We now have a president-elect who said he doesn’t know when human beings should be given human rights, who promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act—which would have a devastating effect on existing pro-life laws—and who voted to support legalized infanticide. South Dakota’s effort to ban most abortions failed. California’s effort to pass a commonsense parental notification law for minor girls seeking abortions failed. Michigan voters approved a state constititutional amendment to permit
stem cell research embryonic stem cell research (that is, killing little people because it might help bigger people). And Washington state became the second state to legalized doctor-assisted suicide. (Details on all these state ballot measures are available here.) So, what do we do now? We get active. And if we’re already active, we get more active. There is no better time than now to get involved in pro-life activism. No matter what laws are passed or who is appointed to the Supreme Court in the next four years, you can still work to change people’s hearts and minds about abortion. You can have conversations with people about abortion. You can start a pro-life club. You can get involved in the next 40 Days for Life prayer campaign at an abortion clinic near you in the spring of 2009. (The most recent one, which ended three days ago, saved the lives of over 520 babies!) This is just to name a few; see lots more ideas here. Now is not the time to hang our heads or wring our hands. Now is the time to put our pro-life beliefs into action. What kind of attitude should we have at a time like this? Obviously, there is a time for penance and a time for mourning. (Along these lines, be sure to read these three posts on Christina Dunigan’s RealChoice blog.) But we also need to keep in mind the words of a long-time pro-life activist who e-mailed us this morning with some advice to keep in mind these next four years (and, for that matter, always):
Remember to be positive and joyful! Don’t give in to negativity. St. Paul who was no stranger to difficulties told us, “with all our affliction, I am overjoyed” (2 Cor. 7:4). He exhorted his fellow Christians to be joyful: “Rejoice always” (1 Thess. 5:16); “rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). We need to be cheerful and confident in our defense of Christ and life. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). We will not win the world with a sour face but with the love, truth, and the joy of Jesus Christ. St. Peter tells us when we live and even suffer joyfully we can, “Rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s suffering, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is reveled.” (1 Peter 4:13).
If you’re Catholic, you’ll recognize these words we pray to Our Heavenly Father at Mass: “In your mercy keep us free from sin . . . as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” This was the Church’s prayer yesterday. It is the Church’s prayer today. And it will be the Church’s prayer until the end of time. Politicians and their unfulfillable promises of “hope and change” will come and go; but real, authentic “joyful hope”—along with faith, and above all, charity—these are what remain, and what we must hold onto.