The United States Senate rejected the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Pro-Life Amendment to health care legislation by a 54-45 vote. The amendment would have kept in place “the longstanding and widely supported federal policy against government funding of health coverage that includes elective abortions." The United States Conference of Bishops were fully behind this amendment. Alas, it has been struck down.
I was pretty discouraged by this until I came across a quote from Saint Maximilian Kolbe this morning that relates to evil and political powers. He reminds us that the true battle between good and evil is in the depths of the soul, not in the propaganda machines or battlefields of the world. His words and life are a good reminder that we must pray, sacrifice, and persevere even in the face of discouragement. Here's the quote:
"No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?"As we see in the life of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and in the lives of the saints, true victory over the secular evils of the world usually occur through the quiet witness of sanctity and self-sacrifice. The crucifixion under Pontius Pilate, and the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul under Nero were the seeds of overcoming the evils of the Roman Empire. Like the blood of Abel, the precious blood of Christ and the blood the saints cries out to the Lord for justice.
For those who don't know, Maximilian Kolbe is one of my favorite saints and he was martyred during the Holocaust. I wrote up a chapter on St Maximilian Kolbe and what his witness means for Jewish-Catholic relations in my new book: The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity. Once again, we see here that charity and prayer, not political maneuvering, bring about the healing of the nations, first for the Jew then for the Gentiles.
Am I still a little discouraged by the Senate vote? Yes. However, it's a reminder that we should first win the battle in our souls if we dare to fight the battle against the culture of death.