Saturday, April 28, 2018

Alfie Evans--Love Never Fails

When I woke up this morning, the first prayer I said was for Alfie Evans and for his parents. I prayed that through the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, if it be God's will, that Alphie have a miraculous cure. Alas, no such cure was possible because Alfie--that beautiful little baby boy--had already shed the bonds of his earthly chains and had gone to the house of the heavenly Father.  

Over the past few weeks, Alfie's plight has played out in hospitals, courtrooms, and on social media. Much has already been written (and will be written) criticizing many of the institutions involved (especially the hospital, the courts, and even the religious authorities in Britain) but, I want to say a word about those who did not let Alfie down, namely his parents.

In the midst of such tragedy, the world witnessed something beautiful in these last days. We saw a father and a mother love their dear baby boy. We watched as they tried everything possible to keep their son from being deprived of food, water, and oxygen. We watched as the father flew to Rome to beg Pope Francis to help them. What a beautiful thing--that in today's world--it is still possible for a humble man to find an audience with the Pope.  We watched this mother and father hold their son, caress him, and fight for him. Alfie wasn't a cause, a moral issue, or a legal case. Alphie was a human being, a human being with a mother and father who loved him. 

Today, I am grateful for Alfie's parents. In my life, I need to see people like them. I need to see people love with that kind of love and fight with that kind of strength. They didn't waver. They kept loving their son and fighting for him. They are a testimony to fortitude and to hope. They kept fighting for what was good and true and beautiful. They kept fighting for their son. To love their son required them to fight. 

We live in a culture where people like to argue but not to fight. It is easy to post a provocative comment here or there, but that is arguing, not fighting. Fighting means being willing to get bloodied. It means being willing to suffer for the truth, to suffer out of love. It means standing fast in the truth even if all the powers of the world were lined up against you. Alfie's parents loved and acted out of love. Their love for their son--while unable to move legal institutions--was able to move our hearts.

I don't know if the publicity of Alfie's life and death will bring about change in the medical and legal fields or whether it will cause the UK to reevaluate its approach to these situations. I don't know if Alfie's situation will cause religious leaders in Great Britain to examine their response to situations like this. I don't know if Alfie's situation will bring about a large scale conversion of minds and hearts about the value of human persons who are suffering.  What I do know is that I have been moved by Alfie's parents. Their love for their son makes me want to grow in charity. Their love for their son makes me want to stand fast in love and in truth no matter the consequences and no matter the price. I want to love with that kind of love.

This morning, I did an internet search for "Alfie Evans" and the fist thing that came up said, "Alfie Evans is a legal case . . . ." Alfie's parents made certain that the world knew that Alfie Evans wasn't a legal case. Alfie Evans was a little baby, a human person who was loved. Alfie Evans' parents did not fight such an exhausting fight in order to win a legal case. They fought because they loved their son. 

I thank this young man and woman for their witness. They didn't win the legal case. They didn't win the argument. But, they loved their son and fought for him. And in the end, love never fails.


  1. I am reminded of St. Thomas Aquinas: "God never permits evil except for a greater good to come out of it." In spite of the pain, we are lifted up by the example of Alfie's parents, and we know that Alfie went straight to the arms of Jesus, even perhaps as a martyr. "Let the little children come to me, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven."