Twenty-one years later, the late Father Dan Saner still speaks to us just as he eloquently delivered the following homily on July 30, 1997, while serving as pastor at St. Augustine Church, Augusta, Kentucky. His homily gives us reason to ponder the challenge to remain true to the pro-life mission.)
“We Cannot Help Speaking”
I was thinking, “What good does it do?” Haven’t you asked that a thousand times? Haven’t others asked you? All this Right to Life work… what good does it do?
What good does it do to attend the Marches in Washington and Frankfort, or pray at clinics, or participate at the Celebration for Life?
What good does it do to stand up against friends when they avow pro-abortion candidates and issues?
What difference does my one voice make?
What consequence is there for me to write one more letter?
What is gained by arguing with one more acquaintance?
Since 1973 when the Supreme Court legalized the destruction of the innocent unborn, some gains have been made, but only small ones. Then I realized that this kind of thinking is dangerous.
There were 25,000 Americans who died in our Revolutionary War, and thousands more were maimed. Couldn’t they have asked what difference their deaths and their sacrifices made? If they had concluded that their deaths didn’t mean much, we would not be an independent nation today.
I also thought of World War II when over half a million Americans died. Couldn’t any of those who were killed or the great number of those who were maimed also ask the question, “What difference did it make?” If they had determined that their deaths were of no importance, we’d all be speaking German and living in a Nazi State.
So it seems to me that it’s always a little dangerous to ask what difference my actions make or what good my involvement does because none of us are ever able to see the whole picture.
When I began to wonder just how people of Faith look at this question, I came upon a reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Right after the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter and John were preaching, and both were jailed. When they were brought before the Jewish authority, they were told not to speak the name of Jesus or teach about Him. Simple enough! Peter and John could have said, “What good will it do, or what difference does it make? What’s the use of fighting the well-established Jewish authority?”
But, no, that wasn’t their thinking. They answered, “Judge for yourself whether it is right in God’s sight for us to obey you rather than God.” What an insight into godly thinking! The question is not what difference it makes or what good it does; the question is, “Do we obey God and speak His truth, or not?” Peter and John added, “Surely we cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen.”
Once you and I have come to understand that every human being is made in God’s image, and once you and I have come to understand the horror of abortion, then we cannot help speaking, and acting, and witnessing.
From the viewpoint of Faith, it is never a question of what good it will do, or what difference it will make. It is always a question of being called to obey God, rather than man. And that’s why the problem will never go away because godly people of Faith will speak!