Reflection – The March for Life this year in Washington DC, on the tragic 40thanniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which nullified all abortion laws in America, coincides this year with today’s feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.Meanwhile my Randomized Ratzinger Quote Generator™ coughed up this little gem which was one of the key drivers for my licentiate thesis on Mary and modernity. All of which comes together rather significantly, it seems to me.
Apparently some recent polls show a swing in the direction of pro-choice sentiment in America. While these polls have been critiqued (as polls always are), the fact is inarguable that abortion is legal because there is no real will to make it illegal. This is true in the USA, and even more true in Canada, where abortion can hardly be discussed in the public forum at all.
This means that there is profound need, a desperate need for conversion in our society. Fundamentally, we want abortion legal because we want to have sex without consequences. Human beings at their smallest and most vulnerable are killed by dismemberment by the hundreds of thousands each year so that we can structure society around consequence-free sex. I am striving here to use the most non-inflammatory and yet accurate language I can find, by the way.
The Ten Commandments all hang together, by the way, it turns out. If a man is going to commit adultery, he is also going to have to lie, and he certainly is no longer worshipping God. Thieves by definition are covetous, and liars, and violent. And idolators inevitably perform human sacrifice for their gods.
The god of sexual freedom is a particularly blood-thirsty one, and the corpses piled high on that altar number now in the tens of millions in North America alone.
And so… conversion. Stop worshipping the god of autonomy and start worshipping the God of Israel. And this description of Mary from Ratzinger is just about perfect in describing this worship and this God. To be habitable for God, to be an open space where He can live, to abandon the project of life as an exercise in egoism and acquisition, to live a life ordered to something bigger and better than ourselves, yet which is the deepest truth of ourselves—this is what Mary shows us, and what true human life and true human dignity consists of.