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His Body, His Choice: Abortion, politics, and our Communion crisis

Jesus teaches us that human choice is not the source of life and fruit, because we depend upon God for what matters most.

Detail from "The Last Supper" (1631-32) by Peter Paul Rubens []

Choice. It’s a word that expresses the religion of most Americans: one that centers on the self and the freedom to pursue one’s own desire. Freedom is the basis for happiness, it is true, though not in the way we often understand. Simply doing whatever we want leads to misery, as if it were a law of nature. Perhaps it is.

My body, my choice. The “religion of self” possesses a sacrament for many in America. Nothing embodies the worship of individual freedom more than to kill another to preserve it. Even self-proclaimed Catholic women will defend the “moral agency” of women to murder their own children.

God’s choice. None of us have chosen our own lives. God has infused an immortal soul within us at the moment of conception. Even if we made the choice to embrace the Catholic faith as adults, Jesus still reminds us, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (John 15:16). Jesus teaches us that human choice is not the source of life and fruit, because we depend upon God for what matters most.

His body, his choice. “This is my body.” This not only serves as a declarative statement but an invitation. If we accept the gift of his body, we affirm the declaration as true, and enter into communion with Christ as one flesh with him. We can no longer say, “my body,” because we become members of his body, no longer belonging to ourselves. Therefore, we can no longer say “my choice,” because if our lives belong to him then we cannot act apart from Christ.

His life, my life. Can a Christian simply pursue his or her own interest? To receive the gift of Jesus’s entire life — body, blood, soul, and divinity — means that we are drawn out of the confines of our own life and freedom and into the conversation of heaven. The Christian life aims at becoming Christ, a son in the Son, so that we can say with Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). He enables me to be free and to bear fruit by giving my life to the Father within, in and through him.

A double life. If I insist upon “my body, my choice,” by living in accord with my own will over his, then I cannot expect also to receive Christ’s body and the promises with it. We have chosen our own way, rather than the way of Christ. How can we live according to our own will, rejecting God either explicitly or implicitly, and then come to Christ in communion on Sunday as if we were faithful to him? This would be like a man who lives apart from his family in an adulterous relationship all week, and then comes home to visit his family on the weekend as if nothing were amiss.

The life of another. Jesus said that he would be present to us in the least of our brothers and sisters. There is no one who is less, who is littler, than the unborn. If we harm the life of another, either directly by killing their flesh, or indirectly by enabling or assisting another to do so, we attack Christ himself. He has presented himself to us for care and protection, and instead we have killed him. Imagine coming to give the Lord a kiss on Sunday after seeking to kill him.

A life for others. Jesus offered his flesh for our salvation. He also gives us his flesh to eat. He becomes vulnerable. He is willing to be embraced by his enemies, although only his friends receive the life that gives. Those who receive him fruitfully must likewise give their flesh to others as he did. The Eucharist is a gift that is meant to be given to others in charity, as the Christian sacrifices himself for others in the world. The Eucharist, if we are receiving it fruitfully, should foster life and love; never selfish destruction.

That you may have life. Jesus offers mercy to all those who repent. Without repentance, we become severed limbs, cut off from the body by our own choice. This is true for all sinners (not just politicians who promote the murder of children). All need repentance. Without repentance, we approach Jesus’s gift like Judas, with a false kiss. Allowing anyone to receive the Eucharist without faith, repentance, and charity does not offer them mercy, but condemnation (1 Cor 11:29).

The life of the world. No one benefits from the destruction of life. The victim and perpetrator both suffer great harm. Jesus gave his life for the world, and he now wants to heal the world through us. He wants us to be witnesses to the freedom he offers and to give of ourselves for the life of others. He came that we might have life, not death. He came that we might be free, not in bondage to sin. The Eucharist can save our country if we allow it to teach us that freedom and happiness come only through a sacrificial gift of self.

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About Dr. R. Jared Staudt 57 Articles
R. Jared Staudt PhD, serves as Director of Content for Exodus 90 and as an instructor for the lay division of St. John Vianney Seminary. He is author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option (Angelico Press), as well as editor of Renewing Catholic Schools: How to Regain a Catholic Vision in a Secular Age (Catholic Education Press). He and his wife Anne have six children and he is a Benedictine oblate.



    Christ’s Eucharistic Prayer for Unity:

    Prayer for all Believers
    20And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me. 21That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    22And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them: that, they may be one, as we also are one. 23I in them, and thou in me: that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me. 24Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me: that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world.
    25Just Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee. And these have known that thou hast sent me. 26And I have made known thy name to them and will make it known: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

    Perfect Love does not divide, it multiplies as In The Loaves And Fishes.

    A Baptized Catholic, by denying Christ’s Prayer for Unity, ipso facto separates himself from The One Body Of Christ, causing scandal while denying The Deposit Of Faith .(Catholic Canon 750)

    The Charitable-Anathema by Dietrich Von-Hildebrand is the answer for this period of Time in Salvation History.

    We can know through both Faith and Reason that if one is in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, one will not deny The Deposit Of Faith:

    “4For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated, have tasted also the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5Have moreover tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come…”, to not believe that Christ’s Sacrifice On The Cross will lead us to Salvation, but we must desire forgiveness for our sins, and accept Salvational Love, God’s Gift Of Grace And Mercy; believe in The Power And The Glory Of Salvation Love, and rejoice in the fact that No Greater Love Is There Than This, To Desire Salvation For One’s Beloved.
    “Hail The Cross, Our Only Hope.”

    Perfect Love does not divide, it multiplies, (Filioque), as in the Miracle Of The Loaves and Fishes.

  2. Three footnotes from St. Augustine:

    First, regarding “choice” itself: he warns us that real freedom “cannot be reduced to a sense of choice: it is (instead) freedom to act fully. . .” and to resist what he termed “fantastica fornicatio”—the prostitution of the mind to its own fantasies, e.g., gender theory.

    Second, regarding the “double life”: “…it is no monstrous thing partly to will a thing and partly not to will it, but a sickness of the mind. Although it is supported by truth, it does not wholly rise up, since it is heavily encumbered by habit. Therefore there are two wills, since one of them is not complete, and what is lacking in one of them is present in the other” (Confessions, Bk. 8, Ch. 9:21).

    Third, regarding “his life, my life:” “You will not change me into yourself, as you change food into your flesh, but you will be changed into me” (Confessions, Bk. 7, Ch. 10:16).

  3. This so clear, so true, and so uplifting. One of our obligation is to pray for the conversion of these poor souls before they die in mortal sin, especially those clergy who are false teachers in matters of human sexuality, marriage, and the family.

    • Also – false teachers on Church, the Body of Christ.

      I think this is the true meaning in Sr. Lucia’s dream, the attack on the Church represented by the knives at the back of the man in white.

      The final battle is not won by the family it is won by the Church. The final battle is not on the family, it is on the Church.

  4. Perhaps, Alito and fellow Catholic Justices on the SCOTUS who voted to abrogate Roe vs Wade failed to inform themselves that the U.S is and has been since its creation a secular State, not a State associated constitutionally with any particular religion. Alito and his like-minded colleagues on the SCOTUS should take a look at the composition of the U.S. and take note that the majority of its citizens are not Roman Catholic, nor are the majority of the nation’s women anti-abortionists. Totally the contrary: the latter recognize abortion as a natural right of their sex, for it is a matter that concerns in the most intimate, undeniable manner, a woman’s body, life, and well-being.

    Alito and his fellow colleague Justices inimical toward Roe vs Wade played a devious hand: they used a public court of a secular State to annul a secular right of its female citizens, and they did on the basis of their own personal bias not of secular origin, rather of their religious persuasion. Their achievement has been not only a travesty against the culture and secular principles of the United States, it has furthered tyranny’s incremental encroachment over these United States. For tyranny is the overreach of injustice against base rights. A woman’s body, her mind, and her well being are her basic rights. All liberal citizens whatever their provenance: Protestant, Jewish, agnostic, atheist, Francmasonic, progressivist; plain secular folks; in brief, any and all not fettered to Catholic taboos: rescue the SCOTUS from fanatic, religious thievery. Strive to have the arrant perpetrators of injustice therein impeached. A manifest cabal.

    • To “I AM E WARRIOR” Scrambled:

      Majority views are of absolutely no value when it comes to analyzing things objectively based on facts and not opinions. They also have no value in properly interpreting laws. As such, when it comes to SCOTUS making a correction by properly overturning the poorly decided Roe v Wade (also admitted by many honest legal scholars who favor abortion), and returning the issue to the individual States, such is not based on any of the justices being Catholic or any other religion, though many shallow-minded people do jump to that conclusion. If the justices were to impose their religious views, and if those views were against abortion, then they would not have returned the issue back to the States where abortion can still be sadly approved and exercised. Duh!

      Of course it is true that the Catholic Church is far superior to all other religious denominations in providing the best rationale against the hideous practice of murdering innocent children in the womb, and also fighting for the right to life against all those who support murdering these innocents. In carrying out this life-affirming mission, the Church relies heavily on both objective science and natural law morality that recognizes the inherent dignity of every human being from the first moment of conception (when every human being without exception begins its individual existence distinct from its mother; again, shallow thinkers do not recognize this reality) until its natural death, and so opinion polls, bogus arguments about women’s rights to their own bodies (absolutely absurd since the child in the womb has its own body, so both must be respected), and so on and so on do not trump sound natural law morality applicable to all (religious and non-religious alike) no matter their circumstances.

      A few gifts for you regarding the basic issue of abortion. See Dr. Maureen Condic’s “A Scientific View of When Life Begins” still available at many sites online. Note also that Dr. Condic was featured as a recognized expert on embryology in an episode of Morgan Freeman’s popular “Through the Wormhole” Series on the Science Channel about 10 years ago.

      And even though opinion polls cannot trump sound morality, since you put way too much stock into them, check out the following that reports on some 96% of biologists agreeing that life begins at fertilization: See Jacobs SA. “The Scientific Consensus on When a Human’s Life Begins.” Issues Law Med. 2021 Fall;36(2):221-233. PMID: 36629778. This can also be found online.

      The Truth Shall Set You Free!

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