by Nathaniel Bryant, grade 11
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). This simple Bible verse explains the very basic idea of the importance and worth of one’s life. Many people in today’s society fail to agree or even understand this idea, but Blessed Miguel Pro is someone who I believe took this Scripture to heart and put it to action. Through applying ourselves to the examples of the saints, we can find the confidence that will help each and every one of us to carry our own crosses in fighting the evils that encroach on our right to life.
Understanding the importance of human life does not require one to be religious, only to have the simplest compassion. To be able to realize that, one has to put the needs of others before their own. This same compassion is found in Jeremiah 1:5. It is easy to see the strong pro-life message behind this passage. When it says, “I appointed you a prophet to the nations,” it explains the importance of life and just how meaningful each and every one of our lives is. God calls all of us to live a life that is more important than what we let ourselves believe. He not only gave us a beautiful life, but also the power to change and shape the world to reflect His beauty. He gave us all the gifts that we need. All that is left for us is to have the courage to stand up and be the light for others to follow.
One of these bright lights in my personal life is Blessed Miguel Pro. The story of Miguel Pro is riddled with great examples of how we should be fearless when fighting for our rights, not only in faith, but for our right to life. Miguel was born on January 13, 1891, in Guadalupe, Mexico, to a very religious family. Though Miguel had a great childhood, he also had to live through one of the greatest religious persecutions in Mexico. This was a terrible time where the Mexican government was pillaging churches and killing priests and laymen in the streets. Father Miguel still desired to bring the Eucharist to the persecuted Catholics, but he did it in secret through his intricate disguises. For a long time, he successfully distributed Communion throughout Mexico and always did everything with a smile, covering up the fact that he was always hurting from his illness. Miguel was always joyful because he did what he believed was right and was able to die with a fearless smile on his face when faced with the firing squad, shouting, “Viva Cristo Rey!”
After analyzing Blessed Miguel Pro, it is hard to say that the effort that we put to fight for life is enough. Though our circumstances are very different from Miguel Pro’s, we can still use him as an example of someone who embraced his personal cross and spread the faith even though it led him to his death. He saw the evil corruption in the Mexican government and chose to fight it in the best way he knew possible. Through his great pain and suffering, he defended not only the Church, but human life. He did not fight the threat physically, but fought it through the way Christ taught. In this same way, we must also fight the evils that are a threat to life in the ways we know best, through prayer, a steadfast heart, and the spreading of the faith. With our support and participation in the pro-life movement, we will help show people that it is not the norm to disregard life even if it is a small baby who does not have a voice of his own.
Once reviewing the works of the saints, it is easy to pick up on the inspiring and uplifting tone of their actions. They give us great examples to follow and to help guide us when we strive to carry our crosses when we stand up against the evils that attack the right to life. In this world where the value of the family and life is diminishing, it is hard to know what we can do to change this “normal state of thinking.” Many people fall into this state of thinking. All we have to do is educate ourselves so we can help them understand that all life is sacred. By briefly looking through Scripture, at the saints, or at the teachers of the Church, you can find that all we have to do is use our voice. Through the wonderful life God has given us and the example the saints left us, we can find hope and encouragement to help preserve and support others.
© 2018 Nathaniel Bryant. Published with permission.