As We Approach Christmas, How Do We Approach Life?

Posted on December 5, 2023 by Published by

December is not just the month of Christ’s birth, but also of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation celebrated on December 8th. This feast day tells us that Mary was just like us in terms of her humanity. Knowing this reveals a simple truth about the human condition shared by all. Mary was no less “full of grace” at the end of her life than when it began. In the same way, no human can become any more “a person” at any stage of life than they were the instant they came to exist.

Mary’s Immaculate Conception demonstrates that no matter what unique plan God created us with, it was put in action even before the first moment we were conceived.

It is fitting the Church celebrates the Immaculate Conception in December, and usually in the first week of Advent. Advent is the season when we prepare our hearts and minds for Christ’s coming and are called to frequent the sacrament of Reconciliation so we can worthily receive Him Christmas Day.

In direct opposition to the beauty of Our Lady’s feast day and the Nativity is Abortion, which continues to be a topic in our secular culture. While there are people who waver on the subject, the Church never has. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

  • 2271 Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching is and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed as either an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.
  • You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
  • God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

These are strong words from Holy Mother Church that encourage us to take long hard look at ourselves. How are we teaching those we love on this topic? Are we good kitchen table activists for life? Are we showing our children that life is important not only because we think it is but, more importantly, because God does? When a home has a culture of openness to the hard questions of abortion, young children, teens and even adults can learn about the beauty of preserving the sanctity of life.

Although abortion is a weighty issue, it deserves our attention. God demands it of us as Catholic parents, educators and parishioners. He knows it is a difficult topic to discuss, but we must remember that if we don’t teach our children, others will. Here are some ways to start the conversation:

  • Haul out an ultrasound photo or video. Teach your children human life begins at the moment of conception, when the individual grows according to his or her unique DNA; the human heart beats at about 18 days; the baby begins responding to touch (and pain) at 6-8 weeks and is viable at 24 weeks.
  • Have the conversation more than once, and be open to future conversations with them. Share the importance of chastity and love in marriage.
  • In the pre-teen and teen years, be sure to discuss what they can (and should) do if they or a friend become pregnant.
  • Pray with them outside an abortion center or attend a March for Life locally.
  • Say a Rosary for Life and pray for women with unexpected pregnancies who may be considering abortion as their option.

Life is important. If our parents didn’t think so, would we be reading this right now? As we prepare for Advent, what would Christ as just judge determine where we stand on life? Would He invite us in or ask us to depart from him because he never knew us? There is a narrow and a wide path. One is easy and the other is not. Let us take the narrow path together and ask Mary to intercede for us, to put an end to the tragedies of abortion and attacks on human life, and that we may respect the dignity and value of each and every person – from conception to natural death. With God, anything is possible.

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