Reflections on the 2013 March for Life
Carrying the Cross Into Battle
There is a battle to be fought and WON, a battle for the unborn, a battle for Christ. The armor is heavy and uncomfortable, the journey is long and treacherous. Our efforts will be ignored, mocked and falsified. None of that matters, the battle continues and it must be WON. We will WIN, Christ is the Victor of that there is no doubt, but in the meanwhile we have to "soldier-up."
One perspective on an historci march for Life in 2013
Unfortunately, youthful passions often lack deep convictions.
A child born into the world just as the fateful decision of Roe vs. Wade was penned into history, my mother courageously chose life and would soon find herself raising me as a single parent. My Catholic grammar school base instilled in me the general sense of right and wrong, but missing were some core truths. And my experiences would present me with a very distorted picture of "reality." The annual March for Life, in protest of Roe/Wade didn't even exist to my knowledge at this time.
Blessed was I to be surrounded by my mother's parents and five siblings, so I always felt like a cherished member of a big family, but juxtaposed with this life was the one I witnessed with my father. Not that I want to discredit my father because in his defense he stuck around the periphery of my life. He loved me, but it has to be said that I was effected by the seeming glamor of a life lived for self. I watched the pursuit of love, time and time again with different partners. I understood myself as part of that pursuit, wanted when convenient.
So, when the hormones of my teenaged years revved into full gear, self destruction lie ahead.
The truths that I had espoused in that high school English class were too easily abandoned by the "thoughtful" opinions of the opposition. Surely, I knew good people, honest friends, friend's parents even, who testified to the necessity for choice, personal choice in all things. In fact, they presented choice as the mature stance to take. Since I was busy exercising my own personal, self destructive choice in various arenas of my personal life, that message felt empowering and it certainly fit in with the pursuit of self-satisfying love.
A good friend's mother even shared her own story of abortion when she, as a single mother to two already, became pregnant by a boyfriend. And how could I condemn friends, whom I loved, who felt pressured into aborting their firstborn children to satisfy parents, to hide their sin or just to save themselves from their worst fears? Standing against abortion became equated to condemnation and how could a good, mature Catholic condemn others whom they proclaimed to love?
As God has done time and time again throughout my life, He offered me glimpses of reality, not the personal "reality" of my ego, but the REALity of His creation. Young friends of mine chose life for their son in spite of the substantial obstacles before them. Brian, their baby, came into the world bearing so many crosses. Only a portion of his brain developed in utero and he routinely suffered seizures, he was the picture of innocence and beauty wrapped up in suffering, a new reality for me. Brian came home to the embrace of a family who loved him dearly. He spent his eleven months on earth swaddled in the arms of many. Bitter tears were shed at his funeral, as I lacked the understanding of the deep meaning of the Cross in my faith. Couple this experience with the "thoughtful" messages of the pro-life opposition and it is no wonder that I temporarily established myself in the pro-abort camp.
The world sells us the commercial image of perfect, pretty people satisfying their wants with stuff. Suffering and sacrifice don't sell. Happiness and its pursuit are the avenue to the endgame of self-satisfaction, honor and fortune. Of course, Christ lived, suffered and died to free us from this distortion, but the constant drone of the world seems to have all but drowned out His still, gentle voice.
By the grace of God, as my early twenties waned, my errors were corrected and my suppressed pro-life heart was fortified by truth. I will never forget the night, sitting alone in front of my computer screen, I stumbled upon the images of abortion. The Priests for Life website confronted me with the first graphic depictions of abortion. Weeping, I forced myself to look at those tiny babies and their brutally dismembered parts. Painful pictures, but somehow necessary, like the crucifix hanging in the forefront of every Catholic Church. Never again could my brain justify murder as a personal choice. Never again could I be duped into believing the pro-abort stance was an expression of love. I cried until my head ached and I sent an email thanking the website for opening my eyes, literally.
Consider the difference between the bare cross and the ...
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