My Reflections on the March for Life 2010

 

I went to DC with friends of friends, whom I had heard of but never met: a newly married couple from the Madison area. This was a last-minute decision, and we drove out early Thursday am. Not going with a group gave me a few opportunities that I may not have had if I were held to a specific itinerary; and the ability to go in and out of other groups and talk with a huge variety of people.

 

I have wanted to go to the March all my life. Abortion has been legal since 4 months after my birth…so as long as I have been conscious of the world around me.

My expectations were that I would join in with the other pilgrim protesters, march, and learn more about the national Pro-Life movement, hopefully meeting new people. I thought there was a possibility of seeing a few friends out there and also speaking with people about Rachel’s Vineyard and asking for prayers.

Of all the events I went to, the March itself was by far the most important. Other events included the Mass on the eve of the March at the Basilica (at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception) and the Rose Dinner

I had the privilege of praying with, and standing near, the Pro-Life students from Notre Dame at the Mass in the Basilica. This afforded me an opportunity to talk with them and learn that there are MANY devout and extremely committed students there, and pray with them and for them, and they said they would pray for me and Rachel’s Vineyard.

The sermon by Cardinal DiNardo was extremely powerful; his main message was that we must protest, we must make our voice known in the public square at the March, but that that evening our main purpose was to join together there, and pray with love for those of opposing views.

The Rose Dinner was an amazing opportunity; to me, an opportunity to be a part of history. Professor Robert George of Princeton, a co-author of the Manhattan Declaration was the keynote, and he spoke on “The Struggle for the Soul of a Nation.” He gave a brief history of the Roe v Wade decision and how it has had unforeseeable results on our society. He spoke of the political changes that have taken place and also how this is a very specific time in history when we must consolidate our efforts if we are to ever triumph over the culture of death, which is growing ever stronger. We must truly live our Christian beliefs, LOVING our enemies: “The side that loves the most wins.” He then explained the way the Manhattan Declaration came to be, and what it actually means for the future: “A line has been drawn in the sand. We are here to tell the politicians that it WILL NOT be ‘business as usual.’”

 

The March was in some ways exactly what I expected. I have seen pictures and videos of it for so many years, I could easily imagine what it would be like. I’ve also been in very large crowds before so that was not a surprise…and actually at no time was it really possible to see the entire group of marchers, due to the layout of the streets and the route.

What did surprise me about it was the somber tone of it. I certainly did not expect a party but I did think that with that amount of youth there, (I also knew there had been a youth Mass & rally at the Verizon Center that morning,) it might have a bit more exuberance than it did. I did notice also, though, that the crowd grew much more subdued from the time that the buses arrived to the time that the March actually began.

I found out from several other people that in different sections of the March there are decidedly different tones to the group, so that was interesting to me. For example, I had sat with a few people at the Rose Dinner who had partied with, and come down with the New-Catechumens from Silver Spring, MD and they were very lively; drumming, dancing, and singing. But overall it was a very sober crowd.

I talked with SO MANY people, from all over the country, and all of us always parted with, “God Bless You,” and “I’ll pray for you,” and “Have a safe trip back home.” Tangible unity of our purpose there.

 

What I found from the experience overall was that there is a very strong Pro-Life movement in our country. I think it is an amazing testament to the power of God, to the power of Truth, that it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I was glad I got a chance to take part in the national March, but I feel even more strongly than before that that event is just another piece of the puzzle, a single day really, and that we, as individuals and groups, must continue our constant prayers and witness to Life every single day here in our own communities. That is what unites us on a national level, that is what keeps the Culture of Life alive. We constantly have opportunities to speak out; we always can pray, and we have seen the power of prayer and the quiet but steady witness to the Truth, here in our state, and at the national level.

It seems at times that the Devil has become stronger within the current administration, but to me, his work is just more visible than before. The main feeling that I took away from DC is that there is great hope, that by our united efforts, our loving Christian example, we will defeat him and restore God’s plan to our world.

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦

 

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Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 12:42 PM  Leave a Comment  
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