*I thought I would just share Fr. George Rutler’s reflection on the Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord, which has a lot to do with the dignity of life and the evil of abortion. Fr. Rutler is pastor of the Church of Our Saviour, in New York City, and has been a prolific author and frequent guest lecturer on EWTN.
*On the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, the liturgical Preface says that Jesus was baptized in water made holy by his baptism. Jesus, who makes holy everything He touches, sanctified the water in which He was gratuitously baptized, for He needed no baptism, but entered the Jordan to show us that baptism is the gateway to salvation. Even babies may be baptized because Christ wills that all be saved. A baby is culpable of no actual sin, but inherits the consequence of man’s original sin, which is mortality. A soul has no size (we cannot measure its components, which are the intellect and the will), and so a baby ranks in dignity with the most powerful and senior in our world, and even outranks them.
Contempt for life is most luridly expressed in the claim that an adult has the right to destroy another life in its most innocent form. This is why Christ, through His Church, calls abortion a most grievous sin. The penalties for this offense against God’s image in man are not only in the next life; they wound our present culture as well. It has been conservatively estimated by the Human Life International organization that nearly 49 million babies have been killed in the womb in the United States since 1973: one-third of all infants conceived in that period. Based on the 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, using the ratio of professions to population, the odds are that in the last 35 years, the following people were destroyed:[INDENT]Two U.S. presidents, seven Supreme Court justices, 102 U.S. senators and 589 congressmen, 8,123 judges, 31 Nobel Prize laureates, 328 Olympic medalists, 6,092 professional athletes, 134,841 physicians and surgeons, 392,500 registered nurses, 70,669 clergy, including 6,852 Catholic priests and 11,010 nuns, 1,102,443 elementary and high-school teachers, 553,821 truck drivers, 224,518 maids and housekeepers, 33,939 janitors, 134,028 farmers and ranchers, 109,984 police officers, and 39,477 firefighters.If you have to wait to see a doctor, or complain that no policeman is on the corner, or wonder why no scientist has found a cure for cancer, or ask why we didn’t win the World Cup, or find the confessional empty, you may blame an abortionist now living in comfortable retirement in some warm resort cared for by an underpaid immigrant.
The same Lord who makes water holy by His own baptism said that it would be better to drown in the depths of the sea than to harm one of the least of His little ones. History will look back on our age’s moral coldness in astonishment, if consciences are still alive. And the Holy Church will shine for her voice which cried in the wilderness. Meanwhile, a good act of reparation would be to pray for an end to infanticide each time you enter a church and make the sign of the Cross with holy water.