The E-catechism: March 1998
|Abortion||Easter: The sun of life|
Each month the team working on this catechism presents you with two texts, and we hope that with your help and cooperation they will improve. Any suggestions you may have would be most welcome, as would ideas on subject matter.
We look forward to hearing from you.
I sometimes receive letters from women, young girls, who have had abortions and are suffering.
Their suffering is double.
Firstly the suffering they feel inside, for although they were sure that no other decision was possible, after the abortion they were tormented by terrible doubt. A young 19 year-old told me that "nothing worse than this can happen to a woman". This suffering cannot be ignored, cannot be wiped away. The abortion leaves a wound behind, something has been violently removed from the woman.
More pain is caused externally, the noisy condemnation by radical opponents of abortion and their shock-troops and other defenders of a strictly-defined morality. On this crusade the extreme right and religious fundamentalists have joined forces, and these new crusaders are determined to force their definition of the truth on others. A truly frightening prospect.
Wishing to control conscience is dangerous and could spell disaster.
Equally, the scrapping of existing legislation as has occurred in certain countries is also a dangerous development. Society has the duty of preventing illegal abortion which is for the mother so dangerous, and must do all it can to prevent its trivialisation and spread. That is in the interests of women. In this respect education is and remains the best prevention.
The dignity of a man and woman realises itself in the free and responsible decision taken in a climate of mutual respect. Who can measure the incalculable worth of such a joint decision that says yes to life?
There is no law that frees the woman, or frees the man from the duty and personal responsability of listening to the voice of their consciences.
But in order that everyone can say yes to life, society must start to question its solidarity and the value it places on social justice. How can we expect a woman who has been abandoned, is unemployed, or living in unacceptable conditions to keep her child?
It is not given to us to judge a woman who has decided to have an abortion. We should though be asking ourselves if we have done enough to give her the warmth, sympathy and help she needed to make an abortion irrelevant.
Easter: The sun of life
For us Christians Easter is the most important of all festivals. In the night of Easter the good news is proclamed: "Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified, He is risen" (Mark 16,6).
Jesus did not stay a prisoner of his tomb. He arose from the dead. He lives, through the life of God.
Jesus is resurrected so that we may have life. His feast shall become ours. It is the Son of God himself, who became a man so that he might give us the WORD, that he might identify with man's suffering and build a path that will stay forever open. Through his suffering and his death did he experience violent exclusion, the loneliness of the condemned and pain of torture.
Despite all this, there arose from that grave of pain and misery, life shining and beautiful, death was conquered. Since that Easter morning nothing is as it was before, Jesus has opened for us the passageway from death to life.
Will the disciples of the risen Christ journey to those places where humanity is tortured by violence and injustice? Easter means that we must leave our graves and sends us out into the world. There the risen Christ waits for us. On his body we still see the marks of the gift he gave us. The stigmas of a struggle that will always be victorious (Lukas 24).
Easter means a victory for life. It invites us to break out of whatever is imprisoning us and to reject the inevitability of circumstances. Jesus died outside the walls, just as he was born outside of them too.
Let us set-out to see the light, the light of the Easter sun.