A Culture of Life through healing and transformation

I am standing in a meadow. I see pure white snow capping the mountains, while trickling water slowly fills a nearby stream. As my eyes follow the stream to see where it leads, I see her. She’s fourteen years old now. She’s resting on the bank, and when she turns to me, her smile is unburdened, her brown eyes carefree. She blooms under spring’s warming sun. I hurry toward her, every step more urgent than the last, and fall to my knees beside her. I draw her into my arms.

How I longed for this all those years ago! To hold her, love her, and protect her. The last time I saw her, I was nineteen and she was a baby in the womb of someone dear to me. 

I feel anger and regret, like weeds, growing in my heart. Then I hear someone calling out to us as if from above. I recognize His deep, tender voice. While still holding her in my arms, I look up. He is standing next to us, gently holding a little boy’s hand.

My son. He is four now. I pull him into my arms, his head against my chest, just like the last time I held him. As I hold them both closely, I feel peace settle over my heart, taking the place of the anger and regret. I hold them for what feels like eternity. Is this heaven? Then He speaks again: “Do you trust me?” I sense fear now growing in my heart. I gaze upon His face for some time. “Yes, I trust you,” I reply. “It is time, then,” He says. The children stand and walk over to Him, each of them holding onto one of His hands. What a divine picture they make . . .

The meadow becomes desert sand and the snowcapped mountains the Sandias. I am back home. The vision fades, but my heart still glows from the holy moment . . .

When I reflect on what I see in this vision and what it could mean, I realize that to move forward in creating a culture that helps mothers and fathers embrace life for their children, it starts with my own healing. 

Then a new vision appears to me. I see a young woman lying nervously on an exam table. She’s just starting college and unexpectedly pregnant. Fear, insecurity, and desperation swirl around her like a dark cloud. A nurse smiles reverently while placing an ultrasound probe on her imperceptible bump. On the screen the young woman sees a little bean: her baby. And then she hears it . . . thump thump, thump thump. The tiny beats tug at her heartstrings. The young woman’s mom squeezes her daughter’s hand.

Several years down the road, the young woman sits in reverent silence with her husband and loved ones. She is happily married now, but a difficult pregnancy has ended in the unexpected delivery of her son at twenty weeks. Today, the baby boy is being welcomed into heaven. At the memorial service, every pew is filled, his short life imprinted on the world.

As more years pass, the young woman’s family grows—thriving despite their struggles. How is this possible?

I see family, friends, neighbors, and many from their Church bringing them meals and taking turns watching their children throughout the years. Their jobs have provided paid leave and accommodating work schedules so the family can thrive in vulnerable times. Out of the abundance that is sacrificially offered them by a loving community, they give back in return. 

It is this vision that inspires the redemptive and transformative work of Project Defending Life, a local pro-life ministry that I am honored to lead. At the center of our mission is a eucharistic chapel, the source of a spiritual outpouring of love on everyone we serve. Our women’s centers strive to be the first place a woman at risk for abortion turns to so that her life and her baby’s are affirmed and dignified through support and care. Our public witness is a peaceful, prayerful presence in the community, especially on the sidewalks in front of abortion facilities. Our hope is to transform minds and save lives by loving our neighbors, born and unborn, as if they are Jesus himself.