Here are some thoughts from today’s homily at Mass marking the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade:

Love, Truth, Morality:

These things are not mutually exclusive, though if one listens only to the public debate of our time, they would think they are.  If the only way for a person to “freely” do what he or she chooses is to ignore the voice of God, then it is a false freedom.  And just because we as Church take a moral stand on the serious issues of our day does not mean we fail to love.  Quite the contrary.  Morality and love are not mutually exclusive.

We believe God is love.  We believe God sent His only Son into the world because He loved us so much.  God who is love did not fail in His love to provide us with the values we need to live in and according to that love.  God in His goodness gave us moral guidelines to live by.  A big part of our role today is to help recover this relationship with God for every man woman and child.  A part of our role today is to provide a moral compass for the people of our time, and to help all people understand the legitimate role of such moral guidance.

These ancient principles and modern day challenges are some of the reasons why I chose the episcopal motto: Truth in Love.  It is not easy to always know the truth.  It is not easy always to speak the truth.  It is not easy always to love. . . but this is what God asks of us.

Our Holy Father is one who is a great model of speaking the Truth in Love.  He is also a great wisdom figure with regard to the issues and challenges of our time.  In a recent interview now in book form, Light of the World, our Holy Father speaks of the topic of tolerance.  He wisely sees how in the name of tolerance, strong arguments are made to validate many behaviors.  In the same name of tolerance, a growing and successful effort is made to silence the teaching voice of the Church as one that is intolerant.

He basically points out the flaw in such a philosophy.  In a world which claims to be tolerant – in the name of tolerance condones almost everything – yet for some reason does not tolerate the moral voice of the Church.  Such tolerance is not true tolerance, which seeks to silence the moral conscience. 

As we mark another anniversary in this country of the right to legally end life through abortion, it seems we need to better understand the challenges of current, cultural thought, so as to better meet these flawed ways of thinking.  But, we need also to do everything we can to strengthen our credibility regarding our pro-life stance. 

We must be equally committed, and engaged in providing for the dignified existence of the people already living in our world.  To be truly pro-life, we must not neglect the needs of the poor, the marginalized, the immigrant, the single, unwed mother who struggles in poverty, those who suffer from addictions…and the list goes on.  Our challenge is to defend the life of the unborn and help provide a dignified existence of God’s people.

Ultimately, this is God’s work, but it requires our cooperation.  If we have been “sitting it out on the sidelines”, perhaps it is time to pray and discern what God is asking me to do for life today.