January 29, 2013

March for Life

The March for Life was just an incredible experience.  Thomas and I have not been in six years, so it was really amazing to once again be a part of a huge group of people who were united to defend the sanctity of human life.  I am so thankful we had the opportunity to go with our church, and I am thankful that Thomas was so willing to take the day off from work to stand up for something we both strongly believe in. 

We headed out on a bus with our church before the sun came up on Friday.  We arrived at The Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which was just as striking to me as the times I have seen it in the past.  
I didn't bring my camera because I was nervous with the forecast of snow, so all I have are some pictures from my phone! 
The Basilica really is the most gorgeous church I have ever seen in my life.  We didn't get much of a chance to explore because we got there with just enough time to use the restroom before mass, but that's okay because we weren't there for sightseeing anyways! 

The mass was just as beautiful as the church.  It was amazing to be joined together with thousands of other Catholics celebrating the mass.  It was particularly appropriate that Friday was the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul.  Saint Paul was once a murderer, but after converting he spent the rest of his life adamantly proclaiming the Gospel.  The Bishop reminded us that God has the power and the right graces to change even the hardest of hearts.  It was inspiring to hear a message full of hope when we are fighting against such a horrible thing. There IS hope for people's hearts to change about abortion. 
There was so much traffic after mass that our bus driver ended up just dropping us off so that we could march, so I don't think we actually started at the beginning.  

The streets were PACKED, and it was awesome to be part of the crowd! It was so powerful to hear the people around us praying, singing, chanting, and talking about the beauty of life.  Overall, I felt like the crowd was very joyful.  Yes, we were walking to stand up against something evil, but there was still so much joy and hope in that crowd, a joy that only faith can bring from believing that God will answer our fervent prayers. 
It was particularly encouraging to see so many young people from high school there.  Many people at the march were holding up these signs, which gives me even more hope that we are the generation that will help to overturn Roe vs. Wade.  

Later on in the march, we came across this group of women and men, and I was completely and totally moved. 
I have recently been reading and watching videos of the stories of people who were born after their mothers were raped, and I thought it was amazing to see these women in person.  I actually went up to Pam Stenzel because I wanted to tell her to keep sharing her story because I think it is so powerful.  She probably thinks I am crazy because I babbled on like a fool unable to compose myself, but that's okay! I just think these women are such powerful witnesses because they show the humanity of the baby that is in the womb, and their lives are a testimony to the fact that God can take a horrible, tragic event and turn it around for his good and glory.  

I also became really emotional after seeing these women holding up signs saying that they regret their abortion.   
I know I already said this on my Facebook page, but seeing these women really made my heart ache. While I do think abortion is an evil part of our culture, I do not think that women who have had an abortion are evil. I feel sad that they were ever in a position where they felt like they had to choose it, and I feel even more sad thinking about the regret and guilt that many of experience afterwards.  I can't even begin to imagine how haunting it would be to wonder what your child would have been like every.single.day for the rest of your life.  

We marched on through the snow, and once we got to the end, we went over to a local Catholic church to wait for the bus.  The people at the church were so welcoming, and they gave us all donuts and hot chocolate while we waited in their parish hall.  

The fight for life does not end with the march.  In case you can't read that quote, it says "Only with prayer - prayer that storms the heavens for justice and mercy, prayer that cleanses our hearts and souls- will the culture of death that surrounds us today be replaced with a culture of life."  We must pray, and pray, and pray.  Pray for life.  Pray for crisis pregnancies.  Pray for those working in crisis pregnancy centers.  Pray for those who are adamantly pro-choice.  Pray for Roe vs. Wade to be overturn.  Pray for adoption.  Pray for healing for those who have had their abortions.

But don't just stop at praying.  Pro-life encompasses so much more than just being against abortion.  Take a look at this article.  What can you do this year to stand up for life? 


18 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! It is so nice to see the "pro-life generation" doing their part. I hope one day to be able to go to the March For Life. Actually I take that back. I hope that eventually we won't have to March For Life.

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  2. THank you for the write up. I've never been, and appreciated your thoughts.

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  3. Thank you so much,Caitlin, for sharing your experience, photos, and prayers! And I echo both comments above... After having "met" you and Brooke and other young women through this wonderful world of Blogging, I have such hope for our future! : )

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  4. Thank you both for being a part of this and thank you for sharing your experience! Inspiring!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I loved the people who spoke out about how happy they were to be living despite the terms in which they were conceived.

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  6. Beautiful post, Caitlin! I haven't connected to the link, yet, that you shared, but right off the top of my head I can think of one significant way that I can promote the pro-life cause...by rearing my children in such a way that they understand the life-giving power of their fertility...understanding the beauty and significance of the marital embrace...and instilling in them the knowledge and understanding of NFP and not contracepting. I wasn't so fortunate. I was raised in a different generation...by Catholics (both parental and educational) that formed me to put child-rearing off and career first using my own conscience as a guide. Without going into detail I'll just say that I regret many choices, but at least abortion was never one of them. Still...when I think of how I delayed child-bearing...only to find myself miscarrying repeatedly...I was struck by your comment,

    "I can't even begin to imagine how haunting it would be to wonder what your child would have been like every.single.day for the rest of your life."

    My only consolation is that my husband and I have 5 children in heaven waiting to welcome us...to introduce us to Mary their mother, and Jesus!

    Yes, this next generation can and must do better!

    Blessings,
    Valerie

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    1. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, Valerie. This left me speechless. I am so sorry for the loss of your five children. That is so heartbreaking.

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  7. Caitlin,
    Thank you so much for sharing - so glad you had a safe trip. Praying to end abortion.
    God bless,
    Chloe M.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your experience in the March for Life. I have never gotten to go, but it sounds like a wonderful and very emotional experience. I also loved hearing about the homily given at the Mass, you and your husband attended. Really puts things into perspective and gives a lot of hope knowing anyone can change for the better.

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  9. I just love the March for Life - there is so much joy there, even though we are fighting against something so terribly evil. So sad we didn't get to meet up! Sometime soon though :)

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  10. My eyes are leaking, this is so moving. Thank you for going and reporting back. I have never even thought about the children born from rape being pro-life. Of course it makes sense, but I've never seen signs like that.

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  11. My High School Pro-Life group did this every year. I'd really like to experience it as an adult. I, myself, was barely born. My mom couldn't afford an abortion, so she went ahead and had me. I am thankful every day for my chance at life, and mourn those souls that are lost before they take their first breath.

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    1. Oh my goodness. I can imagine it must be a really emotional issue for both your and your mom. Thank goodness she had you! That really puts things into perspective. Thank you for sharing, Kristen.

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  12. Oh this abortion, marriage, family crisis of the present time is really tearing my heart apart... and I become even more hopeless when I think about the fact that A RECORD-BREAKING 500,000 PEOPLE MARCHED ON WASHINGTON and they were COMPLETELY IGNORED BY THE MEDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT!!! How can we ever win this battle if it is the MEDIA who controls and brainwashed everyone into this new-age feminism and guilt-free sex and abortion without limits for everyone. So HEART BREAKING. It made me tear up last Thursday when I attended a special holy hour of adoration dedicated to the end of abortion.

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    1. It is so sad that it was not in the news! I saw one story in USA today, and it said that there were thousands of people....grossly underestimated :(

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  13. Thank you for sharing this! I've never been, so experiencing it through your pictures will hold me over til I get to go!

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  14. Awesome post, Caitlin! This was my 7th year in a row going and 5th year taking teens from the Youth Group...what an amazing thing to be a part of together as church! I love seeing all the families that trek it out to be there and stand for life...I tell my husband Jim someday when we have kidlets I want to go as a family:)...and all the young people!
    Our job is to be people of great hope and not despair the darkness, in the end our guy wins the battle! :)

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