“Couple turned down for mortgage after they had baby scan,” ran a headline in the Irish Independent by Charlie Weston.
“One mortgage expert reported a couple being turned down after the bank spotted in their financial records that they had a foetal scan carried out. The bank insisted this meant they were going to have a child – which would restrict their ability to repay a mortgage.”
Why did this bit of seemingly sound financial practice break my heart?
A couple have their hearts set on a house, they want a baby, the girl gets pregnant but a choice has to be made......
The baby is sacrificed for the mortgage.
What has become of us that our houses and our cars and careers are more important than our children? Why have we let ourselves get into the situation where both people in a home have to work to have a decent living? When did being a mother become something to be ashamed off?
What is it in the Irish psyche that has to go to extremes? When we drink we make pigs of ourselves, when we went on a spending spree we broke every bank in Europe and when the whole thing falls apart we blame someone else.
The saddest thing of all about abortion is that it is the women who want it. The young pregnant girl whose whole emotional and psychological state is altered the moment she becomes pregnant shall be pressurised into having an abortion because ‘we can’t afford to miss this house and we are getting the opportunity of a mortgage now, we may not get it again.’
Then on Thursday the news in the Free State came out that people were going around putting up posters with photos of politicians who supported the abortion act. The war is on.
On the one side you have the pro-death crusaders who want the new laws. On the other side you have the pro-life crusaders who reject the same laws. The battle lines are clearly drawn.
But if you are going on a crusade or into battle you have to have an enemy; you can’t have a crusade or battle without someone you want to fight with.
When did our neighbour who is misguided become our enemy?
The killing of our children is nothing new. The Didache (pronounced did-a-k) is the most important book you have never heard of; it is reckoned by many to be the oldest Christian text and was the basic teaching of the Apostles. It precedes the Gospels and the Letters of the New Testament.
This short book begins:
1:1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death! And there is a great difference between the two ways.
1:2 The way of life is this: First, you shall love God who made you. And second, love your neighbour as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you.
Then the Didache continues: (2.2) “you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn.”
People have always killed the unwanted child. The Romans ‘exposed’ them to the elements where they would freeze to death or be eaten by animals.
If you are old enough you shall remember the stories told by our parents of the times in the past when mothers would lie over on a baby and smother it and then say that it was an accident.
Catholic Ireland was never so Catholic....
Abortion shall do untold emotional, psychological and physical damage to the young women of the land and who is going to pick up the pieces?
It won’t be the secularists or the crusaders, one way or the other. The secularists shall say ‘You made your choice live with it. Sure, the guilt and shame you feel is only imposed by the religious zealots. It is not real.’ But the mother shall still feel the pain.
The killing of our young is unnatural but it has always happened. The pieces shall be picked up by the ordinary people who shall love their children, brothers, sisters or friends no matter what. That is the beauty of the human spirit; we can show true love.
Groups such as Rachel’s Vineyard shall become stronger in Ireland and each of us shall be confronted by an unpleasant reality; ‘we are not really a nice society. Children and the elderly can be disposed off willy nilly.’
Make no mistake about it, once we have abortion, the right to die and the right to dispose of the elderly shall soon follow. If a woman can choose to end the life of her child why can’t I choose to end my own life; and ‘I have the right to do so with dignity, with my family and friends around me, in nice clean clinical circumstances.’
Where is God in all of this, I hear you ask?
Over the years, this lie will take its toll. Mental illness, depression, anger and a hundred other emotions shall come to the fore.
And God shall speak quietly in their hearts, constantly calling them back to him so that he can heal them.
One thing we must keep to the front of our minds: we are never to judge anyone. It is never the place of one person to pass judgment on another. While it is right to say that an act is wrong, we can never condemn the person.
We must always keep in mind the old Catholic saying, “Hate the sin but love the sinner.”
When we begin to harshly judge those involved in abortion we add to the damage that is being done. The work that the ordinary people shall have to carry out is one of helping those damaged by abortion to be healed.
Over the next few decades, human life shall become exceedingly cheap. For those of us who respond to the quiet still voice that says, ‘this silent holocaust is wrong’ human life shall remain a gift from God to be treasured and cherished.
In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI called a child ‘God’s supreme gift to a couple.’ When we stop seeing pregnancy as a joy and gift and begin to see it as a disease then how do we understand a woman?
Pope Paul predicted that with the advent of contraception and abortion women would lose their dignity and come to be seen as objects. Who could possibly say that he is wrong?
People can’t live with a lie; eventually the truth of what we are has to come out. We cannot condemn anyone; each of us carries our own sin.
Ireland is uniting; north and south has finally joined in a way no one ever dreamed – abortion shall soon be available all over Ireland.
The availability of assisted suicide and the advent of euthanasia shall devalue the meaning of human life to one of necessity.
As broken families, broken women and an increasingly broken society come to the fore we will all be called upon to extend the spirit of forgiveness and hope to the poor people who suffer from the effects of abortion.
There is, deep down inside every person a place of goodness and love. How do I know? If you ask anyone ‘What do you want in life?’ the majority would respond, ‘love, happiness and peace’.
We can ignore our emotional problems most of the time but there always comes a point when someone we love dearly needs help and then we are shown for the person we really are.
Why did the Christian message catch on so quickly in ancient Rome?
It was precisely because human life was so cheap. We in the West have become immune to death. We call ourselves scientific and modern; we don’t need inconveniences like children and God to impede our lives.
A great man said, ‘show me your works and I’ll show you my faith’. Unfortunately, our society’s works today shows that we are self centred and self sufficient; we mock the idea of obedience to a higher authority. We claim the ‘right’ of dominion over ourselves and we want this self centred ‘right’ at once; “it is my body, the child can die.”
But we all know that this is wrong. What do we do?
The first thing we are going to have to do in the future is to show bucket loads of forgiveness. Forgiveness of the poor souls who shall sell their birthright for a vote and a few years in power; forgiveness of the misguided who believe they can kill the unborn without consequence.
But most of all we are going to have to love those poor unfortunates whose lives shall be destroyed by the new laws. We are going to have to show love and compassion and we are going to have to love hurt people back to wholeness.
It won’t be easy. In India they feed the aborted foetuses to the dogs; in America they snap the neck of an aborted child born alive to make sure it dies.
This is not nice but you may as well get ready; this shall become the norm and we know it. It is the experience of every country that brings in abortion. Ireland, north and south can never say that they did not know these things. They have happened everywhere.
These are not pleasant things to be talking about but they are the reality that the abortionists never mention.
For us Catholics this is not the time for a crusade, either for or against. It is the time for prayer and intercession.
Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and the supporters of the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast are not bad people; they are politicians afraid of the people and afraid to take the responsibility of leading.
But let us not judge them. We all have our own sins to worry about.
We all know abortion is wrong. We may try to deny it or to justify it by giving it medical terminology but deep down we know it is the killing of the unborn. And we know that by bringing it in we are inviting a terrible evil into the heart of our society. God forgive us.
In the future the people of Ireland shall be called upon to try to help heal the wound caused by this oncoming silent holocaust, and like we have done in this area with looking after those who have cancer, groups shall form to help those afflicted by abortion.
There are always enough people who respond to the call of God to help for something to be done. The Mass, the great healing sacrament of the Church, shall once again become important in people’s lives, for it is at the Mass that we meet the Risen Lord, and only he can heal hurts as deep as these.
As we enter this time of great social change let us start from a place of truth: Ireland was never the beautiful society we believed it to be. The murder of the hostages by the Free State in the early 20s is ample proof of this, the endemic corruption of all levels of society, north and south, is another.
But there have always been thousands of good people in Ireland, just the same as there have always been good people in every country and every age.
The challenge for us all shall be to help the people who are misguided and destroyed by these new laws.
I firmly believe that in the future we shall rise to the occasion. There is something good in the ordinary Irish person but sometimes it takes great tragedy to bring it out.
At the end of all of this, when Enda and Eamon are long since forgotten, there shall still be a church, there shall still be people willing to help others and God will still be God.
Or in the words of Julian of Norwich: “All is well, all manner of things are well and all manner of things shall be well.”
It’s just a pity so many children shall be denied life and so many people shall suffer in the meantime.
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