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A Woman who chooses to have a direct abortion denies earthly life to the child in her womb; yet what many forget, or do not realise, is that she denies Baptism for the child, and so deprives the infant of the Beatific vision in Heaven - although we can be certain that the tiny innocent soul is in God's merciful care.
When people who have never read a serious book about Catholicism complain about episodes of Catholic history and hate the Church, it is best not to argue about history but to say: 'Look at the Church, as she is': the unique unity in Faith, government and worship, unique in handing on the body of truths, in helping the sick and needy, defending lives, including the unborn, inspiring artists, architects, composers, promoting education, all with confidence in God. Outside the Catholic Church people do not have such clear teaching. It is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ, Who still guides her, in union with the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
Not speaking, here, of invincible ignorance, the Lord asks: Of what value is the praise of a woman who declares, "O God, I praise You, but I am determined to ignore your wishes, as I make myself sterile in marriage, or abort my baby, or sleep with a man who is not my husband".
Not speaking, here, of invincible ignorance, The Lord asks: Of what value is the praise of someone who declares: "O God, I love and praise You, but I am determined to ignore Your chosen teachers in the Church and to work in Government to extend the provision of abortions".
Not speaking, here, of invincible ignorance, the Lord asks: Of what value is the praise of someone who declares: "Oh God, I love you, yet I am determined to ignore Your laws forbidding sexual relationships outside marriage."
Not speaking, here, of invincible ignorance, the Lord asks: of what value is the praise of a person who declares, "O God, I praise and adore You, but I refuse to enter the Catholic Church, founded by your Son, and refuse to accept the teachings of the Pope and the other Catholic Bishops, who, with one voice, explain Your wishes for the whole world".
To be baptised and to become a Christian is to enter onto the only road that leads to Heaven. Yet it is possible for people outside the Church to be saved, if they persevere in trying to lead good lives, and if, at death, seeing Christ, they bow down in love and awe. Those who are blameless about not having known or served Him can receive the grace they need for salvation.
What must it be like for people who die, and who finally realise that Jesus is indeed the Son of God: Jesus Christ, Whom they have ignored or contradicted in their earthly lives, perhaps from ignorance? Imagine their pain, realising that they could have spent a life-time on earth indwelt by the Blessed Trinity, and living in a loving union with God.
There is a whole world of people living in disbelief, ignorance of Christ, or sin; it's as if they live in a system of tunnels, in semi-darkness, underground. There is only one way out, through a narrow tunnel which leads up to the light, made by the One who emerged from death to new life. All who have been rescued by Him can show others the Way.
Just as a living creature underground can have no idea of the richness of human life, and the joys of family life, so an atheist is sadly without any knowledge of the glories of heavenly life, glories shared even now, to some degree, by the faithful members of Christ's one, Holy Catholic Church.
A person who refuses to believe in the existence of God or in the possibility of life in Heaven, leads a life as tragic as that of a little worm, underground, who has no idea of the richness of human life, with the literature of Shakespeare or the courage and aspiration shown by Christopher Columbus.
Just as we want to tell people the reason for the traffic queue in which they are stuck, as we drive freely on our side of the road, so we should want to tell people about the Way to Heaven - Christ's Way - to people who feel 'stuck' in ignorance or hopelessness, and are without the joy that the hope of Heaven brings to the human heart.
In Christ's sight, a person is in a pitiable state who does not believe in the existence of God, or Heaven - or Jesus Christ, or Judgement. This means that such a person is ignorant of, or opposed to, the main purpose of life, which is union with God, in His service, both in this life and in the next.
From Heaven, it is as if a great cloud of sin covers those areas of the country and the world where there is mostly ignorance of Christ, indifference to God's laws, determination to fulfil personal desires and ambitions, and no thought about duty, or death and judgement. Faith in Christ is the 'Door' by which those people can reach freedom.
There are good people of other religions who have never heard of Christ, or learned of His true nature. When they die, it's as if they will be shown that only through His mercy can they cross the bridge He has made, which takes people from earthly life, across the Abyss to Heaven. Those who see and accept him will be saved.
Even when family members are plainly affectionate and helpful to one another, they are capable of doing terrible things if they live in ignorance of God's laws, without the life of grace, in disbelief of God's existence, and with their minds unable to understand God's wishes or to carry them out. They need the grace of God, and conversion. People are not saved by good humour or optimism, if they lead utterly Godless lives.
Even when people persist in disbelief or grave sin, there is hope that a person can be saved - provided he repents before he dies. Christ continues, to the last moment of such a person's life, to encourage him to turn to Him. If someone has never heard of Christ, Christ will even appear to him as that person dies, to give him the opportunity to repent and believe - or else to fall away forever.
Whether abortion clinics or certain types of nightclub, some attractive buildings hide dreadfully sinful behaviour. It can happen that a woman who is unexpectantly pregnant panics, thinks only of her own worries, and not about the life of her tiny child. In her icy desert of despair - a 'winter' of isolation - she might look upon an abortion clinic as a place of safety, help, and support which is warm, well-lit, and staffed by non-judgemental people who promise relief from her problem. She deserves compassion, but the truth is that the clinic is organised for the routine killing of tiny babies in the womb.
By our intercessions we can bring Divine grace upon a person trapped in a 'cloud' of sin. By Divine power, that person can be helped to see the spiritual danger he is in, so close to being lost in the Abyss. As his cloud of ignorance is blown away, or his sinful desires, he is helped to make wise choices about loving God and striving for holiness.
A man who expects to hear the truth about sin and salvation, Church and evangelisation, holiness and Heaven, will often be disappointed at ecumenical gatherings where people are afraid of appearing divisive. They stick to safe subjects such as consumerism, pollution, nuclear war, and global warming, while people long to be helped to understand the meaning of 'Church', or helped in their personal spiritual journeys.
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