When the news broke that abortionist doctor, George Tiller had been shot dead in his Lutheran church wherein he served as an usher, people began to pray. Over and over again, Pro-life advocates and organizations denounced the evil act of killing a man. They denounced the despair that led to this man’s murder. Political opponents posited that this singular act revealed the inherent radical nature of Pro-life causes. Anyone committed to pro-life and other serious Catholic social teaching issues knows that those causes are hurt when people advocating the protection of the innocent, act out in violence. And so we pray for the repose of George Tiller’s soul, and that of his murderer, and for healing for all those affected by this violent act. God’s grace reached deep enough to move those who had fought and still fight against the pro-abortion forces, to pray for this person who so zealously sought to perform abortions, even late term, past 5 months.
We must pray and pray often and with great love and zeal for the lavish grace of God’s mercy on all abortionists’ souls. We must ask God to change their hearts, to bring them to Him, to convert them as he did Saul to Paul. We must ask God to mold us not to resent them as the older brother in the Prodigal son, and for the mercy on all of us as we struggle to do only what is right and what is holy.
There are people who feel very frustrated by the state of the world. They feel impatient, as if all the prayer and fasting and talking and dialogue has only allowed those who oppose abortion to be trivialized and ignored. Despair is one of the favorite tools of the devil, it allows for inaction, it allows for indifference, it allows for the existence of evil. Therefore, we cannot allow ourselves the luxury of self indulgent despair.
We must be able to articulate why we believe what we believe. We must be willing to speak when the opportunity presents itself, without fear. We must pray and speak out. But the very same moral reasoning that brought us to not merely believe but know all human life is sacred, also demands that we not despair when the world rejects the message. Our calling is to convert hearts, not to stop those hearts that disagree or even act against us. Over and over again, Christ reveals that He never wants us to kill or maim for our faith, only to be willing to die to ourselves for it.
We need to remember to pray. To those who bemoan that praying is insufficient, that action is called for, never underestimate the power of prayer. We often dismiss prayer, particularly when what we ask for is denied or delayed. We should remember, God hears all our prayers and answers them according to His great love for us. None of us are forgotten. Not George Tiller, not his murderer, not the advocates for abortion, not the mothers and fathers who agree to it, not the children lost by it, none.
So pray for the end of abortion, pray for the conversion of all hearts, pray for the souls scarred and/or lost because of this evil act, and pray daily to be protected from moral error in all things. We should always remember and never doubt, God’s grace can permeate every heart, and abortion will end, as all evil will. Our job is to cooperate with God by being faithful witnesses for the innocent, and remind all of us of the endless nature of God’s love, bounty, beauty, forgiveness and grace.