The spirituality of
the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life is
The Word of Life, found in the pages of the Sacred Text, is
to be a constant source of meditation and instruction. The
members are to be intimately familiar with the pages of
Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, and are to always deepen
their ability to explain to others the Biblical message about
the sanctity of life, as it is found in every part of the Bible.
Counteracting the culture of death demands a prophetic
spirituality. Our teaching is not our own, and like the
prophets, we nurture the spirit of humility and awe that God
should deign to speak His eternal word through mortal, sinful
instruments like ourselves. The Gospel, always respectful of
culture and expressing itself in diversified cultural contexts,
likewise challenges and transforms culture. The prophet does not
tell the future as much as he tells the present, that is,
interprets for people what God says about what is going on in
the world. We speak the prophetic word that challenges society
to recognize the unborn as brothers and sisters, and to
therefore repent of practices and policies that destroy them or
put them at risk.
Because prophets are
always persecuted, and because the abortion issue is
particularly volatile, we foster a particular attentiveness to
accepting the inevitable reality of persecution. Rooted in the
Beatitudes, we seek the spirit of the apostles who "rejoiced at
having been counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the Name"
We foster a liturgical spirituality that "thinks and feels"
with the ebb and flow of the Church’s liturgical year. Our
observance of liturgical seasons and feasts is carried out with
a special attentiveness to the lessons those seasons and feasts
present regarding the sanctity of life. The Society observes
with special solemnity certain special feast days particularly
associated with this theme.
The Eucharist is Life itself, and therefore our spirituality is
centered on the Bread of Life. The members will receive the
Eucharist as frequently as possible, seek opportunities for
adoration, and meditate frequently about the intimate links
between our faith in the Eucharist and our commitment to the
defense of life.
Members share the deep longing of Christ that His disciples
would be one, and we see in the Christian response to abortion
one of the most practical and effective arenas for authentic
ecumenical collaboration. We are ecumenical to the very fabric
of our being, always thinking, speaking, and working in ways
that welcome our brothers and sisters of other denominations.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the model for all mothers, in
her “Yes” to God and His plan for her life. Members of the
Society seek to learn from Mary, to draw close to her, and to
present her to others as a source of inspiration.
In the light of our spirituality, there are certain key virtues
that we seek to foster in ourselves and others. These include:
- A spirit of joy.
Life is joyful, and defending life is a mission that should be
carried out with joy. We seek to foster, in ourselves and
others, a "joyful sorrow," that is, a spirit that is always
mourning because of its keen awareness of the ongoing, unseen
destruction of human life, and at the same time, is always
serene and rejoicing that death has been conquered by Jesus
Christ, who is Risen and is with us at all times.
- A serene confidence.
We do not have to worry about the ultimate outcome of the battle
for life. As John Paul II declared, it has already been decided.
We do, at the same time, have to work anxiously to be faithful
to our own role in proclaiming, celebrating and serving that
victory. Despite all outward appearances of the power of the
culture of death, we foster, in ourselves and others, a supreme
and uninterrupted confidence that the tools of grace with which
God has equipped the People of Life are far more powerful and
- A deep compassion.
At times we all “abort” God’s will in our lives. We never
look down on those who have committed the sin of abortion or who
promote it. They are not the enemy, but rather are captive to
the enemy. We seek to free them, as their brothers and sisters
who are no strangers to temptation, error, and sin.
This compassion is translated into a constant and effective
invitation to the healing and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, and
tireless efforts for the conversion of those who promote the
culture of death. We also seek to assist those who have
repented, including former abortionists, to re-integrate
themselves into wholesome, life-giving activities and attitudes.
- A radical solidarity.
Pope John Paul II declared that the pro-life stance is one
"of radical solidarity with the woman" (Crossing the Threshold
of Hope, p.206-207). We do not seek to point fingers of
condemnation, but rather to extend hands of mercy that lift out
of despair those who are tempted to abort a child, or who endure
the pain of having done so.
This radical solidarity stands at the same time with the child,
in the awareness that it makes no sense to choose one against
the other, but rather only to respond to mother and child by
loving them both.
- A strong courage.
"The spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit," St. Paul
tells Timothy (2Tim.1:7). Our work requires constant courage,
which is nurtured at the feet of our Lord, in the pages of
Scripture, in incessant prayer, and by the example of numerous
saints and other historical figures who have fought against the
injustices of their times.
- A constant readiness for public witness.
We do not shrink from the public spotlight, which is often where
we need to be in order to give voice to the voiceless and to
reach the numbers of people we need to reach in the short time
we have to reverse the culture of death. "Let your light shine
before others," the Lord said, always reminding us that the
glory goes to the Father (see Mt.5:16). Members will form their
spirit according to the plea of the Prophet, "Cry out
full-throated and unsparingly; lift up your voice like a trumpet
- A passion for justice.
The sacrifices needed to build a Culture of Life can only be
sustained when there is a deep passion for justice. Christians
believe in righteous anger, which was exhibited by the Lord and
His saints in the face of evil. We are angry at what the culture
of death does each day. We strive to submit our anger to the
Holy Spirit of God, not asking Him to extinguish it but rather
to channel it into a wholesome, energized passion which, always
docile to the promptings of the Spirit and obedient to
authority, sustains us in the task at hand.