By Judie Brown (posting from March 29, 2013)
Christ gave His life for us today. He endured ridicule, torture, and then an agonizing death—all so we could spend our eternal lives with Him. But we cannot attain that eternal life if our actions keep us from Him. We must strive every day to live the life God intended for us. In so doing, we must not only take care of our souls, but the souls of others—the souls of those who cannot speak for themselves. As we remember Christ, who died on the cross today, let us also remember those who have no voice to cry out, and let us remember to give them a voice.
As we begin our Good Friday contemplations, our hearts are filled with sorrow. To reflect on the crucified Christ one must, after all, understand that in His human nature He suffered greatly even though he possessed a divine nature and was at all times one with God the Father. Preaching on this fact, a wise priest once reminded us during an Ignatian retreat that our constant thought should be “Jesus Suffers; Jesus suffers for me; What do I suffer for Jesus?”
It is indeed in that very sobering challenge that I find the motivation to persist in defending God’s innocents from creation to death. It is not always a pleasant life experience, but rather a call to set aside personal comfort in favor of doing that which is difficult and, at times, disheartening. Following Christ usually brings with it a strange discomfort that is also spiritually rewarding.
As I write this, Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell is in the headlines. He is charged with killing seven babies who were born alive after he performed late-term abortions. His facility was filthy and, according to former employees, he sedated patients “without proper care.” His facility is now being called a “house of horrors.”
Yet the most concerning aspect of this practitioner’s history is that he has been involved in killing the innocent and maiming their mothers for more than 40 years. Why? Because the act he performs that kills the baby has been decriminalized for 40 years! And even though more than 40 lawsuits have been filed against him, he soldiered on until now, at the ripe old age of 72.
Contrast this with the absolutely sensational news that over the past 40 days the 40 Days for Life campaign, which took place in more than 500 cities, saved at least 554 babies from abortion and saved 554 expectant mothers from the living hell that they would have suffered after the abortion. It is success stories like this that help us see the ultimate glory of Christ’s resurrection, His victory over evil.
This is why we are heartened, remembering the words of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: “Unless there is a Good Friday in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday. The Cross is the condition of the empty tomb, and the crown of thorns is the preface to the halo of light.”
To put it another way, which Pope Francis did in his Palm Sunday homily:
“Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love He conquers it, He defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for all of us upon His throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love does not lead to sadness, but to joy! It leads to the joy of being saved and of doing a little of what He did that day of his death.”
Today, as we think about Christ crucified and look forward to His resurrection, it is appropriate to renew our dedication to saving the babies, healing the culture, loving our enemies, and understanding that truly “Unless there is a Good Friday in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday.”
May the blessings of Almighty God be with you today and every day.
Judie Brown is president and cofounder of American Life League and a three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life.