Saturday, January 2, 2010
I was delighted to receive, in my e-mail today, from Prof. Teresa Collett, the Annual Report of the Prolife Center at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Congratulations, and thanks, to her, and to the School of Law, for this important effort. Here, at the very interesting blog, "Law Social Justice", is her reflection on the Center's first year:
I write this blog entry during Advent – a holy season observed by many Christians in remembering the Lord’s first coming as a baby born in Bethlehem, and in the “joyful hope” of His coming again. This season focuses our thoughts and prayers on the great gift of children and the generosity of those who undertake the duties of parenthood. Pope Benedict, during his Advent reflections in 2007, reminds us “Every child born is a sign of trust in God and man and a confirmation, at least implicit, of the hope in a future open to God’s eternity that is nourished by men and women.”
The Pope’s simple meditation explains the spiritual foundation of the Prolife Center at the University of St. Thomas School of Law – and of the school’s emphasis on social justice more generally. Each new life represents a unique creative act by God, or put more simply “a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” The person that comes into being bears the indelible image of God and is precious in His sight. No matter how tarnished and obscure that image may become – sometimes due to the person’s sinful choices and sometimes due to our own blindness to the beauty within others – as believers we owe respect to the image of God which is reflected in every person. This is why there are no “throw away” people – not the criminal, the immigrant, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, or the unborn child. Each was willed into being by God, and it is not properly within our power to gainsay God’s decision.
Yet many in our society seek to do exactly that. Abortion is justified on the basis that the child will be born handicapped, or was conceived through an act of violence, or will be poor and must struggle for survival from the very beginning. Each of these reasons suggests that we are wiser than God, and that His decision to create this unique human being was wrong. We presume that we can know the future of the child, with a certainty superior to that of God’s. Thus the intentional taking of a human life becomes an act of mercy rather than injustice. Yet it is an odd mercy that kills the subject of its concern, and a strange faith that elevates the time-bound and particular judgments of man over the deliberate creative act of God.
The work of the Prolife Center at St. Thomas is grounded in this simple truth – God does not make mistakes in his creation of any person. It is my prayer that this simple truth increasingly guides each of us during this holy season of Advent when we reflect upon the Lord’s coming as a newborn babe.