|Our Lady of Guadalupe|
For those of you who are new to Life Chain, it is a public witness against the killing of unborn children. Participants stand in silent prayer at designated Life Chain locations, holding a sign that reads, "Abortion Kills Children" or something very similar. The Life Chain location that I will be attending is at Hwy. 7 and Islington Ave. from 2:00pm to 3:00pm.
If you have never publicly witnessed before, you might be asking yourself, "Why should I stand on the corner of Hwy. 7 and Islington to show my support for the protection of unborn children?" There are a few reasons. First, the very fact that abortion exists here in Canada should concern all conscientious Catholics. There is a moral crisis in Canada when the murder of developing babies in the womb is permitted at law and available on demand. The truth of the matter is that the killing of a human being is unacceptable at any stage of one's life, including while developing in the womb. God's commandment, "Thou Shall Not Kill," is not negotiable or open to interpretation. It demands assent by everyone and should be reflected in Canada's constitution and laws. Unfortunately, this is not the case since Morgantaler's 1988 constitutional challenge. So it is up to us, those who know, understand and accept the truth, to promote and defend the value, inviolability and sacredness of human life. By attending the LIfe Chain effort, you are standing up for the truth and helping to defend the lives of innocent human beings.
Second, faith is put into action when one participates in community efforts such as Life Chain, which is what we are called to do as Catholics. To quote scripture from the second chapter of James, Faith Without Works is Dead:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill', and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. (James 2:14-18)Life Chain brings you together with other like minded Christians. It is but one effort that helps to build up and strengthen the Catholic parish community. Typically, you may see diocesan clergy, Franciscan Friars, Knights of Columbus, Secular Franciscans and other conscientious Catholics who strive to get the message out, that abortion is morally wrong and unacceptable.
Third, by your witness you may positively affect someone, a passerby who until seeing you, may not have thought much about the abortion issue. Being that visible witness may be all that is needed to sway someone away from having an abortion. In today's secular society, we certainly need more and more witnesses raising awareness on the abortion issue.
Fourth, when we promote and defend the right to life of innocent unborn children, our prayers and actions are united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn. Pope John Paul II in 1999 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, entrusted the cause of life to the loving protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially the unborn children. The abortion fight is a spiritual battle, one that demands we employ spiritual weapons. With Our Lady of Guadalupe as a powerful intercessor, we fight the good fight against this evil in our society.
If you do decide to join me, I recommend the following:
- Wear exterior clothing that is appropriate for your one hour witness. Check the weather reports especially for rain. If rain is forecasted, Life Chain still goes forward, it is not cancelled, so bring an umbrella or rainwear.
- Bring your Rosary! Typically, many pray the Rosary during this one hour witness, so you can join others in group recitation of the Rosary, which is an even more effective way to fight this spiritual battle. You can read more about group recitation of the Rosary from St. Louis De Montfort's, The Secret of The Rosary, Forty Sixth Rose - Group Recitation.
- Take photos of your family, friends and other participants and share them on your social networks. Get the word out, bring awareness to everyone you can.
- Life Chain is a time of silent prayer and not a forum to debate the abortion issue with those who might try to engage you in a conversation. If a passerby does try to engage you, don't entertain the invitation to debate. Continue in prayer, undeterred with your witness.
- Hold the sign with attention, showing people you care about this issue.
- Arrive well before 2:00pm. It would be best to arrive between 1:30pm-1:45pm, to get situated, meet with others etc. Once 2:00pm hits, it is time to witness.