Victim Soul for the Cause of Life

Thomas J. Euteneuer
March 31, 2006
Reproduced with Permission

On this first anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo we remember with deepest love that dear young woman who became the victim soul for the cause of life in our country. It's not that raw judicial killings have not been perpetrated before on other innocents like Terri. It's just that her case was the injustice that everyone in the world will remember, and believe me, I have spoken to people on five continents who watched her execution with baited breath during those agonizing thirteen days last year. She was the one who, despite being unable to speak, gave voice to the voiceless and sensitized us to the victim status of all who are thrust to the grave by the brute force of unscrupulous thugs like Michael Schiavo.

In the history of the Church some people are recognized as "victim souls," meaning that they are chosen for suffering by God. It is hard to fathom why that is so until you see the fruits of their lives. I suspect that Terri will be recognized by history as one of those who were given to the world as living crucifixes to assure that no one will miss the message of the Cross. The act of crucifixion, as a form of execution in the Roman empire, was a brutal testament to the consequences of political disobedience, but a living crucifix is a testament to the consequences of rejecting God.

This is a message that our society has yet not gotten, but God still preaches it through prophets like Terri. A society that perpetrates or allows the judicial murder of more than a million innocent babies each year has rejected God. Terri was chosen by God to display for us in bold relief the enormity of this rejection, and if we did not get the message it is our own fault. All the elements of abortion fit together with Terri's witness: a man wanted her killed because she was inconvenient to him, an activist judge provided the legal rationale for her killing, the police aided and abetted the murder, a special interest radical New Age lawyer thrust the lance into the side of the victim, and a conflicted public sat around debating the question of whether she should die or not and calling everyone who wanted to do anything about it a right-wing religious fanatic. In the face of this kind of rejection of God's law, "Thou shall not kill," Terri's witness burns with an astounding radiance.

We miss Terri incredibly, but our grief is attenuated because victim souls never die in vain. Their lives always leave a spiritual wake washing the benefits of their suffering into the societies that had the privilege of seeing their prophetic witness. Since Terri died one year ago our country has virtually blasted open the Supreme Court with two new Justices, and several states are pounding on the door of the most murderous high court decision in all of history carving out a pathway of hope for the innocents who like Terri never had a chance.

In ten, twenty, fifty years who will remember Michael Schiavo? No one. But Terri will never be forgotten, at least not if I have anything to say about it.