Apr 9, 2015
The word “mine” is so rich in meanings that inevitably, it is opened to equivocations. Ambiguity is one of the main sources of error, if not downright heresies. There is an inevitable discrepancy between the immense variety of objects and “subjects” in the cosmos that call for our attention, and our limited human vocabulary. As a result, we often use the same word for things that are vastly different: for example, we use the word “love” to refer to God and to chocolate! Any wise man – i.e. any truth lover – must constantly be on the lookout from fear of falling into the numerous traps set by equivocations. In another context, I already have pointed to the fact that the word “good, if not properly defined, can be gravely misleading.
When we say “mine”, the first meaning likely to come to mind is “possession”, that is anything over which I have control, that I have the “right” to dispose of as I please. But anyone philosophically alert, will immediately realize that this meaning threatens to be extended to domains where it is not only gravely inappropriate, but moreover can open the door to terrible abuses with serious moral consequences.
It makes sense to say: “this is my pocket book”: I own it; it is my property, it is the fruit of my labor. I can dispose of it as I please. To take it from me is theft”. This also applies to my piece of land, my house, my furniture, art objects in my possession, my silverware. All the objects mentioned are inanimate, material, visible. But it is crucial to realize that the relationship between myself and my property is a ‘one way street’. Whereas I am legally entitled to do with it as I please, it would be nonsensical to claim that it has any “right” over me. This becomes doubly luminous if we turn to other relationships where the word ‘mine” is fully adequate, but has a totally different meaning.
When I say: “my parents”, it necessarily implies a reciprocal relationship between us because I am “their child”. Parents cannot be severed from child and vice versa: it necessarily refers to a very deep bond.
How tragic is the trial faced today by the ever increasing number of children who do not know who their parents are, or still more often who their father is. It is inevitably experienced as a “betrayal” which, in many cases, it is. Woe to those who escape from a sacred duty. Am I wrong in fearing that one of the grave threats menacing our society today is the loss of the sense of sacredness. This has been clearly perceived by Gabriel Marcel.
My parents are those to whom I owe my physical life, those God has chosen as instruments to bring me into existence. Hence my duty of reverence and gratitude toward them as formulated in the Ten Commandments. “You shall honor your father and mother”. Both G.K and Dietrich von Hildebrand, in their respective Memoirs, have found moving words to express their gratitude toward their respective father and mother. But the duty is reciprocal: parents have a moral obligation to love their children and to provide for them.
When I refer to someone as “my brother”, it inevitably follows that I am “his brother or his sister”. When a person declares that John is “her” husband, we know that she is his “wife”. My “husband” does not mean my “possession”, but refers to the one I love, to whom, with God’s permission, I have given myself. The same is true of “my wife”.
“My teacher” indicates that I am his or her student. As soon as perceive this very obvious truth, it becomes evident that “possession”, in the sense of “ownership” - was fully justified when referring to inanimate objects - is nonsensical and gravely “immoral” when extended to persons. No one has the right to claim “possession” over other human beings. The abominable word “slavery” (alas, often practiced and still is) is a very black mark on the sad history of the world. Whoever is “weak”, that is the poor, the sick, the elderly, women or children have been — and still are in certain societies— treated as chattel. It is one of the tragic cases in which something has often been deemed “legal” and is shockingly immoral. Woe to the society that legalizes crime and immoral behavior. It is inevitably digging its own grave.
One of the objections that can be raised against democracy is that a “majority” is often made up of ignorant, amoral and immoral people, spoon fed on the poisonous food offered by the news media, twenty four hours a day.
Five centuries before Christ, Socrates solemnly proclaimed that “we should obey God rather than men”. (Apology) His spiritual son, Plato, following in his steps, has rightly been dubbed “a preparer of the ways of Christ”: indeed, it also a basic tenet of Christianity. We are morally obliged to oppose any “law” which tramples on the natural moral law, accessible to all men of good will. The legalization of abortion is a case in point. It is plainly naïve to assume that the “majority” is always right and that its decisions are therefore “morally justified”. It only tells us that a particular ruling was endorsed by a larger number of votes.
The legalization of abortion on January 22nd 1972, was determined by a handful of Supreme Court members by a simple: “in favor.” By uttering these two words, they have cold bloodedly condemned to death millions and millions of innocents, and they did it “with a good conscience.” In any society that wishes to survive, “immoral” and “legal” should never be identified. Woe to the nation that denies this luminous truth.
Justice—the foundation of any society—is a virtue which, alas, has often been trampled upon. How many parents have treated their children as their “possession”, claiming the right to determine “who they are”, what they should do etc. Alas, the same thing is true of “wives.” How many ruthlessly brutal and selfish husbands have viewed them as their “thing”, and not as human persons of equal dignity: “after all, she is my wife,” i.e. “I can deal with her as I please.”
The history of the world is to a large extent, the history of crying injustices. It is luminous that we should all aim at correcting them. But alas, many are those who believe that the world could be made perfect if the state took over, and through human engineering and laws guarantee the creation of a “paradise for the workers.” This has given birth to the Gulags Archipelago.
It is also worth noting that when I say, “so and so is my father”, that by this very fact, I exclude his being the father of innumerable other children. But, it definitely does not exclude his being the father of my siblings. It is the sad fate of the single child to exclude the word “our” when referring to his father. It should be experienced as a deprivation; how enriching it is to say: my father and our father.
Another case that calls for our attention is when one speaks of God. It is inconceivable that someone saying: “My God” refers to any sort of possession. It should mean my “Creator”, the one to whom I owe everything, the one who calls for “adoration” which is the only adequate metaphysical posture toward Him. To view Him as my “possession” would be the peak of insanity.
But what do the words “my God” refer to? Why is it that “my” in this case necessarily implies “our”? The reason is obvious: because there can be only one God, and it necessarily follows that this one God has a relationship to all His creatures, independently of whether they know it or not, accept it or not. In other words: truth is catholic, ie, universal. It is offered to all men; but woe to those who reject it willingly because “it limits their sovereignty”. This is the tragic position of Nietzsche.
To claim with the Gnostics and similar sects, that “truth” is the exclusive property of the “elect”, is not only nonsensical but is a moral abomination. If something is true, and apprehended as such, it is by this very token “ours”. This is the cancerous error of relativism: to say, “This is true for me, not for you” defies reason. This is a primitive confusion between the statement which matches the fact to which it refers, and the particularly person to whom this fact applies to.
Alas, when a marriage breaks down, it does happen that an unworthy father will say to his wife,“It is your duty to take care of your child. You know that I did not want it; it is your fault.” This refers to a similar drama that Gabriel Marcel has enlighten in one of his plays: a husband says to his wife “your child”, referring to a miscarriage that she recently had. Bitterly she replies: “Indeed, by saying ‘your child,’ you hint at the chasm that has opened between us.” A child is always and necessarily “our” child.
Even when the father of the child is totally unknown (in the case of rape), the fact remains that this non-identifiable person has a bond with the newly conceived child, whether he acknowledges it or not. The first without the second is a betrayal. (Of course, I exclude the case of a father dying before the birth of his child). When the widowed mother remarries, the “step father”— through what Gabriel Marcel calls “the creative vow as essence of paternity” (Homo Viator)— is called upon to become a “real” father. That is, to achieve “the triumph of love over biology.”
Alas, the consciousness of having fathered a child and the moral obligation that derives from it, has, in our “advanced” society, been systematically undermined through an educational system hijacked by the devil. Children are now taught that sex and the conception of a child should be radically severed. To claim that sex is linked to procreation—an inheritance from the dark ages—puts an unbearable burden upon the “legitimate enjoyment” of the first. This refusal to be fathers is a condemnation of our society where a top notch priority is to respect the “rights of sex.” The de facto father is deaf to the cry of the newly conceived baby begging him to call him “Father, Abba.”
If we were willing to listen to the lessons of history, we would realize that a society in which the family collapses, is an agonizing society.
The most disastrous fact that has occurred today is that this “betrayal” is now duplicated by women who – female Judases to their most sacred mission – consider degrading to give birth – a major obstacle to a brilliant career which would be theirs is they could liberate themselves from “the slavery of the female body.” Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex) does not hesitate to declare “women hate their own bodies.” She is free to hate her own, but I claim my right to loudly disagree and proclaim that all women should have a feeling of awe for a body which once, was the cradle of the Savior of the world. A woman who writes that “she hates babies” is “un-sexed” to quote Shakespeare. (Macbeth) It gives us a pre-taste of hell.
Was it not Nietzsche who said that women are better or worse than men? It definitely applies to this case. Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage and he was foolish. Feminists definitely trump him: they sell their “privilege” to give life (which Simone tells us animals do better and more efficiently) in order to have their names in the New York Times or to appear on television or to have her name on the list of potential presidents of the USA.
One is tempted to claim that if Descartes had published today his famous Discourse of the Method, he would have replaced the words “I think, therefore I am” with “I am on television, therefore I am”!
It is written, “Even if your mother abandoned you, I will never abandon you” said the Lord. (Isaiah 49- 15) Why is it that the word “mother” is used and not the word “father”? Why is it that Eve is called “mother of the living” and Adam is not called “father of the living”? This teaches us an important lesson. It clearly tells us that the bond between mother and child is a much closer one than the one between father and child which – in some way – must be “conquered.”
Let us repeat: physical possessions actually refers to things that cannot accompany me in my casket. This radical deprivation – all my possessions are taken from me – which takes place at the moment of death, also applies to “my” body which, within hours, is a corpse; a handful of dust. We should daily remember that “we are dust and in dust we shall return.” The only thing left are my sins: not a very desirable possession.
But death does not mean non-existence. For our soul, being immortal, cannot die. Death – a word that makes us turn pale – means that body and soul are brutally severed from one another until the awesome day of the resurrection of “Brother Ass”, as St. Francis calls it. It is a fearful punishment because man is both body and soul. To my mind, the dogma of the resurrection of the body – which seems to be very close to a re-creation – is one of the most awesome one of our faith, and is solemnly proclaimed in the Credo recited at Mass.
Dualism – a denial that man is made up of body and soul – is to be thrown out of court, but the fact remains that death severs their union. It is a fearful punishment that destroys our body – not our soul – and in fact creates a type of “dualism” which justifies the exclamation of St. Augustine: “I, I the soul.”
All of us have suffered the cruel loss of dearly loved ones: it would be unbearable to think that they no longer exist. We think of them; we talk to them; we tell them that we love them. This is a fact that cannot be denied and yet this separation of soul and body is a fearful fact. We cannot speak to a corpse; but we can only speak to a person.
It might be a wise from time to time to picture oneself lying in a casket, just covered with a sheet and then draw the metaphysical consequences. May we be “ready” when this awesome hours comes.
It is noteworthy that upon taking one’s final vows in religious orders, the candidate makes a vow of “poverty”, that is a willing renouncing of all earthly possessions. In his Holy Rule, St. Benedict emphatically tells his monks that once they enter the monastery, their “poverty” should be so radical that even their “very body” is no longer “their possession.” These are hard words, and one needs grace to understand them, and still more to live them. Referring to possessions, he writes that this vice especially is to be “radically rooted out”. (Chapter 33) The word “mine” is replaced by the word “our”. It clearly indicates that “possession” is fraught with moral dangers: it is probably true that most human conflicts are related to them. One of my students’ brother, a lawyer, once said to her: “In my testament, I shall not leave a single penny to my children. My law practice has taught me that siblings whose relationships have been harmonious, often break up any contact fighting over their inheritance. For this reason I have given all my children a very good education, enabling them to provide for themselves, but I will leave them nothing in my will; I do not want them to start fighting over money.”
One thing is certain: earthly possessions are, for all of us, a very real danger. They are attractive; they are tempting…but for this very reason, they are a threat to our spiritual welfare.
But while lying in my casket, my bond with father, mother, siblings and husband and friends remains fully valid and defies death.
We live in a morally decadent society that is a society where the sacred bonds between husband and wife, father and child, brother and sister are gravely threatened. Years ago, it would have been inconceivable to even mention homosexual marriages. It was universally acknowledged that physical union between two males or two females was “against nature, repulsive” and, as Plato saw it, endangering the very fabric of society. (Laws, 836) St. Paul writes that “there are things that should not even be mentioned among you.” Homosexuality is definitely on the list. But alas in a society like ours where the news media are a sort of Leviathan aiming at controlling our minds, much of society is fed on lies – and a good lie is one that sounds true. Noble words such as “compassion”, “justice”, “broad mindedness” have been hijacked by the Evil one who knows exactly what “berceuse” will put our conscience to sleep.
The “never sleeping” devil is behind the scenes, the dynamic “conductor” of many television channels, perversely aiming at controlling education and convincing those of us that are immature and gullible, that anything is legitimate as long as it satisfies our urges and leads to self- fulfillment. Let us think about the human “mess” created by this diabolical legalization. How is one man to refer to the other? Obviously he cannot call him “my husband”, and in the case of lesbians, “my wife”. The only option left them is to call the other “my partner” – a word meaningful valid in business and in sports, but is horribly jarring when applied to deep human relationships.
Homosexuals, condemned never to have the privilege of being parents, now claim another right granted to heterosexuals: to adopt children, and “become” parents. The situation in which these poor adopted children are placed is nothing short of abominable. How are they to refer to those who have adopted them? Father number one and father number two? The noble word “father” is dishonored and degraded. This creates a human chaos indicative that we have entered apocalyptic times: that is when confusion will be such as to seduce even the elect if this were possible.
What is fearful is that for years, small – apparently harmless – steps were taken which clearly indicated the direction that the ship was taking: endless repetition of slogans and fashionable words which in fact were aiming at putting our conscience to sleep and prevent us from realizing that the wolf was at the door.
Always again, we should meditate on the words of Isaiah: “Woe to those who call good evil and evil good.” (5:20)
If homosexual “marriages” (a horribly jarring “music”) have gained legality, one could cynically raise the question: “if anything goes”, is it not time to reintroduce polygamy and polyandry which have been practiced in several cultures? They are efficient ways of solving certain social problems. Polygamy is the best solution to fight “under population” (when a society has been decimated by a devastating plague) and polyandry will be enthusiastically endorsed in a society where there is an overpopulation of males, and under population of females (something bound to happen in China where many more baby girls are murdered than baby boys). Why should the word “our wife” or “our husband” be still ostracized? Have not the “noble” social sciences (which Edith Stein calls “science in baby shoes”) taught us that it was practiced in many societies with positive results? By excluding it, are we not a bit “narrow minded”? Why not open five stars restaurant whose main menu are steaks of exquisite tenderness, using the flesh of recently aborted babies? Why waste these precious proteins? Gourmets are likely to appreciate this dish.
This leads me to the heart of this article: abortion. The various distinctions mentioned above might be helpful in discussing the very sensitive and crucial question of one’s relation to one’s body.
The key argument used by abortionists is that each one of us has a right to make decisions over his or her own body: “if anything can truly be called “mine: it is my body. Ergo, nobody, absolutely nobody, has a right to tell me what I should do or not do with it. To set limits to this “fundamental right” is the peak of immorality and every immoral law should be abolished. This is “progress”. Hence, Roe v. Wade was a victory guaranteeing the legal protection of a “right” that for a longtime, has been shamefully trampled upon by prejudices inherited from the “dark ages.”
Be it remarked however that there are two main causes preventing us from “seeing”: lack of light, and excess of light. This has been eloquently illuminated in Plato’s Republic (Book VII, 518). When the “philosopher” leaves the dark den and enters into the “real” world, he is “blinded” by the sun, and his first response is: “I am worse off than before.” Today, the age of faith is always referred to as the “dark ages”. It is legitimate to ask the following question: is this “blindness” triggered by lack of light, or by the brightness of the sun of revelation? Who would dare claim that the age that produced a St. Thomas Aquinas, a St. Bonaventure, a Dante was dark? Let us compared them to a Voltaire, a Rousseau, a Diderot, etc. if we dare. The French Encyclopedists prided themselves in claiming that they have “finally” brought the world out of the dark den of ignorance and prejudice created by religious myths, and now a glorious future opens up for us: “reason” will finally be recognized to be our exclusive guide. Has history justified their claim? The 20th century might go down as one of the bloodiest of all centuries, for our glorious technology has taught us to kill more people, faster and more efficiently than before. What should be said of today? It is tempting to suggest that those living in the dark night of “unbelief”, relativism, subjectivism have lionized those who lit a candle in a cellar, and are now acclaimed as heroes?
There is such a thing as what I dubbed “pseudo obvious” (see Wahrheit, Wert und Sein) that is a catch sentence that “sounds” so convincing that it is accepted at prima vista as self- evident, and intellectually paralyses us, preventing us from putting it under the lenses of a healthy critical approach. It is treated as an “epistemological diplomatic passport” passing custom without check-up. The conviction that “my” body is my full personal possession is a case in point: it sounds overwhelmingly convincing.
Upon careful examination, this claims is totally unwarranted, unless we clarify the meaning of the word “mine”. In the light of what we said previously, it should be clear that the word is ambiguous. Which one applies in the present case. It definitely cannot be called “possession” in the sense that I possess an inanimate object outside of me. If this were its only meaning, it would justify abortion. But my body is not an object outside of myself: it is not something I “have”; I “am” my body, a body closely united with a soul, i.e. I am a “human” person. A body does not belong to the essence of “personhood”: neither God nor Angels have bodies, but it essentially belongs to human persons. Animals have a body but are not persons.
That my body is “mine”, meaning the material, physical “house” in which my soul inhabits at present, cannot be denied. This implies that I and I alone “know” it: I feel it and register the slightest disturbance which occurs in it. I “feel” that I have a stomach when it is upset. I feel that I have legs when I suffer from cramps. I feel that I have eyes when they are inflamed. I feel that I have ears when I have an ear infection. This is true of all my organs; in this sense I can say that I like my body best when it is “silent”. But the case is very different when we deal with pleasant sensations. Then a Falstaff wakes up in all of us and makes us feel constantly craving to duplicate them. But the problem is that precisely because they are so subjectively satisfying, once we know them, we shall crave for more of them, and will soon discover that we “cannot do without them”. This is the very nature of addiction. A body that keeps screaming for them is a very uncomfortable “Brother Ass”. Most of us, instead of holding the bridle of a rebellious horse, will find it “easier” to yield to its demands, which, in time, will become more and more dictatorial. Anyone or anything standing in the way of these cravings, will be deemed our enemy. The soul becomes the slave of the body. That this is the situation of innumerable persons and gives us a key to all sorts of vices. Bad habits “justify” many immoral actions. “I could not do without it.” Hence the role of asceticism in any authentic religious life.
?When I drink a delicious vine, I and I alone, feel the pleasure that this noble liquid triggers in me. Let us imagine the grotesque case of a ruthlessly selfish husband who would say to his wife: “You told me that my pleasures are yours. For this reason, I won’t share with you the delicious Bordeaux that I just received. My drinking it will take care of your own satisfaction.”
When a beloved person suffers excruciating pains, and I stand by his bed side, and say to him: “I suffer with you” (con patire) this shared “suffer with” does not mean that I feel exactly what the beloved one suffers, but that to see him suffer resounds so profoundly in me that the word “con patire” is fully adequate. In such cases, it is also fully understandable that one says to the loved one: “How grateful I would be if I could take your sufferings upon me and by so doing, liberate you”. These are words when I heard from my mother, while aged five I was close to death. Too weak to say “thank you” I recall saying to myself: “Don’t you ever forget these words.”
While standing at the foot of the cross, Mary was actually “crucified” with her beloved son, even though they were no nails in her hands and feet, and her holy body was not hanging on a cross.
But this leads me to another question: is my body the “fruit” of my labor? Obviously my body is not “mine” in the sense in which Michelangelo can claim that the Pieta was his work – in fact the fruit of blood, sweat and tears. Had he not existed, this great work of art would not exist. This is true of all physical, artistic or intellectual work, always preceded by long and painful labor pains. Whether we think of the Cathedral of Chartres, Saint Peter Basilica in Rome, King Lear of Shakespeare, The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci, the St. Matthew Passion of Bach, the ninth symphony of Beethoven, Don Giovanni of Mozart, we should realize that they are the fruits of months of agonizing work. God gave these artists great talents – and they should thank Him for the gift – but the hard work, the pain, the effort are nevertheless required of the artists. The severity of these labor pain are known only to those who have suffered them.
But “my body”, that is, the material organism in which I am living, which I can see, hear, feel, weigh – the “house” in which I reside – was not and could not have been the fruit of my own labor. Not only it is impossible and self-contradictory to claim that “I have made myself” for it would imply that I pre-existed my own existence. The question: who is the giver of this amazing gift? (a question that preoccupied the young Chesterton who, conscious of the awesome gift of life, did not know at that time who was the person he should thank). For what purpose was it given to me? That my father and mother played a biological role is not to be denied, but both the semen and the eggs were pre-given, and placed in their bodies without any collaboration on their part: they were a precious gift. It was not their doing; they too received it. Finally they were both incapable of guaranteeing that the tiny, practically invisible semen, would reach the egg. The father is totally out of the game; so is the mother even though the “drama” of conception will unfold in her body.
Once the egg is fecundated, we are facing a human person. I recall one of my students, deeply upset because of my condemnation of abortion in all its forms. Her argument was that the tissues that are now in a pregnant female womb were neither chosen by her nor welcome. Therefore it is both her “right” and her “duty” toward herself to get rid of an uninvited guest. I told her that had I had the privilege of conceiving a child – for it is a privilege indeed – I would have conceived a human person – tiny as it, inevitably is in its first stage of development. An acorn contains all the glorious beauty of an oak tree. A bud is an invisible lily. If she could convince me that what she had conceived a rat, I would be the first to advise her to have it “surgically removed”. True as it is that this tiny little person has not accomplished anything, its metaphysical dignity is equal to the one of a genius. One has it or does not have it; it cannot be acquired by “growth” and actions.
I declare emphatically that the mysterious organism which is now hidden in its mother’s womb cannot in any way be called “hers”: for we cannot possibly possess another’s life. We have already hinted at the fact that even our own life is not “our possession”: it was a gift for which we will have to give an account to the Giver. Indeed, “what do we have that we have not received”? (1 Cor. 4- 7)
Let me repeat: material objects can be “possessed”. But it is a moral abomination to claim that “persons” can ever be someone’s possession. ?
Why do women abort or let themselves be convinced that they should get rid of an “unwanted” guest? There are very different reasons. There are tragic cases: an innocent teenaged girl is brutally raped, and finds herself pregnant from a man who disgusts her. If she keeps the baby, the consequences are going to impact her for life. Moreover, if the innocent baby discovers one day that he is the fruit of rape, he will inevitably have the feeling that “he should not have existed”.
In our “immoral” society where religious and moral education is either totally neglected, or non-existent, it is loudly denied that killing a baby is murder. It is easy to convince this young woman that there is an easy solution to a troublesome problem, namely abortion: a fast and harmless procedure. There are millions of young girls who have neither the means nor the maturity to take care of babies, and are grateful that there is an escape route to this troublesome problem. “No one has the right to claim that this unwanted growth deserves legal protection.” Some young girls are actually thrown on the street if they refuse “help” (i.e. abortion).
There are also cases in which a family lives in utter poverty and feels that they have no right to bring another starving child into the world. There are, alas, cases in which parents carry a gene which inevitably will give birth to crippled children. Do they have the “right” to bring another “victim into the world”? Don’t we have the duty of eliminating suffering?
What is often purposely not mentioned is that there are many charitable organizations always ready to offer help to such tragic cases. Good Counsel founded by Father Benedict Groeschel and Christopher Bell come to mind.
But in our society innumerable abortions are performed as a matter of course, killing children who happen to be conceived at an “inconvenient” moment, ruining the prospect of an exciting safari, or a possible promotion in one’s job. Moreover, a child is costly: to have a baby means to deprive oneself of many enriching experiences to which is “entitled.” “After all, one lives only once, and I have the right to decide the course that I want my life to take.”
I repeat: the moment that the news media have convinced the masses that my body is exclusively mine, the door became wide open to numberless murders of defenseless innocents.
In the light of what we have mentioned, is it true that my body is my property as my pocket book is – the fruit of my labor? One thing is obvious: I did not give my body to myself; I have no “merit” whatever in having brought it into existence. I have received it. When I receive a gift, I am morally obliged to ask what was the intention of the giver?
One thing is certain: no one will ever see what he does not want to see. In discussing what I have dubbed “sensitive” questions, i.e. those related to our personal existence, we should honestly ask ourselves the question: do we wish the answer to conform to what we perceive as “advantageous” to us? By raising this question by “more convenient”, do we mean “more subjectively satisfying”? Those fighting tooth and nail for the legality of abortion should honestly ask themselves whether their “eloquence” is not dictated by subjective personal interest. It is tragic to think that what is “subjectively” advantageous today trumps what is “right”. Moreover, in the long run turn out that an immediate advantage, might turn out to be gravely harmful to my soul. Plato must have had something similar in mind when he wrote that man is his own worst enemy. Those fighting against abortion are not self-seeking: they are fighting for is what is morally right. This is their one and exclusive concern. Can the same be said about abortionists?
There is a sentence in St. John’s Gospel which sheds magnificent light on our topic Christ questioned by the Pharisees about the validity of his teaching, responded: “…if any man’s will is is to do His will’, he will know whether the teaching is from God.” (VII, 7) This sentence is so profound that it calls for our special attention. Logically, it is obvious that the intellect precedes the will: the latter needs information coming from the former in order to make decisions. But Christ knows the trickiness of our fallen nature, and draws our attention to the fact that if we do not want to do something (for subjective reasons) this decision will block our intellectual vision, and then we can claim “honestly” that “we do not see”. A blind person wishes to see; a person whose choices are dictated by personal advantages, chooses blindness, and we all know that we shall never see what we do not want to see. Anyone wanting abortion to be morally legitimate, will never, absolutely never, perceive the luminous validity of the arguments presented by those fighting for life. Little Samuel, in the temple said: “speak, O Lord; thy servant listens”. The abortionists’ prayer is “do not speak; I am not listening”.