Tenth-grade winner, 2014 statewide Pro-life Essay Contest
May 16, 2014
(Now in 11th grade)
According to Pope Francis, “All life has inestimable value, even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor; (they are) masterpieces of God’s creation” (Glatz).
What Pope Francis means is that everyone, including the disabled, is valuable and worthy. You can’t quantify a disabled person’s worth. They don’t make a six-figure income. Some disabled people have very expensive life-sustaining treatments. And yet, they are a vital component to a healthy society. How? The disabled teach us how to love.
The disabled teach us how to love by accepting the help we show them. Some people have a hard time accepting help because of society’s stress on individualism. We learn how to be good servants of others by serving the physically and mentally impaired. The disabled also share in Christ’s suffering in a special way. No one shares in the Cross more intimately than the disabled. They show us that his sacrifice was the greatest act of love and that we are to show this love to others. The disabled should become our inspiration for imitating Christ. They also teach us how to bear limitations and still find joy in life.
Our culture disrespects the disabled in many ways.
According to John Paul II, “the medical profession…is directed to the defense and care of human life.” But instead of defending life, some in the medical profession commit atrocious acts against the human person. The culture shows its contempt for the disabled by passing laws and resolving court cases in a manner that threaten their lives and dignity. These laws allow abortions if a child is disabled. The majority of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome are aborted because of these laws. Court cases have been decided in favor of supporting the removal of life support from a person who is medically considered “brain-dead.”
In conclusion, the true greatness of a society will be measured in how it treats the weakest of its members, be they the unborn or the disabled.
Glatz, Carol. “Top 13 Quotable Quotes by Pope Francis on Sancitity of Life.” CNS Blog. Catholic News Service, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://cnsblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/top-13-quotable-quotes-by-pope-francis-on-sanctity-of-life/>.
John Paul II. “Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II, 25 March 1995.” Evangelium Vitae, John Pual II, 25 March 1995. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html>.