A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Pumpkins and Pro-Life

Posted on: October 24, 2013

I loved Halloween as a child, both the trick-or-treating and costume creation. But my family didn’t really decorate for Halloween, and it isn’t my thing now. I won’t be transforming our front lawn into a graveyard. At Christmas, my decorations will be up for a month, but at Halloween, the window clings and other items tend to go up just a day or two in advance and come down early on November 1st.

And I can’t say I’m keen on carving pumpkins either. Probably because the pulp feels slimy as I scoop it out. I’d honestly rather enjoy homemade pumpkin pie. But since it’s something my son and I do together, and my son’s braces mean all the good stuff is off-limits (no chewy or sticky candy or corn chips for him) and the thrill of trick-or-treating is gone, we’ll be carving a pumpkin in the next few days.

pumpkin drinking apple juice

Our pumpkin enjoying some apple juice

Usually we brainstorm ideas while I create a lid and hollow out the pumpkin. The past couple of years, we’ve had a horror-film theme going. In 2011, our pumpkin “vomited” pumpkin pulp into a bowl. Last year, our pumpkin used an apple as a juice box (shades of the Calvin & Hobbes snowman comic strip where a snowman uses an ice cream scoop on another snowman).

I know some Christians choose not to mark Halloween. But if you do find yourself carving a pumpkin, I’d like to suggest a wonderful idea I saw in the October issue of Catholic Digest: a pro-life pumpkin.

On its website, the American Life League offers pro-life stencils for pumpkin carving, including a silhouette of a baby sucking his or her thumb.

pro-life pumpkin

Pro-life pumpkin design from the American Life League’s website (http://www.all.org/plpumpkin)

Something as simple as this can be a kind of peaceful witness to our support for the pro-life movement, just as participating in a prayer vigil at an abortion facility is. And as Campaign Life Coalition’s 40 Days for Life page tells us, peaceful witness has been effective in the pro-life cause:

40 Days For Life has succeeded in shutting down 39 abortion facilities, and has documented saving at least 7,536 babies. In addition to the babies, 83 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry and thousands of women have been spared the suffering and trauma that comes with the decision to abort one’s own child.

With the 40 Days for Life campaign drawing to a close in just over a week, I pray that we would show our support for life, whether by saying a rosary for life or peacefully witnessing to our pro-life beliefs in some way. Even if it’s as simple as using a pro-life pumpkin design.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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