January 24, 2012 – This past weekend, Dallas along with many other cities nation wide marched for life in hopes to end abortion and bring about a sense of awareness to the public of how destructive abortion is in our country. This event has been going on for 39 years now, bringing in more supporters of the Pro Life movement every year. Although the numbers have steadily increased in crowd participation in this annual march, many supporters of this movement encountered news that was very disheartening this year. Though this news was shocking to all, it served as a message that is very moving in a sense of being called to action and taking a stand in our country and, most especially, our faith.
There are many events leading up to the march for life, some of which include the praying of the rosary early in the morning, praying and peaceful protesting in front of an abortion clinic, and a Mass to kick off the march. Last year, I was blessed with the opportunity to partake in the Mass and other events leading up to the march for life in Washington D.C., our nation’s capital. Though I was not able to attend the march in D.C. this year, I knew the impact of marching in Dallas was going to be just as effective. Like last year’s Mass at the Basilica in Washington D.C., our Cathedral, Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral in Downtown Dallas, was packed to the fullest; there were so many people inside the Cathedral that they were not letting anymore people inside, but fortunately they allowed those outside to participate in the Mass by having screens outside broadcasting a live feed of the Mass going on inside. With this sight, I could not help but reflect and think back to the time Jesus walked this earth; people from all over would congregate to where He was just to listen to Him speak, better yet just to see Him in person. Like those people wanting to see, feel, and listen to Jesus, we, too, yearned for that experience early that morning. As I watched the bishop and priests of the city of Dallas process in, I could not help but look at this scene as a procession into war or battle. These men of God were leading us into battle to fight and defend our unborn brothers and sisters in not only our city, but our country as a whole. This began to excite me and instilled a sense of desire to become well equipped with the weapons needed to fight this battle: love and compassion. The Mass was so beautiful; the readings of the day were so fitting to what we were about to partake in, and the priest’s homily was so moving to the point of excitement. However, toward the end of the Mass, our Bishop Kevin Farrell delivered very disheartening news about the government implementing something that would affect not only our faith and beliefs, but the faith and beliefs of other religions as well.
Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States issued to the employers of our nation that they supply contraceptives for free to its employees. Because of this, the removal of religious exemption has been implemented, but the government is giving all churches a year to comply with this change. Isn’t that thoughtful? (NOT!) When the Bishop had addressed this issue, I began to question the actions that will be taken by the Catholic church dealing with this issue. I knew for sure that I was not going to comply because this is going against everything in my faith. Finally, Bishop Farrell announced that we, the Catholic church, will NOT comply with these changes and will further fight for the sanctity of life. When he announced this, I was nearly moved to tears. The sound of his voice, the conviction behind his words, the sense of authority he exemplified at that moment moved me and affirmed me that NOW is truly the time to stand up for my faith and CHOOSE LIFE in my home and country! This also made me realize that the battle and fight for not only life, but our faith is becoming more real and literal. With this change that is to be implemented within the next year calls all Catholics and other denominations to pray steadfastly and trust in our Lord that He will yet again deliver His people from this time of persecution.
As the march began, I began to have memories of Washington D.C. I could not help but reminisce of my experience walking up capitol hill with thousands of people all over the nation. As I snapped back to reality, it felt as if I had never left that pavement and was joined with my family in my home area. Walking and marching alongside my CFC FFL family in Dallas made this year’s walk/march more meaningful for me. I was marching alongside my blood family and the family that has helped me in my faith formation. This past year, too, I spent a lot of time away from home serving in other areas, so to be united with my home area and marching for this beautiful cause meant all the more to me. I am forever grateful towards God for allowing me to be part of such a loving and caring family here in Dallas who supports me in all that I do, and marching together in hopes to end abortion gave me a sense of hope that what we were doing will invoke a sense of conversion to those who are for abortion and do not see God the way we see Him. It is through our loving actions and caring gestures that this conversion will take place, and I’m confident that God has prepared us for this fight by equipping us with the weapons we need to face the trials that we may encounter in the near future.
As we reached our final destination, the courthouse in which abortion was legalized, all the Pro Life advocates gathered in a parking lot for a rally that was to excite the marchers of the promotion of the culture of life in our society. I did not realize how many people were actually marching; it was to the point of, yet again, over flowing and resulting in some people having to participate outside the gates of the parking lot. During the rally, many inspirational speakers shared their testimonies in the Pro Life movement; some were long time Pro Life advocates while others were converted believers who once believed in abortion. The main attracted speaker of the rally was Ms. Norma McCorvery, better known as “Jane Roe” in the Roe vs. Wade trial, the trial in which abortion was legalized. Her conversion story is one that is truly inspiring and further affirms that God works in very unique ways. After the rally, I along with some others were blessed with the opportunity to meet and speak with Ms. McCorvey. As we neared her, it slowly hit me that I was about to meet a historical figure in our nation. I never thought that in my life I would be blessed with such an opportunity, but praise God because He truly makes such fantasies a reality. I introduced myself to Ms. McCorvey, as did the others, and I even had the opportunity to talk to her about the CFC FFL ministry and the Live Pure movement. As we were talking, she took interest in the shirt I was wearing (I decided to wear one of our LP shirts to the march, and she was very intrigued). After meeting her and exchanging a few words, I was beyond blessed to be given the opportunity to celebrate life the way I did this year.
This year’s march for life really opened my eyes and my heart to whatever it is God is asking of me. From the very beginning of that day, I knew that God was going to reveal wonders and beautiful messages to me throughout the march, and surely He did. I was able to experience a sense of yearning for Christ in a way I have never experienced before, I felt a strong desire to fight for life and my faith, I felt beyond blessed to be with family in hopes to end abortion and promote life, and I was given the opportunity to meet a historical figure in our nation’s history. The ultimate message I received at the march was that with our efforts to end abortion and open the eyes to all those around us, it requires more than just prayer and protests, but it take genuine action. We have been still for a very long time now, and with this past year’s theme of being “NOW Strong,” God is truly calling each and every single one of us to be not afraid for He is our strength. God is calling us NOW to stand up for our faith and take action. But, as we take action in efforts to convert non-believers of God, we must do so in a way that is loving and genuine, for the opposite of sin and evil is love. If we genuinely love those we encounter and trust in God that He’ll be with us always, God will truly work in ways in which we never imagined could be possible. Our God is a God of wonders and miracles, so as His faithful children, it is up to us to take action and proclaim and share God’s love to everyone in this world. It is through this that we will turn this culture of death into a fruitful culture of life.