Well, it’s done. The RH Bill has passed in the Philippines. Now the real work begins. Some thoughts on this dreary Monday afternoon, as I ponder what my fellow Catholics and Filipino friends and family are facing:

I’ve been thinking of everything I’ve done for the pro-life cause, but especially the last two years that I’ve been involved with Filipinos for Life — how much I poured my heart and soul into it…. and the fact that I didn’t make that much of a difference. I don’t say this to ask for reassurance or praise… the results have been depressing but I am trying to be as clear-headed about this as possible.

Last I looked, known abortion proponents are still out there referring women to underground abortionists. Girls are still able to procure illegal abortifacients via unscrupulous individuals on topix.com — they’re just a phone call away. The bill got passed — despite opposition from priests, bishops, nuns, the laity. In the coming months there will be more international conferences, and the same-old-same-old pro-abortion, pro-divorce, pro-same-sex-marriage people will be involved. The divorce bill is next. [Collective sigh from all faithful Catholics.]

I’m not dismissing the work that pro-lifers have done and will doubtless keep on doing. But I don’t know if my role will necessarily be the same. I’ll always be pro-life and I’ll always do what I can do, but as I take some time this Advent to quiet my heart in anticipation of His coming, I am discerning the call to focus on my primary vocation: be the best wife and mom I could possibly be, simply live an authentic Christian/Catholic life, and spread the “gospel” of homeschooling wherever and whenever I can. A few years ago as I lamented to a friend that our pro-life efforts seem to be so fruitless at times, she wisely advised, “Just be what you are. Your presence and witness — your life — will be what changes lives.” Today, that advice is echoing loudly in my soul. My fellow homeschooling friends know homeschooling is very much a part of “the movement”… that’s where the roots of cultural change need to be. And repeatedly I am seeing that that’s where I’m most needed and where I can touch lives the most. (Interestingly enough, I see a Freethinkers post on homeschooling that’s very much on the mark: http://filipinofreethinkers.org/2012/04/16/demystifying-homeschooling/; you’ll have to copy-paste. Color me pleasantly surprised.)

We always say, we’re here to plant seeds, and we may never see the fruits — not in our lifetime anyway. But at the same time the fruits are all I have to go by at this point, when I have to make decisions. I keep coming back to this: that we are called to New Evangelization, especially in this Year of Faith…. but for a while now I’ve known, like many others have recognized for a while, that politics is not the answer and never will be. Like many Catholic homeschoolers, I have long lost faith in manmade institutions. Too often our trust has been misplaced. And while we are called to be active participants in the public square, it is always helpful to remember that we are called to be in the world but not of the world.

So how do we build a culture of life, even as we live within a culture of death? A list, and then some, in the next post.