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 Missionaries 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" (Acts 5:41).
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. Missionaries observes with special attention 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. Missionaries 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.
Missionaries 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. (See Evangelium Vitae, n. 91; "Ut Unum Sint," n. 43) We strive at all times to think, speak, and work in ways that welcome our brothers and sisters of other denominations. We also work in an inter-religious spirit, joining with people of good will from all religions.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the model for all mothers, in her “Yes” to God and His plan for her life. Missionaries 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. 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.
b. A serene confidence.
We do not have to worry about the ultimate outcome of the battle for life. As Pope St. 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 eternally victorious.
c. 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.
d. A radical solidarity
Pope St. 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.
e. 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.
f. 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). Missionaries will form their spirit according to the plea of the Prophet, "Cry out full-throated and unsparingly; lift up your voice like a trumpet blast!" (Is.58:1).
g. 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.