Catholic Moments: Mask Up, It’s Pro-Life

Crèche set from Mexico set amidst a collection of homemade masks

Advent is upon us! In a true spirit of reflection and prayer I offer up a few thoughts on our experience of the season during the Pandemic.

I have noticed disparate reactions between my fellow believers in how we are to implement safe practices during the pandemic. It is simple, really.

Mask up! I believe it is a Pro-Life mandate.

The Bishops in America have made public their opinion about how catholics should prioritize unborn babies above all other pro-life concerns (we believe in protecting life from conception through natural death). I fully concur that the unborn are particularly vulnerable, and that each of their lives are worth protecting.

But as a mother and grandmother I must respectfully disagree with the good Fathers over this strict prioritization.

In each of our families there is a child who is born last. In our family it is my daughter, Kris. Even at age 13 she is more vulnerable than the rest of my children because she has to rely on my husband and me to meet her basic needs. Does this mean that protecting her interests is more important than protecting those of her other six siblings?

Of course it does not. The youngest, the unborn are undoubtedly at risk, but so are the elderly, the immune compromised, the poor, the immigrant. I cannot imagine that the Lord of All Creation would have us order the importance of lives in this way. Just as I, as a mother, love all of my children and I cherish the gift of their lives, so too does God cherish us all. We are his children, precious in his eyes.

As Catholic Christians we need to take the lead in following the guidelines given us by the CDC during this time of sickness.

Each person we come into contact with outside of our immediate family deserves our care and concern. It is mandated by our church. These are the actions that manifest our belief…

Wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from everyone who does not live with you, and wash your hands frequently.

This is not political, it is simple religious practice. If I am to honor the dignity of human life, in all its forms, then I need to follow these guidelines to protect the vulnerable. It is the equivalent of Marching for Life….Mask Up!

We do not get a pass on these rules because we are believers. We do not get a special dispensation because these restrictions bite into our comfortable ways of socializing and practicing our faith.

Now is the time for putting others first.

We should not be gathering at public pilgrimage spots or at private parties where social distancing guidelines are not in place. We should not be living our lives as we usually do because we think it is our right as Americans to do so. Instead, it is our duty as Pro-Life Catholics to do our part and protect every person we meet.

We are not being asked to die for our faith here, but we are being called to self sacrifice. This Advent we need to take up the cross as we travel with the Holy Family to Bethlehem.

The idea is simple, the practice is difficult. We need to let go of all of our selfish desires and think of the Christ that lives in others.

Do I wish for a large family Christmas dinner inside my home this year? I do.

Do I long for the time when I can hug my adult children and my grandchildren? I most certainly do!

Am I willing to throw caution to the wind and risk getting one of my precious family members sick by doing these things?

Not on your life!

Join me this Advent and beyond in the largest scale Pro-Life endeavor ever suggested. Let’s live out our faith and be good examples to all around us. Let’s put our personal holiness to the ultimate test…

What are we as Catholics really about?

Let it be love!

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