Life March 2008

27Oct08

Thursday night saw a very powerful and prayerful (if a little wet) Life March. It was well attended, despite the atrocious weather, and the service in the cathedral was moving and inspiring.

Sr Andrea’s spiel is below. Pro life The highlight of the evening came from 13 yr old Kathleen, however, who gave fantastic witness of her pro-life activities at school. Along with her brother and sister (both girls are involved in the Saturday Girls’ Club!), they remained silent for a whole day in solidarity with all our unborn brothers and sisters who have no voice of their own. Kathleen’s own account will follow presently.

Pro-Life Vigil 2008, St Andrew’s Cathedral
Anniversaries are always a good time to reflect on the year that’s past. We do it quite naturally: we remark, especially as we get older, how it seems only a few months ago that we gathered here the last time: we remember this past year the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Bill; all the prayers and campaigning that went before it; the hope we invested in a few good souls who could wield some influence in Parliament while battling under very difficult circumstances; the scandal of the three-line whip; the u-turn; ranting at newspapers and TVs at the debates churned out; the profound sadness when the results of the vote came through; picking ourselves up again to start the fight afresh; renewed sadness after last night and picking ourselves up all over again.

It’s not easy being pro-life these days. And on an occasion like this, in the presence of God and flanked on all sides by friends and like-minded people, we can gather our strength and refocus our energies. And, like soldiers shining up their armour, it’s also a good opportunity for us to examine our hearts and minds and allow the Spirit to purify them.

In our thirst for justice and our love for the unborn, the elderly and all those in between whose lives are so arrogantly swept aside as meaningless, we can too easily, because of human weakness, slip into the habit of disparaging, slagging off, despising even, all those who push the culture of death in our country – and we can fall into the habit of justifying our hatred since our cause is so great, so worthy. Someone told me recently how much he hated Baroness Warnock, for instance, for her truly appalling views on the dignity and worth of human life in its final stages.

The thing is, what unites us here in this cathedral is so much more than a cause – it’s about recognising the living God in everyone and recognising, too, that if there’s to be any victory at all, it will come from God’s hands, not ours. And the God who will have the victory is love.

The minute we hate anyone on behalf of another, we’re no longer pro-life in the fullest sense of that word, because those feelings stand in direct opposition to God and everything He is. As soon as we hate anyone, we give Satan an open door. He creeps into the human situation; he gains a foothold in our heart and there can be no conversion, no miracle, no life – in us, nevermind in anyone else. The devil doesn’t care whom we hate, so long as we hate.

All our brothers and sisters who have died in our culture of death are now in the realms of eternity. If they could speak to us now, what would they say? I don’t know, but maybe they would say, ‘Please don’t justify your hatred on my account. Please, don’t show your love for me by hating someone else.’ They know that the real fight is between love and hate, light and darkness, ‘between the living God and the one who was the murderer from the very beginning. If we choose some to love and reject others to hate, then we’re only adding to the sum total of darkness in the world’. (Anthony Bloom)

We have to ask ourselves tonight what we’re really fighting for. Of course we want to save lives; we want to create a society in which the beauty and dignity of every life is respected. But going back to the Baroness Warnocks of this world: what are we really striving for? To see her silenced and defeated? Or do we want her to turn to God in her heart and look around and see what we see, love what we love? Only by loving our enemies and wanting their conversion, will we truly be pro-life.
Pro life march 001   As you can see, (apologies for the poor quality of the photo) the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm.



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