The Word: Of love and revolution

Published 10:30 am Friday, February 9, 2024

If you search the internet for Lila Rose, you will see immediately that she is a lot of things that a lot of us would like to be. She’s young, successful, and even a little famous. If you keep scrolling, though, you’ll see that something sets her apart from the myriad of her fellow millennials: she is also one of the leading pro-life activists of our time.

There is a quote from Lila Rose that I really like: “I believe that in a world so often restless and cynical, saying yes to romance, to love, to the everyday tasks of marriage and family is its own quiet revolution. Defying the forces of evil, one man and one woman making a little home where vulnerability, tenderness, and laughter can thrive is a subversive act.”

A subversive act is one which “undermines the power of an established system or institution.” When we look around at our troubled world, we are tempted to say that to go against our current system is not a bad thing.

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How could saying “yes” to love and romance be a subversive act, though? Today, “free love” is almost universally accepted. Anyone can do anything they want, and sleep with anyone they want. When people say “love” nowadays, they often refer to a feeling that is exciting, free from constraint and commitment, free from sacrifice and responsibility. That is not the “revolutionary” love that Lila is talking about. Rather, she refers to a love proven by fruitfulness and faithfulness. Saying “yes” to life, to all life, even to the possibility of life, is not only the signpost of the sacrifice that makes love true, but also completely goes against the message we have been fed by the “established system” in America today. In that way, saying “yes” to love and family is a subversive act!

“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).” Parents do indeed “lay down their lives” for their children, in the perpetual giving of self, the perpetual duties and expenses that consume their lives once children have entered the stage. These sacrifices are directly opposed to the spirit that motivates couples to use abortion and contraceptives. 

These measures seek to separate consequence from action and to enable parents to abdicate responsibility. Being responsible means to accept being in charge of something, to take ownership of our actions. Contraceptives, far from being the “magic” alternative to abortion, actually sterilize love and render it a mere physical pleasure, instead of the fruitful union designed by God to give life.

Lila wrote, “Heroism is grounded in self-sacrificing love. Instead of taking life or leaving those in danger to suffer alone, heroes offer up their lives for others, even to the point of death.” Subversive indeed.

Br. Maximilian Watner is on the staff at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Buckingham County. He can be reached at