January 24, 2020

My Journey to God

The Gates of Hell in Our Midst

Against the massive bluff—
the “rock”—of ancient Caesarea
stood a temple to the god Pan.
“The gates of hell,” Christ called it,
for children were sacrificed there.*

Today four “temples” stand in our midst—
here in central and southern Indiana
where we proclaim
the Gospel of Christ—
where children again are slain,
an act declared acceptable
so long as the little lives
are wholly—or partially—
on the right (or wrong?) side of the

Some choose this for their young
out of fear, thinking it best,
believing there is no alternative.
Many others slay the unborn on altars
of pride, greed and selfishness,
Placing their wants and desires
above the right of their own children
to live.

So many are numb to this slaughter
of innocents, this child sacrifice
within the boundaries
of our local Church.
Does unjust legality
also justify passivity?
Dare we stand idly by,
deaf to 6,600 annual cries?**
What can you do to see
that upon our limestone bedrock,
the gates of hell
shall not prevail?

*Mt 16:13-18
**6,629 abortions in Marion and Monroe counties in 2018, per 2018 Indiana Terminated Pregnancy Report

By Natalie Hoefer

(Natalie Hoefer is a member of St. Monica Parish and is a writer for The Criterion.)

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