Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bishop Flores on "The Year of Faith and the Culture of Life"

Here (HT: Distinctly Catholic) is a really good post by Bishop Daniel Flores, of Brownsville (who, among other things, is a member of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty).  It's tempting -- maybe it's even easy -- for those of us who have been, in one way or another, "involved" in the pro-life movement for decades, to think that, really, it's over.  "Sure," we might say, "we can bear witness to the wrong of Roe, and maybe secure some small legislative and judicial improvements at the margins, but the world is what it is, and the abortion license is here to stay."  Bishop Flores urges us to remember that "it doesn't have to be this way", and uses my daughter's favorite book (this month), The Hunger Games:

In the trilogy the Hunger Games, the author Suzanne
Collins presents a stark world where the mesmerizing power of death is clearly
displayed. Death has become a game designed to entertain everybody and control
everyone. There are characters in the story who are the innocent victims of the
power that makes death into a game and a means of control. The principle
victims are children. Bizarre as the set up of these novels is, it is not
unthinkable that the world could reach a stage where death is accepted as a
spectacle, where the powerful use children as pawns to create a manipulative
diversion ultimately aimed at maintaining power and control. I am no literary
critic, just a reader, and some of my literary friends find the books painfully
discouraging. But I see little glimmers of light in the tail. I am convinced
the author is looking to tell the reader that it doesn’t have to be this way;
death does not have to win. Despite the unleashing of the full mesmerizing
power of death to blind an entire people to the goodness of life, the social
order rooted in the teeth of the dragon -- so to speak -- does not triumph in
the end. The conclusion does not show us a final victory in favor of life, but
it does show the reader that small moments of heroism, rooted in love and in
the resiliency of the human conscience can set the stage for a better way.


There is a lesson here for us. We are here to say, ‘it
doesn’t have to be this way." We don’t have to sacrifice an unborn child
for somebody else to be happy. We don’t have to let utilitarian criterion
govern all the decisions we make in nation, our families and in our homes. It
takes a heroic, a courageous breaking-through and waking-up, though, to break
the spell that death can weave in a world that so easily falls into the
attitude that says “well this is how the game works; death is in charge.” But
it doesn’t have to be this way. When Blessed Pope John Paul II called us to build
a culture of life, he was calling us to give witness to the fact that life
triumphs over death and that it is possible to build a civilization where
society acts in favor of the goodness of life, from the unborn child to the
aging person who is dying of a terminal illness.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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