Thursday, December 28, 2006

All Hail the Holy Innocents!

Today is one of my absolute favorite feasts of the Church year. The prayers and hymns of the day are exquisite, my favorite moment being this verse from the hymn at Lauds:

"You, tender flock of Christ, we sing
First victims slain for Christ your King.
Beneath the altar's heavenly ray
With martyr palms and crowns you play."

So along with everything else we get in heaven, we will have joyful babies messing around with crowns which sensible adults, of course, would keep locked in a case somewhere.

Sadly, today is also a day that calls to mind the million-headed Herod that our world has inspired, a nation in which half the population believes that the slaughter of the innocent unborn is a right, is prudent, even somehow compassionate in a very skewed way. At least, I think it is skewed. We should appreciate the fact that life seems so awful to some people today that they think that killing someone is doing them a favor (and plenty of people come to the logical conclusion to this line of thinking and do themselves in). Can we as a Church continue to uphold the sanctity of all human life and at the same time do it is a way that convincingly says, "Life is good and worth living!"

Martyr palms and crowns are for play, not to be worn by the dour and self-righteous.

Let us pray that all the unborn who have suffered unspeakably because of abortion may be received by the Holy Innocents into heaven. And may their intercession be a means of healing, conversion and life for those who have participated in the killing of the unborn. God's love is greater even than this death. Praised be He.

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