Monday 23 March 2015

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Linda Gibbons speaks with Toronto Catholic Witness

"I lift up my eyes, to you who sit enthroned in heaven..."
Psalm 123 "A Song of Ascent"

Linda Gibbons, with dear friends
This interview with Linda Gibbons, took place the week of March 16th. I thank Linda deeply for her graciousness in taking the time to answer these questions, which, I hope, will lead readers into a deeper appreciation of Linda's Christian witness for those who have no voice, no face: the forgotten unborn, the babies. 

This week, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II's great encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), a prophetic work, even more relevant today when we are are surrounded by an ever expanding "culture" that promotes and glorifies death. Please pray for Linda Gibbons.

Question: May I preface this question by way of explanation: I believe we need to be “Gospel of Life”, and not just “pro-life”; that is, our primary focus should be on Jesus Christ when dealing with abortion. As the Gospel says: “seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you: (Mt. 6:33). How can prayer help bring an end to abortion?

Linda Gibbons: The scripture that comes to mind is "the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). Our whole life should be a prayer that God's will be done and His will is that not one of the little ones should perish; to this end we offer up ourselves - a sweet incense of prayer. 

Q: Has the "pro-life" movement become too political and lost touch, or is in danger of losing touch with relying on the power of the Gospel?

Linda: We fight against powers and principalities. Scripture says the earth is full of the habitations of cruelty, a foe much greater than human powers can challenge. It will be fought not by power (political), nor by might (organizational), but by God's spirit alone. Without God we can do nothing. If it is of God, let him be the measure: "what He wills, when He wills, as He wills (the 'martyr's prayer'). Half-measures are not the measure of God. ("If so, why should we not do evil, that good may come of it"? St. Paul, Romans, 3:8).

Q: Why do you think that you and Mary Wagner are so misunderstood; even by some who are “pro-life”?

Linda: I understand God's will is always life, and people should see that as a principle issue that does not brook any competition; it stands alone. Once the life issue becomes subordinate to some other purpose or goal we have lost our focus. No issue can compete against life. 

This question suggests Mary and I are desiring to be understood. They choose to misunderstand us. You have to ask , why? Here is a saying: 'to those who get it no explanation is required, to those who don't get it, no explanation is possible'. We appreciate like minded souls who join arms in the witness at the [abortion] mills, but we are not looking over our shoulder to see who is not there. 

Q: The vast majority of those who profess they are Christians have turned a blind eye to the horror of abortion? How do you think this came about?

Linda: Psalm 123 talks of our eyes being attentive to the Master's wishes. To be complacent towards abortion, as a Christian, is to portray Christ as not concerned with the issue. It's scandalous. 

Q: What can we do to reverse this?

Linda: We need to line up our actions with our theology. As James says to wish them well and do nothing to deliver them is hypocrisy (c.f. James 2:16). If we wish them life, we need to put some concrete effort in ensuring they get it. 

Q: I know you have a deep and close relationship with Our Lord. Can you share how you prepare yourself before you will give witness to the truth abut abortion, leading to your arrest?

Linda: The Bible says we can do nothing against the truth but for the truth. Abortion is a lie, our presence is to let truth be seen in love. I go asking God to use me for His love's sake. In prayer, interceding for the moms and babies, abortionists, staff and others (the public). 

Q: Obviously, by the grace of God, you are a light of truth in jail. Can you share with us how your being in jail has helped a young, confused and frightened woman to either not have an abortion, or repent and seek reconciliation with God?

Linda: It helps to tell women who have had an abortion that God forgives and they can tell God they love their baby, miss their baby. Then they can give their baby a name. A woman considering an abortion needs to be 'loved to life'. Love finds a way. 

Q: The Psalms in the Bible run the whole panorama of human experience; they are also referred to as the church “praying”. I know you love the Psalms. Can you tell us why they touch you so deeply?

Linda: What I so appreciate about the Psalms and the prophets as well, is the reflections that reveal in almost intimate (knowing) converse about active faith, telling us about Him and the Lord showing us ourselves - always challenging us. 

Q: Do they help you in your fight against abortion?

Linda: Psalms are for those who know His name and have set their love upon Him. David is called the sweet Psalmist. Isn't it rather his expressions that God fills with His; sweeter than a honeycomb? It's relational: us dwelling on the Psalms and the Psalms filling us. 

Q: Is there a passage of Scripture that you would like to share with us that has helped you in life and in your fight for the Gospel of Life?

Linda: In the Psalms its written, "my soul wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him (Ps, 62:5). This Scripture is my 'walk and wait' verse.  It got me through five years of caregiving of my father with Alzheimer's and it continues to be a verse that steadies my course. 

Q: Thank-you.

Note: This interview is published with the kind and gracious permission of Linda Gibbons. If you wish to re-publish it, to advance the Gospel of Life, please contact Toronto Catholic Witness at:


Lawrence and Susan Fox said...

Wonderful interview! Her answers were lovely and confirmed my view that those two ladies (Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons) live in the peace of Christ! God bless them both for their faithful witness. Abortion is truly a horrible reality. A woman just lured a pregnant woman into her home through and offer of free baby clothes, and then proceeded to cut the child from her womb, here in Colorado! She wanted the baby for herself, but the baby died, and the mother survived -- heartbroken, but she survived. Please pray for her and all involved. We can't prosecute the woman who killed the baby because the child is not viewed as a 'person" under Colorado law. People here are pretty sick about that. The child was seven months along and could have survived, but the woman had no idea how to do that. This is a horrible story to mention here, but your piece offers consolation. Two brave women willing to go to prison in the Spirit of God with peace in their hearts to witness to the value of human life from conception to natural death. God bless you. Susan Fox

Deacon John said...

God bless+ these two Pro-Life angels, who are an inspiration to the rest of us! May they persevere in living in the Divine Will and be at peace!