In lieu of watching the inauguration Tuesday, I went to daily Mass at the Basilica. It was the feast day of Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Congregation's motto is "Spes Unica," referring to the cross of Christ, our only hope. Thus, the readings chosen for the day emphasized hope. I couldn't help but think of the false "hope" promised by our new president in contrast to the hope that Christ alone can give us. I remember most clearly the psalm response: "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord."
And the gospel reading:
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? (Mark 8:34-37)
What profit, indeed?
I pray for all those who keep faith in this difficult time. It seems we are now called to "take up our cross" and follow Christ.
I pray most especially for those who will be at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. So many people hailed the inauguration as a "historic moment" and a cause to rejoice, but there is no joy in my heart - largely because I know this president has no desire to protect the helpless unborn. I don't understand how a man who expresses compassion for the plight of the downtrodden can just write off the weakest members of our society. The March for Life will serve as a powerful witness that this new presidency is not a cause for celebration for all.
I'm sure there are many Obama supporters who have stayed behind after the inauguration to "counter-protest." I have seen pictures of the March on Catholic blogs before, and the pro-life marchers are assaulted with many ugly words and signs. I pray they will have the strength to offer only gentleness in spite of this diabolical attack and stand as a sign of contradiction.
I will also continue to pray that Obama will experience a change of heart on the topic of abortion, and realize that the unborn are human beings who need protection. It's a stretch, but our God is a God of miracles.