3rd January

In today’s Office of Readings, St Augustine says that the Two Great Commandments to Loveunborn God and our neighbour are linked: “By loving your neighbour you purify your eyes so that they are ready to see God, as John clearly says: If you do not love your brother, whom you see, how can you love God, whom you do not see?

“By loving your neighbour, by having care for your neighbour, you are travelling on a journey. Where are you journeying, except to the Lord God, whom we must love with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind? We have not yet reached the Lord, but our neighbour is with us already. So support your neighbour, who is travelling with you, so that you may reach him with whom you long to dwell.”

Here in the Western world, the neighbour in greatest (even direst) need is the preborn baby who has limited if any right to life – the most basic of all rights. Here is a letter to the editor that was printed in this week’s Kerryman and Donegal Democrat papers (and perhaps others as well).

Dear Editor; The (pro-life) Eighth Amendment has receive much adverse publicity in recent times from politicians and the media. Is this based on a fair or biased view of the common good?

We are all familiar with the ‘Disappeared’ – those 18 individuals executed by mainly Republican paramilitaries and buried in secret locations. Since abortion was legalised in Britain and elsewhere in the late 1960s, some 170,000 Irish unborn children have ‘disappeared’ also. By comparison the population of Cork City is 120,000!

The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution has so far blocked a liberal abortion culture in our country. In Britain where this culture exists, some 1 in 5 unborn children are ‘terminated’ simply because they are unwanted. Do we really want this in Ireland along with an explosion in the number of the ‘Disappeared’?

Before Jesus was born, he spent 9 months as an unborn child in the womb of his mother Mary. How glad we are that the ruler of the time (King Herod) failed to number him among the ‘Disappeared’ Holy Innocents of Bethlehem!

Will love of “neighbour” prompt Jon to share his doughnut?!