With Him, of course, we can do it in the secular world!
This is from my syndicated column this week:
John Paul II and the beloved Mother Teresa were not alone as contemporary witnesses of a loving, caring, pro-life message. Christians abound who are loving and caring in their defense of life: The Sisters of Life in New York, religious women whose charism is protecting the most vulnerable among us — the unborn, and their families, even, yes, past the point of delivery. The young men at the filled-to-capacity North American Pontifical College in Rome and closer to home at its domestic brother, the Josephinum, in Columbus, Ohio, forming “Spiritual Fathers for the New Evangelization.” The young women Oprah noticed on her show, joining a convent in Michigan in shockingly healthy numbers — and they’re not alone. There is a renewal going on, one of service and catechesis. One that, in many ways, defies the last few decades.
Christ asked a little more of us than to be nice to one another. We must do that. But we must also not walk away from other truths just because it can be hard to stand against an evil. We must know what it is we say we believe.
There is actually a lot of love out there for those kids in the back seat. And the best-intentioned abortion activist is actually only affirming and feeding what has become a moral mess.
We sure know the pursuit of unhappiness.
That night at GWU, a young man talked about his “reversion” to the Catholic faith of his family. A lot of what he saw in college was not the recipe for any kind of happiness. Confession changed his life. Knowing he wasn’t the end-all changed his life. There is “freedom,” he said, in seeking to know God’s will. It’s actually a relief to know that we are not one another’s final judge. Now this young man works with college students, helping them sort through their own discernments about their lives. And on Saturday nights in the coed dorms.
On Good Friday, the culmination of the season that began with us going among coworkers and fellow commuters with those outward symbols of our sins — ashes on our foreheads — Christians reflect on our ignorance, on our bad witness, on our fallenness. And take comfort in the mercy of a God who knows us too well to condemn us because of our mistakes, as long as we are contrite, as long as we keep getting up to walk with Him — and helping one another do the same. On campus, in politics, on the stage of the University of Delaware, and in and out of the back seat.
(Delaware and the back seat will make more sense if you read it all.)