Thursday, October 7, 2010

I am too busy to help- but I'm still pro-life

Pro-lifers are in the midst of "40 days for Life." Different groups are doing different things, but prayer and demonstrations seem to be the popular manifestations for this time. 

If we say that we are pro-life- let's mean it and show this with our actions! Prayer is a beautiful thing, but maybe that mom needs your help with opening that door- she has 2 kids in her arms.  Please don't joke that that family needs a television; it's insulting and anti-life. Bring a meal to welcome the newest addition and have your teenager mow their lawn- with permission, of course. Hand-me-down clothes are very welcome, but check the clothing for rips and stains. If Goodwill wouldn't sell it, the local big family down the street probably wouldn't wear it to Mass. And perhaps above all, have mercy with little children that are squirmy at church. I guarantee you- the parents are doing their best to wrangle those kids.  They woke up, got the kids ready and out the door when the majority of Americans were still abed. They are in church, trying to instill in their children all the values of Christianity. Give that harried mom a smile as she takes a screaming  three-year old out of Mass. Invite them to your table at coffee and doughnuts. Make that super-sized family (in most parts of the US, any family with over 2 or 3 kids- not applicable to Franciscan U and TAC areas) welcome.

How in the world can inviting a big family to your coffee and doughnut table be pro-life, you ask? We need to build a culture of life where children are welcome. We need to make it easier for a family to have that next kid (perhaps through lower taxation?). Did you know that 60% of abortions are performed on women who are already mothers? (source- the blog "And Sometimes Tea") Prayer is essential, but action is too. If all pro-lifers were active in doing pro-life prayer and work (making meals, knitting booties, working at a soup kitchen, calling a new mom, mowing lawns, painting fences, fixing vans, babysitting for nothing or nominal fees, whatever is appropriate to the stage in life and ability or talent), we would make it less scary for these moms to welcome life even in difficult moments.

This post was inspired by a recent post I read at Abigail's Alcove about needing help and not really getting it when her very ill baby was in the NICU- cut and paste on the link below.

http://abigails-alcove.blogspot.com/2010/09/losing-friends.html

5 comments:

  1. "whatever is appropriate to the stage in life and ability or talent"

    I hope I made that clear! We can't do everything- but my point is that everyone should do something!

    One of my activities is to make meals for new moms in the community; another is to babysit for moms for no money (of course)- my kids enjoy being around different kids. I hope in the future I will do much more- but this is my stage in life. I do a little political stuff too but I personally don't think my kids are ready to see graphic pictures, so I am limited in what I do right now.

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  2. That is another fantastic yet simple way to be pro-life. I will try to put that into practice!

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  3. Thank you! Your family is so beautiful! I will pray for you.

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  4. Great post! All of those things truly ARE helpful. And you're right- just helping families feel, how do I say this, NOT like aliens, is so nice. It's so easy to tell whether you're welcome (ANYWHERE, including the grocery store), or if you and your kids are an annoyance to people. I always appreciate the sympathetic smile at my kids' antics, rather than the sarcastic or demeaning glare I think we've all gotten at times. Especially when you're large and pregnant with the next one! I've rarely had outright rude comments, but it happens. Anything people can do to help large families 'fit in' a bit more is so generous and kind.

    Speaking of 40 days for life... our rural parish is having 24 hour adoration, which is a big deal here. We normally only have adoration 9 hours a day every other week. Our family is going for an hour tonight.

    I think one problem that people in our age have is that everyone thinks they're too busy. Or they ARE too busy. We all need to re-prioritize what's really important, and be sure we're not too busy for those things that really matter. Committees, different social groups, and all those things are nice, but your time would be so much better spent in action, helping someone in need, like Abigail needed. I'll bet the people close to her had good intentions, but were just too 'busy.'

    Oh, and I know what it's like to feel that in my stage of life I'm just not able to be 'out there' helping that much, but we mustn't forget the power of prayer. Prayer is something we can all squeeze in- a plea to God only takes a moment! We have a family altar, and light candles for intentions. I encourage my children to do so, too, and it helps keep the prayer intentions in mind. Just a thought for people who feel housebound and a bit out of touch like me!

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  5. Martha- I like the idea of the family altar- we Byzantines call it an 'icon corner'- just another reminder that each family is a domestic church and the basis for civilization (no pressure:) ).

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