Day 3, PART 2 – The Spiral of Intimacy
Fr. Joe Rankin—my pastor, mentor, boss, and friend—told me this about youth ministry and evangelization in general that I’ve never forgotten. Paraphrased of course, “Sharing the Gospel is like inviting people into a funnel. You have some people at the top, others farther down in, but you can only invite them in. You can’t pull them in.”
That funnel is a spiral of intimacy, and whether or not you know your faith catechetically or not—we are all in some way peering into the depth of that spiraling love. Some of us have never seen or encountered Jesus in the Eucharist, either in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or in the profundity of Eucharistic Adoration. Others have been around such beauty all their lives; they’re even constantly and consistently taught the logic and lordship of Jesus in the Eucharist—yet still—an authentic, humble, and messy encounter has alluded them! Still others experience moments of deep mystical union with Our Lord, but in the ebb and flow of life find themselves lulled into a subconscious complacency as the noonday devil of acedia strikes.
Oftentimes we find ourselves lost in our own traumas, our own desire for healing—that we forget the real reason for our pilgrimage on earth, at the March for Life, at World Youth Day. The real reason for our trip to the March for Life is NOT to protest Roe v. Wade in order to overturn it. Boldly, I say it again. The real reason for our trip to the March for Life is NOT to protest a political issue.
Rather, the real reason for our trip to the March for Life is to pray to Jesus Christ and encounter His peace in hopes to find inspiration, motivation, and an unshakeable joy of unity and momentum that no darkness of abortion, abuse, or abandonment can overcome.
Through the trauma of Abortion, I believe our world has found a new understanding of the healing of the Eucharist. What started as a protest has been transformed into a prayer. What started as a death march has finally started to be seen as a victory march. Tens of thousands? Try hundreds of thousands who keep coming year after year without fail to see the Promised Land. Last year, to witness President Trump on video and Vice President Pence speak live at the National March for Life (the first time a sitting President has ever addressed the March) was powerful, and from his cooperation came the keystrokes of Christ’s ultimate purpose for Roe v. Wade. The declaration of Sanctity of Human Life Day was enshrined in our American story, giving us only a matter of time before we see it enshrined in our Constitution.
His words from last year are as follows, for the momentum we started last year has only snowballed into a more powerful calling this year:
President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day
Issued on: January 19, 2018
Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity. Much of the greatest suffering in our Nation’s history — and, indeed, our planet’s history — has been the result of disgracefully misguided attempts to dehumanize whole classes of people based on these immutable characteristics. We cannot let this shameful history repeat itself in new forms, and we must be particularly vigilant to safeguard the most vulnerable lives among us. This is why we observe National Sanctity of Human Life Day: to affirm the truth that all life is sacred, that every person has inherent dignity and worth, and that no class of people should ever be discarded as “non-human.”
Reverence for every human life, one of the values for which our Founding Fathers fought, defines the character of our Nation. Today, it moves us to promote the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children. It animates our concern for single moms; the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled; and orphan and foster children. It compels us to address the opioid epidemic and to bring aid to those who struggle with mental illness. It gives us the courage to stand up for the weak and the powerless. And it dispels the notion that our worth depends on the extent to which we are planned for or wanted.
Science continues to support and build the case for life. Medical technologies allow us to see images of the unborn children moving their newly formed fingers and toes, yawning, and even smiling. Those images present us with irrefutable evidence that babies are growing within their mothers’ wombs — precious, unique lives, each deserving a future filled with promise and hope. We can also now operate on babies in utero to stave off life-threatening diseases. These important medical advances give us an even greater appreciation for the humanity of the unborn.
Today, citizens throughout our great country are working for the cause of life and fighting for the unborn, driven by love and supported by both science and philosophy. These compassionate Americans are volunteers who assist women through difficult pregnancies, facilitate adoptions, and offer hope to those considering or recovering from abortions. They are medical providers who, often at the risk of their livelihood, conscientiously refuse to participate in abortions. And they are legislators who support health and safety standards, informed consent, parental notification, and bans on late-term abortions, when babies can feel pain. These undeterred warriors, many of whom travel to Washington, D.C., every year for the March for Life, are changing hearts and saving lives through their passionate defense of and loving care for all human lives. Thankfully, the number of abortions, which has been in steady decline since 1980, is now at a historic low. Though the fight to protect life is not yet over, we commit to advocating each day for all who cannot speak for themselves.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the value of our lives; to respond to others in keeping with their inherent dignity; to act compassionately to those with disabilities, infirmities, or frailties; to look beyond external factors that might separate us; and to embrace the common humanity that unites us. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.
DONALD J. TRUMP
The fact that I said “snowballed” was not even intentional, and yet—how many years has it snowed and utterly overwhelmed us as our storied pilgrimage on earth has peaked year after year at the March? On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it was a freezing blizzard. In 2016, they dubbed it “Snowpocalypse”, and yet—I believe in the sacrificial offering of the Mass proclaimed on that altar made of snow, Christ enacted His Supreme Power over the Supreme Court.
The throngs of pilgrims was almost inestimable. A beautiful sign reading “We March with Baby Steps” was spotted up ahead of us in the spiraling funnel of intimacy down Constitution Avenue. Oh indeed, it was quite intimate as we became more and more jam packed by the minute before things opened up for us enough to breathe again. Listening to the yearly witnesses like Abby Johnson and other former abortion clinic workers, seeing the Knights of Columbus’ powerful contribution to the movement in the form of countless ultrasounds for Pregnancy Centers, and then seeing the great Commissioning as we began our sojourn to the steps of the Supreme Court was breath-taking. No wonder we couldn’t breathe for a time.
Once it opened up though, some very important moments were given room in our hearts, and what moments they were!
In Christ, for Love & Life!
The Fellowship of the Fiat