Tomorrow morning, before most of us have even had our first cup of coffee, our high school students-- and several brave chaperones-- will be boarding a bus for the long drive to Washington, DC. Each year we march in solidarity with those who believe in the sanctity of life-- all life. We march to remind people that in America, sadly, those most vulnerable among us, are most in danger. While speaking at a National Prayer Breakfast in February 1994 Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke the following words:
“...I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion…
The child is God’s gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things — to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.
But what does God say to us? He says: “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us…”
So I ask you to keep our students and teachers on the March in your prayers. We are proud for the hardships they are enduring-- lack of sleep, long bus rides, sleeping on floors, eating fast food, and more-- to speak this truth to the world by the witness of their presence.
We all have opportunities to witness to this truth-- especially in this election season. When a pollster calls your home: engage them in conversation about these pressing issues regarding the sanctity of life. When candidates knock on your door: let them know where you stand. Engage them in an honest conversation; show them the face of people brave enough to think differently, to swim against the dominant tide. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” Lastly: pray. It is our best tool.
Most sincerely in Christ,