Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mass needs more crying babies.

Across the sanctuary a baby is crying. A few pews over a little boy is sitting on his mother’s lap playing with a stuffed animal. In the cry room a toddler is screaming. My six-month old is busily making raspberry noises as loud as she can. Those close to us smile because it is just too cute. Yet, there are others in the congregation who are annoyed at one end and very upset at the other by the disturbances these babies cause. I used to sympathize with them and even stopped attending Mass for a while when my youngest son started getting rambunctious and the parish we were in didn’t have a cry room. I thought it wrong to disturb those who come to worship when my kid couldn’t sit quietly like a little doll. Then I learned about the true power behind a baby’s voice.

God shared with man something he did not share with the angels – the ability to co-create a life. Man and woman come together to form one flesh, a baby, in which God incarnates a soul. God, man and woman work together to create a new mortal being with an immortal soul. This so enraged the devil that he willfully separated himself from God and fell from heaven. He has made it his sole purpose to separate God from his beloved mankind.

He started by tempting man, introducing sin into God’s perfect creation. Death entered the world and man fell from God’s grace. We were separated from our heavenly Father by a great chasm, one no man could ever bridge. Only a sinless man could ever be considered worthy of inheriting God’s kingdom, his royal nature. Only divine blood held enough worth to pay the ransom of death and free man from eternal imprisonment. In his infinite love for his children the Father sent the Son, the Word, to be incarnate and become like us in all things except sin.

Jesus is fully human and was subject to temptation as all of us are. Not born with original sin, he did not have the attraction to sin that we suffer with. I believe the devil tempted Jesus relentlessly. If he could have gotten Jesus to sin Jesus would not have been worthy to bridge the chasm. But perfection cannot sin against itself. Jesus is also fully divine and by his death and resurrection he became our salvation. His royal blood spilled for us paid our ransom and he became our redemption. The path to paradise was restored.

The devil had failed in keeping the path between God and man closed. Now his only option is to get man to willfully separate himself from God just as he and the other fallen angels had done. As the father of lies this has been an easy venture and he has spent all of human existence convincing people that God does not exist. He muddies the path to God so people get lost along the way and wonder unknowingly in the wrong direction. He has gotten cultures to sacrifice their children to him under assumed names and purposes. Even today we sacrifice our children to the gods of convenience, time and desire. We don’t look upon it as murder of a human but a woman’s choice, her right, to do as she pleases. Human sacrifice is human sacrifice despite whatever name we call it or justification we give it. This greatly pleases the devil.

In as much as getting a man to willfully deny God pleases the devil I believe he has found something that pleases him even more. The devil is jealous of man because of his ability to participate in creation and bring forth new life. What could be more pleasing to satan than to get man to walk away from this great honor we have been given? Before the invention of artificial birth control when a woman had sex with a man she did so at the risk of her own life. Death of the mother during and through pregnancy was common. A woman who accepted this risk gave her entire self over to the man she had sex with. It was the self-sacrifice the marital act was supposed to be. If the woman got pregnant a real man would take responsibility for her and his child.

After the invention of artificial birth control sex was no longer about sacrifice. It was about pleasure and recreation. Pope Paul VI wrote an encyclical issued on July 25th, 1968 called Humanae Vitae “Of Human Life” re-affirming the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding married love, responsible parenthood and the continued rejection of artificial birth control. In it he made four predictions of what would happen if the use of artificial birth control became widespread:

1: The widespread use of contraception would lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.

2: Man will lose respect for the woman and no longer care for her physical and psychological equilibrium and will come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.

3: The widespread acceptance of contraception would place a dangerous weapon in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.

4: Contraception would lead man to think that he had unlimited dominion over his own body.

One does not have to look too far to see how right Pope Paul VI was when he wrote Humanae Vitae. If there is any hope that our culture will survive studying and enacting the teaching of Humanae Vitae in our personal lives is the first, the greatest step we can take. It would restore marriage and family back to the proper place they are meant to be.

With the invention of artificial birth control the devil gave us the ability to say no to God’s plan of co-creation of new life. He then concentrated on turning us self-centered, it’s all about me and what I want right now. Sex was no longer a sacrifice, a gift of value freely given to a beloved. Sex was all about one’s self and one’s own pleasure. This greatly slowed the rate at which new life was born.

Then the devil went back to work on convincing us humans to sacrifice our children to him. He couldn’t stop all pregnancy so now he had to concentrate on ending as many as he could. On January 22nd, 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the unlimited domain of a woman over her own body by allowing her to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester – Roe vs Wade – the case that made abortion legal. It did so based upon the fact that this country has never officially defined when a human life actually begins. The court did not recognize a life beginning at conception so limited the state’s right to regulate abortion only after a fetus is considered viable outside of the mother, around 26 – 28 weeks.

And so it became legal for a woman to end a growing life inside her and we began to sacrifice our children to the gods of convenience, time and desire ever since. Over 57,500,000 babies have lost their lives in the United States alone since abortion was made legal in 1973.

The voice of a baby is painful to the devil’s ears. It reminds him of the gift God gave man in co-creation. Every whine, every cry and especially every laugh a baby makes is a reminder to the devil of where he has failed and love has succeeded. A baby crying at Mass is not a disturbance, it is a song of joy and praise to heaven above. Be thankful for those crying babies and the families who have said yes to God’s great plan. Without them there will be no Church in twenty, thirty or forty years. When you see parents at Mass with four, five, six or more children struggling to keep chaos from ensuing thank them for their willingness to say yes to God and accept life as it has been given to them. They really need to hear it.

Please join the pro-life movement and those participating in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. on January 22nd in praying that we come to our senses and put an end to the legal murder of the most innocent among us.

An unborn baby is a life to be celebrated, not a burden to be terminated.

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