Most Reverend Fathers,
On this Sunday of January 23rd 2011, we decided to pray together with other Orthodox Christians in America, for respect and defend of life in our world. This prayer is meant to be a call of God's help to light those who do not understand that life comes from Him and must be respected and defended from the moment of the child's conception in the mother's womb. It is an awakening call to conscience that abortion is sin because it is killing life.
Ever since the beginning of the Christian Church, abortion was seen as a radical failure of love. Spouses' love and their work together with God beget life. The child is the fruit of spouses’ love and God’s blessing. And this fruit bears full life from the conception in the mother's womb. There is not an appendix to the mother's body that she can discard it, but God's gift to the spouses and to the whole world. To not understand when and how life is born means to ignore God, the neighbor and the world. And ignorance leads to alienation, not to love. Misunderstanding of the gift of life we are referring to, leads to a world without God and without love.
Man always was seeking love, for he was created in the image of God who is love (1 John 4, 8). The fulfillment of life is finding communion and love with God and with others. St. John the Evangelist tells us that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1, 5-6). As Christians we ought to understand the truth about life, about its origin and not let ourselves be deceived by the false lights of this world without God. As Christians we ought to affirm the value and sanctity of life from the conception of the baby to the transition from this earthly life.
On this Sunday I urge you all to pray for those who do not understand and do not respect the sanctity of life, for those who committed the sin of abortion and need our help and prayer towards repentance. I urge you to pray that the Lord God will illuminate our minds and to understand the mission we had to fulfill as Orthodox Christians in defending the life and proclaiming its sanctity. To understand that defending life, we confess the foundation of our faith that is Christ's Resurrection. I urge you at the Divine Liturgy to say this prayer to invoke the mercy and help of God:
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, Who are in the bosom of the Father, True God, source of life and immortality, Light of Light, Who came into the world to enlighten it: You were pleased to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary for the salvation of our souls by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit. O Master, who came that we might have life more abundantly, we ask You to enlighten the minds and hearts of those blinded to the truth that life begins at conception and that the unborn in the womb are already adorned with Your image and likeness; enable us to guard, cherish and protect the lives of all those who are unable to care for themselves. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with divine and infinite love. Be Merciful, O Lord, to those who, through ignorance or willfulness, affront Your divine goodness and providence through the evil act of abortion. May they, and all of us, come to the life of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
May God help us to respect and protect the human life!
With archpastoral blessings,
† Archbishop Nicolae