The Beatitudes: A Call to Be Pro-life (Part 3)

 

Fr. Frank Pavone

 
  3/15/2010
 

Being actively pro-life is not primarily about belonging to a cause or embracing an ideology. It is not merely a political platform or a hobby. It is a spirituality. It is an aspect of our discipleship. And as such, it is a conviction and commitment that is shaped by the word of God. We therefore continue our reflections on what the Beatitudes teach us about being pro-life.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Peace is more than the absence of war. The foundation of peace is justice, that everyone’s rights are protected and everyone’s dignity is recognized. Peace means that our relationships with God and one another are what they are supposed to be.

To fight abortion, therefore, is one of the ways that we work for peace. Abortion completely oppresses and diminishes the rights of the child who is killed. Rather than fostering right relationships, it destroys them, starting with the most basic relationship between a mother and her own child.

A peacemaker seeks out the most vulnerable in society, and urges the rest of society to welcome them. Let’s build peace by advocating for the unborn and stopping the violence of abortion.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs.”

Those who work for justice will always be persecuted by those who foster injustice. Those who work to preserve the most basic justice, that is, protecting the right to life, are persecuted all the time, by both believers and non-believers. They are accused of having a narrow focus and a lack of compassion, while in reality they are focused on the most broad-based right of all and have compassion for the most vulnerable of all.

Because they know this, pro-life activists can be at peace in the midst of the persecution. They need not be distracted, nor should they ever doubt themselves. The ridicule they endure is a promised blessing from above, the blessing of suffering for doing what is right.

“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.

The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.

Those who want to nourish their pro-life spirituality with reflections like this for every day of the year can obtain my book Pro-life Reflections for Every Day at priestsforlife.org/store.