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How Advent challenges us to be more pro-life


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Philip Kosloski - published on 12/04/21

Christians during Advent are urged to protect all life in the womb, especially from the horror of abortion.

Advent is a rich liturgical season designed to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. While there are many spiritual themes that run through Advent, one of the most powerful is the challenge to protect all unborn human life.

The Vatican’s Directory on popular piety and the liturgy specifically states this pro-life “spirit of Advent.”

The expectation of the Lord’s birth makes us sensitive to the value of life and the duties to respect and defend it from conception. 

Pope Benedict XVI made this connection explicit in 2010 with the annual recitation of Vespers on the first Sunday of Advent, marking it as “pro-life vigil.”

The Church continually reasserts what the Second Vatican Council declared against abortion and against every violation of unborn life: “from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care” (ibid., n. 51).

Cultural trends exist that seek to anaesthetize consciences with spurious arguments. With regard to the embryo in the mother’s womb, science itself highlights its autonomy, its capacity for interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism.

It is not an accumulation of biological material but rather of a new living being, dynamic and marvelously ordered, a new individual of the human species. This is what Jesus was in Mary’s womb; this is what we all were in our mother’s womb. 

Pope Benedict XVI urged all political leaders to do what they could to protect all human life and entrusted this task to the Virgin Mary.

I urge politicians, leaders of the economy and of social communications to do everything in their power to promote a culture ever respectful of human life, to obtain favourable conditions and support networks for the acceptance and development of life.

Let us entrust our prayers and our commitment to unborn life to the Virgin Mary, who welcomed the Son of God made man with her faith, with her maternal womb, with her attentive care, with her nurturing support, vibrant with love.

Advent is a beautiful season and it is one where we are challenged to evaluate our efforts to protect all life in the womb, as St. Joseph protected the Savior of the world in Mary’s womb.

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