While the annual March for Life in Washington is still scheduled for Jan. 29, the…
Loving more and better
“We need this!” A young Black man screamed as he pointed to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. He had just dropped off his girlfriend, for what I can’t imagine was the first abortion.
It was the first Saturday of the month, when a Witness for Life Mass happens at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. After the Mass, there’s a procession to the clinic a block away, praying all of the 15 decades of the Rosary.
One Sister of Life friend describes praying outside Planned Parenthood as being run over by a Mack truck. Satan is at work destroying lives, and it’s impossible not to see the praying there. But even as the one boyfriend was confident in the need for abortion in his life and the world — talk about the lack of resources for people to have families — God seemed to be inviting each person within the sound of his voice, which now extends to everyone who reads this column, to pray through what we can do more to help people see they don’t have to turn to abortion.
This past year during the pandemic has been such a reminder to so many of us how vulnerable we are in every way. And if right now, at this very moment, we have something — especially time — that we can share in some way, we must. This is what matters. Get to know some young men who don’t have a friend or mentor in their lives to show them another way and who might lead their girlfriends to abortions.
Later in the day, I sat in on a small group discussion at New York University’s Catholic Center that was part of the Fellowship of Catholic University Student’s SEEK conference, which happens every two years. They usually take over a convention center somewhere, but coronavirus meant going virtual.
I nearly cried as I listened to some of these countercultural young men living within the heart of darkness as they reflected upon the talks. Christian identity and its implications were on their minds.
My friend, Msgr. Jim Shea from the University of Mary, got them talking about how we sometimes can be in a “loveless love affair” with God, which was an examination of conscience for these committed Catholics living in a hostile environment.
One described the pressures that come up in the classroom as they are indoctrinated in gender theory and the lies inflicted upon the innocent.
One talked about how he doesn’t spend enough time in silence with God — “brainstorming” with him — and tries to figure it out himself, instead. But what really moved me was that St. Joseph seemed to be guiding him.
The men spoke how their hearts ached for their girlfriends. Every influence wants these men to immerse themselves in every kind of sexual immodesty and immorality. One man talked about how one young woman recently got mad at him for not liking a risqué selfie she had posted. And he explained, essentially, that he loved her too much to “like” the post. She appreciated that, and it made her think differently.
Another talked about how an atheist friend challenged him on her caricatured understanding of why a Catholic opposes abortion. He’s been dabbling in the Theology of the Body and explained to her how the Church offers something better than lust, that exalts the woman and her body. It was, of course, new to her, and she was intrigued.
Shouting in the streets isn’t the best approach, but loving at every opportunity is the only way to a civilization of love. I recently spoke with a maternity home director who is convinced abortions increased during the pandemic. With the confusion that increases with a Catholic president who has vowed to expand abortion, loving more and better is critical.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and editor-at-large of National Review.