Although skeptical and reluctant I decided to go with this ‘old man’ because I was more than curious to know how a person could be ‘on the streets’ for almost 50 years taking up the spitting and cursing and ridicules and in return offers help and joyful smile. Waiting at 14 De kalb, I was taken aback by what I saw. I couldn’t keep it to myself and wanted others to see it.
Not because they do not know him. The entire Pro Life movement in Continental US knows him. But not my generation, the generation that is closed within self, faking introversion, and obsessed with social media. This generation needs to know that one man’s answering to God’s call changes the entire course of events. On what basis do I say that?
Monsignor left the Operation Rescue, the rescue way of defending life, blocking doors and protesting in front of clinics in 1960’s answering God’s call to take up the meek way, bringing in the meekest Blessed Mother into the play, handing over Rosaries to women who go for abortion and asking them to consider their choice, joining with the long patient suffering of God as he usually calls it, making the place the Modern Day Calvary. And what was the outcome? not just the shutting down of abortion clinics by which thousands of babies, mothers and fathers were saved in body and soul. But the conversion of heart. And how long has this been going on? Coming 2017 will be his 50 years in the streets going clinic after clinic praying and offering help, encouraging people to pray and sacrifice, doing vigil after vigil bring God’s presence into the most hopeless haunted places of the world – the abortion clinics.
My generation is an ‘instant’ generation. Everything is based on instant gratification. From food to nuptial union, Money to fame. Pleasure, pain, joy, sorrow,…they are collectively simulated to that instant style. That’s one of the reasons God seems alien to them these days. And since God Himself is alien, there’s no hope, no meaning, no happiness, no unity, no love. The generation polluted of anxiety, noise and chaos. And to this generation I wanted to show what Jesus looked like if He was here today. Because even Pro Lifers of the present generation want instant response to their efforts. They get satisfied with instant results, they get excited with instant reactions. But there’s something about this priest who used to spend 6 hrs in the streets, battling cancer past 20 years and still in the streets last 4 decades. That’s the participation in the long patient suffering of God and men. Not many times we find the Director or founder of cross continental organizations in the streets and being accessible to people of humble standards.
His methods are radical. His message is hard to accept. It echoes the one taught 2000 years ago. The infamous message of “Love”.
When the video was posted in Facebook, people started pouring in, women confessing their abortions, others comforting them and reminding them of God’s mercy and unconditional love, people encouraging one another to spread the message of Hope, Love and Forgiveness. The response to the video startled me personally in facing the massive wounded population yearning for the message of love, the crowd yearning for God. People were encouraged to be present prayerfully in love in front of the clinics to bear the image of Christ, to be heroic Christians. The message was widely accepted with more than 53,000 views.
And this post should add on to the article posted on August 13, 2015 What a single person can do? The answer : Can capture such moments of hope and spread the message of love.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. – Mathew: 9:36
I remember during my first year of post graduation I felt helpless in an argument with a classmate on the existence of God and Jesus as a person and could do nothing but lose myself in the inability to prove my faith. I felt so beaten up with each question that was thrown against me by my own best friend who almost made me weak and pathetic and made me feel like some mindless, sick, superstitious, primitive who believes in something for no reason. But deep down in my heart I couldn’t just give in to the fact that life is meaningless and we all came from apes and we go nowhere. I searched for God. Even with all catechism and Mass and Sacraments I never felt this need met. Isn’t this a universal search? May be the need to meet God, to know Him personally are disguised or misled into a search for things and people? Are those unquenchable desire for possessions, honor, attention and everything are some kind of misplaced affection? Because I look at my overflowing wardrobe and feel is this the result of some misplaced affection? The Catechism of the Catholic Church says “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.” And this search is the essence of today’s liturgical celebration.
I should confess I stole the title from Aletia whose article also discusses on the same question: Where is Christ? The essence of Epiphany is this question revolving around the entire event of man going in search of God who indeed came for man and the nature of this search. Well the search doesn’t seem all comfy and exciting. The very first thing that the wise men face in this search for God is the call to make an unexpected journey into a foreign space. God cannot be found amidst comfort. The opportunity to encounter Him often comes disguised in the toughest situations- like an invitation to spend New Year with in-laws or in front of abortion clinics or the job situations where you are stuck between office politics and loving the neighbor or in the subway. The chance to encounter Him comes with a challenge. Most often unrecognizable often to be missed. In the places you don’t expect and don’t want to. But it’s up to us to say yes or no. Say yes, face the pain and move on like the Magi or say no and take no risk at all. But the Epiphany proves the risk is worth it. St Augustine says “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”
So where do we begin this search for Christ in this modern world? Again another challenge,another disguise. You can never find him if you are going to go around looking for Him with a picture in your head. The Magi were expecting to see a royal child because they were in search of a King. They almost lost Him however they found the star once they left King Herod. An unexpected twist and further journey into the unknown. Yet they kept going. They did lose track and had to get back in. They had moments of great confusion because nobody in Jerusalem understood who they were searching for. The wise men were really wise men which had them risk being misunderstood too. They stood out from crowd. Going to go in search of a personal encounter with God? then be ready to feel lonely, threatened, confused, tired, even giving-up, and risk losing everything.
The truth is, you might find Him in the most unlikely places but most of all in the most unlikely persons. It could be the drunkard in the road, the man who begs in subway, or your friend who is pro-choice or the child who’s inside mothers womb begging to live or even the Mother herself. It could be even those with whom you try to keep yourself far away. Those hurt, wounded, bandaged relationships that are so fragile to handle, those whom we consider major annoyance, those who might get into our nerves, those we like to forget or even want to intimidate, those who try to put us down. It could be any one of them or even all of them.
St.Francis of Assisi disliked lepers however one day when he overcame his fears and hugged one of them and walked away, it turned out to be Jesus. St.Martin had found a beggar in street and when he shared his cloak that night Jesus came in his dreams wearing the same cloak and thanked him for it. Even on the road to Emmaus the disciples did not recognize Jesus because they were holding a different picture of resurrection in their mind. Break the mental images and we can recognize Him wherever He manifests.
Ultimately the truth is “Everyone you meet is Jesus in disguise.”(Bl.Mother Teresa ) and the Epiphany is about undertaking the journey into unknown of recognizing Him. The event has a happy ending. The next time you think you don’t like someone or want to avoid something think twice. It could be an Epiphany.