Pro-life advocates are called to spend their lives working to save others who may not grasp their own worth as children of God, a popular evangelist told the crowd gathered at the March for Life’s annual gala.
Father Mike Schmitz spoke of his grandmother, who walked away from her longtime career in nursing because she was tasked with facilitating abortion.
Speaking of drawing a line based on one’s convictions and working to serve and save others no matter their situation, Schmitz said his grandmother had “wasted her life” for people who didn’t have any idea how much they were worth.
“But that's what we're all called to,” the priest said. “That's literally what we're called to. At some point, we're called to say, ‘This is the spot, this is the place.’”
Schmitz, a priest of the Diocese of Duluth, MN, and host of the popular The Bible in a Year podcast, gave the keynote address for the March for Life Rose Dinner Gala Jan. 21 following the 49th annual March for Life in Washington D.C.
Pro-life advocates assembled in Washington D.C. for the 2022 March in the days leading up to the Jan. 22 anniversary, following limited gathering with pro-life leaders last year due to coronavirus response. The March had grown to hundreds of thousands in attendance in recent years, and one estimate had the 2022 gathering between 100,000-150,000.
The Rose Dinner Gala is a fundraiser for the March for Life, which has been growing to include marches in other states on different dates. Along with Schmitz as keynote, Duck Dynasty star Lisa Robertson offered remarks, actor and pro-life advocate Kirk Cameron spoke as well, and former NFL player and pro-life advocate Benjamin Watson was MC for the evening.
“I'm in a room right now of people who wasted their lives for the cause of life,” Schmitz said, “have wasted their lives for people who don't even know how much they're worth.”
Schmitz said he could imagine that in some ways that many in attendance, despite the hope on the horizon for the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade, may be tired and ask how many more lives would be lost to abortion.
Drawing from scripture where David stood his ground against the Philistines when everyone else ran away, Schmitz pondered how often it breaks one’s heart when fellow Christians abandon the cause of life.
When everyone else ran away David remained, stood his ground against the Philistines, and fighting alone and tired, he didn't stop, the priest said, and even though David was fighting alone, the Lord brought about a great victory.
Schmitz continued with examples from the Bible and the lives of the saints to illustrate the necessity for pro-life advocates to sacrifice for others no matter whether they grasp their human worth.
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“If you don't waste your life here, no one will,” said Schmitz. “If you don't waste your life and spend it right here for people who do not even know how much they're worth, no one will, but you have to be willing to waste it. You have to be willing to lose it.”
Schmitz also drew a parallel between fighting for unborn life and Christ dying to save humankind.
“And that's why we're here tonight,” he said. “I think we're here to waste our lives.”
“I think we're here because we realize that in this world, there is a battle that needs to be fought,” Schmitz continued. “And even if everyone else is running away, you can't …”
“And even if it feels like it's an uphill battle and you're so tired,” he added, “realize these people who stand against life, they're not our enemies. They just have no idea how much they're worth.”
Schmitz said he believes that small lives are lived by people who cling to things and ordinary lives are lived by people who waste life in little ways.
“But extraordinary lives,” Schmitz said, “heroic lives are lived by people who say, ‘here, this place, this moment, this is where I'll take my stand. This is where I will pour myself out. This is where I will spend my life.’”
“Not a wasted life,” Schmitz said, “a life spent, not a wasted life. A life spent on those who might not have any idea how much they're worth.”
Schmitz had addressed the March for Life rally that afternoon as well, offering the message that every person matters.