Some people like to describe themselves as "realists." They see aspects of reality that people who are overly optimistic miss.
It is important to be realists, but we need to carry realism to its full measure, and take account of all reality, including that which is unseen and supernatural. The problem with some forms of realism is that they stop at the realism of the problems of life, and miss the reality of grace. That's the formula for discouragement.
Doing pro-life work demands complete realism. And part of that complete picture is the reality, presence, and activity of the Holy Spirit, to whom the year 1998 is dedicated in the Church's preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of confident joy. Joy is not the result of everything going our way. That kind of contentment is extremely fragile, because at any moment, any of the things going our way can begin going a different way.
Joy, on the other hand, is born of a deep inner awareness that our lives are in God's hands, that we are intent on pleasing Him, and that nothing short of our own rebellion can ever separate us from Him. Were we to lose all things, to possess God is to possess all. Being convinced of that, and actually possessing Him, brings joy.
Joy in our pro-life work is born of the fact that all we do is motivated by love: love for preborn children, their mothers and father, and love also for those who oppose what we stand for, whether they be in government, media, or the abortion industry itself.
Confident joy springs from the fact that this mission we have of restoring a culture of life is God's mission before it is ours. It is a mission we receive from the One who has all power to fulfill it and chooses to fulfill it through us.
How, then, can we not be confident? It is the Holy Spirit who fills us! It is the same Spirit who breathed over the waters and brought forth life out of chaos and darkness. It is the same Spirit who has spoken through the prophets, the same Spirit who descended upon the womb of Mary, the same Spirit who anointed the Lord Jesus and raised Him from the dead! The same Holy Spirit who sent the apostles sends us, and He has lost none of His strength. This, indeed, is the same Spirit who descends on bread and wine to transform them into the Son of God, and who will descend on our own tombs to raise us from the dead!
I am sometimes asked whether I become depressed dealing with abortion all the time. I would, I reply, were it not for one fact: I am proclaiming the victory of life. Let us do so together, with all the joy and confidence that the Holy Spirit brings.