Recently I have been reflecting on what it means to be “Pro-Life”. Part of this is due to the articles I have been reading lately in regards to sex-selection abortions here in Canada. It had me wondering: “what am I doing for the pro-life movement, for children and the elderly who are having their lives cut off from them?”
Over the years, I have proudly claimed to be pro-life. I have engaged in discussion and debate with people, I have posted articles to my Facebook wall, and, when teaching, have used opportunities to speak about the priority of life because every life has a dignity because each life is loved by God. But I am starting to ask myself: “what have I done for the pro-life movement?”
I have even been on pro-life marches, have stood at the side of the road holding up signs. Yet, the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is not enough. I haven’t done enough. Children are being killed, and I’m sitting here in front of my computer while some children never have the opportunity to enjoy life.
This is not enough. I have been voiceless for too long, and it is time to take a stand. I think constantly of the bravery of William Wilberforce and his being a lone voice against slavery in England. Is abortion not a greater injustice than slavery? Yet here we are, sitting by as if nothing is happening.
As I said, each person is called to do different things to promote life: this I cannot deny. It is not the call of everyone to devote their entire life to the pro-life cause, though it is definitely the call of some. What, then, can I do? What can we do? If we are horrified with this injustice, then ought not our actions demonstrate the horror of this?
For that reason, I have decided that it must become a central issue in my life. What can I do from the seminary? I don’t know: God will show me what I am to do. Yet I know, for sure, that as a priest it will be my duty to speak about how it is time to stand up for those who are being killed each day. Jesus would have done the same, so why ought not his priests preach about it once in a while?
We can pray: prayer can do more than we think: we often forget about the importance of prayer. One beautiful way of doing this is the upcoming 40 Days for Life. I will be participating in it for the first time and would encourage everyone to give just one hour to life during this campaign.
We can give financial aid to organizations that promote life, especially those that offer assistance to mothers who want to carry their child to term. At St Andrew’s Cathedral in Victoria, we have a wonderful ministry called “Respect Life Ministry”. The coordinator is a close friend of mine and she is doing wonderful work. You can find them here. There are also the Sisters of Life. These and other great orders, movements, and organizations are wonderful groups to be involved with in terms of both time and money.
Yet, and her is where I myself am challenged to do more than just speak, we must offer our time. The best way to ensure a culture of life is by putting time into building that culture, time of conversation, time of prayer, and time of volunteering. How can this be done?
- It means when some talks about how abortion is a choice and they can’t say whether it is right or wrong, we say something about the beauty of life
- It means when a mother-to-be is thinking about an abortion, we support her, give her any aid she needs, and encourage her to carry the child to term
- It means giving at least an hour a week to some pro-life organization
- It means posting articles for life on your Facebook wall about the beauty of life and the horror of abortion. Your friends – some at least – will disagree with you. But you engage them in discussion.
- It means doing the marches, the silent witnessing, the 40 Days for life.
- It means praying the Rosary and doing intercessory prayer for life.
- It means making political choices based on life first.
It means, in the end, that to build a culture of life, we must first be living that culture in order to bring it to others. Abortion is the greatest human injustice of our time. Yet we sit here doing nothing. It is time for this to change, it is time for us to do something. We want cultural and political change, but we are too apathetic to the status quo. It only takes one person to change the injustices of the world. Look at what Mother Teresa did, look at what Christ did. One person can change a lot. Will you, too, join me in being that one person?