Yesterday was the March for Life.
On Monday, I watched over 400 of my fellow students here at Benedictine College load into 8 buses. For part of the process, I stood on a balcony overlooking the crowd. It was a frenzy of excitement below. It took about an hour to get everyone organized, the busses loaded, and get people their warm hats, itineraries, and sack lunches. There was also a prayer led by the abbot and a blessing of all the Marchers. When they weren’t praying, music–everything from “Some Nights” to “The Circle of Life”–blasted through a sound system. I helped where I could, but mostly wandered between different vantage points watching the scene, jealous.
I wanted to go on the March. So many of my friends were going, traveling more than 24 hours to DC on those buses. Despite my initial skepticism, our pro-life club had met their goal and signed up enough people for 8 buses. Almost a quarter of the student body was going, along with professors, staff, and monks & priests from the abbey. But I wasn’t going.
I was lucky enough to be able to go last year. But this year I stayed back. And I was a little bummed. Then I saw a friend’s post on Facebook saying that those of us on the “home front” would be praying for those on the March (or something to that effect).
And we did. We had a 24 hour period of Eucharistic Adoration and I’m sure many people here sent up a prayer or two for their friends and classmates who were gone. Professors, in my experience, were mostly understanding and allowing of students being gone on the March. I’m proud of everyone who missed classes and took time away to go to DC and show the government what we believe. And I’m proud of everyone who took part in the adoration or in some other way prayed for those who were gone.
We need both action and prayer. Without prayer our actions are flat and meaningless. St. Benedict has a phrase “ora et labora”, prayer and work. Both individuals and groups need action and prayer combined. This is something that’s been brought up in my work with Campus Ministry this year. And reaffirmed this week with the March for Life.
I think, at different times we’re called to different things. Perhaps this year you were called to go on the March. Or perhaps you were called to stay back and pray. Either way, you were supporting the pro-life movement. And I hope that those who marched also prayed and that those who prayed will also being acting and working for the pro-life cause.