I participated in the 30th annual Life Chain on October 1st. In cities across the U.S. and Canada, those who regard life as sacred gathered to pray peacefully and silently for an end to abortion. It was my first time and a very moving experience. We held up signs as the cars passed by. That day, there was additional traffic for the Oktoberfest downtown. We were blessed by the supporters who honked, waved and gave the thumbs up. I only noticed one person who vocally expressed her opposition... a woman who chanted "my body, my choice" as she drove past.  

That evening, as I was working on my homework for the bible study on Luke, I read the description of the Last Supper and the First Eucharistic celebration.  

"And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'" (Luke 22:19)  

These words struck me in a powerful way that night, for there was a stark contrast between Jesus at the Last Supper and the woman who was smugly chanting "my body, my choice". Jesus, out of love and compassion, was preparing to give up His life for His friends and for all humanity. And this woman was apparently not interested in protecting the life of a child if she were to conceive. One so selfless, one so selfish...  

Then coincidentally, I stumbled upon this prayer, which says it all: 

Prayers to Jesus in the Eucharist

My Body    

"This is My Body, given up for you." Lord Jesus, we hear Your words each day at Mass. You have used these words to teach us the meaning of Your love for us, a love that brought You to the cross to give Your life so we might live. You use these words also to teach us the meaning of our love for one another, a love which leads us to give ourselves away that others might live.

"This is my body." Lord, we also hear these words used by those who think they can take life, just because that life is growing within their body. We hear these words distorted by those who support abortion.

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Bless our brothers and sisters in the womb. Rid our world of the sin of abortion, which divides parents from their own children, from one another, from their very selves, and from You, O Lord.

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Grant, O Lord, that our faith in the Eucharist may also strengthen our ability to recognize the dignity of every human life... But we, who can see You in the Sacred Host, can certainly see you in our brothers and sisters. We can also see You, O Lord, in the children in the womb. In a day when so many have forgotten these children, and dismiss them as less valuable than those who are born, grant that we may grow all the more convinced of their dignity and worth.

Then grant, O Lord, that we may act accordingly. Amen. 

Excerpt from "Prayers to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist" 

This incident reminded me of the story in Luke 19, where Jesus rode on a colt into Jerusalem, and "the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'" (Luke 19:37-38)

The Pharisees were indignant and told Jesus to rebuke His disciples and make them stop. But Jesus said,

"I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40)

The Life Chain was an event of silent prayer to end abortion. But we must not remain silent the rest of the year. Babies in the womb cannot speak for themselves. We need to be their voice. And the Pharisees of our day may wish for us to be silenced, but just like the disciples who praised God, if we were to become silent, the very stones will cry out for those babies who are precious in the sight of God.

Photos courtesy of Karen Leyendecker
See more Life Chain photos here