January 28, 2010

To Be Catholic is to Defend Life with Love



2009 March for Life. Photo by John Stephen Dwyer.




For many years, the issue was academic to me. Abortion was the killing of unborn babies. The Catholic Church taught me that life begins at the moment of conception, and because I believe that the church was built by Jesus and entrusted to the care of Peter and the men who would succeed him, I believe that Church doctrine (regarding faith and morals) is true, and free of error. All based on the apostolic authority given by Christ to Peter, and in turn to all the Popes and bishops who have succeeded him. So, yes it is an evil. But no, I never thought it needed to be something I would need to stand up for.

Things change
Things change. I moved from my predominantly Catholic mother country the Philippines to California. Then in June of 2009, we had our first child after hoping and praying for a long time. Seeing my son react to my voice the minute he was out of the womb told me that he had heard me during those nights in the last trimester when I would read the Psalms to him through a barrier of flesh. The boy was alive long before he exited the womb. He was not a "potential life," but an actual life that had the same right to live as I did.

I found myself defending my stance on abortion being murder on the very public forum of Twitter. I found myself researching the topic in more detail. I found myself donning the label "pro-life" out of necessity, but also out of respect for the truth.


Sad story
My wife works as a nurse at an outpatient surgery center and as a born again Christian, has refused to be part of any abortive procedures done there. Taking her stand brought on the admiration of one of her fellow nurses who delved into the reasons why. My wife explained it was against God's commandments and encouraged her co-worker to ask her pastor. So this co-worker, a Catholic, went to her parish priest to ask whether she should do the same and refuse to take part in abortions. Her parish priest told her that if it were her work, then she should simply do her work and God would understand. When I heard this story, I shook my head in frustration.



Donning the label
These days, I realize that a true Catholic cannot stay on the sidelines. Being a genuine follower of Christ isn't simply claiming membership in an association, but rather, standing up to half-truths and lies with the light of Gospel truth. I realize that to be Catholic is to defend life -- especially the lives of those in the womb -- with love, prayer, education and activism.

I joined the virtual March For Life in Washington, listened to the speeches, edited a pro-life ad for the sidebar of my blog, talked with my officemate about abortion, got some to join the virtual march as well, posted some tweets about the event, and am now writing about it. It's not much, I know. But I am compelled by my love for Christ, and my love for my family to at least try to speak the truth about abortion when I am given the opportunity. I hope my fellow Christians get off their silent fences to do the same.


Some reference links:
Abortion: Stand up for life! pamphlet
FAQ about abortion
Testimony of Jenni Speltz, who was born from rape

2 comments:

  1. Not a priest to ask 4advice on Life, eh?. I think I heard a collective sigh from the millions of little ones in heaven ... Here's a link w/pictures from the Washington March 4Life that our daughter took that you/your readers might enjoy... Link.

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  2. It is so amazingly wrong that anyone ordained a priest would give such an answer. Terrible, absolutely terrible!

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