The Eucharist and Victory Over Abortion
By Fr. Frank A. Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Devotion to the Eucharist is never isolated from the rest of life. Rather, its purpose
is to unite us to Christ, and this union means that we live in His life all the hours of
our day. There are particular links between Eucharistic devotion and the fight to end
abortion. Abortion is, according to the bishops, "the fundamental human rights
issue" (NCCB, "Resolution on Abortion," 1989). Abortion destroys the most
defenseless members of society, the babies in the womb. How does the Eucharist help us to
God Loves Small Things
The Eucharist teaches us that the importance of something cannot be judged by its size
or appearance. Christ, the Son of God, takes on the appearance of a small piece of bread
and cup of wine. Our Faith leads us beyond the appearances. We know that after the
consecration there is no more bread or wine on the altar. Now it is Christ who is present,
in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. The Host is a Divine life and also a human life,
because Christ is a Divine Person with both a divine and human nature. Yet the Host
certainly does not look or act like the Son of God. Nevertheless, we worship the Host and
cry out in our hearts, "My Lord and my God!"
If we can see Christ in the Host, then we can also begin to see Him in the poor, the
weak, the terminally ill, and the repulsive and ugly person. We can also see Him in the
baby in the womb. This child is hidden behind the "veil" of the womb, much as
Christ is hidden behind the "veil" of the Eucharist. Yet Faith takes us beyond
appearances, and we can say of the preborn child, "There is a person like me! There
is my brother, my sister, for whom Christ died!" Even when this child is a single
cell resulting from fertilization, we are not deceived by appearances. He or she is one of
us, equal in dignity.
The Victory of Life
The Eucharist is the victory of life. Christ gave us His Body and Blood as a memorial
of His Passion and death. In other words, Christ says to us in the Eucharist, "Never
forget that I died for you and rose again. Death is conquered and life is victorious. Come
to me and share in this life!" If death is conquered, then abortion is conquered. It
is up to us to spread this victory of life throughout our world. We do so by living out
the Eucharist, namely, by giving our own lives that others may live. We, too, say
"This is my body, this is my blood." We give our time, talent, effort, and
painful sacrifice so that our brothers and sisters in the womb may be saved.
Because there is a deep link between Eucharistic devotion and pro-life work, we should
let that link be seen and heard. Some ways include the following:
- Hold special pro-life holy hours and Masses. (Priests for Life offers a booklet of
devotions for pro-life holy hours.)
- In the prayers at holy hours and Masses, offer a petition for an end to abortion.
- Request announced and unannounced Mass intentions for an end to abortion, for aborted
children, for mothers who have had abortions, and other pro-life concerns. Masses, which
we usually offer for the deceased, can actually be offered for any intention. Besides the
benefit of the Mass itself, in the case of announced intentions, the people will be
reminded of the need to end abortion.
- At holy hours and other gatherings, always have pro-life literature available.
Let us never tire of worshipping Christ in the Eucharist!
Let us never tire of fighting abortion! In Christ we have the victory!
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