View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Priest for Life talk in Rochester

After giving a talk at St. Theodore's Church last night, Father Denis Wilde of Priests for Life corrected me.

Out loud so everyone could hear.

While chatting with him and a few of the other people there, being a polite sort (call people what they want to be called), I referred to the other side as "pro-choice."


He loudly asked for everyone's attention and said never refer to them as "pro-choice".

They are "pro-abortion".

Thank you, sir. May I have another?

(I'm kidding, of course. He had a point - though I'm still inclined to the gentle, more polite approach so as not to alienate - and I was not embarrassed.)

In his talk, the man did not mince words as well. But he also offered hope. And some music (he was a music teacher, after all).

He noted that the proper attitude following the election of Barack Obama is not despair.

"This election like every election is God's will," he said.

"It's not God's will to have evil conquer," he explained. But we have to keep in mind "We don't know everything."

And so we don't know what God will do with this.

He referred to the story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12. David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife, impregnating her, and then had Uriah killed and took her as his wife. The son Bathsheba bore David became ill.

David, his eyes opened to his sins by Nathan, lay on the ground in sackcloth for seven days, refusing to eat. When the child died after his seven days of penance, David rose, cleaned himself, and ate.

When asked about this, David said "While the child was living, I fasted and wept, thinking, `Perhaps the Lord will grant me the child's life.' But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."

And then he comforted Bathsheba, and she bore a second child - Solomon.

In the same way, Father Wilde said, we may have fight and fasted and prayed for McCain's victory (or Obama's defeat), but now that is over. There is nothing we can do about the election, so we need to move on trusting that just as God brought good out of David's sin - the birth of Solomon - God will bring good out of this defeat.

But we have to act, and not simply bemoan what has happened.

"I can't do anything about it," he said, "but I can do a lot after."

So it's time to renew our efforts to fight for life.

It won't be easy, he admitted. Things might get rough. There may be persecution of pro-lifers. But that can help - as has been the case of the Church.

"Where there is persecution, we are strong."

He noted that during the pro-abortion (I'm learning) Clinton days, the pro-life movement grew. Under the even more pro-abortion President Obama, the movement will grow even more, he predicted - if we do the work.

"It's not about Obama. It's about us."

"This is a time for growth," he observed. "We need to reassess not whether we can do it, but how."

He noted that this is also a time for prayer. He advised people to go on retreats and days of reflection to gear up for the fight ahead.

"The most important thing right now is to be reinforced by God's love."

Father Wilde and others will be at Planned Parenthood this morning to pray, then he will be preaching at the Masses at St. Stanislaus this weekend to help inspire the pro-lifers here in Rochester.

I will be at a day of recollection with the Secular Franciscans today, and will be in the choir at St. Theodore's tomorrow, so this was my only chance to see him. But I feel inspired.

I just have to remember: Pro-abortion. ... Maybe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think so.

It may not be a consistent position, but there are people who are ignorant of the science behind conception and pregnancy, and who honestly see abortion as a medical procedure.

I think the priest is incorrect.

The last thing we need is an argument between anti-choice and pro-abortion sides yelling at each other. Taking a civilized high road and calling people what they want to be called does us credit.

I also disagree in attributing election results to God's will. The election turned out as it did because God gave human beings free will. Our children have free will, and as they grow older, they get more of it. Sometimes they do stupid things, and these acts are most definitely not our will as parents.

Other than that, he did hit a few good notes.


1:34 PM  
Blogger We are a group of Evangelizing Catholics! said...

Here is my latest video on the topic of Obama's election:

Eveyone needs to be thinking about the MARCH FOR LIFE - FOCA must be defeated.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I'm rewriting a comment I thought was unclear ...

The blanket "pro-abortion" label is one I do indeed feel uncomfortable about. As Todd pointed out, there are some people who are ignorant of the science.

Now I'm not talking here about people who are willfully ignorant or who do understand but still support abortion - those people I do consider pro-abortion. Obama, Biden, Pelosi, for example, among our political leaders are ones I would put in that category. I have no problem calling them pro-abortion, especially when they openly push for loosening abortion restrictions, or misrepresent the teachings of the Church.

As for the rest, they may just have not had the opportunity to learn the truth - a failure in some cases in some of our churches?

Maybe calling these honestly (as opposed to willfully) ignorant ones pro-abortion will open some eyes? Perhaps. If they are ready and open.

But it might have the opposite effect. Calling such folks pro-abortion is violent. Yes, I know abortion is violent, but aren't we supposed to be models? Taking that tack could turn these people off and make them less open to learning the truth.

If I weren't pro-life, if I were just some guy who came because I wanted to learn more, his singling me out that way might have closed my mind and heart.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The election is God's permissive will. He has left the decision to us and we have the leader we deserve.

The moral relativism of the pro-choice argument is indeed ultimately pro-abortion. Even if one agrees in ignorance they have chosen to follow a way that leads to darkness.

If those who choose life - choose to be silent or try to reason with this demonic spirit (moral relativism) we will agree to allow them posts of leadership and even try working with them.

It is best if we heed the warnings of 9/11 and stand with God - we need to be willing to die for what is right in the face of the liar and murderer who is satan.

He lies telling mothers that it is nothing to abort, then he leads them into murder of their own child. Satan does this because he despises the women - God's greatest creation.

Now is the time for all good men to stand together and fight of this demon by standing as one prayerful flood.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I agree - abortion is a lie. Many people have been deluded.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abortion is deeper than a simple lie. It is a cultural addiction. As such, it ensnares advocates, opponents, and bystanders alike.


7:09 PM  

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