Report From the March for Life
By Br. Frassati Davis, O.P.
Each January when the Dominicans return to the National Mall to defend life, we aim to give witness to the power of the light of Christ in the midst of darkness. Like the other participants in the March, we are there to affirm the truth that all have been made in the image and likeness of God. Every year, we march to acknowledge the precious gift of life and that every person deserves the opportunity to live in this world. Simply put, each Catholic must understand the importance of life and the call to defend the dignity of all human lives, born or unborn.
As a freshman in college, I went to the March for Life for the first time with the Catholic Chaplaincy from the University of Illinois. That year, the day of the March was unbearably windy and cold and I did not bring gloves or a heavy coat for the occasion. Unfortunately, I was not the only one in my group to be so irresponsible. My companions also did not look ahead at the weather forecast and we marched that morning with fingers like popsicles! Yet, even during that moment of self-inflicted discomfort, I remember the positive attitude of the group and of the March for Life as a whole. We were marching for something much more important than our own comfort.
With an issue as emotionally-charged and controversial as abortion, it would be easy to think that the participants of the March for Life would be angry and fired up. But it was not like that. In the middle of winter, without coats and with the persistent clamor of a pro-choice opposition, half a million people were happy and proud to defend life. A contagious joy erupted on the National Mall that day, a change from the usual tourist groups. The presence of so many young people transmitted a message of hope for the future. That year, we gave witness to the importance of human life with an attitude that points to the love of God, Who gives life.
On January 22, a day of prayer designated by the US Bishops for the legal protection of unborn children, the Mass’s first reading from Colossians urges us to trust in the Lord: “We give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:12-13)
St. Paul teaches us to have confidence that Christ will deliver us from the darkness, especially in a world that offers us many things that take away our longing for the light of Christ. But God has the strength to show us the light of eternal life, even in the midst of opposition.
Although Roe vs. Wade is still in effect, the March for Life each year advances the hope of a future without abortion. It is one of many ways to combat the lie that some lives are not worth protecting. Each year, the energy of the participants in the March captures the joy of a life-affirming community that urges all who are anti-life to consider the unborn and protect their right to life, so that we may all share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
Let us bear witness to the joy of our faith and make a commitment to defend life.