Digging Deeper: Love Life

The family founded on marriage is truly the sanctuary of life, “the place in which life — the gift of God — can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth”[515]. Its role in promoting and building the culture of life [516] against “the possibility of a destructive ‘anti-civilization‘, as so many present trends and situations confirm”[517], is decisive and irreplaceable.

Christian families have then, in virtue of the sacrament received, a particular mission that makes them witnesses and proclaimers of the Gospel of life. This is a commitment which in society takes on the value of true and courageous prophecy. It is for this reason that “serving the Gospel of life … means that the family, particularly through its membership in family associations, works to ensure that the laws and institutions of the State in no way violate the right to life, from conception to natural death, but rather protect and promote it.” – Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, #231

Picture Books:

Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman

Beginnings by Lori Ann Watson

Church Teaching:

Evangelium Vitae by St. John Paul the Great

Humanae Vitae by Blessed Paul VI

Worthwhile Reading:

The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson (particularly the segment on eugenics)

Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line by Abby Johnson


“92% and Perfect Babies” by Cindy Bird

In the late 80’s a woman found out she was pregnant on her 40th birthday. She was surprised, but thrilled nonetheless. At sixteen weeks the infant was tested for Down syndrome and the mother was shocked to hear that her baby tested positive. The doctor told her that according to the numbers, it was one of the most severe cases he had ever seen. He said she would need around the clock assistance just to care for her child’s basic needs. He insisted that she seek an immediate abortion. The mother refused, she said “I want to have this baby.” The doctor replied, “No, ma’am, you see I only deliver perfect babies.” The woman looked at him and said “I have five children at home and not one of them is perfect. I am having this baby.”

“Marching for Life, Mother Teresa and Mrs. Clinton” by Sean Fitzpatrick

“Mother Teresa was unerringly direct,” the First Lady recounted. “She disagreed with my views on a woman’s right to choose and told me so.” Tell her so she did; but though she was direct in her disagreement, she also offered something that Mrs. Clinton could applaud. Although Hillary Clinton was, and remains, a supporter of legalized abortion, she agreed with Mother Teresa that adoption was a preferable alternative. Speaking to her afterwards, Mother Teresa told Mrs. Clinton of her desire to continue her mission to find homes and families for orphaned, abandoned, and unwanted children by founding an adoption center in Washington, DC. She invited the First Lady to assist her in this endeavor, and brought Mrs. Clinton to India with her to witness her work firsthand.

Mother Teresa’s motions were not wasted. When Hillary Clinton returned to Washington, she took up Mother Teresa’s request with a will. Keeping in contact with the saint who called her regularly to receive updates on her “center for babies,” Hillary Clinton did the necessary legwork and succeeded in opening The Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children in 1995 in an affluent section of Washington, DC. Mother Teresa joined her for the opening, and two years later passed into the arms of her Lord. But she left a bright mark on the career of Hillary Clinton, who saw something remarkable in the tiny nun, and chose to do her bidding to help save lives. Mother Teresa inspired Mrs. Clinton to do a truly good work in spite of her dedicated promotion of Planned Parenthood’s agenda for “safe and legal” abortions.

“The Disability Abortion Lie” by Hayley Goleniowska

But seven years on, having walked the path I was so adamant that I didn’t want to take, I now know ‘why me’. And I see with crystal clarity how wrong I was to swallow the lie that we are all fed. To fear, to avoid, to seek to eradicate difference. I cannot re-live those early days with the knowledge I now posses, but I can enlighten others.

For me, the realities of Down’s syndrome today are of the independence that is possible with support and early intervention. The fast-paced hilarious home life, where there is never a dull moment. The truth is that we all benefit hugely from accepting and learning from different ways of living. Most of all it is understanding that those with learning disabilities contribute huge amounts to their communities. Every person I know with Down’s syndrome lives life to the full and is valued and loved by all around them, whatever their capabilities. Human value is not a monetary logarithm.

Our lived reality as a family doesn’t even begin to overlap the stereotyped image that my subconscious created before, from all the outdated glimpses into the lives of adults with the condition when I was a child. Not one aspect of our beautiful, cheeky, bright daughter, corresponds with that outdated preconception that flashed across my mind. What a steep learning curve it has been for us all.