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The Master Plan

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April 2006

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all pregnancies had joyful beginnings and happy endings. But what we plan is not always what we get. Some argue that the circumstances of a pregnancy may justify an abortion. They contend that abortion is a more compassionate alternative to an unwanted or an unhealthy child. Consider this story:

The professor’s eyes swept the classroom, demanding full attention.

“Gentlemen and ladies,” he began, “you will soon be doctors. Today, let us suppose you are confronted with a married couple needing advice. The husband has syphilis and the wife is infected with tuberculosis. They have four living children: one is blind, another is deaf and mute, another has tuberculosis, and the fourth is deformed.

“Now, the mother is again pregnant. Both the husband and wife are open to the possibility of an abortion, but are leaving the final decision up to you. Doctors, what would you advise them? Under such circumstances, should they have an abortion?

The class was allowed a few minutes to think and then a vote was taken. The show of hands indicated the vast majority of students favored abortion in such circumstances.

“Congratulations,” the professor declared to the startled students, “you have just aborted Beethoven!”

In time, Beethoven went deaf. But he had a unique way too hear his own music. Beethoven sawed the legs off his piano and laid an ear against the floor to feel the vibrations. He conducted an entire symphony while totally deaf. Beethoven had a gift from God, and the world is forever better because he struggled to use it.

For Beethoven’s parents, a troubled pregnancy. For Beethoven, a difficult life. But just try to imagine a world without his music, without the strength, joy, and serenity it has brought to millions. Never forget that no matter how difficult the circumstances, God has a plan, the plan, for all of us. Isaiah heard the Master well: “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are My ways above your ways and My thoughts above your thoughts” (Is 55:9).

Music is one of God’s great gifts, but without musicians there is only silence. Sadly, some aborted child may have been destined to be greater than Beethoven. But thankfully, where there is life, there is hope. Some unborn child may be greater still. So introduce those around you to the story of Beethoven and the music of life. Go even further. Encourage expectant parents, especially those in troubled circumstances, to trust in God’s plan. Just think how blessed we all are that Beethoven’s parents did.

Human life: God’s greatest creation! Celebrate it! Respect it! Defend it!

Paul V. Esposito is a Catholic lawyer who writes on a variety of pro-life topics. He and his wife Kathy live in Elmhurst, Illinois, where they raise their six kids.

© Paul V. Esposito 2008. Culture of Life. Permission to copy and distribute for pro-life purposes is granted. Visit us on the web at

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