I’ve had a friend say to me, “But Jesus never spoke about abortion.” Well…true, but the whole of the Gospels encompasses the issue of Life. The Incarnation refers to the mystery and teaching that God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The Incarnation distinguishes Christians from every other major world religion; there is no other faith that teaches that God took on human flesh. According to Scripture, the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin, Mary, and told her that she was to conceive and bear a son, and she would name Him Emmanuel (God with us). Mary was troubled and had questions, but she said yes, in fact, what she said was, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38)
This moment, which we call the Annunciation (it refers to Gabriel announcing God’s plans to Mary), is not only a real, historical event, but also a paradigm for our soul’s interior, spiritual life with God. Understood this way, the Incarnation is not just something that happened to Mary 2,000+ years ago…it is also something that we are called to live here and now, in each day and moment. When we strive to live with Christ, we go about our day living this mystery of the Incarnation. In each moment, we experience what God is presenting to us, and—whether it is perceived as “good” or “bad,” whether we have questions and anxieties, or whether the whole, clear path is laid out before us (it never is)—we are called, like Mary, to accept what He offers with joy and deep trust in God. In each moment, Jesus comes to us as a helpless, vulnerable, unborn infant, who needs to be accepted, nurtured, and allowed to grow within our hearts. We can say “yes” or “no.” We often say “no,” and when we do, this is called sin. “Sin” is not accepting or being open to spiritually conceiving Him, perhaps not even recognizing it. Many people recognize the beauty of the practice of mindfulness, which simply is living in the moment, being open to what it will bring and accepting all peacefully and with attentiveness. In Christianity, we do this but we also have the joy of doing this with and for Christ, walking with Him and accepting all as if it were Him or coming from His hand. When we say “yes” in each moment, we have a part in bearing Christ to the world, just as Mary did.
Evelyn Underhill wrote in her book, Mysticism: “The Incarnation, which is for traditional Christianity synonymous with the historical birth and earthly life of Christ, is…not only this but also a perpetual cosmic and personal process. It is an everlasting bringing forth, in the universe and also in the individual…soul, of the divine and perfect Life.” The Incarnation, then, is of utmost relevance and importance, both in the individual Christian’s life, and in that of the world.
If we extrapolate and consider the concept of abortion in such a paradigm…where does that leave us? We understand that our external acts most certainly have an effect on our interior life with God, and vice versa. One who lives with Him, and who wants to teach others to do so, does not—cannot—accept abortion as it is a complete cutting off of the life that God wants to live in us. It is a “no” to God, and this “no” is both a grave internal act and an irreversible, external act that results in the loss of precious, human irreplaceable life. It completely cuts off at the source the life of who we are as Christians—the mystery of the Incarnation.
Abortion cannot be accepted by Christians as compassionate, or as good. Women, and their children, need to be protected from abortion and from the lies that perpetuate it.