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The Miracle of Life

January 21, 2016 1 Comment


We march today in cold weather and with snow bearing down on the area. The coldest march I ever endured was back in 1985 when the temperature was 4 degrees and there were 15 inches of snow on the ground. It was so cold that year that Reagan’s second inaugural on the previous day had been moved inside to the Capitol Rotunda. The next day, the day we marched, was even colder!

But the sacrifice is worth it, for the magnificence of life is really too wonderful to put into words. I found this description some years ago, which summons reverence by its very ability to baffle the mind:

MIRACLE OF LIFE—Consider the miracle of the human body. Its chemistry is just as extraordinarily well tuned as is the physics of the cosmos. Our world on both sides of the divide that separates life from lifelessness is filled with wonder. Each human cell has a double helix library of three billion base pairs providing fifty thousand genes. These three billion base pairs and fifty thousand genes somehow engineer 100 trillion neural connections in the brain—enough points of information to store all the data and information contained in a fifty-million-volume encyclopedia. And then after that, these fifty thousand genes set forth a million fibers in the optic nerves, retinae having ten million pixels per centimeter, some ten billion in all, ten thousand taste buds, ten million nerve endings for smell, cells that exude a chemical come-on to lure an embryo’s lengthening neurons from spinal cord to target cell, each one of the millions of target cells attracting the proper nerve from the particular needed function. And all this three-dimensional structure arises somehow from the linear, one-dimensional information contained along the DNA helix. Did all this happen by chance or do you see the hand of God

Today, many of us march for life. We march here in Washington, D.C. as well as in other communities all across the country. Today we ponder the great mystery that is expressed Psalm 139:

For it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being … Already you knew my soul my body held no secret from you when I was being fashioned in secret … every one of my days was decreed before one of them came into being. To me, how mysterious your thoughts, the sum of them not to be numbered! (Psalm 139 varia)

No human being is an accident, no conception is a surprise or an inconvenience to God. Mysteriously, He knew and loved us before we were ever conceived. He says, Before I ever formed you in the womb I knew you (Jer 1:4). And as Psalm 139 says above, God has always known everything we would ever be and everything we would ever do.

It is often mysterious to us why human life is, at times, conceived under difficult circumstances: conceived in times of poverty, conceived in times of family struggle or crisis, or even conceived with disability and disadvantage. But in the end we humans see so very little. We must ponder the mystery of God’s reminder that many who are last today will be first in the Kingdom of God (e.g., Matt 20:16; Luke 1:52-53).

So today many of us will march. And all of us are called to remember the sacred lives that have been lost. We acknowledge our loss, for the gifts of these children and their lives have been swept from us as well. We pray for women who struggle to bring children to term and who are pressured to consider abortion. We pray for the immediate and sudden conversion of all who support legalized abortion for any reason, and for the dedication to assist women facing any difficulty in giving birth to or raising their children.

The following video is a shortened version of the masterpiece called Genesis by Ramos David. It magnificently depicts fetal development. I have taken the liberty of adding a different music track to fit this shortened version. The music is William Byrd’s Optimam Partem Elegit (She has Chosen the Best Part). The lyrics are quite fitting because we pray that all mothers will choose life. The full length video can be found (in higher definition) on YouTube by searching for “Genesis Ramos David.”


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  1. Ramanie says:

    Thank you Mgr Pope.A beautiful and an very educational article. May God be with you always.

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