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For Brigid

I was blessed this past Christmas break to stand as godfather for my cousin Brigid’s baptism. I vividly remember meeting her for the first time when I got home from college, and holding her as she slept. The moment was so precious, the image of me holding her still stands as my profile picture on facebook and the background to my phone. Cradling her in my arms, I couldn’t think straight, overwhelmed by how precious she was, only managing to barely whisper, “She’s so beautiful.”

Only yesterday I participated with hundreds of thousands of others in the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. I was excited to be there with friends and fellow pilgrims who know and believe, as I do, that all life is not only beautiful but sacred, and well worth fighting to save. But for me, the time was more solemn. I thought of little Brigid, wrapped in her blanket, asleep in my arms, and thought, “How could anyone choose to destroy something so precious?” The thought of her not existing brought tears to my eyes.

For those who do not agree, I would challenge you to hold a sleeping baby in your arms, even if just for a few moments, to look at their peaceful, precious face. Then look at a pregnant woman and realize that that mother is holding a little soul, much like the one you’re holding now, in her womb; that her so-called choice snuffs out that beautiful little life, utterly destroys it. It is little wonder that so many mothers and fathers who choose abortion deal with great emotional trauma, and I pray deeply for their healing.

For those who do agree, but may be growing tired or losing hope, have courage. It was Dostoevsky who said “Beauty will save the world”, and what happened at the March was profoundly beautiful. In our prayer and sacrifice we reached out to legislators, doctors, mothers, fathers, and all who do not agree or who have been deeply hurt by abortions. If only one doctor second-guesses his abortive practices; if only one legislator stops to consider the sanctity of life; if only one mother or father chooses to keep the child or put it up for adoption; if only one precious child is saved as a result of our efforts, all that we have done will be well worth it for the saving of that one soul.

My fellow pilgrims, not one of us would be here if our parents had not said “Yes” to God’s incredible and beautiful gift of life. Will we deny to others this precious gift, or stand idly by as it is taken away? Or for the love of God, life, and beauty, will we fight til our dying breath to protect the unborn?

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dum spiro, spero.

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