Building the culture of life

Column: Public prayer at abortion clinics gives heroic witness

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

by Ron Kelsey

Although we are making some marginal progress in changing our culture of death and darkness into a culture of life and light, much remains to be done.

I believe that one of the most important things that we can do to positively change our culture is to be more actively engaged as witnesses in the broad grassroots pro-life movement.

Remember that a martyr is a witness — a witness who has stood for the truth and has given himself sacrificially for the benefit of others. A martyr is counter-cultural, and thus requires great courage in order to stand in opposition to prevailing soci- etal attitudes and values.

We are all called to be martyrs — witnesses — to the value and dignity of human beings. I am not stating that we must be martyrs who suffer being put to death: rather, we must generously give of ourselves, our witness, in the battle for life. We should be actively involved in building a culture of life as our state in life affords us. We need to be a pro-life witness to our family and friends and circles of influences. This will not always be easy. We need to be will- ing to stand for the truth and be willing to suffer the loss of human esteem or being liked by others.

So, what does this pro-life witness look like? It can involve many, many activities as we serve others in their various needs from conception to natural death. In addition to these important activities, I want to emphasize the special need that the unborn place upon our consciences. The unprecedented scale in human history of the worldwide attack on the un- born demands our attention. We must stand in witness for the unborn in far greater numbers.

And one exceptional way to do so is to give public witness to the abortions that are occurring in our very communities. Standing and praying at abortion clinics is a powerful way to give this public witness. Your silent witness may help someone choose life rather than abortion for their child.

I have spoken with many who have a very mistaken view of giving witness at an abortion clinic. Many have visions of radical protesters at abortion clinics. Yet, the opposite is true. Praying on the sidewalk is a very peaceful activity. Sadly, while thousands of babies are killed each year at the Kansas City area abortion clinics, there are relatively few who stand in prayer and give witness to the horrific activity that is taking place in our community.

I would like to challenge you to take 15 minutes to go and pray at an abortion clinic. Be a light in the darkness. Be a witness, a martyr, for life.

About the author

Ron Kelsey

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