I wasn't able to go to the Pro-Life Rally in Washington, DC today but I did my best to observe the day prayerfully and penitently. I have never made an effort to hide the fact that there was a time in my life when I stood on the wrong side of this issue. I tell people this not only as part of the reparation I make to the Lord, but also as an encouragement to those who pray for a conversion of our country to a culture of life that a change of heart is always possible. We should never forget that prayer is our single most powerful spiritual weapon in the battle between good and evil, especially evil that is disguised as something safe and legal. The law may permit this atrocity to take place, but when it leaves an unborn baby dead, rest assured there is nothing "safe" about it.
Sometimes, I like to sit before the large crucifix in St. Rita's lower shrine to contemplate the supreme sacrifice that was made on my behalf. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta once urged that we view Our Lord with His arms extended as an indication of how much He loves us. When my oldest was a baby, I used to play "So Big" with her. She would spread her little arms apart when I'd say "so big" and then she'd wrap them around me in a precious hug. I'd ask her how much she loved me and she'd do the same thing. When she got a little older and could talk she'd say "I love you this much, Mom". And she'd spread her chubby little arms and use them to hug me again. I was thinking about that today in front of that graphic crucifix. No matter how badly I screwed up, and continue to be imperfect, He still loves me, and you, and all of us, that much. And because He promised to be with us til the end of time, He remains with us through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What a consolation it is to know that, especially on a day like today.