When I was in high school, I identified more as “anti-abortion” than as “pro-life.”
All I could see was a list of injustices, from the exploitation of women for money, the aggressive but intentional destruction of sexual morality that is promoted (the more teens they can get to be sexually active, the more abortion business they get), to taking the life of a defenseless human being.
To be honest, I was just angry.
After a while, I got more caught up in debating and arguing about the issue more than anything else. I lost track of what this is all about. It’s not about winning an argument or spreading an ideology. It’s really simpler than all of that.
Love > Anger
Being pro-life is about recognizing the beauty of life itself.
The Catholic Church isn’t anti-abortion as much as it is pro-life. It’s not about hating any person or organization… It’s about loving what is good, true, and beautiful.
This truth sunk into my heart even more when I realized that just by being humans, we’re connected to Jesus and have incredible dignity because He Himself became human.
“By His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every human being” (Blessed John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, 2).
It’s important that before all else we start by looking at all of humanity and seeing it as good!
Motivated by Love
At the March For Life, I had the opportunity to meet many interesting people from all over the U.S. and I was reminded that love is not passive. If you’re passionate about loving life, then that love is what moves you. It’s the driving force behind your actions.
When Jesus famously said, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” it was not from mere anger at the Pharisees holding the stones in John 8:3-11. It was out of compassion for the woman caught in adultery. He also didn’t just condemn the crowd but challenged their hearts to change. Jesus wasn’t an angry name caller (though at times He did have some choice words for the Pharisees!), He was a speaker of truth and a seeker of souls.
A Christ-like Activism
This is what we are called to do. We must seek souls out and love them. We must speak the truth, not to win an argument, but out of love for each unrepeatable and irreplaceable person.
We have to look with compassion on those who are facing difficult situations with pregnancies.
We must love those who speak with hatred toward us.
And above all we must witness with lives of love to a society that has been seduced by the culture of death. That is how we truly become promoters of life.
It is out of love for the beauty and gift of human life that we stand up against the evils that are offenses against it.
Being pro-life should never just be a personal agenda, political stance or a notch on a belt of self-convictions. Each life is a miracle, created by God and continuously loved into existence by Him.
Being pro-life isn’t about marching one day, writing a blog, or having a debate. It is about being humbled by the miracle of life, recognizing the dignity of each person, and living in a way that witnesses the love of Christ.
Let’s all pray that we can continue to live with those convictions, proclaim the truth and love as Christ calls us to. He is calling you to greatness; to be bold, unafraid and passionate to shake things up with the Good News.
“At this stage of history, the liberating message of the Gospel of Life has been put into your hands. And the mission of proclaiming it to the ends of the earth is now passing to your generation. Like the great Apostle Paul, you too must feel the full urgency of the task: “Woe to me if I do not evangelize” (1Cor 9,16). Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people’s hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love. Now more than ever, in a world that is often without light and without the courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh, vital spirituality of the Gospel” (Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day 1993).
Here’s a video of footage I took at the March For Life, asking people #WhyWeMarch