Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.In its theological sense, its deepest sense, to love means to desire and choose the good (God) for another in every situation, and no matter what the sacrifice.
Being pro-life is tantamount to loving life with this profound and sacred love, desiring and choosing the good for life in every circumstance, every situation, no matter how difficult, no matter how much suffering we must endure, how much of ourselves we must sacrifice. Life is given from the outpouring of God's super-abundant love, and therefore the right response to the divine gift of life is to love life with divine love.
This meaning of pro-life is missing from much of our discourse over the "life issues," where being pro-life is equated with having a life-affirming stance on those issues. Here one is pro-life or not pro-life, or perhaps pro-life on some issues but not on others. However, if being pro-life has to do with loving life, then being pro-life is not merely something we are or are not, it is something we can be abundantly, mildly, poorly, strongly, fiercely, etc. We are pro-life to the extent that we love life. Our being pro-life can grow and diminish. Our stances on "life issues" ought to flow from our love of life.
A real measure of our love is displayed when loving is most difficult, when we are faced with choosing to love the unlovable. An accurate measure of our being pro-life is thus revealed when we are faced with loving a life that is a burden or cause of grave suffering or a life that bends its energies on the destruction of the life we love. If we want to assess whether we are truly pro-life, we may look to whether we love the life of our enemies--those who burden, inconvenience, or are hostile to us--and ask ourselves, do we desire and choose the good for their life, even when we have to sacrifice and suffer?
Looking introspectively, I may be rated a 100% on some pro-life assessment tests because my stances on the life issues correspond with the official planks of the pro-life platform, but in reality my degree of being pro-life is mediocre at best, and most of the time piss poor. My love of life is hindered by a mixture of half-hearted concern for others and hard-hearted indifference to their sufferings, trials, and tribulations. I have a hard enough time loving life when it's easy; loving the unlovable seems often beyond my power.