Twenty-three years ago today, St. Teresa of Calcutta delivered a strident speech in defense of life and opposing abortion as a moral depravity. It was without a doubt a remarkable event, played out on live T.V. Lifenews describes the scene:
The occasion was the annual National Prayer Breakfast, a huge ecumenical gathering in Washington. As president, Bill Clinton was a high-profile attendee, with Hillary accompanying him. That year, on Feb. 3, 1994, the keynoter was a very special guest, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and saintly figure who had come all the way from the most impoverished area of the planet, the slums of Kolkata.Mother Teresa was barely visible, being partially obscured by the microphones atop the podium. Her message, delivered in a firm voice was unmistakable. She called abortion "the greatest destroyer of love and peace", saying in part:
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.
And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.
And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.
Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. ...Read St. Teresa of Calcutta's full remarks or watch a video of her address.
Father, maker of all. You adorn all creation with splendor and beauty, and fashion human lives in your image and likeness. Awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands, and renew among your people a readiness to nurture and sustain your precious gift of life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.