Much will depend on them if young people, trained in true freedom, are to be able to preserve for themselves and make known to others new, authentic ideals of life.

– Pope John Paul II,
Evangelium vitae

Young people have a unique call in building the culture of life. Their vitality, honesty, and willingness to serve can prove beneficial in a world which seems to be sinking into despair.

A little courage helps too.

Where to begin is the question we must ask ourselves. We are pro-life and we want to make a difference. We want to be real. But how do we transmit these views which we hold so dear to society?

Pope John Paul II presents this notion in Evangelium vitae, or The Gospel of Life. This encyclical letter relates the message that in order to be a light-bearing witness to a world in darkness, young people must train themselves in the true meaning of sexuality and love. We ought to celebrate the virtue of living chaste and pure lives and offer them as models for our peers.

He recognizes that pro-life work, the building of a civilization of truth and love, must embody a self-giving love. This means that in recognizing the intrinsic goodness and beauty of the smallest life – an unborn baby – it would seem senseless not to respond out of love for our fellow human beings.

Young people must form their consciences with regard to the incomparable and inviolable worth of every human life, the pope writes. We must celebrate the service of life with charity being at the core of all we do.

The media is filled with images which cause youth to become desensitized to our sex-saturated society. Even if we hold life to be precious, presenting this message to a culture of death, as the Holy Father calls it, may appear difficult.

Our world teaches young people that freedom is the ability to do whatever we want. You want sex? Use a condom. You don t want to be pregnant anymore? Have an abortion. We are taught to live without thinking of the consequences.

But real freedom is the ability to choose what is right. Everybody wants to be free, especially young people, but when freedom is detached from objective truth, it becomes impossible to establish personal rights on a firm rational basis the pope reminds us.

That means that if our choices aren t based on the acknowledgment of God s laws, which are written on our hearts, we aren t truly free.

Young people need to be an instrument in proclaiming the goodness of every human life. Yet we cannot be empowered to seek the truth and serve life without recognizing our own dignity first. If we hope to build a culture of life, we must convince others that all rights are meaningless if the fundamental right, the right to life, is denied.