January 22nd marked the anniversary or Roe v. Wade, which was the fateful day when the killing of innocent babies in their mother’s wombs became legalized. As a faithful Catholic, and more importantly, mother (of soon-to-be five children), abortion disgusts, horrifies, and saddens me greatly. Our parish priest is calling us to fast today in cooperation with the March for Life, offering up our hunger and cravings for the souls of everyone involved in abortions.
My husband teaches at a Catholic high school that has sent two full buses of students to the March for Life in Washington D.C., an eight hour drive each way. I too have participated in the March for Life a couple times in D.C., as well as once in Boston, MA. But, now with four young children, a full-time job, and a baby on the way, I find myself asking “What can I do?” to support the cause. Sure, marches are a great way to publicly let lawmakers know how we feel about the sanctity of life, but they are not always an option. So how do we get the word out?
I think Mother Theresa said it best when she said, “None of us can do anything great on our own, but we can all do a small thing with great love.” We need to convey our love for the unborn by whatever small acts we can do in our daily lives. This doesn’t mean we should use our busyness or to-do list as an excuse to do as little as possible, but instead do the best we can and realize that all the small steps do add up.
My husband and I have taken our family to pray at the last-standing abortion clinic in our Diocese a couple of times. The clinic is about an hour’s drive, and our children are small enough that we don’t really want them to truly know what abortion is yet (to preserve their innocence while we can), so we definitely don’t go as often as we should for these reasons. But, we do teach them that we are called to love ALL life that God creates – no matter the size, shape, color, gender, handicap, religion, or age. And when we think about that, we can easily come up with a list of how to be pro-life in our everyday lives.
We can donate money, items, or time to the woman’s pregnancy crisis center, the local nursing homes, the homeless shelters, the food pantry, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the list goes on and on. We can take a stance on respecting life with every single vote we cast in elections at all levels. We can write to our political leaders urging them to make pro-life issues a priority, or gently explaining our view with pro-choice candidates. We can offer babysitting services to mothers of many who could use a helping hand. We can give a smile to a stranger we pass in the street, not knowing if that will be the only sign of affection they receive all day. We can listen when we converse, giving others our full attention and respect. We can bring a meal to a mom of a newborn or a person suffering with health problems. We can be generous in our own fertility, showing the world that we are grateful for the gifts of life God chooses to bestow upon us. My pastor once told me that my pregnancy was like preaching a long pro-life homily!
Of course, above all we can pray. Prayer is something that we can do all day long, and not just using words. We can pray through our actions – by fasting, putting a family member’s needs before our own, or responding lovingly even when we don’t feel like it. Any act that shows we respect life is pro-life. So don’t worry about making the big public displays which may be far and few between, focus instead on the small, private acts that can happen daily if we only let them.