Venerable (Ven.) Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty, who was incarcerated, tortured, and exiled by the Nazis and his Hungarian Communist Government before his death, once wrote some of the most poignant pro-life words ever recorded:
The Most Important Person on earth is a mother.
She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral.
She need not.
She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. . .
The angels have not been blessed with such a grace.
They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven.
Only a human mother can.
Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature;
God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation.
What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?
On April 19, 2019, we witnessed one of Holy Mother Church’s most glorious Cathedrals, Notre Dame de Paris, nearly become ashes in hours after taking nearly two hundred years to construct. This sight alone reduced many believers and non-believers to tears— and rightly so.
And yet, God co-creates with spouses “something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul,” according to Ven. Cardinal Mindszenty. This immortal soul can be horrifically snuffed out in seconds, even up to the point of birth in certain states. Surprisingly, many of the same people who shed tears for Notre Dame Cathedral’s destruction, will likely never shed tears over the 125,000 immortal souls who are aborted daily throughout the world.
God’s sacred dwelling on earth, His Catholic Churches, ought to be a worthy dwelling place for our Lord in the Eucharist, because they elevate our hearts and minds to Heaven, our eternal home. Each tabernacle is the “Holy of Holies.” At the same time, God’s tiny cathedral, which He builds and knits so wondrously in His image and likeness in a mother’s womb (Ps 139:13) also deserves reverence and awe like Notre Dame Cathedral. For our immortal souls will live on forever, millions of years after this most splendid Cathedral ceases to be. And while the tabernacle houses the Blessed Sacrament, that Sacrament’s true destination is found in those immortal souls.
An atheist, pro-abortion former coworker of mine was saddened by Notre Dame Cathedral’s devastating fire. He experienced the same reaction when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001. Shockingly, he said he couldn’t care less about the 2,000 plus souls that died at ground zero; instead, he lamented more for the loss of the buildings. Sadly, many souls have lost their sense of sin and reality. Amazingly, they still recognize some beauty, but have denied truth and goodness. The only beauty they recognize is visible and fleeting; they refuse to see the invisible beauty of grace along with the truth that God created and formed them so perfectly in the womb—something no human being can ever replicate.
Like my former coworker, a similar mindset is occurring throughout our Church and the world. Many in the hierarchy have been sidetracked by focusing exclusively on the lives outside our borders or protecting Mother Earth rather than defending the most vulnerable within our most sacred borders, our mothers’ wombs. Tragically, these same Church leaders are promoting a Church without creeds and doctrines rather than defending and proclaiming the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ.
In Europe, many once stronghold Catholic countries have lowered their bridges to allow their enemies to freely take over the interior castle of their soul and, perhaps soon, even their Cathedrals. Cardinal Robert Sarah once stated in an interview that the West will disappear if mass migration continues leading ultimately to Islam’s reign in Europe. In the words of Cardinal Robert Sarah, Europe will be “invaded by foreigners, just as Rome has been invaded by barbarians. … If Europe disappears, and with it the priceless values of the Old Continent, Islam will invade the world and we will completely change culture, anthropology and moral vision.”
Most notably, Cardinal Sarah cited native Europeans “lack of births” compared to Muslims as a catalyst behind Islam’s rise. In fact, in 2050, there will be as many Muslims in the world as Christians, according to the Pew Research Center. The writing is on the wall. As evidence by their social media posts, some Muslims even reveled in Notre Dame’s apparent collapse. Please God let this not be a foreshadowing of the future.
Even more alarming than Notre Dame Cathedral’s embers is that, like so many of our most magnificent cathedrals, these tiny “immortal souls” were never given a chance because they were destroyed by abortion and contraception. And the very people who are entrusted to build the culture of life—our religious and government leaders—appear to have more pressing matters, such as their political agendas and their sexual perversions. Tragically, some things never change.
Today, rather than fortifying the Faith, many want to “build bridges.” Instead of defending our children in the womb and even outside it, we have opened our borders to all religions, one of which is hostile to Judeo-Christian values. Because abortion is extremely common and widespread, many have grown weary and have washed their hands of fighting it. They have become desensitized to it, yet it is a momentously grave and offensive evil. If Christ’s Church does not stand on the front lines and fight for these tiny souls, then who will? If Catholics, especially the hierarchy, do not become vocal against pro-death legislation, such as Ohio Issue 1 that was on the November state ballot, then the holocaust of the unborn will likely never end in our lifetime.
One fiat 2,000 years ago by the Notre Dame of Nazareth changed the world forever. Each time a mother welcomes a new life, she ought to be convinced of the same reality. For within her is not only a new immortal soul, but a soul who has the potential to be a great saint. Our Church needs new saints now more than ever. Saints who will not just rebuild the Church physically, but more importantly, spiritually. We need more modern-day warriors like Ven. Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty, who spent twenty-seven years imprisoned rather than compromise the Faith.
A Catholic Christian mother “cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral,” or even rebuild it, but she can do something far greater, which is to raise up an immortal soul. “What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?”