A Tiny Infant Puts Roe vs. Wade in Perspective
“Have mercy on Me and I will have mercy on you. Give Me hands and I will give you peace. The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.” These words of a small little Infant, now reverently known as the Infant of Prague, resonated in the heart of Father Cyril. Father Cyril of the Mother of God found the statue of the Divine Child in Our Lady of Victory Church in Prague in 1637. The source of the statue is unidentified, but when Father Cyril found the Infant, both of His hands were missing. In spite of a lack of funds, Father Cyril persevered and was given the money necessary to repair the Infant. Devotion to the holy Infant of Prague spread with great fervor, including among various saints, and many people experienced miracles. Today, thousands of people are devoted to this Infant Whose impact reaches to the farther most bounds of the world.
Gazing on the Infant of Prague leads us to a renewed awareness of the sanctity of life and the beauty of a newborn child. The Christ Child, Who is adored and venerated by so many, is a beacon of hope and light in our world for The Infant of Prague helps us to see the value and beauty of life, especially life at its earliest stages. What joy there is in the innocence of an infant!
And yet, we sometimes lose sight of this hope because we live in a society where some do not have the ability to see the sacredness of life and have chosen to be blind to the impact that an infant can have. With the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that expanded a woman’s legal access to abortion, approaching on January 22, we are reminded that so many in our country are blind to see the value of human life from the moment of conception. Some people believe that life doesn’t begin until a heartbeat is detected or even until the child is born. Others say that the unborn child is really a child when he or she is capable of living outside of the womb. The wonders of modern science have proven to us though, that none of these are accurate means to measure life. With each passing decade, we have more and more advanced forms of medicine that allow us to see a child moving on a sonogram, hear a child’s heartbeat sooner, and help sustain the life of a child who is born prematurely. Actually, if any of the means mentioned above are used to measure the beginning of life, they are constantly changing. Does the definition of life changed simply because of advances in modern medicine? No, the definition of the beginning of the life of an infant has always been and will always be at the moment of conception.
Fortunately, in the midst of this ongoing battle for life, there is light, there is hope. On January 25th, thousands of people will gather on Capitol Hill to express their support of the pro-life movement. The annual March for Life held in Washington D.C. is an empowering experience. There is such an air of hope when you stand side-by-side with thousands of other people, especially young people, who are willing to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, to defend life at its most innocent and vulnerable stages.
Although many of us will not be able to travel to march on Capitol Hill, we as Catholics, as pro-life Americans, have the obligation to change the way that this world views life. On a recent with my family, I spent time with a friend whose sister-in-law and brother are expecting their first child. I congratulated him and said, “How exciting! You are going to be an uncle!” He simply smiled and said, “No, I already am an uncle!”
I later asked him to expound on what he said, and he explained that our language has to reflect reality, and the reality is that life begins in the womb. It is our job as Catholics, as Americans, to defend the freedom of all people, especially those who are not able to defend themselves. Whether it is writing a letter to a senator, educating others, or praying for those who are considering abortion, we have such beautiful opportunities to embrace and enlighten others about the sacredness of life. Let us never forget the impact that an infant can make.