How much it meant to me then, during my time as a student to come across some books by Archbishop Fulton Sheen in the library there. As interested as I was in his books and his videos, startled in re-awakening the faith that I had been born with, it was a small prayer card bearing his name that ultimately awoke within me the greatest of admiration towards that man and affection towards my faith.
The prayer card contained a photograph of Christ on the front with His head in His hand. Adorned across the top was the exclamation This Must Stop! On the other side, a statement regarding the millions of unborn children murdered each year by abortion and the pain that it causes Our Lord. It invited the reader to 'adopt' and unborn child in danger of being aborted. Pray for it, name it, think of it.
It was so simple. So tender and humble, there was no grand assault on an overwhelming problem. Merely putting faith in the Lord and doing the least bit of charity with great faith in Him. Before you were formed in the womb I knew you.
Abortion is a horrible act. Especially when one thinks of how 9/10 Down Syndrome children are murdered in their own mother's womb, how children even with cleft palets are destroyed and of how mothers get themselves into a frame of mind where anything is justifiable.
The mother can always seek God's mercy and redemption, as Dorothy Day did with her great work for the love of Our Lord. But often they do not. Fulton Sheen told a story of how a woman once told him that she did not believe in God. He responded why? She said because of the corruption of the Church. He responded by telling of his work for the poor in Africa. She then mentioned one superfluous reason after another, before finally he asked her a pointed question. What did you do that you are so ashamed to stand before a priest? She answered honestly, I had an abortion.
We should all say the following prayer each day. Children are defenceless and their little bodies are often disposed of in grotesque manner. Say it, honestly, praying that Our Lord may get into the hearts of some of these women (or doctors) and spare this little child.
The cards themselves came from the initiative Arthur Maes of Crusade for Life International, who has published millions upon millions of these cards. The simplicity of the prayer and the generosity of a friend who offered to keep publishing said cards gave him the impetus to spread them and their message as far and wide as possible.
Even though the recent Synod on the Family seemed to forget that they existed, we should not forget the importance of the Holy Family, as we pray:
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you very much. I beg of you to spare the life of the unborn child I have spiritually adopted, who is in danger of abortion.
Say this prayer every day for nine months to save a baby’s life!
For those of us lucky enough to be brought into this world, raised by a loving family and blessed with the opportunity to achieve something in education, this prayer should especially be a statement of our gratitude and our effort to extend our opportunities to some defenceless child in peril. Of the countless many books and articles by history's highest thinkers, of which I wrote thousands of words in response as part of my degree, none affected me a fraction as deeply as did this simple and beautiful act of mercy from the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
|This painting is notable for its depiction of Down Syndrome in an angelic way in the medieval period, as opposed to how 'progressive' prochoice treat these lovely and kind people in the womb and modern society.|