When I read the petitions in Magnificat today, what came to my mind, in addition to homeless men and women, was the cult-classic horror film Freaks. Freaks was made in 1932, before the Hays code began to be strictly enforced in Hollywood, and I'm quite sure it could never get made even today -- perhaps especially not today. It's the story of a circus troupe -- compellingly acted by a cast of actual sideshow performers with a variety of disabilities and deformities -- and its moral is that these "freaks" are more loving, more human, than the attractive, able-bodied strong-man and trapeze artist who are having an affair, and who plot to destroy their disabled colleagues. "One of us" is the motto of the freaks, who accept the trapeze artist as one of their own, in spite of the fact that she is an outsider who knows nothing of their own culture of mutual aid and kindness and who seeks to exploit it (this motto comes again at the end of the film with a chilling twist -- if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it).
I have heard this song performed several times by my friend and colleague Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, a gorgeous soprano and a scholar of music and disability studies. Fr. Feeney, who must have written the poem in the 1940s, was most likely referring to contraception, but Stephanie has noted that it also speaks eloquently to the question of who has the right to live.
Brothers, have no fear of men's sin. Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.