It is better to die than to live. There is some truth to this statement, in the sense that our heavenly life will be better than our earthly one. But our culture's infatuation with death does not seem to be motivated by a longing for union with God. Instead, death is seen as an escape from the excruciation of life, whether into bliss or nothingness.
The crux of the problem with the culture of death mindset is that suffering has been deemed to outweigh the joys life has to offer; life in and of itself isn't good enough to surmount poverty, disability, illness, or loneliness. Therefore, many people rationalize their choice to abort or euthanize: it is the loving and merciful thing to do because death is better than being poor, being disabled, being sick, or being lonely. It is better to die than to suffer.
But can we really put a quantitative value on one life experience and weigh it against another? An hour of tears versus a minute of laughter, blindness versus warmth, confinement versus imagination, a handicap versus a hug...? I do not think the suffering in each case outweighs the joy because there is such an inestimable abundance of goodness in even the most mundane things in life. If people saw life for the astounding gift that it is, they would realize that love is greater than death. Love wins, hands down, every single time.
The culture of death has lost sight of the profound goodness and beauty inherent in each human life, regardless of condition. If we really stop and think about the miracle of our existence, it's easy to be overwhelmed by how full-to-bursting this life is with glory: the colours of a sunset, the sound of music, the smell of vegetation, the refreshment of water, a loved one's embrace...
Can you feel the weight of it all?
Just to exist. How wonderful!
And yet there is suffering in this life—agony, torment, pain—suffering for which there is no satisfactory explanation. We must look to the Cross to find that suffering can be answered only by the compassion of another, by an enduring love that does not seek to eliminate the sufferer, but to restore him or her to fullness of life.
To be pro-life is to know that love triumphs over suffering and death. With our own appreciation of the staggering goodness, beauty, joy, and glory of this life, we need to share with our culture that it is better to live.
Walking on Crossroads has rekindled my appreciation for life, through the beauty of my surroundings, the simple pleasures of exercising, eating and sleeping, and especially through the people I see at Mass and those who have hosted us in their homes. All I can do is thank Life Himself that despite the culture's current captivation with death, love has already won.
- Amy MacInnis