Monday, October 7, 2013

LIfe Chain Fall 2013: A Follow Up

Me at Life Chain Fall'2013
Today's post is a follow up to my previous post entitled, Life Chain - Faith Put Into Action. On Sunday, October 6, I attended the Life Chain effort, here in my local community of Woodbridge, Ontario. I would like to share with you some of my observations, thoughts and the overall experience during this silent public witness against the evil of abortion.

As you can see from the photo caption, that is me, holding a laminated poster of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn. Pope John Paul II in 1999, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupeentrusted 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. There are some who still do not know of Our Lady of Guadalupe's special role and connection to the pro-life movement, so to "spot light" it, I decided to hold Her image during the entire time at Life Chain.

This year's Life Chain effort was attended by a small number of pro-life enthusiasts, included Franciscan Friars, Fr. Peter Furguiele, OFM and Fr. Michael Corcione, OFM from St. Peter's Parish. In addition to St. Peter's Parish, there were pro-lifers in attendance from Immaculate Conception Parish (Woodbridge) and St. David's Parish (Maple). Together, we all put forth a concerted effort to get the message out, that the killing of a developing human being in the womb, is morally wrong. Abortion is morally wrong because human life is sacred. As Pope John Paul II points out in Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life), "Human life if sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end...(53) In addition, the killing of a human being is a direct disobedience against God's commandment of "Thou Shall Not Kill," which can be found in Old Testament at Exodus 20:13. Jesus reinforces this commandment in the New Testatment at Matthew 19:18, where Jesus reminds the rich man, who asked Jesus as to how he may have eternal life? Jesus replied, "...You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal." Although we were a relatively small group, this did not deter us by any means. During our Life Chain witness, we recited the Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary for all the unborn children, for women who are in need of post abortion healing and families who have had to suffer this grave evil in their lives.

Fr. Peter Furguiele, OFM and other pro-lifers.
Our enthusiasm to publicly witness against the evil of abortion was matched by many people who made an effort to show their support. Some chose to simply honk their horns. Others rolled down their windows and expressed words of encouragement, approval and gratitude for our public witness. There is one individual who really stood out. A young man on a racing motorcycle, who travelling south on Islington arrived at the red lights at Hwy. 7. Having come to a full stop, he immediately turned his head left to the group of six people at the north east corner, the group I was with. I could tell he was reading all of our signs and viewing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was only a few seconds later that he motioned with his thumbs, "two thumbs up." The young man even went one step further and took off his protective helmet in an effort to further connect with us, granting us his approval and encouragement once again. Eventually, the traffic lights had changed to green and he rode off, but his positive reinforcement of our public witness remained. I looked to all in our group and it was obvious, we all felt up lifted and encouraged by this young man's effort to connect with us.

In my view, there is a great deal of moral support within the Woodbridge community against the evil of abortion. Unfortunately, that moral support has not translated into a great deal of action with efforts such as Life Chain. Life Chain is faith put into action and represents a key opportunity to defend the unborn children from murder.  A faith without action is a dead faith (James 2:14-18). If we in the Woodbridge community intend to contribute to the building up of a "culture of life," then we must take action. It is not enough for us to only read and pray, we also have to do something about it. Life Chain is but one of the many ways to affect a positive change in our community.  

Witnessing in front of the Woodbridge Memorial Arena
If you did not participate in this year's Life Chain and/or are not active in the pro-life movement, consider this effort in the future.  It requires very little of your time and energy. Your future participation may make a big difference, especially with the youth who are particularly vulnerable to secularization and the acceptance of immorality so rampant in today's main stream "culture of death." Hopefully your future witness will be all that is necessary to sway some one from having an abortion. At the very minimum, you will draw attention to this national issue and perhaps even spawn some good discussions and readings. 

Some of the Life Chain Fall'2013 Participants
To all those who attended this year's Life Chain, bravo for your determination to make the evil of abortion known. Your abortion awareness efforts are indicative of a lively faith put into action at a time in society when it is so needed. Lastly, a heartfelt "thank you" to all who showed their support for our public witness. May God continue to bless all of us with His abundant grace and mercy.

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