Last night we took in a Matt Maher concert. Adoration was awesome. It is amazing how quiet thousands of people can when in Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Whenever, I do youth events, it is important to have fun. That way they want to come and have some experience to share with others. However, it is always Jesus who wows them. Our young people are so taken with Adoration. This form of prayer and love of God that has been practiced throughout the centuries and been taken up again by Catholic youth.
This morning we got on the bus at 5:30. Which is way too early. Nothing should happen at that time of day. We arrived at the Armory in DC. I heard Confessions while Chris Stafanick spoke to the youth. What a powerful and gifted speaker. I was talking to another parent. Our youth are so blessed. When I was their age, all I had was CCD and at my parish that was pretty boring. Chris Stafanick and others have taken up the call of Blessed Pope John Paul II and found new ways, new technologies to evangelize others about the love of Christ. Later in the morning, we had Mass there. We had an encouraging word from Pope Francis. What a great pope we have. What a loving father.
After Mass, we took the Metro down to the Mall for the rally before the March. Someone said it was 0 degrees windchill. That did not deter us from the experience. The organizers will not march on a weekend. So if the anniversary of Roe versus Wade lands on a weekend, they move the march to nearest weekday. They do this so that Congress men and women are around. However, after 41 years, I don’t know if we can say we march for a change in the opinion on Capital Hill. Instead, I think we march for ourselves. We march to inspire the youth that they are not alone in embracing this truth. This may seem hard to believe when you are the only one or two people in your high school that believes that human life begins at conception. However, faced with the evidence of over half a million youth from around the nation, one realizes that one is not alone. This inspires and emboldens tomorrow’s leaders that human life from conception to natural death is precious. I’m reminded of one of the arguments that someone made at the Students for Life Conference yesterday. Abortion is age discrimination. Someone gets to impede on the rights of another just because they are older. I would go further though. Abortion is desire discrimination. It is illogical that desire can objectively determine whether it is a baby or a “fetus.” If the baby is wanted by the parents, it is considered their child, a person with life, with a future. If the baby is not wanted by the parents, they it is a blob of tissue. How can desire objectively determine what something is? Logic 101 says that something cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same respect.
All week long, our young have been encouraged and told that they can be the generation that embraces the culture of life and stops the culture of death. I too believe it can happen. When you march in the March for Life, you cannot help but be inspired by all the young faces around you. Keep praying, but this genocide will end. Maybe not in my lifetime, but it will end. Either our nation will see the truth or anti-life people will abort themselves into extinction. We will win. Because Christ is the Truth and He has already won. We are and will continue to fight the battle even though the war has already been won. We will triumph.
Enough words. Here are some more pictures:
Sorry I haven’t posted yet. Internet is not as prevalent as one would like. Here are some pictures from the first couple of days.
Our adventure for me started at 7 AM on Sunday. Ken Zins was nice enough to take Tatym and Lana Zins down to the Shopko parking lot in Worthington. The bus picked us up about 7:45. We rode the bus to Winona. There we loaded stuff for our nutritious breakfasts and switched buses. We had Mass with Bishop Quinn. What a great bishop we have. Of course he is going to fly out and meet us in DC.
Thankfully, the bus ride was uneventful. The past two years we have had crazy winter weather. So this was a nice break.
We went directly to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We had Mass in the crypt at 12:10. We then went to Union Station for lunch. I met up with a friend. We say some beautiful Byzantine iconography. In one of the rooms it talked about the Iconoclastic heresy. Earlier, with some of the youth, I was talking about the beauty of the National Shrine. Yes, we need to use our resources as a Church to feed the poor and care for those in need. However, it is not wrong to spend money building things that remind us of the infinite beauty and immensity of God. So many modern churches are void of beauty, statues, and other things that remind us of the greatness of our God and our Catholic Faith. It was said that in the “olden” days, people couldn’t read so many people learned more about their faith by studying the stained glass windows and other art in the church. However, even in a literate Christian community, art can take places and teach us things words cannot. If God is infinite goodness and beauty, our churches should reflect this. Christian art supplements this. I am very blessed to be the pastor of St. Gabriel’s in Fulda, MN, a beautiful church. Also, I love visiting St. Adrian’s (in Adrian, MN) which is not too far. St. Adrian is probably one of the top three most beautiful churches in our diocese.
After the Byzantine exhibit, my friend and I went to the Spy Museum. When I told people I was going to the Spy Museum, people thought I was kidding. They didn’t think it really existed. The spy museum was very interesting. However, one of the video interviews of a former spy confirmed what I always suspected, that it is tough to live a life where you lie all the time. We are created for truth and goodness. That is how God created us. To live a life where that is constantly violated would do damage to the human soul. Spies were used as far back as the Jewish Exodus so maybe they are a necessary evil for a nation to have. But it would be hard to live a life of constant lying. It is much easier being a priest.
For supper my friend and I had a gluten free vegetarian pizza. I have to admit, it wasn’t too bad. The crust was very thin, but it was good.
Today, January 21, we had Mass at a local African American Catholic Church. Very cool priest and great and friendly people. It was interesting, coming from MN so how they were already salting the parking lot and the sidewalk even though the snow hadn’t started yet.
We then spent the day at the Students’ for Life Conference. Lots of great speakers. Great information. Very inspirational. Lot’s of great things for the youth to take back to their high schools and colleges to start pro-life clubs. We can’t let up, but they also talked about how more and more abortion clinics were closing. Keep praying. Our youth are having less and less abortions. Pray that this trend continues. May God bless and keep you all.