By John Jalsevac

Michael O'BrienDecember 4, 2008 ( – On Wednesday famed author Michael O’Brien addressed (LSN) staff and supporters at the first ever LSN key supporters planning event, held in the intimate setting of a small Italian restaurant in Toronto. LifeSiteNews hopes to host similar events in the future in other regions of Canada and the United States.

O’Brien’s brief keynote speech, hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, emphasized the spiritual nature of the battle between what he called (quoting John Paul II) the civilization of love, and the culture of death, and he encouraged those present to engage in the battle “with the spirit of a child.”

Using the images of Don Quixote and the Biblical David, O’Brien observed that those who embark on an heroic mission – such as the mission of the pro-life movement – under their own powers only will inevitably end up like Don Quixote at the end of Cervantes’ novel – broken-hearted and disillusioned.

Rather than Don Quixote, said O’Brien, pro-life activists should fight with the spirit of David, a mere boy who was able to defeat the giant Goliath. The author emphasized that the reason for David’s victory was that he put everything in God’s hands, saying of the result of his fight with Goliath, “The battle belongs to the Lord.” This, he said, should be the constant refrain of the pro-life movement.

Rather than fighting the culture of death with mere ingenuity or intelligence, which inevitably fail and leave us disappointed, said the author, pro-life activists should engage in the battle for life in what he termed a “prophetic spirit” that is unafraid to embrace the cross and to serve as a “sign of contradiction” to the world.

“We will lose the spirit of childhood, the spirit of David facing the giant, facing an overwhelming army, facing impossible odds, to the degree that we slip back into self-reliance: if we slip into a kind of clever strategizing that forgets to begin every act, every word, every initiative in the pro-life movement on its knees,” said O’Brien. “We must begin everything on our knees.

“In the years ahead will our fidelity, will our holding our ground in this great and most terrible battle, depend upon successes, strategy, finances, or will it find its foundation in our core willingness to be a sign of contradiction, to be a sign, first, that is willing to be rejected?” he asked.

While the current time is a time of great hope, he said, a time in which the cause of life will undoubtedly achieve great things by the grace of God, it is inevitable that these achievements will only come through the cross. “We may see many more successes, we may see extraordinary interventions of the divine, of graces from God – our Lord is full of surprises. The surprises of the Lord have not come to an end. There are greater things ahead. But there is also the cross ahead, new dimensions of the cross.”

He concluded, reiterating, “We must pray for the grace to become more and more as little children, willing to be a sign of contradiction. Though all the world revile you, misrepresent your words, portray you as fanatical haters, caricaturize you, know this – that they did exactly the same to Christ himself. They condemned him, they killed him, and that was the breaking of the power of evil over the world, the tyranny of evil over the world.

“There are some final battles that remain to us. Some of these will be most horrendous battles, but the way through them is to keep within ourselves the heart of a child. Wisdom, prudence. Of course. Intelligent thinking. But the heart of a child.”