EIGHTH-GRADE WINNER, ARCHDIOCESE’S ANNUAL PRO-LIFE STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST
A Culture of Life is a Cradle of Life
St. Benedict’s motto for his order, Ora et Labora, is the perfect perspective for young people seeking to help mothers in crisis pregnancy. A crisis pregnancy doesn’t usually happen immediately, but instead many unfortunate circumstances lead up to it over a period of time, so the help offered and the conditions necessary to promote life are also multistep and should include the spiritual and the corporal aspects.
Spiritual and corporal works are important, and each depends on the other to achieve maximum potential. Corporal works aren’t completely effective without prayer behind them, and that is why spiritual works are needed as well. Youth can pray and set up holy hours for life. They can organize specific prayer events dedicated to life or ask their pastors or administrators about setting up respect life programs at their church or school. Their school or church can have speakers come in annually to speak on the dignity of life. They can promote healthy male and female relationships by treating everyone with dignity, because people are for loving, not using. These are some examples of how to avoid crisis, but people may also find themselves facing a crisis that has already happened, and students can also be of help in these situations.
In addition to prayer, action is needed. Students work together and volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers, which provide mothers with a place to live. They can ask their parish to set up an adopt-a-mom and baby tree to supply the mom and baby with clothes and diapers. The most important thing is to support new mothers and thank them for choosing life. They can organize days of service for families in need. Students can ask their school administrators how they can help the young mom to continue her education so she can support herself.
What does a culture of life mean? It means that everyone treats human life at all stages, from conception to natural death, with value and respect. Creating a culture of love is hard, but “With God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Even if these concrete examples are not fulfilled, youth can choose to build a culture of love by acting respectfully and lovingly towards their family and friends.