Many years ago at the March for Life, I was standing around after the rally had ended on Parliament Hill, talking to a rather famous healing priest. I said, “Father Fernando, one day it would be great if we brought the Eucharist up here during the March for Life. I think that it would have a huge impact for the pro-life cause.” I can’t remember what he said to me, but he smiled like he knew something. Sometimes, you don’t forget conversations – however innocuous or seemingly unimportant – because these remembered conversations end up playing out later on in life.
For many years, I really never thought about it again. But Providence has a way of moving things forward at just the right time and just the right place and when we’re ready for it.
Yesterday morning, the thought came to me that perhaps it was time to ask the Archbishop of Ottawa to lead us with our Eucharistic King into the battle on Parliament Hill.
There’s been a movement in the last few years to rely less on religion to fight this battle. While it’s good to bring everything including the kitchen sink to this war, we Catholics cannot get fooled into thinking that this fight is principally a political one that we can win or that the fight against abortion is going to be won by reason or by science. That’s a big mistake. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use these instruments, of course. We do use them and we will continue to do so. It’s not an either/or scenario, by any means. It’s everything and just about anything we can get our hands on to convince people that this “procedure” should be banned.
But what is crucial is to have a proper foundation to launch an attack. The Spirit without muscle is flabby and weak. It’s pie-in-the-sky and not Catholic. Faith without works is dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. On the other hand, without the Spirit, there is no proper foundation laid to launch the assault. A shaky foundation – even with slick arguments and media promotion - is going no where fast except down in flames or, at best, at a snail’s pace. The Prince of the Air is not on our side.
Everything works for God’s greater glory, but in the proper order, focus, and magnitude. A woman’s high heel shoe doesn’t look like much of a weapon, unless it’s applied to one square inch of your forehead. Then it can become deadly. It doesn’t take much pressure to take down a giant. David and his slingshot remind us of that.
The real battle here, folks, is not in the political realm. It’s in the spiritual realm as St. Paul reminds us:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12).
And what army goes to battle without their General? Or keeps their General outside of the battlefield? That’s a bad tactical move. As Catholics, we need to wake up and start to get smart about this.
We need to bring Jesus out to the March for Life.
I know this might go against the conventional wisdom on fighting this battle – you know, the whole “ecumenical” or even “secular” gigs we’ve used until now, but convention is not what will win this. As the Lord says, “My ways are not your ways.”
Do we really believe in the power of the Eucharist or not? Isn’t that the real question here? Where is our Faith, brothers and sisters? Is Jesus truly present? Is He not the head of the Body? Is He not the vanquisher of evil, the Light of the World? If so, then it’s time to shine that light on Parliament Hill during the darkest period in our country’s history.
And just watch what happens.
More priests will come out. More bishops too. The numbers on the Hill will rise exponentially every year, as the Lord will call more people to witness at the March for Life. More people means more people energized to become pro-life activists on a daily basis. That puts more pressure on the media to concede more ground and coverage to us. More pressure on the media means more pressure on the politicians. Pressure on the politicians means more pressure on the law. And then and only then will the law change.
But first things, first. The foundation must be laid for the assault. The Lord wants to touch and heal our country, but we need to take the next step to widen the March from merely a political rally to an annual Pilgrimage with forgiveness and plenary indulgences for all! Where the devil seeks to accuse and to shame those trapped in the abortion hell, we need to be a visible sign of grace and mercy. It’s time to reclaim our Catholic identity in this war and push forward. The Eucharistic Procession can even occur before Noon so that the Hill is virtually full of people before the March’s official events begin. The March itself therefore can stay (wink, wink) all ecumenical and secular. I’m not putting down the witness of other Christians or people of no faith at this rally. They are important in this fight and play a crucial role. However, we Catholics have business to attend to in our own way on this question of abortion, and, really, we should just get on with it and not worry about the consequences.
Parliament Hill has a large interlock path right in the middle of it with grass on either side. Picture it, then: Solemn prayer at the Centennial flame, with a special blessing for the flame to become a symbol of the Holy Spirit to enliven and inspire the Catholic Faithful to accept the mission of bringing justice to the unborn in Canada. After Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the bishop processess up the path – Jesus held high - with thousands of Catholics on either side on their knees in adoration. Divine Mercy Signs, Our Lady of Guadalupe Signs. Bring out Heavenly Court itself! Maybe the Knights of Colombus can form an honour guard from the Flame to the Steps. It would be glorious, wouldn’t it?
It can happen. Pray that it will happen. And it really must happen.
If you agree with this vision, sign the petition to Archbishop Prendergast:
And let’s get it on because we don’t go along with the Culture of Death or its father of lies.
Pictures: During a Catholic Youth Conference in 2010 held in Ottawa. First Photo: Priests and young people in Eucharistic Procession to the steps of Parliament Hill. Second Photo: Archbishop Prendergast incensing the Exposed Eucharist. (Courtesy: TheAngloCatholic.com).