A Small Church? John 6 and Archbishop Chaput.

Recently, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia recently gave a stirring and magnificent talk on the state of Catholicism in America, the assimilation of Catholics into modern American commercial culture, and the subsequent “silent apostasy” of many American Catholics who have become too comfortable in the world to change it (1).  He urged that fear of losing members (for the Church is neither a club nor a business) should never make the Church afraid to proclaim the gospel and that if consequence of this is a smaller, lighter, more faithful Church, then so be it.

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Chaput referenced 13th century image of Mary punching the devil in the face.  So much for dialogue.  image from: google.com

To this reasonable suggestion, some have responded with horror and over-wrought hand-wringing.  Michael Sean Winters of the National catholic Reporter (2). He accused Chaput of Phariseeism, of not caring about losing members, and of denying his own need for God’s mercy (though how would MSW know that?) among other things.  Yet, in his criticism of the Archbishop, Winters shows seems to have forgotten about the example of Jesus Himself in the Bread of Life discourse.

For a brief moment early in his ministry, Jesus was overwhelmingly popular.  He had just fed 5000 men, as well as women and children, with miraculous bread and the crowds began to wonder if they had found a king who would keep their bellies full and their backs free of the dreaded imperial eagle of Rome.  And so they came by the crowds to hear this hoped for bread-king.  In the Bread of Life discourse (John 22:6-59), Jesus declared Himself the “bread come down from heaven” and that man could not have life within him unless he ate of the flesh and drank of the blood of the Son of Man.  Many of his hearers, however, drew back from these shocking words.  Jesus doubled down: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you shall not have life within you.  Even many of his disciples murmured, hesitated- Jesus doubled down again, The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life, but some of you believe not.

And that was too much.  A Messiah who gave bread- all well and good; As Fulton Sheen has commented, Caesar gave bread.  A Messiah who gave Himself?  Never.  From that day Jesus lost the crowds and even many of his disciples; scripture says, “After this, many of his disciples went back and followed him no more (Emphasis mine).”  He was a bread-king, but not the kind of bread-king for which the crowds had hoped!  And so they left.  Multiple times, the crowds and his disciples asked for clarification, giving Our Lord a chance to back off, to change His words, and multiple times, He refused to do so, knowing it would cost Him most of his followers.  He was left with only a few and, not fearing to lose them either, merely turned and asked “do you want to leave to?”  They did not, and left with only a dozen and perhaps no more, Jesus proceeded to transform the world.

Perhaps it was with that passage in mind that Archbishop Chaput said: “Obviously we need to do everything we can to bring tepid Catholics back to active life in the Church. But we should never be afraid of a smaller, lighter Church if her members are also more faithful, more zealous, more missionary and more committed to holiness.”  Chaput never said, (as Winters dishonestly claims) that he does not care about those lost, but that we do need to speak the truth, clearly, honestly, and without fear of the consequences, even if it means many who call themselves disciples went back and followed Him no more.  To say this is not Phariseeism, unless Christ was a Pharisee.  But it is faithfulness, which is required regardless of the cost.

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Modern Superstition and Trusting the Rich

Donald Trump’s candidacy has been instructive for a number of reasons, albeit regrettable for many others.  It has shown how a loud and colorful personality, promising to make Germany  America great again can quickly gain the allegiance and more, faith, of desperate crowds who will ignore any charge against him because of the faith they have placed in him.  There are books to be written on this subject, but only one small but instructive point concerns us here: the growing faith in the rich.

One of Donald Trump’s key arguments on the campaign trail is that people should trust him because he is rich.  Because he is rich, he cannot be bought and hence is more trustworthy.  Leaving aside the question of whether a person who buys influence, favors, and people is more trustworthy than a person who sells them, what is so interesting here is that we are being asked to trust the rich because they are rich.  Money (supposedly) makes a person trustworthy.  Poverty makes him unreliable.  Money equals virtue and poverty, vice.  This is not a new idea.  G.K. Chesterton wrote about it 100 years ago: “You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed” (Orthodoxy, chapter 7). It was as ridiculous then as it is now, but what is so interesting is how the idea is suddenly seen as widely convincing today just when the influence of Christianity seems to be fading- and there is more than coincidence in this.

Why should nations with proud democratic traditions and governments and nations (America at least) founded on the notion that all men are created equal suddenly appear so ripe for aristocracy?   Why should they suddenly be so ready to submit themselves to rule by the rich believing that only the rich can be trusted to rule?  In the last hours of its decay, the Roman republic did the same thing, as mobs threw power to a patrician strongman railing against corruption and promising to look out for them, but why should American be prepared to do the same?  What makes a nation with America’s history and democracy be suddenly willing to adopt and adopt loudly the position that the poor cannot be trusted, that we must throw ourselves on the rule of the rich?

For G.K Chesterton (and me), it was the decline of Christianity.  For only Christianity provided any consistent bulwark against this superstitious faith in the rich.

Only the Christian Church can offer any rational objection to a complete confidence in the rich. For she has maintained from the beginning that the danger was not in man’s environment, but in man….if, in short, we assume the words of Christ to have meant the very least that they could mean, His words must at the very least mean this — that rich men are not very likely to be morally trustworthy (Ibid).

Some of the rich may be trustworthy and some may not, just as some of the poor may be trustworthy and others not, but no man is more trustworthy because he is rich or less so because he is not.  This is a pagan superstition and hence a modern one, but according to Christianity, greater danger lies in riches than in poverty.  As Chesterton remarked:

There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to kill the rich as violators of definable justice. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to crown the rich as convenient rulers of society. It is not certainly un-Christian to rebel against the rich or to submit to the rich. But it is quite certainly un-Christian to trust the rich, to regard the rich as more morally safe than the poor  (ibid).

But this is why modern America can believe the myth that Trump’s wealth makes him reliable.  Because belief in Christianity is on the decline, such superstitions are on the rise; it can hardly be otherwise.  Man needs a savior and if he cannot have a divine one, then he must have a human one.  Whether such a savior can save anything, bring hope and change, or make America great again, is another, more doubtful question.

  1. Note: I find that Mark Shea already beat me to this passage in Chesterton and its applicationhere: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2015/07/the-prophet-chesterton-on-donald-trump.html

Sacrament in Medieval and Modern World

A former professor once commented to me that she thought she really only learned something well when she had to teach it.  I understood what she meant when I taught my own course on the Middle Ages.  One of the key ideas in which I was interested was that of “worldview”: how did people of the past see the world and how did their world-view differ from the modern one?  What did the world mean to them as opposed to the moderns.  I knew about some aspects of this going into the class, but one that struck me part of the way through the class was the concept of “sacrament” in the medieval mindset.

The seven sacraments familiar to Catholics today were clearly summarized and discussed by the twelfth-century theologian Peter Lombard, whose discussion became the textbook to which all later medieval theologians would refer and which was never really disputed.  The sacraments also became the object of so much popular enthusiasm that in some places crowds would rush from one Church to another in order to see the key moment when the priest raised the host and proclaimed “hoc est corpus domini.

Much of the reason Peter Lombard’s discussion of the sacraments was never really challenged until the Protestant Reformation, and much of the reason for this popular acceptance is that the notion of sacrament must have simply seemed natural to medieval people given their world-view.  To them the material world was the sign or symbol of a higher spiritual one.  The material world was thus a meaningful place, a place that had its meaning written into it by its maker.  Matter concealed a higher spiritual meaning.  One example in this lay in how people read scripture.

Medieval Catholics considered several different senses of scripture.  Scripture had its literal sense- the plain meaning of the words, but it also had three symbolic senses.  The literal sense hid below it a more spiritual meaning; the literal became a sign of the spiritual.  Hence, the story of Jonah was not merely the story of a man swallowed by a whale,  regurgitated by said whale on a beach, and who then successfully (and unsurprisingly) called the people of the local city to penance.  Rather, the literal sense was the sign of, or pointed to, a higher spiritual one: that is, the death of Christ, His lying in a tomb for three days, and His subsequent Resurrection.

To a medieval this was natural: scripture, though written by human authors, was inspired by God, so it made sense that a higher spiritual meaning should be concealed by the literal words.  The same was true of the world.  The world was made by the hand of God, so it was not surprising that matter might conceal a higher spiritual reality.  The Incarnation must have seemed perfectly proper to men with such a view.

Also unsurprising would have been the notion of sacrament.  To them, a sacrament was a material sign with a hidden spiritual reality; it looked back to Christ’s Passion and conferred grace.  To a medieval, with the view of the world having its meaning written into it by God, it would have been perfectly normal that matter should conceal sanctity, that unleavened bread might conceal (below its accidents) divinity.  This view would have been natural to them, not in the sense that they probably consciously thought about it much, but in the sense that they swam in it like a fish in water.  This was why they ran from church to church, in a rush to see matter become divine.

Not so in the modern world.  In a world that is “disenchanted,” in belief if not in fact, there is little room for sacrament.  Matter cannot be a sign of higher realities if there are no higher realities.  Even many Catholics struggle to appreciate it; where the medievals were fish in water, the modern Catholic is more like a land animal learning to swim.  Even if his conscious beliefs are different, the background he swims in is too often that of the secular worldview with which he is continually bombarded.  If sacrament is to make sense to a modern world, then something of the older medieval world-view must be recaptured and the culture changed.

The Sanity of Theology

Years ago, (If my memory is not mistaken) the late Fr. Andrew Greeley mentioned, in a column I am unable to find, about his distaste for theology.  Theology, acknowledged, might have been necessary, it might even be a “necessary evil.”  Many progressives today agree and even go further, dropping the adjective and keeping the noun.  Joining forces with the antinomians and enemies of canon law,they would say that it is time to “progress” past medieval theology into the modern world.  Yet, there is more of regress than progress in their views- for the rejection of theology takes one only forward to a modernity that is as backward as pagan antiquity.  No one developed a theology of Zeus or the pagan gods.  And so, the “progress” of the modern progressive Catholic becomes nothing but the regression of the ancient pagan, who was more backward than the Middle Ages that developed so much of theology.  

In the early centuries of Christianity, theology was largely in the hands of the bishops, the main (though not only) defenders of Catholic orthodoxy against the intellectual attacks of the pagan.  Men like Augustine of Hippo and Ambrose of Milan explicated Early Christianity to a pagan world, defending it against heathen attacks, developing Christian thought, and applying Christian principles to new issues.  After the fall of Rome, for several hundred years, there was little done in the way of serious theology.  From 500 to 1000 AD, Christian thought, in a sense, shrunk, undergoing what one historian (Robert Markus) called an “epistemological excision,” responding to crisis by purging itself of most thought outside of the Bible.  Little else was read or considered.  In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, this was reversed.  Latin Europe recovered the science and philosophy of Aristotle and other pagan authors, applying the rules of logic and philosophy to theological questions, leading to the development of schools and universities, where a broad theological tradition developed.  

For many moderns, one senses that this development was a regrettable one- at best a necessary evil, and perhaps worse.  These dislike what they see as the limitations of (good) theology.  They see theology as something that limits, restricts, and holds back.  The theologians (the good ones at least) say, for instance, that a man may not marry another woman while his first wife is still living; they impose other limitations even less popular.  They, like lawyers, make distinctions, draw lines, and put up fences.  The modern man would rather blur the lines and, in his contempt for theology, tear down the fences.  But, as Chesterton has said, a man should be cautious about tearing down a fence until he knows why it was put up in the first place.  If a man, imagining he was to break free of limits and boundaries, and strike a blow for progress and liberty, should blow a hole in a dam, he would find at least one boundary that even he might regret crossing.  

In a real sense, theology does limit.  It limits in the same sense in which a dam limits.  It places a boundary not to limit individual freedom, but to guard it, for a man who broke the boundary of the dam would quickly find himself less free and not more.   And so the medieval theologians did limit.  They drew lines and made distinctions.  They were the lines that separated truth from falsehood, and inside the Christian faith from without.  To be more precise, perhaps, they did not draw the lines, so much as recognize the lines that were there.  If the marriage of a husband and wife is the image of the relationship between Christ and the Church, then a line exists between that man and any other women he would wish to marry while his first wife is still living. The line defends not only the man’s wife from abandonment, but the man from sacrilege.  The divisions between truth and falsehood are not made by the theologians, but only recognized by them, for they are in the gospel also.  They are there when Christ declared that he came not to bring peace into the world, but division.  They are in the gospel when He told of those within the wedding feast and those without.  When the Light came into the world, He divides the light from the darkness, which some prefer because their works are evil.  And when the Truth comes into the world, there will be a line between Him and falsehood, though some will prefer the falsehood.  

Yet, theology does not only limit- it expands.  It sees the world as a part of a larger world.  Theology is the “study of God,” yet, in his theology, Thomas Aquinas, wrote not only of God, but much on man.  This was because theology studies also the whole of creation, seen in light of God.  And seen in light of God, that is, by theology, the world expands and grows larger.  Flatland becomes a three-dimensional world.  A higher and larger floor is added to a poor and rude hovel.  Seen in light of God, a sunrise becomes not only a sunrise, but a sign of God’s majesty, and a storm, a sign of his splendor.  Marriage becomes not only marriage, but a sign of the union between Christ and the Church, a union that man cannot break, but may break himself upon.  This was the world of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas Aquinas, this larger world of which the material was only a sign or symbol.  

This at any rate, is the task of good theology.  There is also bad theology.  This sees not the world in light of God, but rather, sees God in light of the world.  Feminist theologies that see the gospel in terms of secular feminism and liberation theologies that see it in terms of marxism are only two such examples.  This sort of theology, which is not really theology, is not necessary, though it may be evil.  But theology, real theology, as long as there is truth in the world, will draw lines.  As long as there is light in the world, it will recognize the darkness.  And God help those who try to pull the fence down, lest they learn the hard way why it was put up in the first place.  

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Kill All the Lawyers? The Place of Law and the Gospel (I)

The first of a two post series on canon law and some current issues in the Church

The great playwright, William Shakespeare, once had one of his characters in Henry VI say: “the first thing we do, let us kill all the lawyers.” The sentiment is one that one suspects would find a sympathetic audience today. Attacking lawyers is certainly fashionable today, both within the Catholic Church and without it, though it is the former that concerns us here. The great canonist Ed Peter’s has recently complained about the spirit of anti-nomianism that seems pervasive today as people reject the law, some in the name of mercy or the gospel, and some simply in the name of their own desires. Defend the law and one risks being labeled a Pharisee, a legalist, one who cares more for law than people.

But we cannot so easily do without canon law. Canon law, that is, the law of the Church, grew to maturity in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the same time that saw the founding of the universities and major reform movements in the medieval Church to free it from secular control. This was not mere coincidence. One strength of the law was its ability to draw distinctions, the same skill developed by the scholastic theologians. For instance, throughout Aquinas, when he takes on a problem, he often points out the much lies in how one makes fine distinctions. When discussing whether it was necessary that Christ become man, Aquinas explains that in an absolute sense it was not necessary, but in another sense, it was (because it was the most fitting and efficient way to work salvation). He distinguished sense, he drew lines.

Lawyer did the same things. The also drew lines. Those lines included the line between the sacred and the secular, as the drew a line around the Church as firm as the walls of Constantinople and said that no secular ruler might cross it. Drawing lines between the secular and sacred meant that, free of secular influence (in theory if not always in practice), the Church was free to reform and to grow in holiness.

The law had another advantage. It is said today that “the law is reason free from passion.” Certainly, this saying fits with the attitude of the medieval Church lawyers. Men are too easily given to passion, they find it too easy to put reason aside out of anger, greed, or even compassion. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, once said that “most men live by sense rather than reason.” It was not said as an insult, but a realistic account of human nature. But the men of the Middle Ages knew that passion was no safeguard. Their’s was, in a sense, the first real Age of Reason, for they believed in the power of reason to understand the world in a way few had before. Reason, the rules of logic, would take them to a just and true outcome regardless the personal feelings or preferences or those involved. By reason, man escaped prejudice, and moved away from the animals and toward the angels. Hence, one task of law, reason free from passion, was the justice and fairness that came from truth. This was the purpose of law, to discover justice, regardless the feelings of those involved.

This was important when, in the early thirteenth-century, King Phillip Augustus of France, the most powerful ruler in Europe asked (demanded) that the Pope, Innocent III, grant him a divorce of his wife. Pope Innocent III, however, was not a mere sentimentalist, rather, he was a canon lawyer. Hence, was able to look past the personal preference of himself (he would have preferred not to anger the king) and the king, and tell the king that the law found no justification to put aside the plain words of Christ in the gospel: when a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery. By the law, the Pope tried defend the innocent wife of a powerful king who had begun to find her inconvenient.

This is why it is so unfortunate today when some in the Church set the law against the gospel and try to claim that we must put aside the law in the name of the gospel. Nonsense, if the law, reason free from passion, is not allowed not draw out the implications of the gospel and to consider its application to particular situations, then the decision will be unjust. If reason cannot decide, then unreason will. And when two passions collide, the passion of the stronger person usually prevails. Hence Henry VIII, who also demanded a divorce, rejected the advice of his lawyer, Thomas More, who told him that he had no grounds to break up his marriage. Henry ignored him; since his reason would not rule, his passion did and the first thing Henry did, was to kill the lawyer.

One final thought. In Robert Bolt’s Man for All Seasons, Thomas More’s son-in-law told him that he would cut down every law in England to achieve a desired end. More’s reply was biting: “And when the last law was down, and the devil turned round on you– where would you hide Roper, the laws all being flat… if you cut them down– and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then…?” Kill the lawyers, put aside the law, but who, as Bolt’s More says, could stand upright in ensuing storm.

Moral Progress, Conscience, and Moral Decay

Recently, in both the secular and Catholic World, much talk has focused on the notion of personal “conscience.” In the secular world, the question has focused on whether religious institutions may follow their conscience by not paying for their employees contraceptives, since they see contraception as morally objectionable. More interesting though, is the current debate on conscience among Catholics themselves. Yet, from the debate, it is clear that the notion of conscience is poorly understood.

On one hand, traditional Catholic teaching holds that conscience is inviolable; that is to say, the claims of one’s conscience are absolute and may not be violated. Yet depending what is meant by conscience, this leads to absurdities. A bad man may strongly feel that his conscience is telling him to break into his neighbors’ house because his neighbor deserves it. Or a neo-nazi feel that he really is right to burn down a black Church, because it deserves it. But if conscience is inviolable, it seems we need say that these people are right to act as they do, which is absurd.

On the other hand, we clearly admire people who follow their conscience at the cost of great personal risk and loss to themselves. Robert Bolt, an agnostic playwright, could not help but admire the Catholic layman, Sir Thomas More, who stood on his own conscience when he refused to say that his king was not an adulterer for divorcing his wife and attempting to take another. When asked why he admired More so much, Bolt pointed to More’s stubborn insistence on following his conscience even against all the coercive power of the English state. He admired that More “would not place his hand on an ordinary book and tell a very ordinary lie.”

So how to reconcile the two? Clearly, to follow conscience is admirable but at the same time, moral evils cannot be justified with an appeal to conscience. It must be then, that conscience is not simply a matter of strong personal feeling. A person feels a certain way, therefore conscience is speaking. This view of conscience clearly leads to the absurdities mentioned above. In this case, conscience becomes to easy to confuse with personal desire. “My conscience tells me that I can…” comes to mean little more than “I really, really want to do x, therefore I will believe that my conscience wants me to do x.” This is clearly absurd, but if conscience is internal, how can one refute it? Are there no objective, external markers, that conscience may be measured against?

If one is a Christian, of course, the answer is simple. If one’s conscience contradicts the meaning of scripture, then what one believes is his conscience is certainly no more than personal desires or something worse. Certainly, not conscience at all. If one’s desire for a second marriage contradicts the plain words of Jesus, “a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery,” then clearly the claim that his conscience is telling him to contradict the words of Christ is either delusion or sophistry. If one is in addition to Christian, a Catholic, then he is also bound by the tradition of the Church.

But just as “faith must be purified by reason” (Benedict XVI), conscience too can, at least partially, be measure by reason besides revelation alone. In his book, One Body, the philosopher Alexander Pruss made some useful remarks on conscience. He referred to those who say that their conscience now permits them to use contraception. In reply, Pruss pointed out several things, I mention three:

1. Conscience, when it is really conscience speaking, tends to grow more demanding and not less. This is merely the nature of moral life. The more we try sincerely to follow conscience, the more demands conscience places on us. Conscience permits, not more than it used to, but less than it used to. Hence to say that conscience once did not allow divorce, but now it does allow it, fails to fit with the nature of conscience.

2. This is connected to the last. People say “my conscience allows…”, but conscience does not really permit. The nature of conscience is to forbid. It acts typically as a check on one’s behavior and desires. Hence, any claim “my conscience allows,” seems not to fit this measure of conscience.

3. While there is moral progress, there is also moral decay (Pruss). If there is progress or development, we should expect it to grow organically out of the Christian tradition. A man develops from a child, a dog from a puppy. Yet, the current desire for divorce and remarriage and contraception (for example) seems not to develop from Christian tradition, but from secular culture. This suggests rather than decay is slipping in, influenced by secular culture, not that moral progress is being made.

This is significant for the whole modern discussion of conscience, but also the claims of some, flowing out of the recent synod, that people can, on their own, in their own consciences, discern if their divorce and second marriage (or whatever other moral issue) is permitted by their own conscience or not.

This passes the test neither of scripture nor of reason. Conscience is inviolable, to be obeyed absolutely. But desire that contradict reason and scripture, where a person is likely led by personal wish to something they already wish to do, is not conscience. It is only desire, and to replace conscience (real conscience) with desire and still call it conscience only leads us, “on the short route to chaos.”

The World’s Hatred: A Letter to Catholics

This was initially submitted to my local diocesan paper as an OP-Ed.  The paper published it as a short letter.  Hence, I present the original here.  

As the Holy Father concludes his visit to the United States, the Catholic Church seems to wear a more attractive face. Pope Francis’s popularity and the enormously positive media coverage seem almost overwhelming. Doubtless too, it comes as a welcome relief to Catholics tired of being attacked for their supposedly backward and narrow views on a range of issues from abortion to marriage and beyond. The Pope is popular, the Church is popular, and all seems well. We need no longer talk about unpopular, controversial issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Instead, we can “reach out” to people, by talking about easier subjects. At least, so it seems.

Enjoying this period of popularity is perfectly understandable and probably even morally neutral. But a thing can be morally neutral and still lead one into danger. We may enjoy this period of popularity while it lasts, but herein lies the danger, that we might be tempted to try to make it last. We might be tempted to try to make this time of popularity last by trying to get along too well with the world or by not talking about “controversial” subjects. We might try to put aside Our Lord’s hard words: His talk about suffering, crosses, sin, and hell. We might focus on the Christ who said to help the poor and not to judge, but not the Christ who flipped tables, called his enemies “whitewashed tombs,” and told his closest follower, “get behind me Satan.”

This is the danger: that hoping to maintain present popularity, we may be tempted not to present the full truth of Christ. That we might be tempted to abandon it for mere popularity. And popularity is something no follower of Christ should expect. Our Lord never promised popularity, but a cross; and no one can follow Him and hope to escape it. The world says “blessed are the popular,” but Our Lord said, “blessed are you when they persecute you, revile you, and slander you because of me.” The world says, “woe to the unpopular,” but Our Lord says, “woe to you when men speak well of you.”

If we do not present the full truth of Christ to people, the hard as well as the easy, then we are not presenting the true Christ. If we are not presenting the true Christ, then we are presenting a false Christ. And to deprive people of the truth of Christ and hence of the true Christ is a betrayal of Christ, His gospel, and the poor themselves. Cardinal Sarah, an African Cardinal, and hence someone who knows something about poverty, has recently said that the worst form of discrimination against the poor is not to give them Christ.

Hence, failure to present the whole Gospel is a betrayal of the poor and the weak themselves. It is a betrayal of children— denied a father and a mother—who suffer most from the breakdown of marriage and the family. It is a betrayal of the unborn, the poorest of all, who have no one to defend them but us.

The world may hate us for that defense. But such is our duty, and Christ warned his followers that if the world hates them, know it hated Him first. In His life, same crowds that shouted “hosanna” on Sunday, shouted “crucify” the next Friday. He never sought to escape it. Neither can we.