Homily of Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan
7:30 a.m., Monday, January 23, 2012
Closing Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
You have just spent the night in your mother’s homes!
You have “kept vigil” that cherished tradition so frequently found in the Bible, and now we commence this somber anniversary her in our Mother’s home, our National Shrine, in the best possible way, through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
I welcome all of you!
I whisper “good morning” to so many of you who have kept vigil here for the noble cause of life;
I thank you for the radiant inspiration you give all of us.
That radiant inspiration we need indeed as we persevere in this now two-score years of promoting a recovery of the culture of life gravely threatened by unlimited abortion.
Simply put, we are often tempted to give up hope that we can even turn it around.
In this morning’s Gospel, Jesus mentions some mysterious “unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit.” What is it?
Wise men and women, saints and scholars, tell us that Jesus is teaching that, really, the only unforgiveable sin…is to believe that there is any sin which cannot be forgiven, that God’s mercy is limited.
Nope! God’s mercy, God’s grace, God’s power is unlimited! There is no evil, no horror, no sin that is exempt from the healing rays of His grace.
Not even the horrors of the culture of death!
From a human point of view, we may be tempted to surrender;
When our government places conception, pregnancy and birth under the “Center for Disease Control”;
When chemically blocking conception or aborting the baby in the womb is considered a “right” to be subsidized by others who abhor it;
When the ability of feeding, housing, and healing the struggling of the world is curtailed and impeded if one does not also help women abort their babies;
One can hardly be faulted for being tempted to the “sin against the Holy Spirit” and just consider all as lost.
Not us! Not for thousands who have stayed up all night in prayer in this, the home of a pregnant woman;
Not for hundreds of thousands who will march today with the words of “We Shall Overcome” ringing in our ears;
Not for those of us who whisper “Thanks be to God” as we behold untold numbers of young people with passion for the Culture of Life, those of us old enough to recall thirty-nine years ago when sophisticated voices told us that the “pro-life movement” was just a momentary fad that would soon crash upon the shores of a “brave new world.” We veterans who now smile as the pro-life cause is acknowledged as today’s premiere civil rights movement still, in spite of editorial pages and chic tsk-tsk the most pivotal, burning issue on the campaign trail.
Yes, like David in our reading from God’s word this morning, the pro-life movement has been dismissed by the Goliath of the well-oiled, well-inked, glitterati-crowded pro-abortion one…. But, Goliath the Giant didn’t win, did he? Trusting, shrewd,
Faithful, confident, energetic little David did!
Thank you, David…for the radiant inspiration you give us!
Here is Cardinal Di Nardo's homily from the Sunday evening before the March.