‘As pro-life advocates, we should take it much deeper’
Using passion, feelings and emotions in the prolife argument and in forwarding our work.
I found myself the other day obsessed with gathering statistics, numbers and scientific studies to back the pro-life movement. There is a lot that is authoritative, easy-to-find and compelling. For some more analytical people these might be good persuasion points.
In this highly charged, emotional climate, much of it is, however, just plainly ignored. Most pro-abortion activists are rabid and militant in their drive. They seem to be at times driven only by anger and hatred. Mighty strong emotions indeed. Negative emotions.
But as pro-life advocates, we should take it much deeper. We need to take the high road. We need to make it more meaningful than anger and hatred. Take it the opposite direction with love and compassion. We need to speak not just to the numbers and logic but also to the heart and soul of the issue.
To put it more simply, we need to speak to “feelings.” Emotions are a powerful force. We need to use this approach not in a manipulative way, but as a way to pierce to the heart in a deeply meaningful, spiritual fashion. Ladies that find themselves with an unexpected pregnancy are almost always emotional about the situation. Appeal to those emotions. Let them be fully expressed. Listen and empathize.
Who can deny warm feelings on viewing the stark beautiful reality of the image of a living tiny child in the womb as illustrated in a sonogram? Small feet are fully formed with tiny toes at just 10 weeks — who can deny the emotions of that image?
And what human soul can turn away the affirming feelings at the thought of the child’s heartbeat from within at just 21 days? These are powerful pictures, images and thought processes that must be shown and demonstrated and deeply considered to convert the hearts not just of the ladies that are abortion-vulnerable but also of the entire society.
Whether it is the work of the Holy Spirit or simply our emotional response, we are moved. As pro-life advocates, we are moved to a passion for the cause. We must embrace this passion and allow it to move us in powerful ways. Let’s get frothing-at-the-mouth passionate! It is righteous indignation at a great injustice in our society. It is our passion to end the horror of abortion, saving babies one at a time to begin with, and soon through the conversion of hearts of the entire society to embrace these tiny lives.
There is much work to be done. Our fervent passion will drive us with energetic devotion to the cause that will be tireless and full of incredible strength.
This is a labor of love, compassion, prayer and peace. We should first and foremost focus on transforming the lives of those put in front of us — the women and their babies. We then need to bring more lives to us, specifically more abortion-vulnerable ladies.
Then through prayer and love, we work on converting the hearts of those not directly connected to the situation — the lukewarm pro-life, the uncommitted, or pro-abortion advocates. As directed by the Holy Scriptures, we need to love and pray for those opposed to us. The pro-abortion advocates and uncommitted will come around not by our position of adversary but by a position of passionate love, passionate compassion and passionate prayer. Labor with passion.
And a few reliable stats and scientific studies thrown it for good measure will also certainly help.
Deacon Dale Sheckler serves at St. Lawrence Martyr Church, Redondo Beach.
Prayer of the MonthPapal intentions for November: That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.
Papal intentions for December: That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.