“…the humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together. Their top-heavy dignity is more touching than any humility; their solemnity gives us more hope for all things than a thousand carnivals of optimism; their large and lustrous eyes seem to hold all the stars in their astonishment; their fascinating absence of nose seems to give to us the most perfect hint of the humor that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven.” – G.K. Chesterton
At the end of Mass, the celebrant felt the need to acknowledge the members of the choir, who had enthralled the congregation with a most inspirational musical offering. In addition he offered his cheerful thanks to what he called “our baby choir!” During the Mass the baby and toddler voices, as well, echoed through the church.
How often, as we attended Mass or services while the priest was speaking, either in the Homily or reading scripture, have we heard a restless little one give an unsolicited opinion or enthusiastically implore an embarrassed mother that it was time to leave? We find ourselves sometimes perturbed by these outbursts at a moment when we are deepest in contemplation or in calm repose. At that moment we wish for silence.
But, when we take our thoughts away from ourselves we may appreciate that these moments, if not pleasing to us, are most pleasing to God. For these little ones are the product of His love. As we bow our heads and whisper our homage in prayer, the children raise their voices, unknowingly, in like homage, too; glorifying God the Father who has loved them and us all into existence. They are simply announcing to all that, “We are here!”
Thirty five years ago the wish for silence that we sometimes seek was fulfilled. Not the temporary silence sought during a Mass, movie theater or restaurant. But, rather a permanent silence. A silence secured by those children whose voices would never be heard. The legalization of abortion in the United States would see to that. From its initial passage by the Supreme Court in 1973, legalized abortion has blocked the births of nearly 60 million would-be children. The weakest of us all are left unprotected by the laws formulated by man. No other species on the face of the earth, I believe, has less regard for the value and sanctity of life than that of the most prominent; man.
When I now have a knee jerk reaction at Mass, or any venue, as a child’s impromptu voice is heard, I stop and think of all those unborn who since have not had the opportunity to do so. Not to have the universe seen anew, in wonder, through the inquisitive eyes of an unhindered innocent child, who has yet been subjected to the jadedness that the world can impose, is truly the saddest of events. It robs from parents and family the chance to once again witness the beauty of the universe and the validation of God’s love through the eyes of the innocent.
When the Wise Men and those of meager means came to pay homage to the Christ-child, they stepped not into a cave, but rather into the universe. For there in the crib lay the very creator of the universe. And He had come to make all things, including heaven and earth, new. In every new-born is the hope of mankind. For God, himself, came into his own creation as such.
Abortion is an unnatural process that empowers exceptions to the rule. The rule of the natural process that reproduces life. When the exceptions become the rule, I find that the words of G.K. Chesterton ring as loudly as does the deafening silence of the unfortunate children of inconvenience, not protected by the laws of men; “Just because one has the right to do something, does not mean that they are right in doing it.”
This year has been proclaimed the “Year of Mercy” by Pope Francis. May the prayers of repentance for the millions of pre-born slain through abortion be heard. Should those who promote it, those who perform it, and those who patronize it, turn from such further practices with contrite hearts we ask God’s mercy. And for the defenseless innocents slain, whose voices will never joyously be heard in “the baby choir,” we ask God’s mercy and by it we hope they will know the joy of His loving eternal embrace.