A great many of my friends are presently in Washington, D.C., ahead of the winter storm that threatens to drop up to ten inches of snow on the nation's capital. Life feels a bit strange as I follow their happenings via Facebook and Twitter. While I do not enjoy winter and the weather it brings (the high today in Rome was about 55 degrees), my heart does long to be with them.
Before I was ordained a priest, I went several times to the March for Life, and since I was ordained eight and a half years ago, this is the first year I have not gone. Most of these times I went with the pilgrims whom I now miss: four to six busses of (mostly) youth and adults from the southern half of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois (other busses left from the northern half). If I couldn't travel with them, I at least met up with them somewhere along the way.
Many of the adult pilgrims whom I knew before ordination are some of my dearest friends and have been a constant support to me. The young pilgrims always fill me with hope as they come year after year, never complaining throughout the many obstacles that invariably come and witness joyfully and publicly to the Gospel of Life. Many of them fully understand that they are the ones of their generation who have survived the scourge of abortion, through no merit of their own.
For my part this year, here in Rome I have united myself spiritually with the Pilgrims for Life and have kept them in prayer throughout their travels. Tomorrow, I will continue to keep them in prayer and will fast for them and for the growing success of the March for Life. Each year pilgrims become more numerous and younger, even as the media continues to largely ignore it. What is more, last year was the first time - in the years I have taken part - that the pro-abortion activists were present and organized, proof enough that we are winning.
Please, if you, like me, are unable to march for life in Washington, D.C., join me in fasting and praying for those who can. May God keep them safe and make them joyful heralds of the Gospel of Life!