End-of-Semester Thoughts

sophie

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe we are reaching the end of another school semester. Consider the following thoughts so that you will stay dedicated in the fight for life, wherever the coming days, weeks, months, and years take you!

You are the change you hope to see in the world

As cliche as it sounds, it is true. The only way that society will be transformed is through your witness to Christ and the truth. As a person made in the image and likeness of God, you have a unique calling that has been placed on your life by God. By embracing that calling and living it out each and every day, you are changing the world!

Faithfulness is essential

Mother Teresa once said, “God does not call us to be successful, He calls us to be faithful.” While it is great to be successful, whether it be in the pro-life movement, or in our personal or professional lives, it is most important to be faithful. Be faithful to God’s call on your life as his disciple. If you are, everything else will fall into place.

Be “All In”

Sophie Scholl, an activist during WWII who was executed for working against the Nazi regime once  said, “How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?”  As harsh as it may sound, we will never build a Culture of Life until every Christian undividedly gives themselves to building this culture. Evil is never eradicated by people fighting with “one foot in and one foot out.” Indeed, for righteousness to prevail, we must be “All In.”

Every Life Is A Gift – A Look at the 2015 March for Life

Theme of 2015 March for Life - MarchforLife.org

Theme of 2015 March for Life – MarchforLife.org

It’s official! The countdown for the 2015 March for Life has begun. It is currently only 72 days until the 41st Annual March for Life.

This year’s theme is “Every Life is a Gift.” According to the March for Life website, “Every Life is a Gift” is the theme because “developing babies who receive a difficult prenatal diagnosis (such as Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13 or 18, Spina Bifida, etc.) have a much smaller chance of being brought to term by their mothers and fathers.” The March for Life Education and Defense Fund’s is hoping to foster a discussion that will “feature leading experts on cutting-edge research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and offer opportunities for a full life and improved support for their families.”

Some of the speakers at this year’s March for Life include:

  • Jeanne Monahan, March for Life Education and Defense Fund
  • Mark Bradford, Jerome LejEune Foundation
  • Chuck Donovan, Charlotte Lozier Institute
  • Dana Hecht, Family Relations Director, Jill’s House
  • Heather Trammel, Down Syndrome Society of Northern Virginia
  • Documentary Preview of “Flashes of Color,” In Altum Productions

Many of the speakers listed above are part of organizations that focus on supporting the families of those with special needs. For example, Chuck Donovan from the Charlotte Lozier Institute will address March for Life attendees. The mission of the Charlotte Lozier Institute is to  “promote deeper public understanding of the value of human life, motherhood, and fatherhood, and to identify policies and practices that will protect life and serve both women’s health and family well-being.”

Bethany Goodman, assistant director of the March for Life recently wrote these thoughts in an op-ed on Breitbart.com, discussing the theme, “Every Life Is  A Gift.”  “Having a disability, or parenting a child with special needs, certainly presents challenges. That should not be white-washed.  But what parent or child is immune to challenges?  Not one!  One mother of a toddler with Down Syndrome recently wrote “There was a time I was very scared to be his mom. For that I will always be sorry. But he’ll also know that even though I was scared, my love for him was stronger than the fear. And that he has brought me nothing but pride and joy.”

Instruments of Healing

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As pro life students leaders, we are not only called to be pro-life apologists but also instruments of healing to those who have experienced abortion.

Be open.

You never know when you will be talking with a women who has been a victim of abortion. Be open to to any place conversation might lead.

Be Sensitive.

When talking with anyone, it is always important that we have the mind and heart of Christ. It is especially important though to be particularly in-tune with God’s mind and heart when speaking with post-abortive women.

Help Her Heal.

Don’t overwhelm her, but, when the time is right, encourage her to take steps to heal. Many, many women have found healing by attending the Rachel’s Vineyard retreat mentioned in the graphic at the beginning of this post. Many women also find healing through prayer, speaking, writing, etc. One of my dear friends wrote this poem as part of her recovery experience.

While reading it, pray for all those who have been hurt by abortion. Pray for their recovery and abundant blessings on their lives.

I will never forget that dark and lonely day,

 it was much too painful for words to say.

 ignorant and scared I couldn’t say no.

The emotions I felt were such a vast array,

 whose was this life I was about to take?

 I put on the gown, I was shivering cold.

 How could this happen? I’m just sixteen years old?

The nurse came and got me, on the table I laid.

 The doctor said the needle may hurt but don’t be afraid.

 I was put to sleep in that cold sterile room,

 so the doctor could tear my babe from my womb.

Into the clinic I was coerced to go,

 It’s not what I wanted “why God, why?”

 How could I believe such an outright lie?

 “It’s not a real life, just some cells and some tissue.”

“It’s not a baby, it’s a woman’s rights issue!”

 During the procedure I didn’t feel a thing.

 Little did I know the pain my decision would bring.

The sedative wore off and I was awake.

 I just killed my baby, a human life I did take!

 How could I face myself after this?

An even greater darkness would now persist.

After I took the life of my child,

 that’s when my life took a downward spiral.

 I didn’t think it could ever get better,

 but God had a plan and that is what mattered!

Beaten and bruised, torn to pieces and battered,

 my old life of sin Jesus Christ shattered.

 Today I am living free from the past.

 Healed and forgiven, God’s given me a task.

To reach out to others who are hurting and lost,

 to tell them what is found at the foot of the cross.

 Hope, joy, and peace for your soul.

 Only God’s love can make you whole.

So ask him right now, before it’s too late.

 Only Christ from you can all your sins take.

 The sin of you past you may never forget.

 But living for God you will never regret!

So, let go and let Him, for He has a plan.

 Then no one can ever pluck you out of his hand!

 In His grip,   ‐Vanessa

Lessons from a Student Leader

With some fellow student leaders and friends at a pro-life retreat my senior year of high school.

With some fellow student leaders and friends at a pro-life retreat my senior year of high school.

Leadership is necessary.

Everywhere in this world, people are looking for an example to follow. You have the unique opportunity to help them in their quest for truth and goodness. There are so many voices and “leaders” in this world competing for our attention. Many times, these voices are not always the best to follow. You have the opportunity to shape impressionable minds using good morals that will help change the destiny of others for the better.

Leadership is not always easy.

We all know the “happy-go-lucky” song, “Follow The Leader.” Little kids sing and dance to it all the time. Even though leadership is a beautiful thing, it would be naive to think it is always easy. Leadership is hard. It is demanding. It is time consuming and it is exhausting. However, leadership done in an honest, Christlike manner is priceless. The world needs people who are willing to sacrifice of their own time in order to sanctify society.

Leadership is for everyone.

Yes, it’s true! All of us our called to be leaders. While are all aren’t called to be a CEO of a company, all of us are called to be leaders in our homes, places of education and places of worship. Some of us are called to lead by example. Others of us are called to lead by our words, verbally inspiring others to greater things. We all have a calling. It is our responsibility to use that calling for the good!

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
― Ronald Reagan

Walking the Walk, Not Just Marching the March

My 1st trip to the March for Life at the ripe old age of 12!

My 1st trip to the March for Life at the ripe old age of 12!

As many will agree, there is nothing in the world like going to our nation’s capital and marching with hundreds of thousands of fellow pro-life warriors. The dynamic passion that is felt during the March for Life builds an unforgettable unity that inspires all in attendance. Also, this event is an incredible witness to the rest of the country, even when the news tries so hard to ignore the truth. While the March for Life is a fantastic and thoroughly irreplaceable event, the struggle for many seems to be in carrying the flame that is ignited at the March for Life back to our churches, communities, and universities.

Like many other things today, the hype over new trends is inevitable. Something really bizarre, wonderful, and sometimes not so wonderful happens and, boom, society is mesmerized for a day, month, or year. The critical issue with the pro-life movement is that our hype needs to live far beyond the March for Life, not just when we are marching with our best friends. First of all, the excitement that is felt during the March is so much more than hype. It is an attitude that is born out of our unwavering conviction and the enthusiasm that comes with knowing and standing for the truth. Second, we need to remember that usually the most challenging thing about being pro-life is taking your convictions home and continuing to act on them when you do not have an army of 600,000 friends at your side.

Let’s face it! It is quite challenging to stand true to one’s convictions when they aren’t popular and when life can be challenging and hard to face anyways. The critical thing to remember is that by your very presence and action in the pro-life movement, you will help save lives and build the Culture of Life in a society that is begging for it. As Christians, we are all called by God our Father to love Him and love our neighbor as ourselves. There is no better way to respond to this calling than by supporting and affirming life wherever possible. Take a minute to do some soul searching and decide where you can dedicate or rededicate yourself to be the witness to Life that you are called to be each and every day. Remember, you have been given the gift of life and it is a beautiful thing to support that gift so that others may receive it as well! See you at the March!

With dear friends at the 2014 March for Life

With dear friends at the 2014 March for Life

Taking Your Pro-Life Convictions to Campus

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Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish philosopher, writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era once said, “Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.” These words can be especially applicable to those of us in the collegiate world. Sometimes we are in such a “supportive” environment that we get lazy in our convictions. Other times, our environment can be so hostile that we are to intimated speak out, even when we should.

As a college student living in a world that can be extremely hostile to pro-life and pro-family issues, it is very easy to leave convictions that we once had at home. Some of us come from communities that were very supportive of our beliefs. There are some important things to keep in mind, so, no matter where you find yourself, you can be steadfast in your beliefs.

Know your beliefs.
If you were approached by a fellow student who had been raped, post abortion, and wanted to question your stance on life issues, would you be able to address her concerns in a loving, Christ-like manner? It can be easy to get lazy when it comes to knowing what we believe and why we believe it.

Put your beliefs into action.
While it is definitely important to vocalize your beliefs, it is even more important to put those beliefs into action. If you have a Students for Life outreach at your college, get involved! If you don’t, get together with some friends and start one together. Set a time when you can do a holy hour for the unborn and/or visit the abortion clinic closest to your school.

Refresh yourself.
Get involved, but don’t get burnt out! It is certainly very important to be involved, but it is equally important to be refreshed and revitalized in our own beliefs and convictions. Take time away from your friends and club responsibilities to pray and refocus your responsibilities and goals. Try to go to Adoration several times a month. Set aside at least one day a week where you can pray and discern the next steps for your club. Leaders deserve “time out” just as much as “regular people,” if not more!

Why Vita Reflections???

Hello Friends!

Thank you for taking a moment out of your busy day to stop by and read a reflection or two!

Because this is my inaugural post, I would like to explain why I chose “Vita Reflections” (vita is Latin for life) as the focus of my blog. There are so many issues in society that impact the sanctity of life in so many ways. I would like to reflect on how these issues impact us and also discuss how we can change the culture for the better.

As a college student, I will be exploring some events that occur on my campus as well as events and issues that occur nationwide.

President Regan once said, “…the real question today is not when human life begins, but, what is the value of human life?” Science has proven that life begins at conception. Mothers should never have to resort to killing their unborn children. Toddlers should never have the possibility of being euthanized. Yet, in today’s society, we encounter these attacks against life every day. It is imperative that we take a stand and act on our convictions. We all have a sphere of influence.

We have the opportunity to influence others for the good, be it at home, school, work, or the communities in which we live.

I hope this blog will encourage and inspire you to become more committed to building a Culture of Life in your little corner of the world!!!

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
~John 10:10

Photo by Viktor Hanacek of Picjumbo, totally free photos for commercial & personal works.

Photo by Viktor Hanacek of Picjumbo, totally free photos for commercial & personal works.