Nothing New Under the Sun

Nothing New Under the Sun

Sisters and Brothers,

Barnabas, the companion of St. Paul wrote in a letter attributed to him “Love your neighbor more than your own life. Do not kill an unborn child through abortion, nor destroy it after birth.” (Office of Readings, Wednesday, 18th week, Liturgy of the Hours)
The practice of abortion and infanticide was well known in what we would call “ancient” times. The Romans were known to use certain mixtures of plants and poisons that would cause a miscarriage. Even the concept of the morning after pill is not new

“There is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl 1:9)  

Through the ages, the message from the early Christians was one of showing respect for all life, born and unborn. Over a period of centuries, that respect for life became the dominate world view of the culture, and there was no need of legislation regarding abortion, because it became “unthinkable” that anyone would deliberately kill a child.
The Catholic author, George Weigel, has made the observation, “We are living in apostolic times that require every Catholic to be an evangelist rather than Christendom times in which the ambient culture transmits the faith.” 

What does he mean by “apostolic times”? Just as in the time of the apostles, there were culturally accepted practices, such as abortion and infanticide. We find ourselves in a culture today that accepts these practices. What we have is an evangelization problem. 

When the culture was based on Judeo-Christian values, we had the luxury of not having to evangelize the message that we assumed all took for granted. Making the unthinkable illegal would be great! However, that would still leave us with an evangelization problem. 

We need to witness to the beauty of life, in all its stages, womb–to-tomb. If we demonstrate the beauty of God’s plan for humanity, then even if abortion were legal, the practice would go away because it would be unthinkable.

May the Lord grant you His peace!

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Written by
David Seitz