I’ll be putting on my walking shoes and making my way to Washington D.C. to participate in the March for Life this week. This will be the second time I will participate in the march.

There will be a number of students from our Catholic schools along with some of their teachers who will make the journey to stand for life. It’s striking that so many of the participants are young. Many are in their teens and this is an issue that belongs to them as they are the generation that has survived the legalization of abortion.

We will offer Mass together and remind ourselves the issue is really a spiritual one that speaks to the core of our religious beliefs and not just a political stance characterized by some as the action of zealots.

I was in law school in 1973 when the Roe vs. Wade decision was issued. Here was a decision that, for the most part, declared a life, the child in the womb, was merely a piece of chattel which could be arbitrarily discarded.

It was beyond my comprehension that seven of the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court could ignore a living human being and rule against the protection of the law for the most vulnerable among us.

Yet, this was not the first time a person was seen as a thing. In one of the most shameful decisions ever issued by the Supreme Court, Dred Scott (1857) was declared a piece of property that must be returned to its (his) owner. The decision was issued by the Taney Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the first Roman Catholic to lead the United States’ highest court.

One would like to think that we learned something as a country in the over 100 years since the Dred Scott decision, but, unfortunately, we failed, and since 1973, more than 1.3 million children a year have been sacrificed. That’s 1.3 million a year times 42 years!

We are horrified – and rightfully so – by the terrorists who behead, bomb and shoot the innocent in our streets. We lock arms and protest the barbaric actions of these extremists. We don’t have to travel far as we hear and read of innocents who die in our inner cities.

How do we recapture a sense of our civilization and uphold the dignity that is ours as God’s children, created in his image despite size, shape, color or gender?

We cannot — we must not — take the precious gift of life for granted because even the most intelligent among us can be blinded by politics, self-interest or inconvenience.

For a long time we have been systematically subjected in the arenas of higher education to the denial of objective truth. Our most recent popes have declared war on relativism.

All truth becomes relative. Truth is what we want to make it. We constantly experience the inability to agree on even the most obvious aspects of our lives. Morality becomes ambiguous. Therefore, something can be wrong for you but right for me. I have heard it said in some ethics and moral classes by instructors declaring, “There are no right or wrong answers.”
Your opinion is just as valid as the person’s next to you. The Ten Commandments become the 10 suggestions. Do not steal, do not commit adultery and do not kill become maybe do not steal, commit adultery or kill.

The simple fact is there is objective truth. God is, whether the person next to me believes he is not. Life is his gift which deserves to be protected.  

I worry about our nation and I know we will not be on the right track as a society until we respect life from the very beginning to natural death. It’s difficult to speak of how much we care about any of the social issues when we care little for the child in the womb.

You cannot espouse a pro-choice position unless you are alive and therefore you must be pro-life first before you can exercise your freedom to choose. The future belongs to those who are pro-life.  

I will be marching proudly on Thursday with brothers and sisters who care about life and who care about our nation. But at times, I have a feeling of inadequacy, of hopelessness as I question what can I, as one person, do?

Pope Francis, in an address in St. Peter’s Square, Oct. 2, 2013, gave us his insight: “A final question: what can I, a weak fragile sinner, do? God says to you: do not be afraid of holiness, do not be afraid to aim high, to let yourself be loved and purified by God, do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us be infected by the holiness of God. Every Christian is called to sanctity (cf. Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium”, nn. 19-42) and sanctity does not consist especially in doing extraordinary things, but in allowing God to act. It is the meeting of our weakness with the strength of his grace; it is having faith in his action that allows us to live in charity, to do everything with joy and humility, for the glory of God and as a service to our neighbor.”   

Filled with love for God and for our brothers and sisters, we will march in witness to God’s power among us to move the hearts and minds of our legislators to acknowledge the precious gift of life, and calling upon our nation to protect the unborn. As believers, we will do so one step at a time.