Message to the Knights of Columbus
at the Pro-life Memorial
at Queen of Heaven Cemetery
20th Anniversary of the monument dedicated promote life
Dear members of the Knights of Columbus,
First of all I want to thank you and congratulate you for organizing this 20th anniversary of this memorial erected in honour of life. Thank you for saying YES to life. This is a celebration of life. This is an affirmation of what we believe as disciples of Jesus: that Life is God’s Gift, to be accepted, respected, promoted and to be lived. You have been so courageous to proclaim it loudly today. And I am happy to be part of it because I too am into prolife activities and prolife orientation programs in India. Thank you for inviting me.
The two greatest promoters of life or “pro-lifers” whom I have met in my life are Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. This memorial was erected 20 years ago, in 1997, the very year when Mother Teresa died. 3 years before she died, in 1994, she was in Washington DC where she delivered a speech at a National Prayer Breakfast. Her speech was a bomb against abortions in the United States! And so I believe that Mother Teresa also gave inspiration to those who built this monument.
Life if God’s gift, no one has the right to take it away. “You shall not murder” is one of the Commandments of God.
God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Jeremiah 1:5
Bible teaches us that every human life, born or unborn, is the image of God himself. That is why
Genesis 9:6 says “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”
- The Bible forbids us from shedding innocent blood.
- It teaches us that pre-natal human life is fully human and thus precious to God.
However, abortion continues to be one of the most heart breaking tragedies of modern times. Millions of human beings are not allowed to be born and to live in this world due to the choice that someone makes. The abortion industry in developed countries such as the US and the UK, have become shameful acts of holocaust. According to a study, around 25% of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion. The Supreme Court’s definition of a “right to abortion” was first enunciated as a “privacy right,” then as a “liberty right” under the Fourteenth Amendment. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973 gave unrestricted private license to judge who will live and who will die. It is estimated that 1.5 million abortions take place in the US every year. According to the National Right to Life statistics (2002) there have been 40 million abortions in the US since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on January 22, 1973. The number would have crossed 50 million by now.
The European scenario also is shocking… Abortion is not only the problem in the legally sanctioned countries but also in the developing world. For example, Brazil, the world’s biggest Roman Catholic country, has the highest abortion rates in the developing world. Researchers in India and Canada for the Lancet journal said that more than 10 million female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years (2006 data).
Abortion is a global issue today. One in three pregnancies worldwide ends in abortion every year. An estimated total of 40 million abortions are performed each year.
I would like to share with you a part of the speech Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) made at the National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC, February 3, 1994 (3 years before this memorial was installed here).
“… I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.”
“And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.”
“By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. “
“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
With great concern for the unborn Mother Teresa continued: “Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion which brings people to such blindness.”
“But what does God say to us? He says: “… I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.”
“I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption – by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child.” The words of Mother Teresa unveil the true love of a mother. Her speech sent out a powerful message for action across the world!
This monument here and this anniversary meeting today send out a very powerful and relevant message to the world: that life is precious, and that like Mother Teresa we should all become voice of the voiceless and champions of life. I thank the Father of life for the gift of life. I thank God to bless all the Knights and their mission to promote life. Thank you very much.
Fr. TC George SDB
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