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“If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” (II Chronicles, 7: 14)
While it is true that our country is in the midst of an economic crisis, this is not the most important challenge we face. We are also in need of true spiritual renewal.
If you study the scriptures from beginning to end, there is a theme that is often neglected, namely that God judges nations.
We are told not to judge persons because we do not know how God views a soul. Each individual will at the end of his or her life face a particular judgment and receive from the Lord what they have asked for. If the person repents and asks for mercy, mercy will be given, but if the person sees no need for repentance or worse, asks for justice, then that person will receive justice. And who of us can stand before God with absolutely clean hands and a pure heart?
Nations, however, do not have immortal souls. They exist in time and so in time they will be judged and blessed or chastised according to their deeds. The United States of America has been blessed above all nations. Never have a people experienced such prosperity. Even ordinary people have material possessions, luxuries, and entertainments that were once reserved for royalty.
To whom much has been given, much will be expected. Have we been grateful for our myriad blessings or have we abused them? We have been generous with the poor both in our own land and in other countries, we care for the elderly and for children, but there is one area in which we have failed miserably -- our concern for the unborn.
We have stood by while over a million unborn children have been slaughtered every year for 35 years. True, a handful of faithful souls have stood outside the abortion clinics, week after week, in rain, in snow, and in the heat. They have prayed rosary after rosary and cried out “Please don’t kill your baby.” But is this a sufficient response to so great an evil?
Catholic Christians have unfortunately made abortion a minor issue, not something that has first priority. For many their commitment has grown lukewarm. Were abortion to be part of the health care reform, would the Catholics of this country rise up as one and say to their politicians, “Never, never?” Or would they just look at the benefits they might personally receive and judge it to be not worth fighting over it?
While each of us individually will have to account for the way we responded to the death of millions of innocent unborn babies, our nation will also be accountable. How can we say “God bless America,” when we are so unworthy of blessing? Can God bless those who ignore the shedding the innocent blood?
Everyone can do something. Given the power of the Internet, it is possible to make our voices heard. We can communicate with our political leaders, with the media, and with the public. And we can all pray and offer reparations for this great evil committed legally every day in our own cities and states.
We can obey the admonition of St. Paul who wrote in his letter to Timothy: “First of all, then I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim. 2: 1-3)
Until this evil is ended, none of us can say we have done enough.
Dale O’Leary is an internationally recognized lecturer and author of “The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality.”