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Witness to Life

Matthew Harrison

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Earlier this year, Archbishop Michael Miller, of Vancouver, wrote:
I urge you to recommit yourselves to the sacred cause of life and to help financially equip pro-life organizations, such as crisis pregnancy centres, to serve our communities. Even more, I urge you to become personally involved. Let us act in small and large ways - to pray, to witness, to volunteer and to support the pro-life groups in our local communities.
12_week_fetus1The faithful have the opportunity to witness to life this weekend with the annual Life Chain, held this year on October 3rd.
If you've never been to a Life Chain, it's very straight forward.  People gather at intersections in cities throughout Canada, holding a sign, and silently witness to the sacredness of life and scourge of abortion (the signs may read anything from Abortion Kills Children, to Abortion Hurts Women, to Life: the First Inalienable Right).  People pass by, some honk their horns in support, others offer more colourful ways to disagree.  Regardless, it's an hour of prayer for the unborn, and the respect for life.
Visit this link for an intersection near you.
I've been attending Life Chain for a few years now and last year, for the first time, a young man approached my wife and I and engaged in a conversation.  He disagreed with our point of view, but he was respectful and we discussed the issue.
What I found so sad was his idea that it is the quality of life, that gives value to the life.  He saw no inherent value in life itself.
For example, I mentioned adoption as an alternative to abortion, and he said how he had many "messed up" friends from foster homes, and how the homes were terrible, and abusive, etc.  An abusive home life in any capacity is a tragedy, whether or not you're adopted.  But to use this to argue in favour of abortion is awful.  It's the "what-if?" argument!  "What if my baby is adopted by a cruel couple? They'll hate him.  Beat him.  He'll be depressed in his teens.  He'll become an addict.  He'll be unemployed and will never amount to anything," etc., etc.
It's such a sad perspective to take!  It's a guessing game of what this person's quality of life will be.  And what I've experienced in my thirty-some-odd years of life, when you're setting your plans and assume what's going to happen... prepare to be surprised!  Not to mention, who sets the criteria to what defines the quality of a life?  Who creates that hierarchy?
Regardless of what a person amounts to, we as Catholic believe there is a fundamental dignity, a sacredness to life because we are created in the image and likeness of God, and what God has created is good.  It is not only good, but it is loved -- we are loved -- immensely by God.
We've lost this idea -- this belief of the inherent dignity and sacredness of life.  Maybe we never had it... or never fully grasped it.
But maybe it's time to rediscover it.
To live it
To witness to it.

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