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Abortion & Euthanasia
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There is No Stopping Abortion Without the Eucharist
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Introduction: There is no stopping abortion without the Eucharist. Abortion is murder. It is on a scale today greater than all previous combined abortion murders in human history. Public demonstrations and statements of all kinds and sizes are all very important. They offer the opportunity for the pro-life Catholic to publicly identify before the world where he or she stands. We must put first things first to know and understand that behind every abortion is the devil, a murderer from the beginning. Our own human resources are entirely inadequate. Divine grace is absolutely necessary to stop abortion. All graces come through Jesus Christ in His human nature. The primary source of these graces is Holy Mass, Holy Communion and Holy Adoration of our Lord in His Real Presence. Eternal Lifes spiritual director keeps us committed to the truth. Lets hear it from Fr. Hardon.
Fr. Hardon: Good evening. Suppose we start with a prayer. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Mary Mother of the Holy Eucharist pray for us.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Our present conference is on, There is No Stopping Abortion Without the Eucharist." For weeks now we have been asking ourselves why Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist. We have seen that He gave us the Eucharist in order to remain among us in the fullness of Incarnate Divinity. He gave us the Blessed Sacrament so we might come to adore Him and like the apostle Thomas speak to Him as my Lord and my God.
He has instituted the Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass in order to reenact twenty centuries later what He did on Calvary when He shed His blood for the redemption of the world. However, our focus here is Christ institution of the Blessed Sacrament is the most powerful channel of grace.
As we have seen God became man that through His humanity, I repeat through His humanity, He might communicate the light and strength we need to follow Him who is in His own words, Our way, our truth and our life. You might say we are addressing ourselves to a strange combination of words. Abortion and the Eucharist. What possible connection is there between murder and Jesus Christ and the Blessed Sacrament.
What do we mean by combining those words. We mean that the world wide mania of killing innocent unborn children is literally (and I mean literally) the work of the evil spirit. As Christ made so clear that the devil not only was a murderer from the beginning he is the principle agent behind every willful killing of innocent people. Especially behind what once civilized nations have now legalized by civil law.
If ever Christs words were meaningful, Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God. If ever those words of our Savior were relevant dear Lord they are that today. In one nation after another what belongs to God is being given to Caesar.
Our focus in this conference (you may be surprised) will be on the responsibility that we Roman Catholics have throughout the world have to stop the global homicide which is plaguing most of the nations in the twentieth century. Over the years I have been telling one audience after another, one of the main reasons for the world wide homicide millions of innocent unborn children is because Catholics are not living up to practicing their faith.
How well I know so many Catholics, and I mean every syllable, are cowards. Over the years I have been saying that there is no stopping the crime of abortion without the Catholic Church. Until Christianity came into the world with the death of Christ on Calvary abortion was universally, and I mean that adverb literally, was universally practiced and legally approved throughout the whole Roman Empire.
We can honestly say that except for the Catholic Church abortion would still be what it was, simply accepted by those who were governing the world. Before the end of the first century of the Christian era believers in Christ were told that abortion is murder, and no murderer can reach heaven unless he or she repents. But what the early Christian were also told that abortion is a result of the two sins of pride and lust. At root pride is self love. Even to the hatred of anyone and I mean anyone who stands in my way.
The virtue contrary to selfish pride is the Christian virtue of humble charity. Along with selfish pride is unchastity is the co-cause of the worldwide murder of over 65 million unborn children every year.
What are we saying? We are saying that unless the practice of charity and chastity is restored not only is there no stopping of abortion this crime will only increase in intensity, and the number of innocent victims beyond all human calculation.
Catholics as Channels of Divine Grace
Our present conference has a thesis. Our thesis may be stated in one declarative sentence. Professed Catholics must become channels of extraordinary grace to the modern world. And they will become channels of grace to others in the measure, I repeat only in the measure, of their own reception of grace through the Holy Eucharist as the sacrament sacrifice of the mass, as the Communion sacrament of Holy Communion and as the presence sacrament of Christs Real Presence now on earth in the Holy Eucharist.
We are only channels of grace to others in the measure that we are possessed of Gods grace ourselves. Let me repeat in the clearest words in my disposal. I would restate our thesis in two propositions. Proposition #1 There is no stopping abortion without an ocean of grace from Jesus Christ. No way will human means stop abortion.
#2 The principle source of this grace is the Holy Eucharist.
We go on with a subtitle- The Need of Divine Grace to Stop Abortions. Over the years of teaching theology especially to my own Jesuit priests and scholastics I have told them my favorite definition of Grace is Grace is that Divine power which enables human beings to do what is humanly impossible. The global homicide of unborn children throughout the world is indeed perpetrated by human beings. But the selfishness (what a cheap word) the selfishness which inspires this widespread murder is the envy of the evil spirit. It is the devil who is behind the practice and legalization of abortion in the 20th century. Not to know that is not to be in touch with reality.
We come and correctly speak of Divine grace as supernatural life and strength from God. Where super means beyond the light that the human mind has by itself beyond the strength that the human will has by itself. What we should remember is that the grace is supernatural twice over. First it is supernatural beyond the powers of nature because it provides us with a means of living an above human life here on earth and attaining an above human life and a blessed eternity. But divine grace is also super- natural in providing us with a means we need to cope with and overcome the super human forces of evil which pervade human society ever since the fall of our first parents.
In other words, divine grace is supernatural because it provides us with light for the mind and strength for the will to overcome the machinations of the evil spirit which is so demonically active among the members of a fallen human family today. It is impossible to exaggerate the close relationship between having access to Gods grace and having the power to resist the devil. There is no way, no way you can overcome the devil by your own power. Human nature by itself cannot cope with Satan and his minions.
Either our human nature is elevated by divine grace or it becomes the inevitable victim of the wiles and wickedness of the evil spirit.
I think I have told you in a previous conference that I counted 158 books now in print in the United States alone on the angels, but I should add on both the good angels and the bad angels. Even otherwise unbelievers who are asking themselves if it is possible for the massive crime in the world today, is it possible that human nature by itself could be so wicked. The answer is no.
The Three Main Sources of Grace
There are three main sources of grace available to us from the mercy of God. Let me tell you this needs to be memorized. What are the three main sources of divine grace, or what we are calling superhuman power. They are prayer, sacraments and the practice of virtue. If we use these means and use all three the grace will be given to us and through us to others. We pick up each of these three in sequence.
First the power of prayer. If there one thing that runs through the teachings of Jesus Christ it is the power of prayer. Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be open to you. For everyone who asks, receives. He that seeks finds, and to him who asks it shall be opened. Again all things whatever you shall ask in prayer believing you shall receive. What ever you ask the Father in my name then I will do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name that I will do. One more quotation out of many others, If you abide in Me and My Word abides in you, you shall ask whatever you will and it shall be done unto you.
The power of our prayer depends on our faith. Prayer does not mean lisping words. Christ promised to work miracles if we ask Him provided we believe, we believe that He is the almighty God. As we reread the gospels and by the way every time you reread the gospels you discover new insights which you had not seen before. As we reread the gospels it is both inspiring and sobering to see what wonders Christ performed in favor of those during His visible stay on earth those who earnestly begged Him and had faith to do the humanly impossible.
I cannot repeat too often. We need miracles. You need miracles. I need miracles to remain believing Christians. Do you hear me? It is a defined article of the Catholic faith that the final and most fundamental source of creditability of our faith is miracles. Do you hear me? Either we experience miracles and I mean experience miracles or our faith will lack the credibility that it sure needs especially in our unbelieving world.
To stem the tide of abortion we require a series of moral miracles. By definition we have seen a moral miracle is a visible effect produced by God which exceeds the native powers of the human will. Lets make sure we know that Christ wants to work this miracle. When He rebuked the disciples and told them to, That the little children come unto me. He was speaking to all of us. He wants the children conceived to be born to reach maturity and glorify Him by their loving service. But Christ demands that we pray. Pray in faith and in trust and His divine power to change hearts of stone into hearts of selfish love for the unborn. Only God can do it.
As we shall see the most powerful prayer in the world is Eucharistic prayer. Prayer during the Sacrifice of the Mass. Prayer after receiving Holy Communion, and prayer to our risen savior in His real but hidden presence in the Blessed Sacrament. So far for the first source of grace prayer.
Now the sacraments. There are two sacraments that especially provide the grace necessary to conquer abortion. They are the Eucharist and confession, and they should be seen together. We correctly associate the Eucharist with the mass and Holy Communion. What we may not realize however is that the early Christians as I have said more than once attended mass and received the Holy Eucharist every day. They were taught by the Holy Spirit that the legalized abortion and infanticide of pagan Rome could be overcome by their daily participation in the Holy Eucharist. Participation in the mass and reception of the Eucharistic Christ.
But, we know we better now that the Eucharist is not limited to mass and communion. Jesus is really present in the Blessed Sacrament. Whether reserved in our churches and chapel or exposed on the altar for veneration and intercession by faithful. Notice the word intercession by the faithful.
In the last several years in my speaking engagements I have given lectures in churches where I could not see because there was no tabernacle. Or the tabernacle as in a church in Louisville way out of ordinary sight on the windowsill. Not even an altar. When I came into the chapel and the people were filing in I asked where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. I had to get up and look above the heads of the people. It is over there. I was told. Well as I walked to the pulpit to give the lecture, having been on the stage for six years before becoming a Jesuit I dramatized quite big ostentatious genuflection to the Blessed Sacrament hidden out of sight. And on the way back after the lecture I did the same thing.
We believe, I know I am talking to the right audience, it is the same Jesus now glorified who stilled the storm at sea and raised the dead Lazareth back to life. We believe it is the same Jesus who performed wonders during His visible stay in Palestine. Christ wants to do the same in our day, provided we have the faith. To convert selfish wills, dare I say it? Wills possessed by the devil to stop murdering children. Maybe, pardon me, St. Augustine said it is a greater miracle than calling Lazareth from the tomb. A greater miracle to raise a dead soul back to supernatural life than to raise a dead body from the grave.
Christ can do it if only we ask Him now on earth in the Eucharist to perform this sign of His omnipotence.
You may be surprised by what follows. The Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of Confession. The Holy Fathers terms he says I prefer to call this the Sacrament of Confession. Thanks your Holiness. The Sacrament of Penance or the Sacrament of Confession should be received at least twice a month. Where do I get that mathematics? From the teaching of the Church when she prescribes confession and Holy Communion there must be confession and Holy Communion within eight days before or after we gain a plenary indulgence. Of course there may be no grave sins to confess. That is the whole purpose of confessions of devotion. They are potent channels of grace for the massive conversion of sinners. If ever the mania of abortion is to cease, but I am not finished what I am saying now.
To be emphasized is the close relationship between these two sacraments of penance and the Holy Eucharist. Remission of sins in confession is one of the necessary conditions for being in the state of grace when receiving Holy Communion. Otherwise Holy Communion becomes an unholy sacrilege.
As I have told more than one church full of people on a Sunday morning when I heard confessions all afternoon and all evening and almost nobody showed up for confession. So I told the people on a Sunday morning crowded church, Just about all of you are going to Communion I cannot imagine you are all in a state of grace. Almost one half of the church did not come to Holy Communion.
Moreover, the more sinless we are especially assured by the Sacrament of Penance the more sinless we are the more grace we possess and thereby become more effective channels of grace to other people.
Third source of grace - The practice of virtue. We merit grace by cooperating with the graces we receive. It is the practice of virtue, and lets hear it, the practice of virtue benefits not only the one who performs the good work but also (and hear the adverb) always, always every good work that I perform in the state of grace always obtains grace for others. And the adverb is always.
Who would doubt that abortionists and their clients need Divine Grace to see the horror of their crime and to have the courage to desist. Where can they obtain this grace, from God of course. But it is ordinary Providence that God human beings who are in His friendship to merit (that means win, that means earn) grace for others.
Here gaining grace for the age of abortion. They need spiritual light and strength to return to God from whom they have strayed. That is why over the years I have encouraged Catholics (whatever word you use) walk in front of abortion mills say the rosary, just be there, and indicate in some way their opposition to the crimes being performed behind those walls.
The principle purpose is to be a channel of grace, and for some (I am sure we all know) for some people it is the last grace, say a women will receive not to murder the child in her womb. The measure of the graces needed for this cosmic repentance tells us something about the degree of virtue that the friends of God are expected to practice. Read, reread, and reread the Holy Fathers Gospel of Life Read and reread his encyclical on the Splendor of Truth. He tells us Catholics, ordinary Catholics will not do today. Only heroic Catholics.
I dont know of any Roman Pontiff in the Churchs history who has spoken more openly and unqualifyingly about the need of Christians being martyrs today. And between the red martyrdom of shedding ones blood for Christ and the white martyrdom of witnessing to Christ in todays world. Frankly, I think red martyrdom is easier. You are killed and it is over with. How well I know how very well I know.
Nothing less than heroic patience in suffering united with the passion of Christ. Nothing less than heroic faith in believing united with Mary as she stood on Calvary. Nothing less than heroic chastity in resisting the allurance of a world drunk with sexual immorality. Nothing less than heroic charity in loving those who ignore us or oppose us or deride our loyalty to Jesus as psychosis.
I would like to repeat what a bishop told me over the telephone. John he told me, you know what your problem is? I thought I knew what my problems were.
Bishop, I dont know tell me.
Said the Bishop, You have a fixation on dogma.
So I thanked him. Your excellency what ever you think you said you have given me one of the highest complements I could ever get. Thank you. And I should add His excellency hung up the telephone.
How important is the Holy Eucharist for the practice of virtue. It is indispensable. Of course we need to obtain grace from the practice of virtue. Grace for ourselves and grace for others, but watch it, the measure and degree of this grace depends on our own union with God. And there is no more effective way of becoming united with God than through receiving the living God who took on human flesh from His mother Mary.
A person is only as holy as he or she is living an Eucharistic life, and believe me that is not a pious figure of speech. Saintly people of channels of extraordinary grace for others. Can anyone doubt that the plague of abortion will (I do not say be stopped) but even reduced, except by abortioners and abortionists receiving a flood of Divine Grace through the sanctity of apostles of the Holy Eucharist.
Holy Eucharist Principle Source of Grace
Our next subsection- The Principle Source of Pauline Priests is the Eucharist. All we have said so far is a preparation for the main theme of this conference. The genocide of innocent children is the work of the devil. No natural means can put a stop to this worldwide satanism. I mean what I am going to say next. Millions of Americans are possessed by the devil. Millions., said the chief of exorcists of Rome in speaking to me.
No merely human means can put a stop to this satanism. Only God. In fact, only God become man can control the demonic influence which the evil spirit is exercising in our century. In passage after passage of the gospels Christ tells us that without Him we can do nothing on the road to heaven. Which means overcoming the evil spirit who is hell bent on dragging human beings to join him in the infernal world to which he has been condemned.
On what grounds do we say that the Holy Eucharist is our principle source of grace to practice humble charity and self-denying chastity. The grounds are now almost two thousand years of Christian experience. First the experience of the early Church. How many times in these conferences have I told you how in the early Church the Christians went to mass and received Holy Communion everyday. They could never, and the adverb is never, remained faithful to Christ even as tens of thousands did shedding their blood for the Savior unless they have received strength from Jesus whom they received in Holy Communion and whom they joined in their sacrifice with His sacrifice of Calvary reenacted in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Remember our focus. We are to be channels of grace to others. I have never forgotten the words I saw carved into stone at Pompeii. The carving was done before 70 A.D. It read in Latin. Oh how I like to repeat these words: *Christiani Deledisant** which means Christians must be exterminated. But they were not exterminated. They were killed by the thousands. The coliseum was filled with pagans watching Christians being devoured by wild beasts. But, so far from exterminating Christians, Christians as we know took centuries to do it, converted the pagan murderers of their day because as I have said so often, abortion and infanticide were legalized in the Roman Empire. But, the death of the Christians as we are told became the seed which then increased the Church. The blood of martyrs became the seed of Christianity.
We continue, the teaching of the Church (here remember we are talking about the Holy Eucharist) to produce communicators of Gods grace. This is part of the unchangeable doctrine of Catholic Christianity. To give just one example, St. Augustine describes the influence his mother Monica had in converting her pagan, unfaithful, lecherous, self-willed husband to Christianity. Took years to do it. It was, St. Augustine tells us, her daily assistance at mass and reception of Holy Communion that did the humanly impossible. When we say that the Church teaches that the Eucharist is our most potent source of grace, once more lets understand what this means. It means that Christ confers His grace in the measure of a persons faith.
As we have said so often during His public ministry in Palestine Christ could not (get the verb) could not, the Almighty could not work miracles in some places. Why not? Because the people lacked the necessary faith. Jesus Christ wants to work miracles. I would not have the gall to give these conferences or to talk the way I am speaking unless my now 50th year in the priesthood I experienced many, many miracles of conversion.
What did Christs contemporaries and first century Palestine have to believe? They had to believe that a man who spoke a human language, who had human feet, human hands, human face, that that man is God. What are we to believe if we are to be channels of miraculous grace to others? We must believe behind what looks like bread and tastes like wine is a man and that man is God.
Some Catholics do not ever know. They may and even are encouraged to receive Holy Communion twice on the same day. Pope John Paul II who put this provision into the Code of Cannon Law. He put it in the first time in two thousand years. Never, never before. If a person were dying than *viaticum* could be administered giving Holy Communion to a dying person even though that person had already received Communion on that day. But, otherwise no one without committing (hear it!) a grave sin.
The modern world our Holy Father tells us is practicing the culture of death. If this world is to be converted it will only be through strong, and I mean through heroically strong Catholics who are communicators of Gods grace to the ages of death that surround us by the atmosphere we breath.
It is wise too for the first time in Catholic history to talk about an innovating Pope. Pope John Paul II is an innovator. For the first time in Catholic history the present Pontiff has Eucharistic adoration exposed on the altar in St. Peters basilica on all the weekdays of the year.
Grace through Christs humanity. If there is one fundamental reason why the Holy Eucharist is such a powerful channel of grace it is because the Holy Eucharist is (watch it) the incarnate God. What are we saying? We are saying that the Holy Eucharist is such superhuman source of Divine Grace because the Eucharist is God in HUMAN FORM. That is why God became man. He became man that He might be able to die. God as God cannot die so God became man so that He might be able to die for our salvation. But that is only the first reason.
God became man so that He would remain as the God-man. With us, among us and when we receive Him within us, because it is through Christs humanity that I have told my Jesuit students over the years that I have taught them. Dont forget the adverb. All grace comes from Christ who is God, through Christ who is man to us. It is Christs human nature through which all the grace is communicated to the human race.
During His visible stay on earth, Christ taught extensively. He worked miracles beyond number. He converted hardened criminals. All the phenomenal effects which Christ produced were achieved ( hear it again) through His humanity. He spoke with human lips, He touched with Human hands. Why? In order to teach us that God became man in order to exercise His divine power, but (hear it!) through the human nature which He assumed to become the means by which He would exercise His divinity.
What we begin to understand is that the Holy Eucharist is God, but God in human form. God who received His flesh and blood from His mother Mary. We also begin to appreciate how necessary the Eucharist is to obtain the phenomenal graces that our homicidal age needs to return to the God from whom it is so widely and deeply strayed.
Everything depends on our faith. In the measure that we believe that the living God who made heaven and earth is on earth and the same humanity which He received from His Virgin Mother. In that measure we shall convert the culture of death to the culture of life. That by the way in case is not clear is why I made sure we brought the Blessed Sacrament here, so the Lord would be here in His divine and human natures so that through this sinner who has no power at all to convert anyone that Jesus Christ might through the words which I speak through you make you the channel of grace to convert this multitude of criminals in the modern world.
We began this conference with a title: There is No Stopping Abortion Without the Eucharist. We conclude where we began. There is no stopping abortion except through the devoted faith of professed Catholics who are apostles of the Blessed Sacrament. Our frequency of assisting at mass, our devotion in attending mass, our frequency and fervor in receiving Holy Communion and on being completely detached from everything that could weaken our love for God.
Let me be as clear as I can. We receive as much grace from Holy Communion as our will are detached from everything, everything, everything in this world. That is why I have said so often, suffering is such a treasure. Such a blessing from God. Because through suffering God weans our wills from the creatures in our lives. Our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament through Eucharistic Adoration (but hear it) and Eucharistic petition. All of these are divinely provided means of not just stopping abortion, we shall be cultivating a respect for human life such as the world has never known. Ours is the most murderous century in human history.
As believing lovers of the Holy Eucharist we are to make the next century the most self-giving and self-sacrificing century since Jesus offered His first Mass. Which is as we know began at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday night and ended on Calvary on the first Good Friday.
Lord Jesus Christ really present in the Holy Eucharist
Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee,
Copyright © 1996 Inter Mirifica
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