Abortion: The Satanic Superstructure
(The following presentation was delivered by Dr. Mark Miravalle, a theologian, at the Franciscan University of Steubenville Memorial for Life, January 22, 2003)
Fourteen years ago on this night, University President, Fr. Michael Scanlan was in the process of burying the sacred remains of “Little Agnes” in the Tomb of the Unborn. My wife, Beth, who was present at the event, was nine months pregnant, and was actually experiencing contractions some five minutes apart as the ceremony continued. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Beth informed me that the baby was coming “very soon,” and so we proceeded immediately to the hospital downtown.
Forty five minutes later, “Mariana” was born. My wife spent the next hour in ecstatic joy, and then spent the rest of the night crying in sorrow. Not because of the pain of delivery or trauma of transition, but because of the realization that this healthy, beautiful baby just born was no different, no better, than the baby girl that had just been buried. Beth spent a night of mourning for Agnes, and “Mariana Lysbeth Miravalle” became “Mariana Agnes Miravalle” in perpetual tribute to Little Agnes.
And as Mariana celebrates her fourteenth birthday tonight, Agnes too should be celebrating her fourteenth year of life somewhere in our country. But instead, her little precious remains lie in our tomb. Abortion is not the abstract “termination of pregnancies.” It is the real life, direct, and tortuously painful killing of people like Agnes, who, like Mariana, were intended to grow into beautiful, feminine, fourteen year old girls, full of life and love, as God the Father intended them to be.
And now, after thirty years of Roe v. Wade and some fifty million Americans killed in the womb, we must ask who else is not here whom God desired to be here? How many students are not in our dorms? How many young professors are not on our faculty? How many priests are not here to offer the sacrifice of the Mass for us, and absolve us of our sins? How many maidens of holiness, religious sisters dedicated and consecrated to prayer and penance for the Mystical Body, are not here making those offerings? How many of our family members and our fellow Americans are missing?
And beware of premature rejoicing over the statistics indicating a slight lowering in the recorded number of national abortions as if this was evidence of an overall increase of respect for life. In light of the ubiquitous use of abortafacient contraceptives, the deaths of many of our unborn never reach the statistical tally, just as the unborn child never reaches the uterine wall. Fundamentally we continue to live in a culture of death with the ill-fruits of that culture.
After thirty years of legalized abortion, it is time to ask the question: who is the ultimate culprit responsible for the murder of fifty million Americans in the womb?
Is it the doctors? Is it the nurses? Is it the clinic owners? Is it the cosmetic corporations? Is it Planned Parenthood? Is it N.O.W.? Is it men? Is it the mothers themselves?
I believe all these fall short in identifying the ultimate person and force behind the destruction of our innocent pre-born brothers and sisters. For the true “Prince of Abortion” is Satan himself. And to fail to recognize Satan as the principal force behind abortion is to fail to implement the most effective strategy to fight this battle for life, which must be identified first, last, and always as a spiritual battle for lives and for immortal souls.
Perhaps a “screwtape letter” type of examination of the strategy of the Prince of Abortion can serve to reveal Satan’s tactics for securing the abortion holocaust. What does Satan seek to encourage in order to sustain our present abortion genocide?
One Satanic tactic is to tempt towards illicit sexual unions. This serves to place an unborn child in a situation without the lifetime commitment of marriage so essential in the fulfillment of the lifetime commitment to children. Therefore, the Evil One encourages pornography, which presents people as only “the body and sex” for use, rather than as persons to be loved. He encourages impure restricted movies for a more subtle domestic attack, entering homes which would never permit hard porn, but effecting a more gradual corrosion and de-sensitization of moral conscience, which leads to spousal and family breakdown, divorces, and lustful desires, particularly among the men and adolescents in the family.
Satan encourages drugs and drunkenness, which make it all the easier for people, especially the youth and the lonely, to let down their standards of chastity for reasons of fun and misguided desires for affirmation, all of which can lead to the “accidental pregnancy.” He further encourages fashions that force teenagers to choose between being impure and socially “in,” or being pure and socially “out.”
Then we have the financial temptations which Satan uses to encourage the killing of the image of God in the womb. From pregnancies that get in the way of prospering social careers; to the billion dollar abortion clinic industry; to U.S. and U.N. world population programs which are driving countries like Catholic Philippines to consider, for the first time in their nation’s history, to change their own constitution and to permit abortion on demand.
Last month during a trip to Manila, I was speaking with the former Vatican Ambassador to the Philippines, Ambassador Howard Dee. I asked him how it was possible that the national legislature from the great Catholic country of the Philippines could even consider permitting an abortion amendment to the constitution. Ambassador Dee responded, “Mark, it is because of your country and the United Nations world population policy conditions on world loans. Essentially, what it comes down to is ‘no abortion and contraception, no U.N. loans’ and the peoples in poverty are in such need of U.N. assistance, that it makes for a great temptation of moral compromise for many of our legislators.”
Satan further encourages the gross inequity in the world distribution of wealth, which Pope John Paul II has called a “scandal”, and which results in widespread poverty, a poverty which becomes first cousin to what we can call “despair murders,” like abortion and even terrorism.
And there is also the demonic temptation for fame and power which leads to abortion. Imagine making scientific history and stardom by becoming the first researcher to clone a human, as did the first researcher to perform in vitro fertilizations, establish frozen embryo banks and the rest of the modern technological bio-medical breakthroughs of this brave new world, regardless of the chamber of human horrors and aborted human mistakes that are effected in the process.
In sum, the Satanic superstructure supporting abortion today is complex, powerful, and wealthy.
How then can we possibly fight back, small, poor, and humble as we are?
By realizing in our humility that to win a spiritual battle, it must be waged first and foremost on a spiritual battlefield with spiritual weapons and under spiritual leadership.
This is why it is Mary, Mother of the unborn Redeemer and spiritual Mother of all the unborn who must be recognized and invoked in leading the spiritual battle against the Prince of Abortion and the abortion superstructure.
The Woman of Genesis (3:15) and of Revelation (12:1) is the God-appointed crusher of the Ancient Serpent who continues to sow his seeds of sin and death today in the form of abortion. This is why we must consecrate ourselves and the pro-life movement in this country to the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, in order to receive more fully her guidance of grace, wisdom, and perseverance in the spiritual battle to end abortion. Where the Mother comes, purity comes. Where the Mother comes, the courage for redemptive suffering comes. Where the Mother comes, ultimately the victory comes. For the ultimate victory over abortion will coincide with the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary prophesied at Fatima: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph” (July 13, 1917).
To entrust the pro-life movement to Mary Immaculate and to recognize the spiritual primacy of the battle is not to downplay the crucial, active political and social response to which Christians are called and obliged. In the document released on January 16 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith entitled, “Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding The Participation of Catholics In Political Life,” Cardinal Ratzinger re-affirms the responsibility of the Christian laity to fulfill their social responsibility in ensuring civil laws protecting the unborn, coupled with the admonition to Catholic legislators that they cannot support pro-abortion laws under the guise of individual conscience.
Entrusting the pro-life cause to the Mother of the Unborn allows her to supernaturally direct our political actions, strategies, and decisions, to be our Advocate in the spiritual and social defense of our brothers and sisters in the womb.
It is furthermore no coincidence that Pope John Paul II has declared a Year of the Rosary and given us new Luminous Mysteries amidst our present darkness of abortion, cloning, and all other attacks on human life’s sovereign sanctity, calling us to focus upon mysteries of light and hope, rather than giving in to any despair or darkness which surrounds contemporary humanity in so many ways.
Our Mother’s intercession is, in the words of Blessed Bartolo Longo as quoted by John Paul, “all powerful by grace.” We must pray the Rosary with this conviction of faith for the daily saving of the unborn from abortion, and for the eternal salvation of the souls who commit the sin of abortion with unrepentant hearts.
The new Luminous mysteries should be especially utilized in our battle against the darkness and despair wrought through abortion, for the unborn child shall be “transfigured”. The unborn child shall be seen once again with new light, in recognition of his radiant dignity and transcendent personhood, as was the Resurrected Christ after his victory over death. There will be the “Triumph of the Unborn” within the great and universal Triumph of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
It is also encouraging that the U.S. Bishops have recognized the spiritual primacy of the abortion battle as seen through this year’s establishment on January 22 of a national day of prayer and penance for the unborn. This pastoral call is reminiscent of Our Lord’s words to the disciples who were unable to expel certain demons: “This kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).
As Fulton Sheen often reminded us, God always works in the minority, in order to make clear that the victory is His and not ours. This holds true whether it pertains to Gideon’s Army or the U.S. Pro-life movement.
Therefore with rosaries in hands, as had the naval soldiers en route to Lepanto, and with hearts and minds consecrated to the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, let us persevere in battle and in hope for the triumph of the unborn in our country. Let us commit ourselves afresh on this infamous thirty year anniversary, fortified with deeper conviction, stronger resolution, and supernaturally enlightened hope. As Joan Andrews would say, let us be willing to suffer as long as our unborn brothers and sisters suffer, until the victory is ours. And as Jesus redeems one soul at a time, let us have the humility to save one unborn baby at a time.
I would like to conclude with an adaptation of the words of a past inspirational American defender of the sanctity of human life. From the man who, at times, single-handedly saved our great nation from its last scourge of human oppression in the form of slavery, I believe that if he were with us today, Abraham Lincoln would perhaps speak words to the American people on this infamous 30 year anniversary of Roe v. Wade something like these:
Eleven score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men, including the unborn person, are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war taking place over the grave issue of abortion, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great spiritual battlefield of that war. We have dedicated a portion of the field, a memorial for the unborn, as a final resting place, for those whose lives were taken in that battle. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow the ground. The inherent dignity granted by the Almighty Himself to every unborn child who has been lost through these thirty years of human disaster has consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget those Americans lost in the last 30 years to the suicidal national destruction of our own fellow countrymen in the womb, enacted tragically by our own American people.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who were lost here now continue to advance through their intercession. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to stopping that evil through which they lost the last full measure of life, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and respect for the unborn, for the very image of the Almighty in the womb, and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, by reason of our national offense of abortion directed ultimately against the Creator Himself, shall not perish from the earth.
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