The March for Life weekend is kind of like one big Catholic family reunion, when everyone flies to Washington and your old friends meet your new friends, and we all march together in solidarity for the rights of those who cannot speak up for themselves. It’s a fun, exhausting, weekend, and we’re marching for something important. The weekend was thought provoking in many ways, and the end of it we may be left wondering, what now? What will we do the rest of the year to keep speaking up for the rights of the unborn, and the dignity of every human life?
The coincidence of the March for Life and the Women’s March for the second year in a row calls our attention to the great divide in our culture concerning human dignity and what it means to honor that in each human being. Without disregarding the positive goals of the Women’s March (like fighting sexual assault), we must acknowledge that it is an explicitly and unapologetically pro-abortion movement. And this is the perfect example of the contradictory statements our culture likes to make, the kind that support the rights of many to live freely and pursue happiness, while simultaneously denying millions the right to even be born.
As Catholics, we know that each human being was created in the image and likeness of God in every way. Being made in the image of love itself, we were made to love and be loved, in a deeply, intimately trinitarian way. But this is not new information to us, this is the foundation of everything we believe. It’s not a secret either, in fact we make it a point to share this truth with others, we call it evangelization. But members of our society are still so completely unaware of their inherent value, of the great love the Father has for them, that we are called to fight to remind our society of this basic fact.
But how do we do this? The Truth is so obvious, and the logic behind the pro-abortion movement is inherently flawed; but so many people, men and women, subscribe to the belief that abortion is a human right, rather than a violation of the most basic human right to life. To say it is frustrating is an understatement.
Being young and devoutly Catholic surprises many people, maybe we have Hollywood to thank for that. But being young, Catholic, and uncompromisingly pro-life draws more surprise, even hostility, from others. And maybe that’s because the pro-abortion side has done too good a job of selling the idea that pro-life, means anti-woman. And so often we find ourselves explaining that pro-life does not mean anti-woman. In fact, being pro-life means supporting mothers and their children, so no one is abandoned. So no woman feels so trapped and unsupported that she feels her only option is an abortion, because that’s not a choice, that’s a last resort. It’s panic and fear, and no woman deserves that. But we find ourselves trying to explain this reality, and explain the desolation of a culture that separates love, sex, and procreation, and explain the horrific reality of our throw-away culture over and over again.
We’ve been fighting this fight since 1973 when Roe V Wade was decided. We’ve been fighting this since 1965 when married couples in the US were no longer restricted from using contraception under the right to privacy. We have been fighting for the right to life and the respect of every human for two-thousand years, and frankly, it’s exhausting.
So how do we maintain the energy to keep sharing the gospel, to keep telling angry people that they are loved, and to keep fighting for the rights of children to be born?
The first and most obvious answer is prayer. Without a solid prayer life, we can’t really do anything. We can try, but take it from me, evangelization, being Catholic in a secular world, and daily life all become infinitely more manageable when you pray. Take a look at these prayer resources for a place to get started, or to keep growing.
Second, we all need support. If you’re here then you must be involved in Saint Dominic Young Adults to some degree, and that means you already have a loving source of support. We can support each other in friendship and in prayer. And don’t forget, the Core Team is always praying for you. If you have a specific intention, you can share it with us by writing it in the prayer book available at our weekly meetings, or share them with us here.
We can also find support from our brothers and sisters in Heaven. The mystical body of Christ is possibly one of the greatest sources of support available to us in this life. The lives of the Saints give us holy examples to follow, and they support us in their prayers. Saint Gianna Beretta is the patron Saint of unborn children, and Saint Therese of Lisieux is the patron Saint of missionaries. These women and the whole mystical body are ecstatic to pray for us and the pro life movement.
We’ll hear more about Saint Therese in March, but it is worth mentioning here, that her little way is an excellent approach to the exhausting task of sharing the pro-life message. If we can simply be kind, and do every little thing with great love and humility, then we can forge relationships and trust with those who may otherwise brush us off as judgmental. Showing genuine love to those we speak to, and the women we serve in our pro-life ministries is one of the most effective ways to share the Truth of the Gospel and human dignity. It may take a little longer, but it allows us to make a difference by letting others know that they are loved, and make a lasting impact.
Finally, just because the March for Life is over doesn’t mean we should stop participating in ministries and other forms of pro-life activism. We have great support from our friends on Earth and in Heaven and there are plenty of ways to stay involved in the movement. Saint Dominic Church has a few ways to get involved, including P24. If you use Amazon for online shopping, you can use Amazon Smile and have 0.5% of eligible purchases support a charity of your choice. I support Save the Storks, but you can can support National Right to Life, or any other pro-life organization on Amazon Smile. And as always, pray for the movement, the mothers and would be mothers, all those involved in abortions, and the little souls who never got to be born.
With the March behind us, I hope we can all look forward together and work for a world that respects all life.
Core Team- Communications Coordinator
Saint Dominic Young Adults
This is a peer run blog for the Saint Dominic Young Adults in Washington, D.C.