We all have an obligation to be at the service of life, St John Paul II tells us in his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin, the task can seem so huge and insurmountable.
But just by choosing to do one new thing at a time, we can start making change for the better – to really build a culture of life, where each person, no matter how small or how old, is given the dignity they deserve.
Every single person can make a difference – no matter how big or seemingly small their contribution is.
So here’s 11 things you can begin doing today to help build a culture of life.
1. Visit the elderly and the sick
Take time out of your busy days and weeks to visit the elderly and the sick. Older people particularly enjoy having a short visit from children!
2. Donate items to your local pregnancy centre
Pregnancy centres are always in need of good quality newborn to six-month-old clothing, nappies, baby wipes, strollers and other baby care items. Gifts for mothers are also lovely and appreciated by the recipients.
3. Encourage and support families
Look for opportunities to encourage and support families. Congratulate mothers when they announce they are pregnant. Cook meals or offer practical help for families with new babies, the ill, the elderly and the disabled.
4. Attend events and invite a friend
Pro-life events happen throughout the year. awesome speakers, training programmes, conferences and seminars, pro-life vigils and Masses, Marches for Life… All of these are opportunities to get out there learn more, meet like-minded people and give a strong message that human life matters from the very beginning, to the very end of life.
5. Share pro-life, pro-family content on social media
Follow pro-life organisations on social media and share their content – news, images, videos. You can follow Family Life International NZ on Facebook here.
Pregnancy Resource Centres and pro-life organisations are always looking for people to give of their time and skills. All sorts of jobs need doing such as answering phones, graphic design, tending to the garden, cleaning, social media, website design, video making, event organisation… However you are able to help, your practical support is always welcome.
7. Donate to your local pro-life organisation
Unfortunately it costs money to run pro-life organisations and your generosity means that people can work day in and day out for the cause of life. Different organisations focus on specific aspects of pro-life work. Each has an important role to play in building a culture of life.
8. Participate in 40 Days for Life
Praying outside abortion facilities is a powerful witness and acknowledgement of the spiritual battle that exists in the great injustice of abortion. The fruits are evident – almost 10,000 lives have been saved since 2007 in this worldwide effort to end abortion. Your presence is also a final act of love for the unborn children who will be killed in that facility. It may be the only love given to them in their short lives here on earth.
9. Write letters to the editor
When subjects come up in the news, write letters, or leave comments, that affirm life and the natural family.
10. Promote St John Paul II’s Prayer for Life.
At the end of the Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), John Paul II gave the world a prayer for life. This is a beautiful prayer that can be prayed daily for the protection of all human life from conception to natural death.
Pray every day for an end to abortion. Pray for the conversion of every person involved in the culture of death. Pray for those tempted to have abortions or support family and friends in having an abortion. Pray for the grace to always be able to speak the truth in love. Ultimately the battle against the culture of death is a spiritual battle. It can only be won by placing our trust completely in God, submitting ourselves in obedience to His will.