Tiny hands that long to clasp a finger. Small legs that await to take a first step. Little eyes that desire to return a loving gaze. A mighty heart that beats to the fullness of life. Then, stops.
In the name of health care. In the name of family planning. In the name of choice.
This silent human being has the face of a child—yet, the courage of a warrior. Sedated, trapped, with no choice, but to accept the fate that deliberately ends its beating heart.
This small human bravely accepts the only choice it is given—death. An end chosen by others. An end celebrated as a freedom. An end that popular opinion has forbade us to mention. To those choosing, death comes as a welcome end to an unwanted life. Yet, death it still is.
Legal jurisprudence waives its gavel and calls it “just.” The masses tout the benefits of providing such a “health service.” The general public asserts it is the ultimate authority on what is “right,” and informs us to stay closemouthed.
But, we won’t keep silent. For you, little ones, are already silent. Silent martyrs.
We march on after years of legality deem acceptable this horrific act. We raise our voices after others are miffed at listening. We passionately pray for life to be protected.
We persevere on because these martyrs are silent. And, the silence is piercing. It echoes through the halls of eternity and reaches the very ears of God. When all has passed—when our laws are nonexistent, when popular opinion is nothing more than a sentence in a history book, and when this generation has passed from this to the next—the truth will prevail.
That truth is that every human being has a dignity that deserves to be protected. These martyrs bear witness, as the Greek word for martyr is derived from the word, witness. These silent martyrs bear witness for heaven’s timeless truth—that every human being has an inherent dignity because he or she is made in the image and likeness of God. And, that that dignity of each and every human life must be respected.
In an attempt to silence these martyrs—in an effort to destroy them and forget them forever—we have seared their sainthood in our memory. Their brave souls, despite their silence, speak these eternal truths—that each and every human being represents the ultimate end of society. That every single human being deserves to be treated with the very basic golden rule—that we must do unto others as we would have others do unto us. And, that we have been entrusted by our God to hold on to the responsibility of preserving that human dignity.
And, their witness will live on forever. When transient popular opinion, that touts phrases like “health care” and “choice,” will be but a passing thought, these saints, who have stood for these eternal truths, will receive their vindication.
These little silent martyrs reflect the greatest sacrifice ever known to mankind—the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In Christ’s journey to the cross, he did not open his mouth. Instead, he uttered not a single word. Like these little ones, he was silent. As the prophet Isaiah describes it, “Though harshly treated, he submitted and did not open his mouth; Like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth.”
God often times speaks to us in this silence. “God sometimes speaks to us with words, as in history, with situations. And God at times, many times, speaks to us with his silence…I look to Jesus on the cross and discover the silence of God. The first silence of God is on the cross of Jesus. The greatest injustice in history and God was silent,” Pope Francis recently said in a virtual audience to Americans.
And, bearing this silence is not an easy task. Silence often times makes us uncomfortable. We want facts, explanations, and answers. Yet, we must bear this silence—the silence of lawmakers who ignore this travesty, the silence of popular opinion that looks the other way, and the silence of these precious little martyrs that have no choice.
This silence is painful, but our cross to bear. As Jesus told his disciples in the gospel of Matthew, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” We may tire of perpetuating our beliefs and discussing our opinion, but we must continue to do so. We may grow weary of articulating our passion for life, but we must bear the task at hand. We must bear the cross of silence.
So, we treasure the silence of these little martyrs and hold it in our hearts. We speak for the voiceless, and carry the truths they bear witness to with our lives. Their cry may be silent, yet it is clamorous in our hearts. Their voice may be muted, but they speak eternal truths to our generation. When we carry on the truth they bear witness to, their lives continue on this earth. Their death becomes our life.
They may be silent, but these martyrs will forever speak God’s undeniable truth—that each and every life has a dignity rooted in and entrusted to us by our Creator. And, that truth is deafening. Let us continue to pray and defend the lives of the defenseless.