Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Abortion and Christian Charity

I was praying at an abortion clinic last weekend with a group of friends. As sometimes happens, we were yelled at by a passerby while we were praying.
An irate man yelled at us as we were praying (somewhat more politely than most, I might add – no expletives were used). He adopted the familiar tactic of accusing pro-lifers of not caring for women: “So you really want to help these women? Then you need to provide free day care for them for the rest of their lives! These women will never see you after today, and all you are making them do is feel bad. You…”
At this point, the man stopped. I don’t know whether someone talked to him, or whether he just got disgusted that we didn’t drop everything, stop praying, and listen to him.
But I badly wanted to speak to him. For he was wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong! But his lie contains a grain of truth.
I’ve written on this topic before, but it bears repeating. The Church does care for women in danger of abortions, if the women are not too proud to ask for help. Pregnancy centers, homeless shelters, food banks, adoption agencies – caring for the poor and disabled is a Christian way of life, that faithful Catholics do practice.
But his statement should be reflected upon by us Catholics, who are often lax in providing charity to the poor and downtrodden. Catholics – especially young Catholics – must know how to help women in danger of obtaining abortions if the opportunity arises. We must know where they can go for help. We must be prepared to give of our time, our resources, and even ourselves, if need be, in order to help women in need.
College students cannot, of course, pay for free day-care, or adopt children, or make massive monetary commitments. But youth is a time of energy, not to be wasted. We may not have the money to give to the poor – but we often do have the time to volunteer at pregnancy centers and food banks. We may not have the means to give monetarily to charity – but we usually have the means to show charity to our neighbor.
Youth is no excuse for lack of charity – it is a time of action, as well as a building block of future charity. And charity, our Christian duty, can potentially save lives and souls.

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