By: Sr. Clare Hunter
Yesterday, I was actually perspiring. However, the weather changed so rapidly that I spent most of this morning angry that the 40th March for Life is tomorrow, after a “snow storm” and on a day with a projected high of 15 degrees, which we all know means it will feel like zero. I will confess I even whined, “Why is God doing this to us?” Now, thousands will not come to the March for Life. Of course, even with smaller numbers, the events will still go on. The beautiful Mass for Human Life will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Arlington Diocese will host the Life is VERY Good night of prayer tonight at the Patriot Center, with a concert with Matt Maher and an hour of Adoration. The crowd will not be at the expected capacity of 8500, but it will be full of love, life and prayer. Tomorrow morning there will be three rallies and Masses for teens at the Verizon Center, D.C. Armory, and the Patriot Center. Each venue was sold out, expecting to host 40,000 youth from around the nation. The rally at the March for Life will be wonderful, and the crowds will still be impressive.
Of course, God is not to blame for bad weather. On the bright side, maybe those who do come will impress the media, and they will give coverage to the March for Life, which has been profoundly missing from media outlets for years. The March for Life will happen regardless of the numbers. And in fact, maybe the sacrifices made by the thousands who will not be able to attend, and the thousands who will brave the bitter cold, is the very thing that will save a child from being aborted, stop a mother and father from making the worst decision of their lives, and cause hearts to be thawed, and changed, that laws in our nation will protect human life.
Today at Mass, the homilist reminded us that we do not know how God works, and that we must trust that the intentions of our hearts, our will for the good, is His very desire. Of course, in my opinion, it should be His desire to have hundreds of thousands, maybe even a million, come to the 40th March for Life. The success of record crowds at Masses and rallies throughout the area would impress the nation, solve all our problems, and change the world!
The notion that God might have other desires and plans that do not make sense to me reminded me of the story of Gideon’s Army. The Lord told Gideon he had too many men to fight (not the typical strategy for winning battles), because should they win, they would consider the victory a success of their power, not God’s. And so God ordered Gideon to shrink his army from 22,000 to 300 men. Thus, the glory and power of God shone forth through the 300 men chosen to fight and win the battle.
We will miss our friends who will not be able to join us tonight and tomorrow, and we join you in the battle for life in prayer and sacrifice. We offer special prayers of safety for those of you traveling tonight and tomorrow. And we especially pray for the trust to say, “God’s will be done!” Those of us who will be at the March for Life tomorrow must trust that there is a reason we are there, bodily, and offer our physical sufferings and sacrifices to God, reminding ourselves that to Him alone belongs the victory.