A blessed feast of the Visitation, one that goes back to the Middle Ages, when it was originally celebrated on the octave after the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, July 2nd. The feast of the Messiah’s precursor is now la Fete Nationale in Quebec, whose people can now scarcely recall their Catholic roots.
The meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, both ‘with child’, so that the embryonic Christ could sanctify the one would prepare the way for His coming, who ‘leapt for joy’ in his mother’s womb, is a poignant one for our age, which now sees the unborn as expendable, dependent upon the whim – ‘choice’ in our euphemistic language – of the mother. The liturgical revision after Vatican II in 1969 moved the feast to this day, between the Annunciation (March 25th) and the Baptist’s birth, to harmonize more fittingly with the Gospel story. This feast also quite appropriately closes off the month of Mary – as Pope John Paul II declares in his commemorative homily in the first year of his pontificate. As he puts it:
But what is the mysterious, hidden source of this joy? It is Jesus, whom Mary has already conceived thanks to the Holy Spirit, and who is already beginning to defeat what is the root of fear, anguish and sadness: sin, the most humiliating slavery for man.
So, with the Mother, may our souls too ‘magnify the Lord, and rejoice in the Lord, our Saviour.’
In one of those curious synchronous ironies, the smallest baby to have been born alive came into the world the other day. There is a record of such ‘small births’, of which I have been nescient until now, kept at the University of Iowa, and little Saybie just beat the last record holder, coming into the world at a whopping 8.6 ounces, roughly the same as the apple that fell onto the head of Newton, prompting him to compute the gravitational force of the Moon and the Earth. it is not weight nor heft nor height that matter, for the same universal law of gravity applies to protons and planets and galaxies, just as the same universal right to life applies to every person, great and small, from embryo to nonagenarian and beyond, all created in the very image of God.
And, speaking of God, Saybie, who was born at 23 weeks and 3 days, would have been about the same age and size as John the Baptist, when Mary hastened to visit his mother in her ‘sixth month’. Hmm.
The nurses told her parents that Saybie might live an hour, but that turned into two, then into a day, a week, and now the miracle baby has gone home as a healthy five pound infant.
I say irony, for on the same day, our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau – who seems to embarrass himself and all of us ever more deeply with each new utterance – has announced that he is going to raise the problem of America’s ‘regression’ on abortion rights when he meets with Vice President Pence, which we may be sure does not cause Mr. Pence to quake nor shake, as he pencils in Trudeau between his coffee and a doughnut – or, sorry, donut. The ensuing meeting was awkward, as Trudeau, in his blissful arrogance, claimed that a woman’s ‘right over her own body’ is inviolable for ‘Canadians’.
Not true, for many Canadians disagree most vehemently with Trudeau. I am all for rights over one’s own body, but only insofar as such rights do not violate the rights of the bodies of others, not least the bodies of the unborn within the womb.
We must be clear and unambiguous about this, that Trudeau would have the law permit Saybie’s murder by rather foul means, had she still been in utero. Of course, Saybie would still be Saybie, not only regardless of how small she is, but also regardless of where she is, or upon whom she is dependent. If anyone is regressive, it is Trudeau and his band of not-so-happy Liberals, fellow travellers with the Democrats, who have made the legalized killing of pre-born children a rather tragic and ill-fated hill upon which, again ironically, to die.
As Pope John Paul put it, a ‘law’ that permits such barbarism undermines the notion of all law, and the very fabric and cohesion of society itself. Things fall apart and the centre cannot hold…And all the while, Trudeau prances.
If you would like a vivid image upon which we – those who survive what is to come upon us – may look back upon as a sign of the deep evil enveloping this nation, view this clip from LifeSite. Bloc Quebecois MP Monique Pauze – there’s Quebec again – puts forward a motion that the House of Commons reiterate that a woman’s body belongs to her and her alone and recognize her freedom of choice on abortion for any reason.”
The two-minute standing ovation of Members of Parliament that followed, watched over by the impotent Speaker with that silly, complaisant grin, says more than I might put into words.
Caveat quod tu laudas.
This may well be Canada’s Nuremberg moment, upon which future judges will shake their heads, and wonder, how did a once-civilized, even Catholic, nation fall so far, so quickly? Wholesale, state-funded, murder the unborn, for any reason whatsoever?
To their credit, every Conservative member remained stone-faced and seated – even though I wished they had condemned the barbaric act – with the exception of Sylvie Boucher from – you guessed it – Quebec.
Saint John the Baptist has a lot of interceding ahead of him, in what time remains.
And, on a final note, it was heartening to read of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ condemnation of abortion’s eugenic roots in the early part of this century, under Margaret Sanger, who was all gung-ho for getting rid of ‘genetically inferior’ stock.
This case highlights the fact that abortion is an act rife with the potential for eugenic manipulation. From the beginning, birth control and abortion were promoted as means of effectuating eugenics. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was particularly open about the fact that birth control could be used for eugenic purposes
I would just add ‘should’ along with ‘could’ in that last sentence, for Ms. Sanger was not inhibited in her racial and cultural prejudices, to the point of extermination of certain groups, at least by the passive means of ‘birth control’, a gradual weeding out of the undesirables, so to speak.
Yet there was Thomas’ fellow ‘Justice’ – and in her case, we must use that term advisedly – Ruth Bader Ginsberg, chastising Thomas for describing a pregnant woman as a ‘mother’. Let us quote her in her own bizarre words:
(A) woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a ‘mother’
Just like that. One moment, a mom, the next, well…
Besides the obvious unreality of this statement, I wonder what most ‘women with child’ – including Mary and Elizabeth – would say of themselves?
We do have a rather abrupt adumbration of what will God say to those who deny motherhood and the life of the unborn, the least of His brethren. I would recommend Matthew Chapter 25 to the Speaker, along with a few excerpts from Evangelium Vitae, as an opening meditation for the next session.