The recent meeting between a beloved pro-life leader and President Trump did not make national headlines, but his story of love and hope is one we cannot ignore.
On July 9, Verástegui and some other leaders in the Spanish-speaking community visited President Trump at the White House to discuss a new executive order—the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. The mission of this Initiative is to “improve access by Hispanic Americans to educational and economic opportunities.” Among other things, this Initiative will “identify and promote educational and workforce development practices that have improved educational, professional, and economic outcomes for Hispanic Americans . . . [and] encourage private-sector initiatives and foster public-private partnerships that improve access to educational and economic opportunities for Hispanic Americans.”
It’s a beautiful Initiative that will hopefully help thousands of people.
At this meeting, Verástegui presented President Trump with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe “because not only is she the icon of the pro-life movement, but at the same time she is the symbol of unity and racial healing,” he stated.
The pregnant image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is indeed a beautiful symbol of pro-life unity and love, and countless mothers have prayed novenas to her for a safe pregnancy and delivery. When we are experiencing difficult times, we can always go to Mary, our mother. It was a loving gesture for Verástegui to present her image to our nation’s president to offer her help as our country experiences upheaval and strife.
“Do you really love God?”
When Verástegui was “discovered” and began his new life as an actor, he spoke only Spanish and had to learn English. At the time, though he had been brought up Catholic, he was not practicing his faith. Over the course of several months, his English teacher discussed faith with him and one day finally asked: “‘Do you really love God, Eduardo? Then why do you offend Him in the way you live your life?’ After this, [Verástegui] broke down, and . . . cried like a baby for hours.”
We should ask ourselves those same questions every day. “Do I really love God? Then why do I offend Him with the way I live my life?”
We all offend God, even if just in small ways. Someone once told me that every sin is like another nail in Christ’s hands or feet. What a disturbing thought! But when we think of our sins as nails tearing through Christ’s flesh, it’s easy to want to stop sinning!
Introspection and action are integral if we want to attain eternal life with God. We cannot get into heaven by just not doing wrong. That is part of it, sure. But we also must do good for others.
Eduardo once said in an interview: “The reality is, you’re born and you die and what matters is what you do in between. I want to make sure that in my in between, I do the right thing.”
Doing the right thing “in between” is something we must reflect on every day. Everything we do to hurt someone else also hurts Christ. But if our sins add another nail to Christ’s flesh, maybe the good things we do take a nail from Him.
So let us start making changes in our lives by increasing our prayer lives. Pray for the ability to avoid sin. Pray for patience and the ability to treat others kindly. Pray to discern how to do good for others. Pray to thank God for all the blessings in your life.
And when you pray, ask for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the mother who loves us more than we’ll ever know and who wants to not only unite us with our fellow man, but with her Son as well.
To learn more about Eduardo, see CLM‘s articles “Eduardo Verástegui and ‘Bella’” and “Eduardo Verástegui: Extraordinary Actor, Extraordinary Activist.”