This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org
“I shall accept whatever they will do to me provided they save the child” (St Gianna Molla).
Reflection: In 1962, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla died after giving birth to her fourth child. She was a physician herself, and understood the risks of her own complications in pregnancy, but steadfastly refused
abortion. Some would question her decision, given that she already had three born children. However, nothing would have harmed those children more than if she had aborted their sister, and nothing blessed them more than the example of a mother who gave her life for her child.
Prayer: Saint Gianna, pray for us, that we may imitate your selfless love. Amen.
Tomorrow the season of Lent begins. By our penance, we say no to ourselves and yes to God and others. This reverses the power of sin, by which we say yes to ourselves and no to God and others.
A perfect Lenten practice is to speak up even more for unborn children. Lent calls us to greater love and less selfishness. When we defend the unborn, we defend people who cannot thank us, and who don’t even know we are defending them. This makes our efforts even more sacrificial and selfless. At times, we will suffer ridicule from others for our pro-life stand. To sacrifice our comfort, our pride, or our popularity is a beautiful Lenten sacrifice that brings us closer to the Lord, and brings the unborn closer to safety.
Christmas, for which we are now preparing, is not simply the feast of the birth of Christ; it is the feast of His becoming human, the reality called the Incarnation. Christ took flesh within the body of the Virgin Mary when she said “Yes” to His coming, nine months before His birth. Christmas, in its full meaning, is the feast that celebrates that moment, along with His birth, as one wonderful reality of God becoming one of us.
Jesus was an embryo, a fetus, an unborn child. Life in the womb, which was already sacred because it comes from God, is now made even more holy, and worthy of our every sacrifice.
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St. Paul tells us that we must not conform ourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of our minds, so that we may discern “what is good, pleasing, and perfect.” This means that in the midst of the Culture of Death, we learn, as John Paul II wrote in The Gospel of Life, that “life is always a good,” even when it is beset by weakness and suffering. We do not conform ourselves to the “pro-choice” way of thinking, that would sacrifice the life of a baby in order to escape suffering. When Peter objected to the idea that Jesus should go to the Cross, the Lord told Peter that this was not the right way to think. Let us embrace life, even at the price of the Cross.