An Examination of Conscience – 1987

An Examination of Conscience - 1987This is the fourteenth national March for Life protesting the legalization of abortion in the United States of America. And it is the tenth occasion on which the TFP has had the painful joy of participating in this march.

We are pained because we certainly wanted the ignominy of abortion to have been already removed from our country, especially considering how many demonstrations have come, one after the other, making it clear how many Americans are seriously at odds with this grave violation of the Law of God.

But, on the other hand, it is a joy because one feels satisfaction on seeing that even in the adverse circumstances met by the anti-abortion movement, those who make up its ranks persevere. And their clamor certainly rises to the heavens imploring protection for children against this crime which makes every passing day a slaughter of innocents, and of every slaughter of innocents a sin that cries out to Heaven.

The fact that so many Americans of many different points of view have rallied around the ideal of the elimination of abortion is a proof of the persistence and authenticity of our dispositions of soul. In a period when there is so much superficiality of spirit, when everything that stands seems condemned to fade before long, the perseverance and the flair of these demonstrations show that those who think that the anti-abortion movement in the United States is in decline are mistaken. Quite the contrary it stands erect before the whole nation, in the presence of God, calling for a great common effort so that legal abortion may be ended.

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Nevertheless, together with this laudable example of constancy for so noble a cause there is present another form of persistence which we deem it necessary to point out. In a previous year, we had occasion to show how harmful the example of the soft anti-abortionists is they who by their example contaminate with an atmosphere of defeatist resignation an ambience which ought to be vibrant with protest that would finally lead to victory.

This year it seems once again indispensable to stress this point. The reason is easy to understand. There is a soft wing in all currents of opinion. This soft wing corresponds to a temperamental disposition which could be called that of the “meekly obstinate.” These “meekly obstinate” ones stand in contrast with the “ardently-at times angrily-obstinate” ones, who seem to be the most agile leaders of the causes they defend. But the experience of history shows that the “ardently obstinate” frequently abandon their resolutions when least expected. This is because often they are carried along by purely emotional and temperamental attitudes. And when the just temperamental typhoon eases, the just reaction also ceases.

On the other hand, the “meekly obstinate” are soft. They do not dispute. However, they persist, persist, and persist. And in order to effectively oppose their action, only an obstinacy in the opposite direction can be effective.

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In ancient Imperial China there used to be a torture in which a drop of water falling persistently on the heads of the condemned would lead them to madness. (How many, and how much worse, are the tortures which China is experiencing now in the Red period of its history that came after that!) The torture of the drops of water can be effectively employed not only against individuals, but against whole nations. As long as an evil law like that of abortion remains in force, every passing day is a drop of water that falls on the head of our people. And it can end by breaking the people’s will to resist.

There is nothing that favors this drop of water more in the complete achievement of its destructive action than this soft wing which already of itself contaminates with its softness the current of opinion that opposes that destruction.

With this in mind, then, while cordially greeting all those who share in this fight and in the ideal of this grand struggle in favor of the Fifth Commandment (“Thou shalt not kill”) and in favor of our great American nation, we emphasize that it is necessary, even at the cost of the greatest efforts, to keep ourselves unscathed by this noxious influence. So we are also obliged to propose that we all make here an examination of conscience and ask ourselves whether in the course of the past year we did everything that was necessary, in keeping with the standards of Christian morality, to suppress the evil principle of abortion.

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And whatever the result of this examination of conscience may be, we must make a resolution for this year, and until the next march, to multiply our efforts in such wise that next time we may be able to return here with redoubled enthusiasm and ardor.

So help us God.

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