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Some thoughts about human life

Last week, my beautiful wife, Makayla, and I looked upon the angelic face of our precious daughter, Julia Rose Venzor, for the first time.

I’ve sat staring at my computer for a good 20 minutes trying to figure out what else I should say besides this. I’ve developed several different openings or themes for my column, but nothing has taken root. So, instead, you’re getting my scattered and selected thoughts about the gift of human life… and a cute picture of my beautiful little girl!

Undeserved Gift. Julia is my fifth child. In these first few days of her life outside the womb, I’ve had a keen sense that I am wholly undeserving of someone so beautiful and tender. I’ve done nothing to merit her. Yet, God has given her to me.

This experience makes me think of the countless ways I neglect the “gift” of human life. Too often I neglect to love those around me—particularly those closest to me or those most vulnerable and in need—because I don’t see them as the “gift” that God has placed in my life. Too often, I see other human beings as burdens or obstacles to my selfish desires, needs, or ambitions.

Compare these two attitudes toward human life. Which way of living brings you more joy? For me, the answer is easy: it is when, by God’s grace, I see life as a gift entrusted to me in and for love.

Unique and Unrepeatable. When Julia was born, she looked nearly identical to her older sister, Claire. Yet, in the days since Julia’s birth, I’ve begun to see the physical differences between her and Claire. These differences are reminders of the uniqueness of each human person. The diversity of creation is fascinating, and it magnifies the power of the Creator.

It also makes me recall the words of St. John Henry Newman: “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another…. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.”

Why We Celebrate! Julia’s life has been a reminder about why we celebrate the gift of human life. Regardless of the difficulties and crosses of life, regardless of the negative ways we feel or think about ourselves, we are precious in the eyes of God. We must be a people who celebrates being precious in the eyes of God. We should cultivate an ethos of celebration. The most joyful people I’ve encountered are those who are quick and constant in celebrating life as a gift from God.

Speaking of celebration, you should celebrate the gift of life with us at the annual Bishops’ Pro-Life Banquet & Conference (register at on Oct. 6-7 in Lincoln. By helping us celebrate, we can build up our work of safeguarding human life.

Moms are Awesome. Watching Makayla’s joys and sufferings to bring a child to life is humbling. Moms are in a league of their own. This is why we need to promote and cultivate a culture that has a deep respect for mothers, especially those in vulnerable and difficult pregnancies or situations.

In a post-Roe world, the Church has a special call to walk with moms. First of all, they themselves deserve it. But also, we owe a special reverence and duty to their labor of love to bring more gifts of life into this world.

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