Les Femmes


Dear Readers,

Years ago I read John Steinbeck’s novel, The Winter of our Discontent. One scene imprinted itself on my mind. Near the end, the protagonist, a husband and father, decides to commit suicide by going into an ocean cave that is submerged at high tide. As the waves rush in, he nears the point of no return. At that pivotal moment he feels in his pocket a beloved toy belonging to one of his children. Instantly, he has a change of heart and struggles against the current to escape his watery grave – physically saved by the love of a child.

All human science and prudence that there is cannot extricate the church from the present state of relaxation and confusion in which every section finds itself; the all-powerful arm of God is necessary.
St. Alphonsus Liguori

Another story, a true one, also relates to a change of heart due to a child. Whittaker Chambers in his autobiography, Witness, describes his conversion from atheistic Communist to believer, also motivated by a child. One night his wife revealed she might be pregnant, a problem for a Communist revolutionary. “I took it for granted,” he writes, “that children were out of the question,” but his wife returned from the doctor “quiet and noncommittal.” He realized as he watched her go about preparing dinner that she wanted the child. “My wife came over to me, took my hands and burst into tears. ‘Dear heart,’ she said in a pleading voice, ‘we couldn’t do that awful thing to a little baby, not to a little baby, dear heart.’” And Chambers responded with “wild joy….Reason, the agony of my family, the communist Party and its theories, the wars and revolutions of the 20th century, crumbled at the touch of a child….If the points on the long course of my break with Communism could be retraced, that is probably one of them – not at the level of the conscious mind, but at the level of unconscious life.”

Later on Chambers describes even more vividly the touch of God through his little girl. “My daughter was in her high chair. I was watching her eat. She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life. I liked to watch her even when she smeared porridge on her face or dropped it meditatively on the floor. My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear--those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: ‘No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature (the Communist view). They could have been created only by immense design.’ The thought was involuntary and unwanted.

I crowded it out of my mind. But I never wholly forgot it or the occasion. I had to crowd it out of my mind. If I had completed it, I should have had to say: Design presupposes God. I did not then know that, at that moment, the finger of God was first laid upon my forehead.” God touches us through children.

So it is today. The 50 million unborn babies murdered in this country since 1973, the additional millions killed by chemical birth control and intrauterine devices whisper to the hearts of those who killed them. They cry in the dreams of their parents. They call the sensitive of heart to witness on street corners and at pregnancy help centers.. Their broken bodies testify to the absolute evil of a godless hedonism that usurps God’s role as the author of life. They are the tiny apostles, catalysts of conversion. Look at the mothers of Silent No More sharing their regret for taking the lives of their little ones. They demonstrate graphically that the blood of martyrs is the seedbed of faith. And the tiny martyrs of the culture of death are reaping a harvest of life. Polls show that America is becoming more pro-life. Generations of survivors recognize that they are the fortunate ones who dodged the abortionist’s knife. More and more they stand up for life like Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Florida Gators who goes into games with Scripture passages on his face. The word apostle means witness. The Bible says, “A little child shall lead them.” Let us follow them with courage.

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