Very often an argument in favor of legalized abortion is that since the fetus (at a certain stage) is not viable, it is not actually a human person and is thus not worthy of the legal protections given any other person. It’s not my point to argue this point (which I believe to be categorically, philosophically, and ethically flawed) that is another post.
My point here is, quite plainly, to mourn the entire series of friends that I have may had if the radical potentiality of millions of human lives of my generation had not been snuffed out through abortion. I cannot help but consider how much better those of my age (and many years north and south of me) would be, if we had gotten to know the fifty-something million aborted children of the last forty years. Think about the scientists, the spouses, the peacemakers, the doctors, the friends that would have made our country intellectually, spiritually, and materially richer.
There’s often an analysis made of religious life that a certain generation in the post-Conciliar years “never arrived,” that is to say, an entire generation of men and women never entered religious life. As a result, religious life now faces a personnel gap. As I sit here now, I make the same staggering point about our own country: there are swaths of generations that never arrived. And even more maddeningly, it is not because of the changing mores that brothers, sisters, and priests decided the Lord had called them elsewhere. Rather, it is due to the fact that society writ-large decided that the potentiality of human life is legally subservient to, well, just about everything.
And so today, perhaps more than any other, is not just a day of prayer for conversion, but also a day to mourn: to mourn the friends my generation never had.
I trust in the mercy of the Lord for those who were never born; I, however, beg for the Lord’s mercy upon those of us here, who wallow in the poverty of those who never were.
This post originally appeared on Matthew Janeczko’s personal blog newsandals.blogspot.com on January 22, 2013 and is reprinted with permission of the author.