Many Catholics have begun to recognize the Feast of the Visitation (May 31st) as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the lives of children in their mothers' womb. The opening chapter of Luke's Gospel paints a lovely picture of Jesus' and John the Baptist's first encounter with each other months before either child had seen the light of day (Lk. 1:41). No other scriptural evidence would be necessary to justify the Church's prolife position for the last two thousand years, Nancy Pelosi's opinion notwithstanding.
I wonder though how many people who have prolife beliefs pay much attention to the two verses preceeding the verse cited above which say, "In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country to a city in Judah and she entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. (Lk. 1:39-40)" Before the cousins could meet, the mothers had to greet each other. Mary had to get up, get dressed, pack her bags and embark on a journey which would not have been easy or comfortable. She had to put herself out a bit in order to go to Elizabeth and help her for three months. And she went "in haste." That is, she made it a priority.
Mary could have easily thought something along the lines of "I was just visited by Gabriel and now I am the Mother of God and I need some space, some time to process, some time to myself." Or "Elizabeth has a husband and I don't at the moment so I have problems of my own. I need to concentrate on what's going on here." Or "I am God's Mother. She should come to me." I myself would have thought of all those reasons or excuses and many many more.
My point is this: Prolifers can rightfully recognize the Visitation as a celebration of preborn life as well as a reminder that all parents need help. Help in the form of prayer, of course, but also in the form of physical, financial, psychological and political support. The latest polls show 61% of USA citizens are prolife. Wonderful! Then there is no reason why pregnancy crises centers should have to beg for money to keep their doors open or purchase ultrasound equipment. There is no reason why 40 Days for Life or Priests for Life or similar organizations should have to beg for volunteers every year.
Those of us who claim to be prolife need to follow our Blessed Mother's example and proceed "in haste" to help the parents who are pregnant in any way we can. Today.