Welcome to Seven Quick Takes Friday, hosted by Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum! Be sure to go and check out the other Quick Takers at her blog today, and link up with your own, if you are that sort of person.
Today is the 42nd March for Life, when nearly a million pro-life people of all stripes (Catholic, evangelical, Jewish, athiest, black, white, consecrated, ordained, lay) travel to the Washington, DC, to protest the legality of killing unborn children in the womb. We march, we pray, and we work all year long to build a culture of life that values each and every human life, from conception until natural death. The March for Life is one day, but the work happens all year long. We work for peace, we work for respect for life, and we work to help families in crisis so they don’t feel so cornered that they choose to kill their child in a moment of fear.
I haven’t been able to go for a few years, but my children have gone with the youth group, even when we don’t go as a family. This year, the Richmond Diocese has cancelled all busses headed to the March because of the dangerous travel conditions. While the snow isn’t scheduled to hit DC until the March is over, the routes home for many travelers would be directly through the worst of the storm. By the time the kids would have been leaving, we’d have a foot of snow here at home, with more piling up as they tried to drive back. A friend who is a State Trooper said VDOT cannot keep up with that amount of snow, and our youth director feared they’d get stuck on the side of the highway somewhere. Please pray for the safety of people who have traveled to DC today and will be attempting to get out. When the city shuts down, no one gets in or out.
If you’re at home, there are things you can do to participate virtually. Here are seven ideas for you:
Pray. Our family will be praying Morning and Evening Prayers and a Rosary for the intentions of the March for Life participants. If you’d like to join us for a virtual Rosary party, we’ll be praying at noon Eastern time, which is when the rally is going on.
Watch the March from home. EWTN carries a live stream, which you can watch online or via their app, and the March for Life has an app that will carry a live stream of the rally. (Personally, I like the March for Life app. Sometimes I just want to see the March without that much commentary.)
If the weather isn’t bad where you live, go on a walk and offer it up. We can offer things to God and ask Him to use it for the good of others. If God can take the death of Christ on the cross and use it for good, our small sufferings can be offered in the same way (we Catholics say “United to the Cross of Christ”) and God can do something with it. How? I don’t know. But he managed to turn around a tortuous death and forgive the sins of Mankind, so I’m pretty sure He can also do something with what I offer Him.
If the weather is bad, offer up the shoveling. And while you’re at it, see if there are any people in your neighborhood who can’t do their own shoveling and help them. That’s the pro-life thing to do.
Organize a baby shower for women in need. You don’t need to do it today, but get started. Our parish’s Sanctity of Life Committee holds a quarterly baby shower for Catholic Charities. We collect clothing, diapers, wipes, toiletries, food, and formula. Some of our parishioners scour clearance sales all year long and save the baby clothes for the proper season. Other parishioners who have gently-used baby clothes donate them to the shower. Oh, and next to the cradle of baby stuff, there’s usually a table of information on how to build up the Culture of Life — and that includes information on marriage, NFP, stem cell research, the death penalty, and more. All lives matter.
Make a donation to an organization that helps people in need. That can be the March for Life organization itself, your local crisis pregnancy center, CNEWA, a local food pantry…find someone to help and do it. Even a little bit helps. Remember that the March for Life focuses on ending abortion, but it’s not only that. The March is about respect for all life. The official song for the March even talks about building peace as a remedy for the Culture of Death.
Sign up for the next 40 Days for Life, even if it’s just for one hour. The next 40 Days campaign begins February 10 (Ash Wednesday). This is a prayer vigil, not a protest, and it is making a difference in the lives of women, children, and abortion workers. For years, we’ve prayed outside a Planned Parenthood not far from where we life. Liberty University’s pro-life group comes every single Saturday, year-round, to pray and offer better choices to women who are going in for abortions. When we pray, we don’t just pray for the mothers and babies, but we also pray for the people who work inside that Planned Parenthood.
Recently, the young man from Liberty University who heads up their pro-life group went to a dinner with Abby Johnson as the keynote speaker. Abby talked about her amazing group And Then There Were None, which is dedicated to helping abortion workers get out of that business and get a new start in life. She talked about how they have helped hundreds of people leave the abortion business, and then she gave some amazing news that our 40 Days group was unaware of until that night: five people have left that Planned Parenthood and found other work through And Then There Were None! I started weeping for joy when I learned that. I’d been praying for those men and women every time I was there at the vigil — and, really, any time I even drove by the place.
Your prayers make a difference. Today is not the only day to pray, so please consider signing up for at least one hour during the 40 Days campaign in your city.
~seven point one~
Make your life a testament to love. The answer to ending abortion and all other abuses of human life is to love people. You don’t have to approve of someone’s life or choices to love them. But if you’re a Christian and aren’t loving people — especially those who are on the “other side” — you’re doing it wrong. In fact, you’re directly disobeying Jesus’ command to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. We need to love those people, and we need to understand that every person on the “other side” is doing what they believe in their heart of hearts to be right and good. Our lives should point to God, Who is Truth and Goodness and Love. Every part of your life should be pointing to that.