Over at Conversion Diary, Jen spoke to the parents of an adorable little girl named Sunni who was born with Mitochondrial Disease, which has stalled her development at less than one year of age. Sunni cannot sit up on her own, feed herself, or talk. She is blind, diabetic and suffers from seizures. And yet her life converted her parents from being staunchly pro-choice to being avid pro-lifers and even brought them into the Catholic Church. It is a wonderful story and I heartily recommend reading the whole thing. But there were two parts in particular that caught my attention, even at 3am.
Jason and Angie Berger explained the change in their abortion position like this:
The best way I can explain it is this: Our dear little girl is probably one of the best arguments for abortion available. She is completely dependent, with a low quality of life that represents a tremendous burden to her parents and society in general. We were fortunate to have received a small revelation of sorts. It became clear that she was a powerful witness to the beauty of life, and certainly didn't deserve to die. If she should not be aborted, then to argue for killing a beautiful, healthy child is a monstrosity. When asked how he created such stunning works of art, a famous sculptor once said that he instills in his mind a clear image of the form and then removes everything that is not a part of it. In a way, God has shorn from Sunni nearly all of the adornments that would be considered part of a basic human life. She cannot act on her own, communicate, or possibly understand even simple concepts. She is left as a nearly pure example of human life without anything to distract us from its elegant beauty.
"A nearly pure example of human life without anything to distract us from its elegant beauty." This struck me. What is a pure example of human life? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the Blessed Virgin or Jesus Christ. What made them pure human beings? Jesus is God and Mary is a pure reflection of God. The image of God is neither hidden nor scarred in either of them. Certainly, Sunni is a fallen creature like the rest of us, but the fact she cannot talk or care for herself creates a lens for those around her to see God all the more clearly in her. She is completely dependent on and vulnerable to everyone around her removing any element of disguise, manipulation, or even distraction from that pure beauty that is the Image of God in each of us.
The second part that struck me pertained to their conversion to Catholicism:
We could no longer stay in the Lutheran church, because they did not stand out against abortion. When you make the decision to leave the mainline Protestant churches behind, you are left with the two major, pro-life groups: Roman Catholic and Protestant Evangelical. I had been part of an Evangelical church (Assembly of God) in my youth, with the laying of hands, speaking of tongues, gifts of the Spirit, etc. It has become clear to us that the "born again" churches can offer no guarantee that they will not drift in the same direction as the mainline Protestants. I honestly don't know what they will believe in another 20-30 years. There is no authority or hierarchy that is empowered to conserve the truth. ... Catholics aren't simply submitting themselves to an all powerful, out of touch Pope with a list of antiquated rules. There are not only highly developed reasons for everything they believe, but they fit together into this seamless garment.
The seamless garment of the Catholic faith is something, I think, I tend to take for granted. I honestly hadn't thought about it. Maybe it is because I'm not a convert, but what the Church taught and why it professes to believe what it does always just made sense to me. I never needed to compare it to any other religion where beliefs could be or seem conflicting. Such a reflection could be priceless to those who find themselves disagreeing with the Church on some issues. The teachings of the Catholic Church, whether anyone likes them or not, are consistant in a beautiful seamlessness. I love that image.