By Katherine Bourne
Being a pro-life, Catholic teen in our oversexed, society of death has become even more of a struggle in the recent years since Roe v. Wade. God calls us to live a life of purity and holiness, both of which are crucial for a teen to strive for in such formative years of our lives. Living as a witness to those around us through our steadfastness in defending the Faith, and our respect for life at all stages can be the one of the most influential things we do as a pro-life teen.
Much of our culture believes that the term ‘pro-life’ simply refers to opposing abortion. Although abortion is one of the most blatant disregards for the absolute preciousness of human life, many people neglect to understand the whole meaning of what it is to be pro-life.
When I say that I’m pro-life, I mean that I will respect and defend all human life, from conception to natural death. A scary truth is the attack on our elderly and the sick who can’t speak for themselves (i.e. comatose patients, those on life support, etc.). “Pulling the cord” on these vulnerable children of Christ is frightening reality. The media and our government take liberties in saying whose lives are worth living, Terri Schiavo, being a great example of this.
Being pro-life also means defending those who were conceived unnaturally (i.e. test tube babies, etc.). Even though these practices are tampering with an aspect of our humanity that should be for God, alone, to control, protecting the innocent lives conceived in this manner is essential to being totally pro-life. God has a plan for each and every one of those tiny babies, and they’re just as dear to our Savior as any other life. In the words of the Sunday school song,
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white. All are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
The saying, “be in the world, not of it”, is a very relevant piece of guidance for pro-life teens today. Defending the sanctity of human life may not be considered “cool” or attractive” to much of the youth today, but pro-life teens have learned to live by example, and have discovered that “going with the crowd” isn’t something you have to do. Wearing pro-life wristbands, shirts, bumper stickers and other paraphernalia is a simple way I’ve discovered to live the pro-life example. They often spark questions and conversation with curious peers. There’s the cue to plant the seed. By lovingly spreading the pro-life message, us teens can make a huge impact among our friends and even with strangers.
An even more powerful way to defend the sanctity of human life is through fervent prayer. The Rosary is our greatest weapon against Satan, on earth. Although we may feel like God isn’t hearing us, or like we are powerless to help, perseverance in prayer is the best we can do. Through Mary and the saints’ intercessions, our prayers are an incredible force against the assaults on the inviolability of everyone’s right to life.
The annual March for Life is such an important movement for the amazing pro-life cause. The March gives people of all walks of life the chance to show our solidarity in the pro-life movement and is an excellent learning experience for the pro-life youth who attend. Taking part in such a spectacular event helps pro-lifers set the example in a peaceful, yet powerful way. Standing, prayerfully, together against the evils of abortion, euthanasia, and other attacks on the sanctity of human life sends the clear message that all life is God-given and precious. We must keep firm in our prayers and evangelization of the pro-life message, for we have Christ on our side, and “with God all things are possible.”
[Katherine Bourne is a student in high school. This was the winning essay in the St. John’s Basilica March for Life 2013 Essay Contest, which won her a trip to the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. on January 23rd, the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.]