The purple vestments were a liturgically graphic reminder that today is the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, and of the utter need for penance and reparation for the crimes against humanity perpetrated in this country (and then marketed to the rest of the world) since the floodgates of abortion on demand were opened. We are called upon by the bishops of the United States to observe this anniversary as a day of penance. My thought is to take that penance and offer it on the one hand in reparation for the most recently committed outrage against human dignity, and on the other hand as an intercessory prayer for the person who is about to commit the next one, so that some additional actual grace might influence them to make a more enlightened decision, and even move toward a new appreciation of the gravity of the matter.
Obviously, this isn't just about abortion anymore.
I was reading an article just the other day by a researcher who completely poo-pood the idea that embryonic stem cells offer solid hopes for any kind of benefit. And then yesterday's Boston Globe quoted another researcher making the usual dramatic claims about cures for juvenile diabetes and Parkinson's. According to the first writer, embryonic stem cell cultures inevitably produces signal tumors, especially teratomas (those hideous clumps of differentiated tissue: bones, muscle, hair, sinews, fully formed teeth...). Teratomas and other tumors are so characteristic of embryonic stem cell work that they are considered proof that a project is actually using an embryonic line, whether animal or (God help us) human. Something like 98% of cloned embryos cannot even survive to birth, because they are killed by tumors. Doesn't exactly bespeak the promise of cures. And none of the embryonic stem cell cheerleaders seem to admit that, given the state of things now, even though thousands of experiments have been recorded, there may be some risk that a "cure" developed from embryonic stem cells may bring along an even worse complication.
When I was 23, I wrote a rosary booklet called "Praying the Rosary Pro-Life." It was my first published work, and by the time I asked that it be taken out of print (it was out of date, due to even newer attacks against human dignity), we had printed and diffused over 200,000 copies. I want to write the second edition, but I still need inspiration for it. Please pray that I might be able to take up this project again, in a prayerful and hopeful response to the threats we human are under from our own kind.