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ELEVENTH-GRADE WINNER, ARCHDIOCESE’S ANNUAL PRO-LIFE STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST

We are called to defend life, from conception to death, and this includes not only defeating the culture of death, but also cultivating a culture of life.  One way to do this is to support mothers in difficult situations, because it is from an environment of love and acceptance that they will find the confidence to choose life.  To be pro-life means to respect, defend, and value the life of every person, and this includes mothers struggling to choose life for their unborn children.

Abortion is unnatural and illogical, not to mention sinful, yet hundreds of women get abortions every day.  However, a woman who knows that she is loved, respected, and has someone to turn to, is far less likely to consider abortion than one who is rejected and abandoned.  Jesus doesn’t condemn the adulteress in the Gospel, rather, He pours out His infinite mercy on her, that she might receive new life.  As Catholics, we must follow this example by extending the mercy of God to those who are lost and broken, and loving them with the love of Christ.

This calling to care for these mothers is unique to each person: one might need financial support; one might need encouragement or advice; one might need shelter.  But there is something they all have in common; they all need love, mercy, and prayers.  We can reach out to these troubled women in a number of ways, including volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center or giving time or money to organizations that care for mothers.  A fundamental way to assist them is to lead them to understand that the life they carry within them is a gift, an eternal soul, and that God can bring good out of their choices and He will always provide.  It is also important to respect and love every person we encounter, whether it is a woman in a difficult pregnancy or a pro-abortion activist, a friend or an enemy, because each of them is a beloved child of God.  This will have a deeper impact than any rhetoric or arguments we use.  Above all, we must pray and sacrifice for an end to abortion and the culture of death.  We must always see the Face of Christ in these mothers, and trust that God will change hearts through our willingness to create a culture of life.

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