The Roe v Wade decision still remains unsettling to many. Since that day a culture of death has permeated society, and the world. Nevertheless, many continue to defend the voiceless, and will stand up for them, again, this year, united with others in our nation’s capital. This is a testimony to an unwillingness to accept evil. The annual March for Life is an event in which many participate as a way to show solidarity in defending the most precious, and fundamental, right we have, not only as American citizens, but as human beings: The Right to Life!
Purpose of the March for Life:
I have attended the March numerous times before, and what continues to inspire me, year after year, is the benefit of being a part of something greater than one’s self. You may be familiar with the phrase, “To those who do not have to ask, no answer is necessary. To those who do, no answer will suffice.” The March is about the following: knowing 1) who you are, 2) with whom you walk, and 3) for whom you walk. No explanations are necessary.
The pilgrims who attend this event know the truth about abortion. They know what it is and what it does. Many know of someone who has experienced this devastating reality. Others know this feeling all too well. They realize that this issue tears at the core of our being, and at the heart of our nation, but they refuse to stand idle against it. They refuse to give in. Instead they rise up and recognize their personal obligation to act. To do otherwise would constitute one of the greatest sins of omission.
Abortion is murder; and one of the most heinous forms of it. It is a tragedy that equates with some of the worst forms of genocide in the history of the human race. This senseless act of destroying the dignity and sanctity of a person (not to mention the mutilation) is uncontainable. As Pope St. John Paul II once said on September 1, 1996, “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope” (Un popolo che uccide i propri figli è un popolo senza futuro).
Why Bother with a March for Life?
Many will say that abortion has been a standard practice for so long, why bother? After all, many in the media outlets will pay little, if any, attention to it again (accept to offer their usual biased reporting). Others will ignore it, completely, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to this sad reality, along with its significance. Regardless, those who march do not do so for stories of recognition or praise.
The March for Life is a day to reclaim respect and hope for a world drowning in the depths of despair. Those who attend perform a dual role. First, they mourn the millions of lives who have been killed through abortion; the millions who have been turned aside, neglected and viewed as an inconvenience or burden. Then, they turn to those who have participated in their extermination and pray for their healing, forgiveness, enlightenment, mercy (and eventual conversion). This becomes poignant when we consider these attributes in light of our Holy Father’s call to embrace this year of mercy. The March provides something essential to our society.
The March for Life is about love, and the highest form of it. That is something lacking in our world. When we march, we call to attention the levels of barbarism within abortion. However, we also realize that the solutions do not lie in alienating or condemning the perpetrators, but to inform them of the consequences of their actions. We can become inspired by those such as, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, or Abbey Johnson, who eventually turned away from abortion to embrace life and become champions for it. The objective truth of human life is something, which should not be debated, or left to public opinion. Life is a fundamental right and deserves to be nurtured and defended.
We, as Catholics, attend first and foremost due to an allegiance to God, who is truth. His truth precedes all else, including versions of the truth defined by various individuals and the Supreme Court. The Lord’s authority always reigns supreme. We also attend for our families and friends, to protect their dignity and ensure that it too, remains intact, since we know that the injustices stemming from abortion have grown exponentially since its inception (i.e. euthanasia). Finally, we march for future generations because we understand the inherent nature of our own uniqueness; that it is interwoven into a tapestry that contributes to the well-being of others. We are each other’s keeper.
This is not a vacation day or a day to gather for social interaction (although it is a day to celebrate). This is a day to be a witness. This is a day to serve and act with conviction as we assemble as a community of believers (whatever our creed) and strive to encourage others to seek better ways to foster strong human values that will create a sense of unity towards their fellow brothers and sisters
All of this can be accomplished through speeches, vocal prayer, and even quiet meditation. Even if one cannot attend the march, personally, their actions can still contribute, universally. Whatever one’s actions, they represent a sense of humble obedience that can prove to be revolutionary.