Javascript Redirect

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Protecting the Sanctity of All Life: A movement for life

Is ecology a life issue? Does it fit among conversations about abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia?

These questions are the undercurrent of a global conversation about what it means to be human, to be alive, and to be a protector of life. And while some have been eager to connect ecology with traditional pro-life issues, others resist.

But one important voice in particular has sought to weave ecology into traditional pro-life issues. As any reader of this blog knows (just look at the header), Pope Benedict XVI has built on his predecessor’s eco-foundation and taken the subjects of natural and human ecology to new heights.

If only more of us would follow him.

But in time—sooner and not later—the eco-implications of traditional pro-life issues and the life implications of ecology will intertwine into a cultural strand of DNA that will reconfigure our public discourse and, thus, force the very real choice between life and death.

It’s already beginning: As contraceptives and abortifacients grow in popularity and become mandated by governments, we're learning of their effects on nature. We are also learning of how pesticides are harming bee populations—which threatens our food supply; we are finding links between our chemicals and growing levels of autism; we’re finding toxins in garden supplies; we’re projecting dangerous alterations to our oceans’ chemistry, threatening shellfish and other creatures that swim the depths. All in all, it’s becoming more and more difficult to pretend that we’re not poisoning our world and ourselves.

Yes, sooner and not later, we as a race, as cultures, as nations—as individuals—will come face to face with a choice. Life or death. This was the revelation to the Nation of Israel in its earliest days. It is the choice that echoes onwards in early Christian texts—both the canonical scriptures and other texts like the Didache.

Indeed, Christianity offers the fullness of this encounter with a choice between life and death, because in Christianity we encounter a Person—one Who has defeated death and offers life. If only we follow Him.

Thus, for the Catholic ecologist—and all our Christian sisters and brothers who seek the good of the Earth because they seek the good of life—the answer to the dizzying amounts of death around us is Christ.

To bring this prophetic news to a dying world, Christians of good will must band together and preach the good news of creation, of life, and of the source of both—God.

This is where PSALM comes in: Protecting the Sanctity of All Life Movement. It’s a small group at present, but it will grow and it must. The unity of life requires it and a healthy future for our race demands it.

More information on PSALM will be coming. But for now, if you’d like to know more, you can email and we’ll put you in touch with others that seek to keep ecology centered where it—where all life—belongs: in Christ.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Motherhood—on Earth and in Heaven

May 2012

May is the month of mothers. Catholics devote it to our Blessed Mother and on the second Sunday we join everyone else to celebrate Mother’s Day. It would be fitting, then, to also acknowledge Earth—our elemental mother, the physical foundation that provides our air, food, and water. Each of these three mothers in their own way makes life possible in the fullest physical and spiritual notions of what it means to be human.

During one of the few winter storms this past winter, I met a colleague after a pro-life Mass. He told me about his mom’s passing and the care that she required while ill, which he dutifully and lovingly provided. He spoke of the faith that they shared, especially at their final farewells.

The death of mothers and grandmothers—as well as their illnesses and decline—are painful times for the children that they conceived, carried, and cared for. In this and so many other ways, motherhood transcends cultures, ideologies, and incomes. Motherhood binds humanity. And so in this month of motherhood, we must examine our relations with our heavenly, earthly, and elemental mothers and, in every way possible, be attentive children—as the Fourth Commandment requires and my colleague exemplified.

We must be sons and daughters that care for our human mothers and fight for their lives when they become entangled in an increasingly complex medical industry. We must not succumb to the growing wave of “caring” euthanasia that is sweeping the Western world. We must protect all life, especially the women that said yes to it in the first place. We must passionately champion and celebrate the vocation and gift of motherhood in ways that challenge others to do likewise.

We must also care for creation—for Mother Earth, a term that to some may seem dripping with paganism, but really, given what creation offers the human person, the term just makes sense. And so we must do the things that good daughters and sons do: Appreciate creation’s divinely ordained, cosmic qualities that allow life to thrive while not taking more from our planet than is healthy; we must not alter ecosystems beyond what they can manage; we must not become a cancer within this fallen but still wondrous Eden.

And of course, to do all this, we Catholics must remain close to our Blessed Mother—Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Our individual and parish devotions in May are a celebration of humanity’s role in salvation history—of Mary’s great, selfless Yes to God. And certainly, this Yes continues throughout human history: Through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, lives have been changed and addictions soothed; cruel, atheist empires have fallen; cultures that committed human sacrifice have converted and knelt before the Cross of Christ; and countless children have been saved from abortionists through prayer and the conversion of many a moms’ heart.

And so for our moms—here or passed on—and for our planet’s ecological health (which dictates the possibility and quality of life for future generations) let us keep the motherly meaning of May always in our hearts as we pray, “O God, you willed that, at the message of an angel, your word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant to your suffering people, that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with you. Through the same Christ our Lord.”