Every year on January 22, the anniversary of the landmark case Roe v. Wade, hundreds of thousands of people march in our nation’s capital and around the country in support of a culture of life. The March for Life, as it’s known.
But, you won’t see me marching. And here’s why.
I believe that everyone has a calling, a charism, a unique set of gifts. God calls us to use them with purpose, passion and love. A little more than a year ago, I volunteered to stand on the sidewalk outside of an abortion clinic during the 40 Days for Life campaign.
It was powerful.
But it also taught me that I can best serve the pro-life movement in other ways. There wasn’t a specific event or person, but it was more of a realization. Standing there, praying, left me feeling emptier than I imagined and that was startling.
I’m as pro-life as they come, but I soon realized my gifts weren’t found on that abortion clinic sidewalk, in the State Capitol hallways or even marching in Washington, D.C.
Just as our consumption of the Holy Eucharist is no less powerful than if we distribute it as a Eucharistic Minister or our understanding of the Word is no less important than those who proclaim it. No, I learned that my best witness to life was to live it. And living it means something different to every single person who believes in the pro-life movement.
Our fifth son was born premature and lived 44 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. He’s been hospitalized eight times since then and endured seven surgeries. I was the mom who received the very difficult prenatal diagnosis that he probably wouldn’t live to 24 weeks gestation.
Last September, he turned four.
And now I find myself carrying life once again. Our sixth child.
You see, the pro-life movement is bigger than any march, any legislation, any video, any blog post, any event. As the body of Christ we all take part in creating a culture of life.
Some are called to pray a daily rosary.
Some are called to religious life.
Some are called to parenthood.
Some are called to staff and work in crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes.
And yet others are called to stand, publicly, to defend those that cannot defend themselves.
No matter where you’re called, I believe each one is important. No one is greater than another. My challenge to you today, on this sobering anniversary, is to find how you can best promote a culture of life, both in your own family and in your greater community.