I was struggling with this month’s column when I received a phone call from a very dear friend. “Mom just left us,” Tina stated calmly. “She went peacefully.” Tina and her sisters had been caring for their mother at home, keeping her comfortable and surrounding her with the love of her family. As I listened to my friend I realized that my “writer’s block” was over. I would write about what I’ve been blessed to witness over the past year: The “culture of life” as it relates to the “circle of life.”
Tina would often apologize to me, saying that she would love to be able to come and pray with me outside the abortion center. She couldn’t, though, because she was needed at home to care not only for her aging mother but also to help with her grandkids as her daughter also has health problems. “You are being just as pro-life in the way you’re taking care of your family as I am in my ministry at the center,” I assured her. In fact, at times I think she was more pro-life since there wasn’t a day that went by that Tina wasn’t putting others’ needs before her own.
Rita and Robert married last fall. They soon found themselves anticipating the birth of their first child only to lose their son, Francis, in the 13th week of pregnancy. Even at this early stage of life, the dignity of Francis as a human erson was acknowledged by his parents who made arrangements for his burial and memorial service.
Judy viewed the ultrasound of her 12th child, her eyes welling with tears as she saw her unborn baby on the screen. “It doesn’t matter if this is the first child or the 12th. Life is always a miracle and a blessing to behold!” she explained.
Linda and Mark, parents of 10 children, welcomed into their home a young woman without any family nearby until
she was able to live on her own. “She’ll always have a place in our family,” Mark commented as he told of her upcoming departure.
Katherine models charity and generosity to her young daughter as they prepared “care packages” for seminarians so that these men of God would know that they are appreciated. Rick includes fatherless young men in field trips he plans with his son. Edward stops on his way home from work to visit his dying friend John, providing comfort and support in the last day of John’s life. Dorothy and Patty lead the rosary before funeral Masses as a gift for both the family and the deceased.
Cultivating a “culture of life” begins with each one of us as we live out our Christian faith. With spiritual and corporal works of mercy as our practical guidelines, the Gospel of Life is lovingly preached, and as we defend and protect the dignity of each person — from the womb to the tomb — we become authentic “People of Life!”
Ann Barrick is the founder of ProLifeConnection and the campaign director for Toledo’s 40 Days for Life. For more information, visit www.ProLifeConnection.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.