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Column: Pro-life means viewing love through a different lens

CHAD+AUBERT
CHAD AUBERT

CHAD AUBERT

The Maroon

The Maroon

CHAD AUBERT

CHAD AUBERT

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This summer I participated in a pro-life walk across the U.S. with a group called Crossroads. My team and I spent almost three months walking from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., witnessing to the dignity and sanctity of all human life.

At the beginning of the summer, my walk director asked us to write online profiles explaining why we chose to participate in the walk. For my profile, I wrote about how life has value regardless of ability and productivity, and how God loves us and is deeply involved in the intricacies of our daily lives. I could have never known how true these ideas were until I participated in this walk.

Being pro-life took on a completely new meaning for me when I was living with 12 other people in a recreational vehicle, sleeping in a sleeping bag under the stars, constantly having duties to serve my team and individually walking about 10 miles per day. In such busy and cramped living situations, it can become a challenge to live in community and to be a good friend. However, through God’s grace, I became more able to recognize the beauty of my situation.

While being pro-life certainly includes opposition to institutionalized abuses to human life such as abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia, at the heart of the pro-life movement is an understanding of all life as sacred and worthy of dignity and love. One of my greatest challenges this summer was to actually be pro-life in this manner. When I was living in an RV with 12 other people, I had to see all of those people as sacred and worthy of dignity and love. This challenge came into odds with my desires for comfort, quiet and personal space, but through prayer and perseverance, God continued to give me the grace to love my teammates and live peacefully in communion with them. I learned to respond with charity to any annoying occurrence that one or several of my teammates caused over the summer.

The greater challenge, however, was to view myself in a pro-life way. I had to learn to see myself as worthy of dignity and love regardless of how much I could contribute to the team or how little help I needed from others. When I struggled physically, spiritually and emotionally throughout this summer, my teammates were always showing me how much they loved me and pushing me to be better. This kind of love required me to be vulnerable and share my true self with my teammates regardless of how I thought they might react. I had to trust that they would accept me and enter into my life to share all of my joys and sorrows. It took this kind of love to actually bring me the healing and hope I needed to keep going.

While the world around me seems to view love as a sort of freedom-granting apathy where people should simply live their own lives and not worry about other people’s choices, love has required and still requires me to enter into people’s lives so that we can assure each other of our love and push each other to be better when we fall short. Being loving and being pro-life require sacrifice, vulnerability, mercy and, most importantly, grace. This summer has taught me that all life is sacred and loved, including my own, and that love requires me to continue to be involved in the lives of others as a beacon of God’s grace.

Chad Aubert is a religious studies senior and can be reached at [email protected]

In My Opinion is a regular column open to all Loyola students. Those interested can contact [email protected]

Religious studies senior Chad Aubert and (right) fellow Crossroads participant pose in San Francisco. Pro-life individuals walked from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., between May 18 and Aug 9. (COURTESY OF CHAD AUBERT)

Chad Aubert and fellow Crossroads participants pray by a clinic near Kansas City. Crossroads emerged as a response to Pope John Paul II’s plea to youth to actively promote pro-life issues. (COURTESY OF CHAD AUBERT)

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Column: Pro-life means viewing love through a different lens