My apologies for not tending my garden here at Coming Home for the past week. I’ve been busy creating the new website, Proud Parents, trying to make it a tight, one-stop education center for parents regarding Planned Parenthood, STD’s, and the safety of our children. Much has gone on in the past week and it all seems to be interconnected, at least in my sleep-deprived mind.
We have the story of Baby Joseph being saved by Priests for Life from murder at the hands of Canadian physicians. We have the story of a Rawandan grandmother being saved from being starved to death by the Jesuit Georgetown University Hospital (her feeding tube was removed more than two weeks ago, and still she has survived without food or water). She wasn’t dying, but simply taking up precious resources! There’s an article coming in a day or two on all of that.
So that’s all good news on the euthanasia front.
Moving into an integration of our pro-life work and our Lenten journey, I point the reader to one of my favorite Catholic authors, Amy Welborn, who wrote an outstanding article for Headline Bistro. In the article, Amy addresses the very essence of Lent and quotes Pope Benedct XVI:
“Lent is a journey; it is to accompany Jesus who goes up to Jerusalem, the place of the fulfillment of the mystery of his passion, death and resurrection; it reminds us that the Christian life is a “journey” to undertake, which consists not so much in a law to be observed but in the very person of Christ, who we must encounter, receive and follow.”
I’ll spend the rest of Lent unpacking those words.
We accompany Jesus to Jerusalem because we know what happens there. He makes Himself the perfect sacrifice for all of humanity’s sins. The once and for all Lamb of God.
But He also tells us in the Gospels to pick up our crosses daily and to come follow Him. We know what awaits us at the end of the road.
We die on our crosses.
Done properly, we die to self on those crosses. Parents die to self in order to nurture their children. We give all to the Lord, and in the pro-life movement that means ridicule is our lot. Often the ridicule is ferocious and cutting and in the beginning it makes us want to quit. I’m sure Jesus felt the same at times. When I first starting receiving death threats from Ted Shulman, I knew Jesus prayer in the garden, “Father let this cup pass me by.” But Regina made me live the rest of that prayer, “But not as I will, but as you will.” So together, we moved forward with God’s will for our life’s work. Others who were his targets have had the same experience. That’s the extreme form of reaction by the Evil One, meant to make us back down.
Sunday’s Gospel spoke to this issue of being dissuaded. It was the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Satan subtly attempts to take Jesus’ focus off of the Father by taking advantage of His hunger:
“If you are the Son of God, turn these stones to bread.”
“Throw yourself from the Temple parapet. God will save you.”
“Pay me homage and I will give you the kingdoms of the earth.”
Satan was there at the very end with the same temptation, speaking in the voice of those present:
“If you are the Son of God, come down from that cross.” Even one of the thieves being crucified got in on the act.
There is a lesson in that for us. Just as it was with Jesus, at the moment when our greatest victory is at hand the temptation is greatest to quit and save ourselves. I think our legislators are going through that with Obama and defunding Planned Parenthood, and pray they will remain strong for just a while longer, that they stay on their crosses and don’t succumb to the temptation to run and save themselves.
So our Lenten journey is with Jesus on the way to die with Him. In the video below, Hillsong sings Lead Me To The Cross, and footage is shown from The Passion of the Christ.
I’m struck by the madness of the Romans who whip Jesus, by Mary’s sacrifice of sorrow, and by Satan’s last desperate attempt to prevent our salvation–an attempt that is chilling in the simplicity of the ridicule and scorn aimed at Jesus when He was in His most agonizing and desperate hour.
I’m also heartened that God will give any one of us the grace we need to resist the same temptation to come down from our crosses when victory is so close at hand.