I was able to go home and visit my parents this weekend, so I had a chance to fill them in on some of my "adventures" this semester. Among other things, I told them about the trip I took two weeks ago with my school's campus ministry to Washington D.C. for the March for Life.
Apparently, my mother had heard that there was an unremarkable turnout, and that there were plenty of counter-protesters.
I don't know where she got that news. First, I didn't see a single pro-choice protester--my thought is that if you were carrying a pro-abortion sign, everyone would just have assumed that the "don't" or "stop" part of your poster had fallen off!
In my group, we heard that there were 200,000 people at the march, and I certainly believe it. I don't think I've ever seen that many people in one place before. And the funny thing is, you still manage to find people you know (even from other regions of the country) unexpectedly in the crowd. While I was there, it occurred to me that Heaven might be a little similar in this regard: billions and billions of people, but you still manage to find your friends and connect with people personally. But this was just a thought.
Of course, most of the day was far from heavenly. For one thing, it's sad that we have to come out and march in the first place. Also, January 22 was declared a national day of penance by the U.S. bishops, and I can assure you that the day was adequately penitential for everyone in my group.
We had a LONG and grueling trip by bus and train, and we spent a lot of time standing in cold and rainy weather (and I had a migraine on the way home). But in one sense, I was almost grateful for these trying conditions. They made our being there more meaningful. I think it says a lot when people, especially young people, are willing to put up with this discomfort in order to take a stand on what they believe.
At the end of the march, there was a huge rainbow across the sky (and some say over the Supreme Court building, but I wasn't there at the time). A friend of mine said that this was the first rainbow he had ever seen in D.C. We're all hoping it's a sign!
Participating in the March for Life was a great thing to do as a Catholic, but also as an American citizen. I'm sure that all the marchers will bring their convictions into the voting booth with them on this "Super Tuesday". Today let's pray that more people--especially Catholics--will listen to their consciences as they choose which candidate to support.