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Austin, United States

I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...

Why I Write Pro-Life Stories

One last thought before we leave the March for Life too far behind. Yesterday morning, I was reading prayers, and when this sentence popped out at me, I realized it was true. Here it is:

“Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, you declared that whoever receives a little child in your name receives you, and you promised your kingdom to those who are like children.”

How much God loves children. If we receive a little child in His name, we receive Him. What a powerful promise. In fact, when we are like children, the Lord promises us his kingdom. These are incredible statements about the child.

I had my own personal experience with the huge value the Lord places on the unborn, and this occurred right as I began to take up this cause and write about it, back in the 90’s. You see, I had discovered a lovely practice of the Community of the Beatitutdes, a relgious community in Medjugorje. Every year, on the first day of January, they write out saints’ names and a prayer intention tied to that saint. This saint, they say, will remain with you all year as your counselor, assisting you. Later word out of Medjugorje was that the saint would remain with you through the rest of your life. So they put all these names on a small slip of paper, folded them , and put them in a hat. Then each member picked one.

Anyway, shortly after I’d written my first pro-life article and mailed it off (as a gift for the Christ Child that Christmas), I decided this choosing a saint for the year practice was an interesting thing to do, and I downloaded that year’s list of names (and there were MANY! 36 pages worth of names!) from their community list and printed them out, cut them into slips, folded them, and put them in a bag. At the beginning of January I took them to some friends in a religious bookstore and everyone liked the idea. So they put the folded slips in a basket and I passed it around and everyone took one. I drew last. I was so shocked with the one I picked that I almost fell to the floor. I drew the Christ Child. And the prayer intention was to pray for the unborn. This is something I will never forget. I had just mailed off that article right before Christmas, after taking it to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and offering it to the Baby Jesus as a birthday present. (You can never outdo the Lord in giving.)

I have never forgotten that first experience of taking the pro-life cause as my own. It’s one of the reasons why I continue to do so, and why I feel called to do so. And another interesting thing was that everyone who took a name out of the basket that day also had a very strong resonance with the name they pulled. Everyone would say something like, OH! THIS REALLY SPEAKS TO WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW! And they would relate something very specific. It was amazing. What I read later was that the Community said, “You do not pick the saint. The saint picks you.”

Wonders never cease. There’s an entire world of the spirit so many of us do not realize is there. Well, every year after that, the saint I picked was also appropriate for what was going on in my life. But I believe the Child Jesus remains with me and will never leave me. It’s one of my reasons for writing.

So may the Child Jesus bless all of us today as we go about our day, and remain with us always as He promised. And if you’re interested in pulling a saint’s name, they publish their list of names annually. You can search under the Community name and add “saints’ names 2014”, and it should come up somewhere. If you can’t find it, contact me, and I will send you the link.

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