To say that only Christ in and through His Church can ultimately conquer abortion is not a pious platitude, nor is it a fancy way of saying, “Jesus, help us fight abortion.” Nor is it an elitist way of excluding from the cause of life those who have different religious affiliations.
Rather, it is to say something about the very nature of Christ and the Church, and about the reasons why abortion and contraception, which are fruits of the same tree, continue as they do.
There are many ways to express the purpose of Christ’s mission in the world. St. John in his first letter sums it up by saying, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). What “works of the devil” does Christ destroy? Christ Himself tells us that the devil “was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). In the same breath, Our Lord calls the devil a liar and a murderer. Lies and murder go together.
The only way abortion can continue on such a horrible scale is for it to be covered in lies, sugarcoated with denials and distortions of truth. Among the lies that have sustained abortion are the ideas that the unborn baby is not really a baby, that abortion is good for women, and that we can deprive the unborn of protection but keep it for ourselves.
Christ has come to destroy the works of the devil. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). He is the Way to salvation precisely because He is the Truth, shattering the devil’s lies, and because He is the Life, undoing the devil’s work of death.
When we take a pro-life stance, we will be fighting the devil, like it or not. Although his kingdom has been defeated and his power is limited, he still “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil will try to discourage and distract us. His favorite approach with good people is not to tempt them to do wicked things, but to tempt them to do good things, which, while good in themselves, distract us from the necessary things.
In fighting the devil, we should never address him directly. Leave that to Jesus. Rather, pray to the Lord to rebuke the devil. Be immersed in God’s Word, because it is “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17).
Be close to the Mother of God. Because she gave birth to Christ, there is nobody besides Christ that the devil hates more. Precisely because of her unique closeness to Jesus, we should be close to her, especially through the Rosary. Take refuge in the sacraments, especially Penance and the Eucharist, for there we encounter the only Savior, Jesus Christ.
Fr. Frank Pavone, M.E.V.