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Living Pro-Life is Pro-Giving Life

Me (bottom left) with St. Michael’s CYO in Auburn, AL

In January 2016, I was challenged by a man in Washington DC to be pro-life when I left the excitement of the March. He argued that it was easy to be “pro-life” when it was trendy (being surrounded by thousands of like-minded people), when it was exciting (marching through my first real snow!), and when it was fun (what’s better than chanting “Babies! Babies! Babies!”), but what about when we went back to our homes?

My initial thought was, “Dude, get off my back. My being back in Bama (quite the alliteration) won’t change what I do for the unborn and defenseless.”

But then I thought about what he was saying a bit more and brought it to daily reflections.

I quickly realized that’s not at ALL what he was saying. He was talking about the less controversial moments: not the conversations about abortion or capital punishment, but the everyday, the mundane, the unexciting.

We daily have opportunities to actively choose life, to actively celebrate life, and to actively respect life.

Let me explain.

These can be personal moments in which we give life to ourselves or decide to walk down the lonely road away from “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Is my watching Netflix giving me true, authentic life, or could my time be better spent with God’s beauty in nature? Does my choosing to drink that entire bottle of wine because my boyfriend broke up with me bring me peace associated with a full life, or should I reevaluate and bring my pain to Jesus instead? When I mess up, does my “You’re an idiot; you’re not worthy of God’s love,” build me up and celebrate the gift of life, or should I run directly to Mama Mary and ask her to help me see my worth, even through my mistakes?

It’s easy to tear ourselves down or to passively avoid lifting ourselves up, but our Creator has given us so much beauty and joy and wonder in this world. A spiritually-driven and divinely-focused YOLO mentality can help us to experience everything that we can–the sacraments, our prayers, our reflections, our spiritual readings–that draws us to the Fount of grace.

We should (excuse the cliché) live each day like it’s our last here on earth, and try to experience as much as we can that draws us to the Heart of grace.

These can be moments, shared with others, in which we can either tear them down for something or respect their humanity and build them up.

When my barista uses whole milk instead of skim in my latte, do I publicly berate them for their ignorance, or do I offer up my “sacrifice” and intentionally choose to respect their value as a person? When a student drops the ball on their portion of the group project, do I speak poorly of their character to our group members and dub them “worthless,” or do I reach out to them and ask them about their current battles, and ask others to give them the benefit of the doubt? When I become jealous of my friends’ gift of life to the Church, do I remind them or others of the time they weren’t in love with Jesus, or do I thank God for their sacrifices, their redemption, and their inspiration in my life?

Even if we aren’t actively tearing someone down, our intentions toward others should be life-giving. We have beautiful chances to be Christ’s love to others and to share the Gospel of Life with them by our example.

Pope Francis has told us, “There is no human life that is more sacred than another, as there is no human life that is qualitatively more significant than another.”  Regardless of any position in life, any mistake we’ve made, or any other dividing classification, we all have as much worth as the next person and should happily share in our humanity with them.

Choose LIFE in order that you may LIVE.

When we reject life-giving things in favor of what is easy or “socially correct”, we aren’t choosing life. Better yet, we aren’t choosing Life. Let us all intentionally look at our reflections and our interactions with others through a Life-colored lens.

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati said, “To live life without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a struggle for truth, that is not living, but existing.”

Christ came so that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

Let us ask Him into every room we enter, every conversation we begin, every moment of our being, so that He might help us live the fullest life possible (before we get to Heaven)!