January 22, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ:
The practice of abortion continues to threaten human life and perpetuates a numbed tolerance for a throw-away society. Infant girls and boys are deemed a threat while still in the womb. The practice of abortion discards them and leaves the mother with a deep wound. Long lingers an emptiness that reverberates through the woman, her family, and society. This emptiness can be hard to discern because the life extinguished by abortion was hardly known if acknowledged at all. Human life is a fabric into which we are all weaved. To tear away a thread of this marvelous, mysterious fabric can unravel the whole cloth.
There is a deep human connectedness which we take for granted. Legalized abortion reveals how little we understand this sacred bond of life. The continued practice of abortion further unravels the fabric of our families and communities.
For this reason, we mark the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, as a day of prayer and reparation. The word “reparation” implies not only making atonement for the sin of abortion. The word also suggests that we must repair the fabric of lives, both women and men, that have been torn or unraveled by abortion.
We do not undertake this mission on our own nor are we the originators of this work. Jesus began the work of reparation and he has chosen us to be his messengers of mercy and healing. To end the practice of abortion and make reparation for its evil has been a prolonged effort but so has been all the work of redemption. Though the road has been long and the future dim, our hope is rooted not in our own success but in the one saving work of Jesus. St. Paul reminds us: “If we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.” (Rom. 8.25)
Let us continue to pray for expectant mothers and their children. May that expectation turn into the hope of lives woven together by the mercy of God. We pray also for one another that we may continue to be the missionaries of gospel joy brought into life.
May the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary sustain our efforts to build a culture of life with the wisdom and charity of her Son, Jesus.
Bishop of Sacramento