When we talk about the unborn, people sometimes make the mistake of thinking we are speaking of future generations or about children born 50 years from now. We are not. We are talking about children who already exist and live in their mothers’ wombs. These are tiny children already alive who have fingernails and toenails, who stretch, wink, and sleep. We have to be very specific about language. Here at Priests for Life, we like to simply call them “children in the womb.”
When asked what I do, I say that I fight for the rights of the “youngest and smallest children.” They are a specific group in specific danger. Their lives are not protected by law and they can be legally dismembered and thrown in the trash. Unborn children are the most forgotten and the smallest members of society.
Society makes the fatal mistake of thinking that something small and powerless can be crushed with no notice or consequence. But it’s simply not true. Matthew 10:29 reads, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
If the father of the universe pays attention to the little sparrows and notices when even one falls to the ground, how much more is he paying attention to you and me? We know the value of human beings is greater than that of animals because Christ tells us we are worth more than many sparrows.
If we were the only people in the world, God would not be paying any more attention to us than he already is now. He is paying infinite attention to us individually- as if we were the only people on earth. All the hairs on our heads have been counted and there is not a single thing happens that God doesn’t know or care about.
It is, therefore, undeniable that this love also includes the tiny precious child in the womb. God cares about those children being dismembered by the violence of abortion more than we can possibly express. Not a sparrow falls without his knowledge. Not a limb gets torn off without his knowledge. Not a piece of skull gets cracked without his knowledge.
So, why does it happen without our knowledge? Why are so many of us unaware of the violence taking place in the womb? Is it because we have made it too abstract? We don’t like to think or talk about abortion. You and I need to care about it more. These are real children. We have to shout it from rooftops.
The same Gospel passage also talks about speaking up. Jesus says, “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light” (Mt. 10:27). If we care about human life and about it being violently destroyed, we have to speak up for children in the womb. What we hear in the quiet times of prayer, whatever insight or grace God gives, we must speak it into the light. What we hear whispered in the quiet movements of the spirit, we must proclaim on the housetops. We must order our lives around his truth and his law and carry our religious convictions into practice with full freedom.
Nobody can ever stop us from doing something that our faith requires. We have to be free to speak up. This is religious freedom. But if we don’t have the courage to speak up, it’s a moot point whether the government allows us to.
Jesus infuses us with the courage to speak. What we say might get us threatened or killed. Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but not the soul” (Mt. 10:28). If you are faithful to the call you have from God, if you are free inside to say whatever is true, well then your soul is healthy and alive. Those who kill the body cannot touch the soul; only you can mar your soul by saying no to the God who gives you words to speak.
Matthew 10:32-33 declares, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
We have to be more scared of that, than of any human being denying us physical life. Let us be free and courageous to speak up for the children in the womb– the youngest and weakest. Our father cares for them much more than many sparrows