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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Hurdles at the March for Life
Regnum Christi consecrated Becci Sheptock shares her experiences chaperoning students at the 2012 event in Washington DC

march 4 life

By Becci Sheptock

When people ask me how the (2012) March for Life went, I begin by saying:  “We met a lot of hurdles along the way, but we made it!” A few times I used the word “roadblocks,” but now, for a good reason, I say “hurdles.”  Here’s why.

Just before the March, problems seemed to pop up and multiply like weeds.  First, on our way to pray outside the Planned Parenthood headquarters of D.C., our GPS refused to work.  We had back up directions from a reliable mapping website, but they turned out to be wrong.

Next, on our way to the vigil Mass, the metro machines wouldn’t accept our tickets and the line we needed was under construction, so we were re-routed by bus.  Finally, on the day of the March, after a marvelously mild winter, predictions of treacherous weather conditions closed schools and roads.  

All this got me thinking…

It seemed like something -- or someone -- didn’t want us to be there.  As struggles mounted, it became easier to believe that the devil was doing everything in his power to keep people from the March for Life.  With this in mind, I
march 4 life
was less discouraged by the difficulties, and more motivated to keep going.  That is why I now call them “hurdles” instead of “roadblocks.” 

I shared all of this with my group and, more convinced than ever, we repeated: “We are not going to let this stop us.  We are going to get there.”

Our eyes were fixed on those who needed our help:  the unborn babies, the pregnant and scared mothers, the confused fathers, the indifferent politicians, the faithful marchers and so on.  We saw beyond the momentary difficulty and leapt forward.  We didn’t turn back.

Thank goodness we didn’t!  God was truly present and working at all the activities, especially the vigil Mass, rally, youth Mass, and March. The sheer number of seminarians, priests, bishops, and youth -- alive with love for God and love for life- - brought tears to my eyes more than once.  Of course the devil would want us to miss that!

Clearly, God wanted to tell us to keep persevering and jumping hurdles.  At the youth Mass on Monday, Cardinal Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, started with the encouraging words: “For decades you’ve been persevering.  Continue to persevere!”  Later on, Msgr. Charles Pope quoted Martin Luther King Jr., saying: “Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability.  It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God.”

Tireless effort.   Persistent work.  But not without struggles -- those will always be there, I realized. 

But if we look beyond them, to what we are fighting for, we will find strength for the mission.  And the mission is HUGE.  But no matter what happens, I can always go back to what we so often repeated this weekend:  “We are not going to let this stop us.  We are going to get there.”



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