Life can mean a heart beat and brain activity, and Life can mean sanctifying grace. Somewhere between, where these two mingle in the wondrous creature Man, is another meaning of the word. Life as it is lived in all its complexity day to day.
To be pro-life is to be for all three of these. And it is this middle kind of life that I think mothers are particularly suited to champion. I will call this union of biological life and spiritual life the Life of Joy. Children possess this life in a special way because of their innocence and energy. We are the caretakers of little living vessels of sanctifying grace. Warm soft breathing bodies filled with God’s grace. To be generous and open to life does not only mean to welcome these fabulous beings when they are knit in our wombs. It means to generously share the each of them as a gift not just to us but to the world. I have said before that a homemaker is a joymaker.
We are also caretakers of the glowing embers of joy that are our children, and the world needs their warmth. So share your children.
Share your children by taking them to Mass, even though they may squirm in the pews. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them.” Share your children by being proud to bring them with you in public. Share your children by accepting the help of strangers even when it is actually inconvenient. They are being called by your children’s joy, trying to draw close to it, nourish it, and keep a part of it.
Even if it means you feel the need to secretly douse your kids with Purell when you get to the car, share your children by letting the lonely grandmother feel the grip of their chubby dimpled fingers or the velvety softness of their cheek. Share your children by accepting graciously all compliments about them, however tired and trite. Share your children by asking for help when you do need it!
Your pride may be humbled but you are offering someone an opportunity to be a caretaker of joy too. And yes, share your children with those who scowl at them, and those who mutter about them. Do not let them discourage you or force you to hide your children away from the community, ashamed that they are an inconvenience to others. Who needs joy more than such miserable people?
Be pro-life, from conception to natural end. Live the part in between with the same joy we hope for in the life to come. Become like children.