The following address was given by Dr. Mark Miravalle, theology professor, at the Memorial Service for the Unborn Victims of the Abortion Holocaust, held January 23, 2005, at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Christ the King Chapel.
The prayer vigil is held each year on the eve of the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and is sponsored by Students for Life of Franciscan University.
Lord, Almighty God,
Life is not for our destruction—but for our living.
You remain ever one and the same in Yourself,
but there goes forth from you continually
a power and virtue, which by its contact
is our strength and good…
The living God is life giving.
You are the font and the center,
as well as the seat of all good.
And so, make me like Yourself, O, My God,
since, in spite of myself,
such you can make me, such I can be made…
Lord, I am asking for Yourself,
for nothing short of You, O My God,
who has given Yourself wholly to us.
Enter into my heart substantially and personally
And fill it with fervor by filling it with You.
You alone can fill the soul of men,
and you have promised to do so.
You are the living Flame,
And You are ever burning with love of man.
Enter into me and set me on fire
after Your pattern and likeness.
This prayer by the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman at once bespeaks the sublimity of the gift of human life and the sublimity of the gift of Eucharistic union with God Himself.
The Eucharist and the Unborn Child mutually embody a supernatural sacredness in hidden forms.
The Eucharist is the Omnipotent God made man in His most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, but humbly hidden, veiled under the appearance of bread and wine. The unborn child is a living icon of the Omnipotent God, sacred and precious, but likewise humbly hidden from the world’s eyes, veiled in the womb.
The heavenly choirs of angels surround their Lord in the Eucharist in constant and perpetual adoration, praise, and love. The heavenly angels are also sent to reverence and protect the sacredness of every unborn child from the moment of conception, in obedience to God the Father of all mankind, and in conformity with the testimony of the Redeemer: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 18:10).
The Mother from whom the Savior received His flesh and blood, His nurturing in inexpressible love, and His companionship throughout His earthly mission, which culminated at the cross in a bloody sacrifice of redemption, was Mary Immaculate.
The Mother, to whom every unborn child has been spiritually entrusted by the Crucified Christ at Calvary as members of the human family (cf. Jn. 19:25-27) is likewise Mary Immaculate, the spiritual mother who nurtures them in her inexpressible love and who is their maternal companion throughout life, even when their life is tragically ended in a bloody sacrifice in a Calvary of the womb. The Mother of the Eucharist is also the Mother of the Unborn.
The Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, in His great kenosis to become man (cf. Ph. 2:5-11) and in His further unprecedented self-emptying in becoming a living Sacrament in the Eucharist, makes Himself exceedingly vulnerable (as all great acts of love make us vulnerable). Likewise, God the Father has willed that all later sons and daughters in the womb would enter life in the state of being exceedingly vulnerable, but with the desire that these unborn treasures be recognized and reverenced as sacred during that time of vulnerability.
With all things sacred, there is inherently the proximate danger of sacrilege. Sacrilege is to treat something sacred in an unsacred manner. Eucharistic sacrilege is the greatest abomination that man can commit in the supernatural order. It is ironic that the Catholic faithful (and members of our Eastern Lung, the Orthodox faithful) are joined in our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist by members of Satanic cults. Satanic cults take the risk of entering into Catholic Churches in efforts to get possession of Holy Communion for the sake of their Satanic rites of Eucharistic sacrilege.
Why? Because the summit of sacrilege demands the summit of the sacred, and there is nothing more sacred on the face of this earth than our Eucharistic Jesus. To this, even Satan himself assents.
Abortion, too, is by its very nature a sacrilege. Abortion is, in its own order of creation, the natural order, the greatest abomination that man can commit. Abortion is to willingly and violently destroy the greatest icon of God the Father in the natural order, an icon signed in His own image and likeness. With the sacrilege of abortion, the sacredness of human life is, by extension, sacrileged in all other spheres of human existence.
We see this, for example, with the January 12, 2005, announcement by the Dutch Royal Medical Association in Holland, which concluded a three-year study of euthanasia with the ruling that now permits Dutch doctors to kill any non-infirm human being who is solely “suffering from life.” The sacrilege of the life in the womb leads to the sacrilege of life outside of the womb.
The sacrilege of abortion, moreover, leads to the sacrilege of the family and of God’s commandment to “Honor your mother and father.” In the state of California it is now easier for a minor to get an abortion than to purchase a tan. A new state law prohibits youth under fourteen from entering a tanning center, and those from fourteen to seventeen need parental permission. But California courts recently upheld the “right” of a minor to have an abortion and miss school without parental consent. In Great Britain in July of 2004, the Department of Health published guidelines allowing doctors to provide abortions for girls under sixteen without informing their parents. One in five abortions in Britain involves a teenager, and about 3500 girls under sixteen have abortions annually. South African high courts also ruled in 2004 that girls under eighteen can exercise the “right” of abortion without parental consent.
Thus parental authority is sacrificed upon the altar of abortion in a domestic abomination.
Back in the United States where approximately twenty-five percent of all pregnancies end in abortion, there are now numerous studies that identify a link between abortion and breast cancer. The pro-abortion social climate, however, is contributing to a denial of this information, which is directly endangering the lives of women. Abortion sacrilege leads to family sacrilege; to sacrilege of our youth; and to sacrilege of our women.
We must continue to wage the battle for the Unborn child today with unmitigated fervor, compromised neither by the length of time we have been at battle (now, over thirty years since Roe v. Wade), nor by our own human prognoses of potential future political success or failure. As long as there is a single unborn child at risk we have our mission, regardless of the dubious agendas or inconsistencies of US judges, court rulings, and legislation. We must adopt the mind and heart of the Savior, who accepts the mission to save souls one person at a time out of obedience to the Heavenly Father and in virtue of the unquestioned necessity of human redemption. Abba Father’s desire for each one of us to pray and work to protect His own unborn image, and the necessity to do so in our tragic times of the culture of death, is simply beyond question.
But it is high time to wage the battle for the sacredness of the unborn with the omnipotent “weapon” of the Eucharist, especially during our present extraordinary Year of the Eucharist. Divine hidden holiness will come to the rescue of human hidden holiness, if we, the People of God, will cooperate in releasing the cosmic powers of our Eucharistic Jesus on behalf of our unborn brothers and sisters.
Beyond the imperative for political action, we must also utilize the inestimable graces of the Eucharist for the defense of the child in utero. Whenever we attend the holy sacrifice of the Mass and receive the Bread of Angels, we must petition heaven with full hearts for the end of the scourge of abortion. We must offer Holy Hours of Eucharistic adoration with the special intention of the protection for our unborn children. We can also offer spiritual communions regularly for the end of abortion, and especially during our pro-life activities, for example, offering spiritual communions every hour or half hour when driving to pro-life functions, or during abortion clinic prayer rallies.
The sacredness of the unborn child will only truly be restored through the sacredness of the Eucharist.
Let us each do our own part, especially during this 2005 Year of the Eucharist, to rescue the hidden child in the womb through the untold power of the Hidden Jesus in the Eucharist. Mass, Eucharistic reception, and Eucharistic adoration have the supernatural power to change the course of human history. That is precisely what we need right now—a change in the present course of human history—a change for unborn life. Let us pursue this goal, with the commitment to fidelity and to eventual success, with the hope and assurance that truly nothing is impossible with our Eucharistic God (cf. Lk. 1:37).