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Living out your faith begins at home

Father Paul Rutten.
by Rev. Paul Rutten/Director, Diocesan Office of Vocations - 10/3/2011
At weddings a series of questions are asked of the couple before they exchange their vows. The last question asked is, “Will you accept children lovingly from God, and raise them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?” From the beginning, God has invited couples to be open to new life through their mutual love for each other.

Within the vocation of marriage is this call from God for most to bring children into the world. A couple should understand that God desires to work through them as co-creators in bringing about new life. Today this understanding is under constant attack from the scientific and secular communities, who see children, not as gifts from God, but as something a person acquires through whatever means necessary.

A question every married couple must pray about is whether or not God is asking them to cooperate with Him in bringing about new life. It is through a prayerful relationship with God that a couple is able to see and accept a child as a gift or to bear the hardship of not being able to conceive a child of their own and subsequently being open to the possibility of adoption.

October is Respect Life Month and so we are reminded of the gift of every life from conception to natural death. We must continue to work to promote and uphold the dignity of all life so that no person’s life is ever terminated or disregarded. In honor of the life of my mother, Monica, I will be running the half marathon portion of the Kansas City Marathon on October 15, which happens to be her birthday.

The group I will run with is called LIFE Runners, and each year they collectively run a major race to promote life, offer prayers for an end to abortion and raise money for pro-life institutions in need.

You see I realized a few years ago that I am at the beginning of a unique group that continues to gain new members each day. I was conceived sometime shortly after the landmark Roe v Wade case, which legalized abortion. I can say that I am one of the first to survive and I do not say that lightly. Not, that I ever once thought my life would have been ended through abortion, but I know there are others who were not so lucky. Others, who because of particular situations and fears had their lives taken through abortion.

I often wonder if we as a group function out of a survivors mentality; wondering why our lives were spared while countless others did not make it. Is that why we as a group are so pro-life, because we know we lost classmates and friends, brothers and sisters, neighbors and strangers to abortion and we will not let it be in vain?

I also realize there are many who are suffering the effects of abortion because they believed the experts; they were told it would make their lives better; it was the only option if they wanted a normal life; it was just tissue and would be over shortly. To those of you suffering from the unspoken sadness and hurt I encourage you to seek reconciliation with God and begin the process of healing. Project Rachel is a great program in our Diocese to help begin this process.

I am eternally grateful for the gift of life my parents gave me and my eight brothers and sisters. Their witness to us of the generous gift of life brought forth in marriage has left a profound impact on each of us and in turn the world around us. So I will run on October 15th along with hundreds of others to remind the world that the unborn will not be forgotten; that the sacrifice of their lives will not be in vain, but that we will run until that day when every life is seen as a gift from God.