By Sophia Clark
St. John Paul II calls us to be unconditionally pro-life. The definition of unconditional is not limited by conditions, absolute. To be unconditionally pro-life means that no matter your situation or circumstances, you must always respect human life. How can our culture believe that terminating human life when it is at its weakest point is acceptable? We should be protecting the weak, not murdering them. If we are to be unconditionally pro-life, we must embrace everyone’s right to live, no matter how young, how old, how sick, how unwanted, because everyone deserves life. As students we can follow the saints’ examples to be courageous against pressure from the world and never stop believing in the sanctity of life.
In our insane culture, life is treated with unbelievable casualty. Killing, in the form of abortion and euthanasia, is viewed as a normal, everyday thing. Life is a gift; it has infinite value, but in our world people care more about money than protecting the innocent lives of those who cannot defend themselves. Abortion “doctors” kill babies every day for money because they value material things more than human life. Statistics show that there have been more than 1,003,480 abortions in the US in 2017. There is one abortion performed every 30 seconds, and abortion is the number one killer of people in the United States. How can life be treated with such disrespect? Not only are there countless abortions committed, baby's organs are being harvested and sold for thousands of dollars. David Daleiden, a pro-life activist, went undercover to expose Planned Parenthood’s huge operation of harvesting fetal organs and tissue. Planned Parenthood is even going so far as to alter the abortion procedure to get the most intact and valuable organs in order to make the most profit. This is worse than just murder. Life is infinitely precious and we must stand up for those who do not get a chance to live it. What the world does not see is that, without babies, there is no humankind. If we continue to slaughter children in the womb, the human race will eventually die out. Every child who is killed had a mission from God to fulfill, and their mission will never be completed since they will never have a chance at living their lives. Even as students there is so much we can do to be unconditionally pro-life and to make an impression on the people around us. We need to respect children and their right to live, because, without them, there is no human race.
The elderly and mentally disabled are often disregarded, and sometimes even neglected. They are placed in homes where they will mostly be given the proper care, but will often be unloved. We should be giving them as much love and care as we can. To have respect for every human life and treat everyone, even the mentally ill or elderly, as human beings who have infinite value and dignity is the most important thing we can do to celebrate the gospel of life. As students willing to be unconditionally pro-life, it is absolutely necessary for us to have deep respect for the people who are often overlooked. I visit a nursing home once a month with a group to visit with the elderly, do some crafts, or read books to them. It fills me with so much joy to see the gratitude and happiness shining in their faces when we simply take the time to be with them. This is an example of how we can celebrate life as students. Even though these people are physically and mentally unable to do anything, they still have the same value in the eyes God, and should in our eyes, too. The reason the elderly and disabled are so overlooked is because in our culture of death, if a person is not useful, he does not deserve to live.
How can we as students proclaim, celebrate, and serve the gospel of life? We can live the gospel of life by going against the flow of our culture of death and doing what we believe, no matter what others may think. When we practice what we believe and are willing to stand out, it can make a huge impression on the people around us. There are many ways we can participate in pro-life activities as students. Some of the pro-life activities I participate in are visiting the nursing home, volunteering at Right to Life benefit dinners, helping and supporting the homeless, volunteering at the food pantry at our parish, and going to the local Rosary Walks. Since I am not able to make it to the national March for Life in Washington, DC, I can still attend the Walk for Life near my home. There are countless opportunities for students to support the gospel of life. Even if our actions seem like little things to us, they could make a huge impact on someone else. If an adult who is afraid or embarrassed to live out his faith sees someone younger than he doing what he do not have the courage to do himself, this might inspire him. One of the more difficult thing for students is to stand up to peer pressure and be different from their friends. We can look to Blessed Pier Giorgio for an example. Pier Giorgio was never afraid of living out his faith in front of his friends. He found a way to get them to come to Mass or say a rosary without coming across as preaching to them. We can follow Pier Giorgio’s example around our peers to proclaim, celebrate, and serve the gospel of life. We might think that, as students, trying to live out the gospel of life is not important and that our efforts will be wasted, but this is wrong. Our efforts are usually more important than we realize, which is why we can never stop defending and celebrating the gospel of life.
Life is a gift with infinite value. One human life is worth more than anything else in the world. Dignity is something that everyone has no matter how small, old, or disabled he is because we are made in the image and likeness of God, and our dignity is a gift from God. As students, we are doing something exceptional by living our lives being unconditionally pro-life and proclaiming, celebrating, and serving willingly to everyone around us. We must follow St. John Paul II’s call to be unconditionally pro-life and to always proclaim and celebrate life, no matter what.
Sophia Clark won an honorable mention in Category 2 of CLSP and IEW's Pro-Life Essay Contest.