UNBORN WORD of the day

a perverse idea of freedom: Cain’s answer “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9)
July 3, 2007, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae


Cain and Abel by Pietro Novelli

At another level, the roots of the contradiction between the solemn affirmation of human rights and their tragic denial in practice lies in a notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them. While it is true that the taking of life not yet born or in its final stages is sometimes marked by a mistaken sense of altruism and human compassion, it cannot be denied that such a culture of death, taken as a whole, betrays a completely individualistic concept of freedom, which ends up by becoming the freedom of “the strong” against the weak who have no choice but to submit.

It is precisely in this sense that Cain’s answer to the Lord’s question: “Where is Abel your brother?” can be interpreted: “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9).

Yes, every man is his “brother’s keeper”, because God entrusts us to one another. And it is also in view of this entrusting that God gives everyone freedom, a freedom which possesses an inherently relational dimension. This is a great gift of the Creator, placed as it is at the service of the person and of his fulfillment through the gift of self and openness to others; but when freedom is made absolute in an individualistic way, it is emptied of its original content, and its very meaning and dignity are contradicted. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life #19

On this 4th of July let us all pray that our country returns to the path of true freedom.

1 Comment so far
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Amnesty International’s new policy on abortion is a good example of this mistaken sense of altruism.
It is the “strong” against the “weak” in practice;
AI will not be a valid human rights organization
until they overturn this policy and return to the
original mission to be a “brother’s keeper”.

I agree! Amnesty International’s decision has been very distressing. I get the feeling that the organization was hijacked by the pro-abortion crowd. We have to all pray that somehow this huge mistake is corrected and they return to their real work which was very good (i.e. being their “brother’s keeper”). Michele

Comment by S. Moore

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