By Madeleine Paschoud
A couple of years ago I began writing cards through the Enriching Lives Ministry to an elderly lady named Ms. Caroline. I had never met Ms. Caroline, so I would always hope to receive a letter back from her. Recently, Ms. Caroline’s daughter sent me a letter informing me that Ms. Caroline, who suffered from dementia, had passed away. I immediately felt a loss in my life, though I had never known her personally. No matter what person—young or old, healthy or sick, poor or wealthy, or even in between—every life is precious. Each human being is unique and deserves to be treated with love and respect. This is what being pro-life means; this is how we can be true disciples of Christ.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to be unconditionally pro-life. Unfortunately, we live in a culture of death where abortions, euthanasia, and assisted suicides occur. Although our broken world seems hopeless, there is still hope, and this hope is found in the Lord—the giver of life. With God’s amazing grace, we can speak for the voiceless, protect the vulnerable, and pray for those who do not feel loved. To be unconditionally pro-life does not mean to give up when we fail; it means to persevere even when we fall. Life is worth fighting for, even in the face of persecution. As a young student, I can follow Christ’s example by being unconditionally pro-life and “proclaim[ing], celebrat[ing], and serv[ing] the gospel of life.”
In October, I attended a Life Chain, an event where participants hold signs and pray to raise awareness and help preborn babies in danger of abortion. The Life Chain proclaims life through actions. There are people who might be confused about what they should do in a crisis situation, or they might not understand the gravity of abortions or any other end-of-life issue. Proclaiming life is crucial so that others may be more aware of the life-changing decisions they are about to make. If they are not aware of the dangers involved, more harm will be done to families and communities. As a student, I can proclaim life by continuing to attend the Life Chain, putting up white crosses in memory of the victims of abortion, praying in front of an abortion clinic, or even just smiling to a passerby. Proclaiming life is simply showing others that God loves them and that He cares about them.
In proclaiming the gospel of life, we can also celebrate the gift of life that God blesses us with. Life is a time to be joyful and a time to thank God and praise Him for human life. By praying with others and enjoying time together, we celebrate the joy of each other’s lives. A few months ago, my friend hosted a birthday get-together. In lieu of presents, she asked that all of her guests donate money to help support a single expectant mother. This inspiring deed sets a good example of what it means to celebrate life. Not only did we celebrate my friend’s life, but we celebrated the life of this mother’s baby as well. Fundraisers such as this, in addition to celebrating the birthdays of others, are ways that I can celebrate my own life and the lives of those around me.
Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, suffered immense agony when He was nailed to the cross. Jesus accepted the will of His Father to die for all of the human race in order to save us from death. He desired us to have life, even at the expense of excruciating agony and pain. Christ set the example for all of humanity to serve, as He did, the gospel of life. Prayers such as the holy sacrifice of the Mass, sacred scripture, the holy rosary, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the preborn and the seriously ill or dying are beautiful ways to serve the gospel of life. And by practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy, such as visiting a nursing home and spending time with the elderly, one supports life as well. In my daily tasks as a student, I can serve life by joyfully accepting whatever comes my way, knowing that my life is in God’s hands. Just as the mother of God submitted to the Father’s will when Jesus was born, so too can I learn from her example and embrace the lives of those around me.
There is an entire world of different persons, each unique and precious in God’s eyes. Each one is yearning to be loved and respected, no matter how he or she may look, act, or think. May God use me as His instrument to unconditionally “proclaim, celebrate, and serve the gospel of life” every day, in every situation, and at all times because every single life is beautiful.
Madeleine Paschoud won second place in Category 2 of CLSP and IEW’s Pro-Life Essay Contest.