The culture of death offers no hope for a future. It offers only darkness, desolation, and a finite reality. Suffering is seen as pointless, cruel, and without value. It is only when we recognize God’s gift of eternal life as the world beyond the threshold of death that we are able to bear our sufferings and let them mold us into the saints and heroes that God created us to be.
Blessed Chiara Luce Badano was a joyful, young Italian girl who bravely battled a painful bone cancer. Until her death, Blessed Chiara encouraged her friends to trust in God, even in times of great pain and suffering. Chiara embraced her sickness, knowing that it was only through God’s will that she was suffering. She used her remaining time on earth well, encouraging those around her, especially her friends in the Focolare Movement. She said, “I would like to pass on the torch as at the Olympics, because we only have one life and it’s worth living it well.”
Proponents of euthanasia would argue that Chiara Luce should have been given the choice of euthanasia in order to save herself from her suffering. But death is not compassionate care. Chiara was able to see the value in her suffering by uniting herself to Christ on the cross.
Suffering can be extremely difficult, but through the grace of God we can overcome our trials and use our pain to bring ourselves closer to Jesus. Blessed Chiara’s story of courageous suffering gives us hope in our daily trials. We must share stories like hers with our children and students to help them have a better understanding of suffering and how we are each supposed to carry our crosses.
Our high school lesson entitled Embracing a Culture of Life: Blessed Chiara Luce Badano teaches students how to articulate the purpose and merit of suffering in a world that rejects human suffering and embraces euthanasia.
High school students need heroic examples of how to live out the pro-life message. Introduce students to the life of this extraordinary young woman with this lesson.
Laura Kizior is the Digital Media and Communciations Manager for the Culture of Life Studies Program. Her work has appeared on Verily.com, CatholicMom.com, LifeSiteNews.com, Celebrate Life Magazine, TeachersSavingChildren.org, and in the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance newsletter.