Lent is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting to prepare us for the hope-filled death and Resurrection of our Lord. This can include giving something up (think chocolate and television, not exercise and vegetables), or focusing more intently on a particular spiritual discipline (i.e. Lectio Divina or the Rosary). Lent (like Advent) can be a great time to build a habit that continues throughout the rest of the year.
For me, as I received the mark of ashes today, I’m particularly filled with a deep repentance for my apathy for the unborn. It’s not for lack of belief, but rather my belief has come with little action. But as St. John tells us in his first epistle, we ought to be concerned when our belief does not love with actions and truth.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)
In my first year as a baptized Catholic, I’ve become increasingly aware and convicted of this discord — thanks in part to the daily prayers for an end to abortion offered at Mass. From my first few pro-life initiatives it’s clear that I’m joining so many faithful Catholics as they witness to the world the dignity of the human person. But it’s also to you that I must ask forgiveness for not joining you sooner. I promise to make up for lost time.
Being new to pro-life initiatives, I’m appreciative of the blueprint for action provided by the U.S. Catholic bishops in their Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities. The campaign involves four vital approaches: education, prayer, compassion and advocacy.
In upcoming posts I will examine these four approaches, and discuss how we might get involved in tangible and practical ways to “respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life.”1 Many of the initiatives are new to me, so I invite you to share your experiences along the way.
Please consider joining me during this season of Lent to love the “least of these”2 with actions and in truth.