Death and Life

Change is coming. Life will not be the same. The culture of life is forming in the hearts and minds of these beautiful young people. Yesterday we encountered the disgusting history of the Holocaust at the American Holocaust Memorial. For most, reality became tangible. The atrocities and disgusting disrespect of human dignity during the Nazi regime was not only seen but felt. Emotions such as those create very powerful memories and desires, desires to never let the happen.

This visit was preceded by prayer in front of the main Planned Parenthood facility in Washington D.C. Two hundred and seventy-five teenagers in front of this facility was a great witness. We prayed for the intercession and power of the woman who said, ‘Yes’ to life incarnate, the life of the world. From there we walked in prayer to the White House where we continued to pray especially for all who are at work in there administrating this country. Many hearts there are in need of conversion and a deep encounter with Love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

After such an emotionally draining experience, we brought all that we experienced to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. There we reencountered life through the various manifestations of Mary’s love for her children. The Shrine is a great evangelizer for the culture of life. It shows the pinnacle of human work in the glorification of the One Who is Beautiful through beauty. The building’s majesty and expanse are a witness to the grandeur of God. The different images of the Virgin Mary showed us that we are part of something universal in the Catholic Church. The images of Our Lady of LaVang, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Sorrows, etc bore for us the love Christ has for his church. He doesn’t leave her orphaned. He sends His mother to protect her and keep her safe, to lead her to the truth, to lead her members back to Him.

That she did. Our visit to the shrine prepared our hearts to welcome Christ, in His Eucharistic presence, at our hotel. After preparatory praise music, Christ entered adorned in gold flanked by men He is calling to His priesthood. I am convinced that more than any other force on earth, the Eucharist changes hearts. After a day such as this one, encountering Christ as His beloved helped to re-form the hearts of the youth of New Orleans casting aside and in some cases destroying the lies of the culture of death.

The call and response St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle taught his students is apt.

Life Jesus in Our Hearts

To Be Pro-Life We Must Die

Deacon Kyle here again. This time I’m traveling with youth from throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. There are 275 teenagers, chaperones, teachers, deacons, Nashville Dominican Sisters, and priests.

We are currently on the bus on the way to Washington. We’re watching Lion King coming soon for our dinner stop.

We aren’t just on a trip; we are on a pilgrimage. We have been praying and reflecting on what it means to be pro-life, on what we’re taking to D.C., what we’ve left behind, what we desire to be changed.

As I’ve been reflecting, I’ve come to a certain basic principle about being pro-life. To be pro-life we must die. This might not make sense, but bare with me for a moment. We recognize the dignity of each person only when we die to our own selfishness and see in each person, from conception to natural death, the image of God. To be pro-life is to be selfless and go out of oneself for the sake of another. This fundamental principle informs each human interaction and shines forth a culture of life.

Let us begin.