Sunday, October 26, 2003

A special "From the homily"

This is not from today's homily. I am, with Fr. Bryan's kind permission, blogging a pro-life story which I have heard him speak of in several homilies and talks over the years.

The story begins in Canada, over sixty years ago, with a young married couple there. Both of them were devout Presbyterians. They had two children, the elder a boy, the younger a girl. However, the girl's birth had been extremely difficult for her mother, due to a severe case of toxemia. It was so severe that the mother almost died. The mother's family also had a history of early deaths due to heart problems. Given this medical background, the mother's physician warned her that having any more children would put her in great danger, and quite probably kill her.

Nevertheless, three years later, she found herself to be pregnant again. The doctor immediately recommended that she abort the child, and offered to make whatever arrangements, legal or illegal, would be necessary. She refused, insisting that she knew that she, and her baby, would both survive. Her husband, though worried, supported her in her decision.

She turned out to be absolutely right. Not only did mother and child both live, but the delivery was far easier than the births of either her first or second baby. This time, she gave birth to a little boy. This boy then grew up, and and, as an adult, became Catholic (rather to his family's distress).

"And that" said Fr. Bryan," is why you are getting to hear this story- because that baby was me. "

This bit of personal history from a priest for whom I have great respect and affection is, for me, chilling. That Fr. Bryan, who celebrated his 31st anniversary in the priesthood last June, would, if his mother and father had not had the courage to ignore 'expert opinion', have been ripped apart before he got a chance to take his first breath, makes me wince. Now, babies, babies as living and as human as Fr. Bryan and as you and me, are being slaughtered, not because the mother's life is as risk, but because she just doesn't want a child, or her boyfriend is pressuring her, or she has been lied to by some 'counselor' who assures her that it is simple and painless and it will just make the whole problem go away. The quiet deaths go on, thousands of times a day, all over the world.


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