The Catholic Church is Pro-Life because it is alive! I was in Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life, last Monday, January 24th. The March for Life happens each year around January 22nd, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s legalization of abortion in 1973. Those who march for life in our nation’s Capitol want a for a reversal of this decision. They both pray and work for an end to all abortion.
What impresses me most about the March is the Vigil Mass for Life, which is held the night before the March, at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (America’s national Marian Shrine, located in Washington). Every space of the massive Basilica is filled with Catholics, on fire for their faith. Fifteen to 20 thousand people attend the Mass, from every part of our country. The liturgy and the music are beautiful. There are so many seminarians, deacons, priests, and bishops in attendance that the opening procession takes almost 1 hour!
Processing into the Basilica is a joyful occasion! I saw joy on the faces of the youth who were in the pews. I saw joy on the faces of priests and bishops (our Bishop Trautman was joyfully present at the Mass as well!). Walking up the steps into the sanctuary, we passed by hundreds of fervent and loving religious sisters. Their joy radiated.
Our vocation is to be joyful. Joy can only lead to life! We who are joyful live life to the full. We desire to love. Yes, we are called to love even those whom we do not want to love. We are called to love the innocent, especially children, regardless of the circumstances (what an appropriate thought on the Memorial of St. John Bosco!).
Why does the Church care so much about pro-life, that so many would come to march? It is because we are a people of life! We can’t help it! We are created and called by God to be alive, and to see life as the greatest good. It is natural for a Catholic to understand this, so much so that it is hard to understand how others could be pro-abortion (pro-choice – as the labels go).
In each of our vocations, we are called to joy; we are called to love; We are called to life! When we answer God’s call, whether to Marriage, Consecrated life, or Holy Orders, we experience great joy, great love, and great life! We cannot tolerate anything else. We cannot settle for less.
Make sure to get your blessed candles on February 2nd, the Feast of Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple, and get your throat blessed on St. Blaze Day (Feb. 3rd). Have a good week and God bless!