I want to write more in the end of Roe v. Wade. But while that post is underway I want to consider today the extraordinary miracle of human life. It has been like a dagger in my heart that sixty-three million children have died in this country as a result of abortion since 1973. Shocking and horrifying and so many are unmoved by this. But consider the glory of every one of those lives. At both the physical and spiritual level the magnificence of life is really too wonderful too describe. But 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?
Consider too the spiritual mystery of the human person as expressed in the 139th psalm:
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 a surprise or inconvenience to God. Mysteriously he knew and loved us long before we were ever conceived, for he says, Before I ever formed you in the womb I knew you (Jer 1:4). And, as the psalm says above, God has always known everything we would ever do or be.
It is often mysterious to us why human life is, at times, conceived in difficult circumstances such as poverty, times of family struggle or crisis, or even conceived with disability and disadvantage. But in the end we see so very little and must ponder the mystery of God’s reminder that many who are “last” now are going to be first in the kingdom (e.g. Matt 20:16; Luke 1:52-53).
I have marched in the March for life for nearly fifty years 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 experience pressure to consider abortion. We pray for the immediate and sudden conversion of all support legalized abortion for any reason and for a dedication to assist women facing any difficulty in giving birth to or raising their children.
One Reply to “Thoughts on the Miracle of Life, As We March.”
Thank you for these thoughts, Monsignor. I was so saddened my parish priest made no mention during this weekend’s mass. I noticed similar experiences from people commenting online about their parishes. What is your best guess as to why this would be ignored?
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