Father Guy Nicholl's Thought for the Week

Thought For The Week From: http://www.birmingham-oratory.org.uk/


HEALER AND SAVIOUR
In today’s Gospel, St. Mark continues the account of our Lord’s healing work among the Galileans very early on in His public ministry. All that Jesus does: casting out the devil, making the sick well, teaching the people—all this is necessary to make fallen man whole. The fall of our first parents has left us all wounded in our nature, both bodily and spiritually—and Our Lord has come in great love to heal us entirely. St. Mark gives us the impression of a huge throng of people pressing in upon Our Lord, and leaving Him no space or time to Himself. This is why He is compelled to get up early in the morning to find time to be alone with His heavenly Father in prayer. Yet even so, Simon Peter and Our Lord’s other companions come searching for Him, saying that “everyone is looking for you!”. So Jesus replies, “Let us go to the neighbouring country towns so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.” In other words, all this work, healing and preaching, is the purpose of Our Lord’s humanity, of His Incarnation—to bring the truth that sets us free to us all, to liberate us from Satan’s power and his empty promises.
DOCTOR DEATH
Until recently, most of us probably had never heard of Aribert Heim. He was a Doctor in Nazi Germany who, like the infamous Dr. Mengele, practised horrific experiments upon Prison Camp inmates. Although reported as dead some years ago, he is believed by some to be still alive and in hiding, and hence those who want to try him for his crimes are seeking to discover his whereabouts. What terrible things did he do to warrant his still being pursued over sixty years later? In truth, many of the things he did were so horrible that they cannot easily be described. It is enough to say that he experimented on prisoners without using anaesthetics, and, stopwatch in hand, callously timed how long it took them to die in agony as a result of his horrific “experiments”. He even kept the head of one of his victims on his desk as a paperweight.
What explanation can there be for such appalling cruelty? The reason why men like Mengele and Heim did such wicked things is because they believed that their victims were not worthy of being treated as human at all. Many poor men, women and even children were treated by these doctors as “subhuman” fodder for their medical “research”. But these doctors were not alone. They were imbued with the profoundly anti-Christian Nazi philosophy of belonging to a “Master Race” that gave them power over inferior humans. It seems incredible that such ideas were believed and acted on so readily. Yet we need to be aware that Nazi philosophy was not all devised by Hitler. The idea that only physically beautiful and intelligent people were fit to have children, called “eugenics”, was widely advocated by the Nazis but was first developed in this country by people like Marie Stopes. To many people today she is a heroine for her championship of birth-control but few realise that the reason why she advocated contraception was primarily so that “less suitable” people should be prevented from breeding and polluting the gene-pool. Some people today are still drawn to such eugenic ideas, but fail to realise how it contributed positively towards the attitudes and deeds of men like Mengele and Heim.
In this country, after all, we do not treat other races as subhuman, as the Nazis did. But we openly and callously do terrible things to innocent human beings. How? Because abortion has become so socially acceptable, we have grown used to the idea that some human beings are expendable at others’ will. Once we have got used to the idea that babies in the womb are not yet fully human, then we feel free to treat them as fodder for experiments: creating animal/human hybrids, or using these tiny persons as “spare parts” for other people’s needs. We are told that all this is for the good of others—as in the creation of “saviour siblings” designed to serve the needs of another person. Yet what we need to proclaim ever more insistently is that there is only one true “Saviour”, that is Christ. He heals all sickness and overcomes the devil’s deceptions, because He alone truly loves all human persons He has created and longs to see us all reach our true fulfilment. Quite simply, His love for the smallest embryo He has created is as great as His love for you and me and any other human being who has ever lived.

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