Why? Why do we March? Why do I March? It certainly isn’t for the comfort, nor the glamor… none of those things are part of the March for Life, a pro-life demonstration in Washington DC in January each year, near the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision making abortion legal in America.
My reasons may not be the same as others in the pro-life movement, but as I reflect on the past 15 years of my participation, I can tell you some of the reasons it has been fruitful in my life.
First, I realized this year, that I have marched with every one of my 7 children, at one time or another, and no, we have never actually gone as “a family.” Sometimes we bussed together on Diocesan busses, and often I met them there as they travelled with their high school or college. But as I look at my adult children’s choices to live an abundant life that includes family and openness to children, I realize that they ARE living the culture of life. I am humbled and proud. This is the first fruit of Marching, and I see it in my own family.
Second, each year I have been privileged to participate in Holy Mass before we Marched. At the Verizon Center, the DC Armory or in a hotel room of the Washington Plaza, the result is always the same: Those with whom I march and I, fill the streets once we feast on the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is He who marches with us into the battle against the culture of Death.
Third, though I do not have strong political views in general, the pro-life political battle is the only one I have ever publicly demonstrated about; it is the only issue that is likely to sway my vote on election day, and it is the most important civil rights issue that continues being debated in America in 2017. I March to give voice to the voiceless unborn children of America. This year, for the first time in my memory, there was palpable reason to hope that the laws of this land may begin to give rights to the unborn.
I will continue to March as long as God calls me to, for the battle is the Lord’s and even if the laws change, the Culture of Life in America needs a lot of prayer,compassion and just hard work.
These are the reasons I march; to give legs to the Culture of Life.
May God Bless America, born and unborn.
November: A month to remember. A month to remember the departed. A month when the leaves turn brown, fall, and in some cases, get covered with several feet of snow!
Here in Buffalo New York, we have experienced some awesome demonstrations of nature, and some wonderful moments of grace. From my friend Denise Perry, a nurse stranded on her way to work, delivering a baby in a fire hall to the thousands of neighbors shoveling roofs and driveways for each other.
My own journey this month, at the close of the Liturgical year has been full of death and new life; Alpha and Omega moments. Since my husband and I moved out to our farm in 1988, we have kept horses for breeding and physical therapy purposes. One of my favorites, and the first riding tutor to most of our children was named “Believing Thomas,” as he was born a twin, during the Easter season, when the readings for the doubting Thomas were read at Mass. Thomas’s twin was a beautiful filly who was still born. Right from the start, Thomas struggled for life, and thrived. He had bony prominences on his knees that later in life became painfully arthritic. In the end, this was why I chose to have him laid to rest two weeks ago, at the age of 20.
I lament this moment, not because I regret having made that decision for him, but because our world is a bit confused, and following the teachings of Holy Mother Church have helped me discern. As beloved as Thomas was… he was… a horse. He did not have an eternal soul, and was not made in the image and likeness of God. He was an awesome companion, and gave great joy to myself, my children, and many others. The beauty of God’s creation and love, was embodied in his massive form and chestnut coat. But in the end, I used God’s mandate of dominion over his creation… to not only care for all his needs during his 20 years on earth, but also care for his euthanasia.
Man IS made in the image and likeness of God, and end of life decisions have to be made with the guide of a very accurate moral compass. I have just finished narrating the book by Mary Fabian Windeatt: The Little Flower, in audiobook format. Spending this much time with St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, and her Little Way, has been extremely humbling. Her desire to become little, and throw herself into Our Heavenly Father’s arms is simple, but very difficult indeed. It requires complete surrender of will. God, in turn, gives to the abandoned soul, many graces, including clear discernment. How Therese handled her death to tuberculosis was magnificent. She knew how her suffering was saving souls.
Next week, we, as a church, begin the anticipation of the Incarnation; Advent. Our apocalyptic readings this week will give way to the prophesies of the Messiah. I hold on to the last of this season, with hope, and great confidence in our Church,as the moral guide. We uplift saints like Therese and John Paul II, who embraced their sufferings, making them powerful in the hands of God.
May you all have a blessed Advent as we approach the season of JOY!