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These can be difficult teachings

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

October 28, 2020

“They just announced that this woman will be executed on Dec. 8. I know her.”

That quote was part of a post in a Catholic women’s group on social media. The post included a link to a news article about a woman, Lisa Montgomery, who was convicted of a particularly heinous crime. Montgomery killed a pregnant woman, cut the woman’s baby from her womb and tried pass the baby off as her own.

Just reading about the crime made me sad and angry.

There’s part of me that feels like the woman committed an unthinkable and horrible crime, and she deserves the death penalty. There’s part of me that wants vengeance.

That part of me was challenged by the post in my women’s group.

“Please pray for Lisa’s victim and her family, and for Lisa’s family, too,” the post said. “And if you can find it in your heart, please pray for Lisa.”

I prayed for Lisa. That part of me that wants vengeance isn’t a very good Catholic/Christian.

As Catholics, we’re called to forgive others. We’re called to love our enemies. We’re also called to protect life from conception to natural death.

I feel like it’s an understatement to say those can be very difficult teachings.

It seems fitting that I ran across this social media post this week as I prepared to assemble this, our Respect Life edition of the North Country Catholic.

The death penalty is not a natural death. Murder is not a natural death. Assisted suicide is not a natural death. Abortion is not a natural death.

Sometimes, our human tendencies and our sinfulness make us want vengeance. Sometimes, those same tendencies and sinfulness make us want to take what seems like the easy way when we’re facing pain, hardships or difficult decisions.

We’re called to try to overcome those human tendencies and sinfulness. We’re called to “live the Gospel of life,” recognizing that every man, woman and child – born or unborn – is made in the image and likeness and of God and has innate dignity and value, even if we don’t recognize it in specific moments.

We’re called to protect and defend God in others.

And we’re called to pray for Lisa.

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