Persistence, Progress, and Hope: Lessons from Overturning Roe v. Wade

It is difficult to describe the seismic shift that has occurred with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Because of this Supreme Court decision, each state will be able to vote on its own abortion laws. Now, millions of unborn children will have a greater chance to avoid being murdered in the womb.

And while I have written already about how we have to keep moving forward to change hearts and create a Culture of Life, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at what lessons we can learn from the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The three most important takeaways for us are in the areas of Persistence, Progress, and Hope.


A consistent spiritual lesson that Christ gave us what to be persistent in our prayers. He said:

“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:2-8)

In another place, He said:

And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. (Luke 11:5-13)

In both cases, the person representing the Christian has a request that is not met right away. The lesson is that we should not be discouraged, but persist all the more.

Why would God make us wait? The people who are being petitioned in the parables are selfish, but Our Lord is not.
If He has the power to answer right away, why does He not?

Part of the reason may be that we must become people who are dedicated to the request.

On of my favorite martial arts movies is a film called Shaolin Temple (although it has other names). In this movie, people who want to enter the Temple and learn Kung Fu must kneel outside the gates for days without food, water, or sleep. Very few people persist to the point where they are called in. This is not a simple matter of hazing. The purpose was to reveal, even to the person kneeling, how dedicated he was to his request.

For nearly half a century, we have been praying for the overturning of Roe. And our persistence has transformed us into a people dedicated to a Culture of Life. Those of you who are parents know what it is for your child to come to you and beg for the latest video game or to go the concert of the latest trendy musical act. In these cases, the child may request with great fervor. But you know how often a new obsession will come along, leaving behind the old ones.

Would we do this with our prayers for overturning Roe? Our persistence changed us. The persistence made us more dedicated.


One of the lies of the modern wold is the myth of progress. There is a prevailing feeling that society is moving in one single direction and it is one that some call progress, but other see as the degradation of humanity.

As a high school theology teacher, I can tell you that this is often how it feels. Standing against all of the toxicity of modern culture feelings like standing knee-deep in the surf trying to hold back the tide. JRR Tolkien thought of human history as a long defeat (ending in final victory).

But the idea that society is only going in one that I think we’ve picked up from Darwin. On his view, that which comes next is better than what has come before. Of course, great thinkers like Aristotle did not agree. For Aristotle, a thing is best when it acts in accord with its nature. Just because humanity is breaking new barriers, particularly in areas of sexuality and the family, it does not mean that it is progressing towards the good.

CS Lewis famously wrote in Mere Christianity, “We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

In other words, if we are progressing towards what is best, then this may mean a return to truths that may have been abandoned. In the case of overturning Roe, the idea that progress inevitable and irrevocably moves in one direction is a lie.


But probably the most important thing that overturning Roe has reminded us of is the virtue of hope.

I will be honest, there were times when I felt like the fight to overturn Roe was futile and that Pro-lifers were taking our last stand at the Alamo. On the day that Roe was overturned, there were tears in my eyes. I kept wondering if this was real. I remembered the Scripture:

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy. (Psalm 126: 1-4)

But the overturning of Roe should remind us that there is nothing in the world that is beyond the power of God. If I asked you to tell me what was wrong with the world today, I’m sure you could write a book.

And yet all of these problems can be overcome by the power of God. Hope is a powerful thing. And to forces of darkness, it is dangerous.

Hope can sustain us in times when all seems despairing and dark.

Hope reminds us that tomorrow can be better and not worse.

Hope makes life that much more worth living.

Hope is a fire that can push us forward.

And this hope will lead us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to renew the face of the Earth.

Copyright 2022, WL Grayson

W.L. Grayson

W.L. Grayson

I am a devoutly Catholic theology teacher who loves a popular culture that often, quite frankly, hates me. I grew up absorbing every movie, TV show, comic book, science fiction novel, etc. I could find. As of today I’ve watched over 2100 movies and tv shows. They take up a huge part of my life. I don’t know that this is a good thing, but it has given me a common vocabulary to draw from in order to illustrate whatever theological point I make in class. I’ve used American Pie the song to explain the Book of Revelation (I’ll post on this some time later) and American Pie the movie to help explain Eucharist (don’t ask). The point is that the popular culture is popular for a reason. It is woven into the fabric of our lives and imaginations, for good or ill. In this blog I will attempt to bring together the things of heaven with the things of earth. Of course this goal may be too lofty for someone like me.

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