Monday, January 29, 2007
Together at the March for Life
The air was cold, but their smiles were warm. Hoods nearly over their eyes, scarves bundling them up – like me, they had been in the streets for hours.
If you would have been standing next to us, perhaps you would have counted me part of the gang. I was wearing my royal blue Missionaries sweatshirt too. That makes me feel good to think of myself in such good company. What inspiration I took all weekend to think of my friends at work! Who else would undertake a 40-hour prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood? Who else would walk 40 miles from Baltimore?
With the crowds so thick, our hugs were quick. It was only for a few minutes that we were able to exchange hellos. But even for a short while like that, it makes a big difference to be able to stand close with champions of life, with your friends. Perhaps the very best part of the March for Life is that chance to connect with others.
At times that day, I may have even lost track of the 34th anniversary of those terrible Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases. I forgot that we were opposing abortion. I was too taken up with the joy that rippled through the crowds.
On their faces, the participants overflowed with hopeful spirits. The air was rich with an awareness of the holiness, mystery, and majesty of every single human life.
What deserved to be a desperate, incredulous protest against a maddening tragedy had become an enormous pep rally in celebration of life. Prayerful grieving for children killed and mothers and fathers scarred by abortion still was present. But the crowds smiled with confidence, “Our mourning is not empty. We acknowledge the victory of the Truth written on our hearts. We support each other. Together, may we offer the world the Light of Life.”
How many others, like me, received encouragement from the thought of friends spread throughout the crowd? Whether as Missionaries of the Eucharist or through other apostolates for life, what a gift we have been given with the chance to stand together!
Who we are?
Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.
We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.