Sunday, January 26, 2014

Prayer in the Public Square (1)

I had a great experience in Washington for the 41st March for Life. It is incredible that hundreds of college students, just from Franciscan, want to throw off their entire academic week to go out in the cold, without  the recourse of a warm bed like at school, to stand up for life, to testify to the world that abortion is as far from being good as possible. It's incredible that thousands and thousands of other people do the same thing, and it's mostly young adults to boot.

Yup, this one.
Old people have literally aborted all of their possible supporters out of existence. I only saw one pro-abortion sign, and it's the same one that's been available for decades, with the same stupendously ugly design. So there are signs that public opinion is changing and that perhaps abortion might be more and more restricted as time goes by.

The Holy Eucharist sustains us, for it is the bread of life. Most of us are not deep in the ascetic life, so we can't live off it alone (yet), but when received in the state of grace receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord overwhelms one with grace, and the Trinity resides in our souls. What a way to begin one's day the Holy Mass is, the highest form of prayer. It is especially powerful on a day that needs to be one of prayer and sacrifice, in reparation for the sin of abortion that plagues our country and so that Our Lord might mercifully and graciously end this travesty. It is incredible also to assist at the Holy Sacrifice with one's close friends as we more fully enter into communion with the Church, both visible and invisible. Archbishop Vigano is also a very calm and collected celebrant, and through his simple yet traditional way of celebrating the Mass he draws no attention to himself, only the complete offering of Our Lord and Himself at the divine altar.

Also, it is particularly moving to spend more time in prayer such as the Holy Rosary and the Angelus with these friends. These prayers are technically private devotions, in the sense that they are not liturgical, but when prayed in a group, it reminds us we are called to eternal communion with the Most Holy Trinity and thus each of the blessed in Heaven as we share in the Church Militant, our true Mother upon earth and as we share a Mother of Mercy in Heaven, the Star of the Sea.

I spent much of the March praying, singing, or listening to other peoples' prayers. I mean, I joined in the Salve Regina as someone intoned it at the end of their Rosary, and I heard the sung Divine Mercy Chaplet as well. Seminarians were singing nearby me, and I also heard a band play "Hail Holy Queen, Enthroned Above" as I passed.

One can also spend time in good, solid conversation about where people are in their lives while on a 5-hour long bus ride. So all in all, the March for Life is a really good and joyful experience.

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