A small picture with a big message...
Small, yes, in its size (rather like a simple icon); big as it shows the Birth of the most important and Sacred Personage in history ~ Whose Mother, it can be said, was the most perfect example of the pro-life devotee ever!
Our Blessed Lady was not prepared to be a Mother...in Her own mind, She had pictured Her own life just a bit differently...and when St. Gabriel appeared to Her that fateful day, I am sure She was quite taken by surprise.
On the other hand, however, She was perfectly prepared (in the eyes of God) for just such a purpose to which He was calling Her.
She had been living Her own life practicing perfect Virtues...and Her soul was more pure than the driven snow...and the Advent of the Savior of the world was closer than even She had imagined ~ all through Her!
And this brings me to the rest of us.
How pro-life are we? Do we say we are, and yet we deny love or compassion to anyone who is 'less' than what we think we are, ourselves? Because if we do, we are less than they...
I also wrote in my other Blog today (@ Yahoo 360*) about this Sunday which calls us to respect life, from natural conception to natural death.
No matter how we come to be; it could be that we are born disabled, or born perfect in the eyes of man...if God creates us, as indeed He does, then we are perfect in His eyes.
When He created Saints like Bl. Margaret of Costello, or Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, He was not concerned with their physical or mental attributes. Bl. Margaret was shunned by her own parents at her birth ~ she was born disabled. Bl. Kateri was shunned by her people after she had grown to become a young lady (a chief's daughter, to boot), having contracted small pox and converting to the Faith. Both women are now with their God, Who has never regarded either of them as less than perfect!
In the Sermon at today's Holy Mass, the topic was, of course, the theme of today's Sunday ~ Respect Life ~ and there was a story told that was quite powerful in its witness of the hand of God at work...
Last year, it seems, there was a young couple who had been trying to conceive a child, with no luck. They were @ the Holy Mass (members of my parish) and there was a stack of prayer cards in the vestibule, promoting the Spiritual Adoption so dear to the heart of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen ~ where one prays for the life of an unborn baby for nine months, a baby who is in danger of abortion ~ in the hope that God will see to it that the baby is spared such an early death. This couple, who were beginning to discuss the possibility of adoption, picked up the prayer card and began to pray for an unborn baby, giving the baby the name of 'Olivia,' so as to make it more personal and memorable in their own minds.
Later, as it turned out, they were informed that they had been chosen to adopt a baby girl, after two earlier attempts at adoption had failed.
The husband, looking on the Internet for any information concerning Saints who had lived particularly pro-life messages in their own lives...and then any Saints who had Feast Days near the birth date of this little baby, found that one Saint in particular was celebrated on the very day she was born!
Her name was Olivia.
Yes, the hand of God is apparently at work in our lives, every moment of every day. Those of us who respect life from beginning to end know this to be true. And now, this brand new life, this little girl who has no idea of nearly being murdered before she was even born, will grow up in the Faith of the Church, and hopefully give witness to Our Lord's mercy in her very existence.
And someday, when her parents proudly present her to the priest for her First Holy Communion, the loving Brother to Whom she has always been perfect will be pleased to come to her in His own way...as He does to every one of us who believe and try to please Him.
Soon, sooner than this, however, they will be bringing her to the church for her Baptism; and when I hear that the name of 'Olivia' is given to this tiny infant, I will be listening for Angels' voices and heavenly bells to ring out in joyful praise to our loving and Almighty God, Who sees His children as His own ~ and perfectly deserving of life ~ in Him.
And perfect little Olivia, along with us all, will be allowed to give Him all adoration, thanksgiving and praise, now and forever. Amen.