Building Blocks Toward a Culture of Life

by: Paola Victoria Castillo, grade 5

Do you remember building a tower when you were little, one block at a time? Building a culture of life is very similar: It occurs one thought, one word, or one action at a time. It means showing respect for others because God made us in His image and likeness and He lives in us. 

People’s hearts can be touched to see Jesus in everyone. How we act toward others reflects how we want to be treated. Even just smiling, visiting the lonely, or finding the good in a person can really make a positive difference and build a culture of life. We can be inspired by God’s grace to respect every person, especially the least in our society: the preborn, the elderly, and the disabled. 

First, building a culture of life begins with the cornerstone of prayer for the preborn. At daily Mass and weekly Adoration, I pray for an end to abortion. At the end of each decade of the rosary, my family and I pray a beautiful prayer that goes like this: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, protect and save the preborn.” We have also stood in front of abortion clinics and prayed the rosary while holding up signs that read “Life is Beautiful.” As a result, one of these clinics where we have prayed has closed down! At times we do not immediately see the fruit of our prayer and labors, but something good always comes out of them eventually. 

Secondly, building a culture of life continues with the blocks of service to those who are living. My sisters and I belong to a Junior Legion of Mary group in our community, and we perform countless works of mercy. One of them is visiting the elderly in nursing homes. 

Frequently, the people there have given me hugs and thanked me for visiting them and brightening up their day. Another work we do is make cards for the sick, those in prison, and the homebound. I know how happy I am when I receive a card in the mail, so I can imagine that an uplifting card would brighten someone’s day. We also pass out Miraculous Medals to tourists, students, and residents in our town. We explain the story of Our Lady’s apparitions to Saint Catherine Laboure and the importance of asking for graces in our daily life. Like many of the great saints, we are messengers of hope and comfort to others. 

The final building block toward a culture of life extends to even the disabled who are gifts from God and should be treated with human dignity. We can see God in them, and, in return, they can see God in us. For instance, one of our neighbors—Mr. Edwards—is handicapped but still makes it a point to attend daily Mass. He tells my siblings what a joy it is to see us, how we brighten up his day, and how much he enjoys our singing at Mass. Another neighbor of ours—Mrs. DeLeon—uses a walker but also makes an effort to go to daily Mass. We cheer her up by visiting her and giving her artwork we draw. Other examples are friends from our homeschool group with Down’s syndrome or cerebral palsy. One boy named Simon always lights up the room with his joyful smile and hugs. Even though the disabled may not be able to run, walk, talk, see, or hear as we can, they still give glory to God just by living and loving.

Whether young or old, born or preborn, sick or healthy, everyone has value and worth because God made us and loves us! Treasuring others as gifts from God can be as simple as a kind remark, a Hail Mary, or a smile. By prayer and service, every person can be a living block toward building a culture of life! 

© 2018 Paola Victoria Castillo