Standing outside the Planned Parenthood in Washington, DC, this past Saturday morning, with the rain coming down, the sound of the Ave maris stella rang through the air:
Ave maris stella, Ave, Star of Ocean
Dei Mater alma, Child Divine who barest,
atque semper Virgo, Mother, Ever-Virgin
felix caeli porta. Heaven's Portal fairest.
Solve vincla reis, Break the sinner's fetters,
profer lumen caecis: light to blind restoring,
mala nostra pelle, all our ills dispelling,
bona cuncta posce. every boon imploring.
The words of this hymn, beloved by Our Holy Father Dominic, brought great comfort to our hearts as we prayed for the women entering the building, that the fetters which society has put them under would be broken, and that light would again shine on their hearts and in their minds to dispel all the darkness and lies that surrounded them that morning. And so we continued to sing:
Monstra te esse matrem: Show thyself a Mother
sumat per te preces, in thy supplication;
qui pro nobis natus He will hear who chose thee
tulit esse tuus. at His Incarnation.
We begged the Blessed Mother, who had born a Son into the world, to rain down graces and protect those women who were on the verge of losing their children to the scourge of abortion. If only these women could see that the solution to their problems wasn't an abortion. Rather, what they needed to know was that they were loved by someone who could actually provide for and intercede for them in the midst of their pain and confusion. And so we continued to sing:
Virgo singluaris, Maid all maids excelling,
inter omnes mitis, passing meek and lowly,
nos culpis solutos win for sinners pardon,
mites fac et castos. make us chaste and holy.
We continued to beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary to not only provide for these women by guiding them to the Light of Life and interceding on their behalf but also to lead them to a life of purity and chastity.
At the Youth Rally and Mass on the Morning of the March for Life, Msgr. Charles Pope stated that 85% of abortions are done on women who are not married. In other words, as he pointed out, the biggest factor leading to abortion is sex outside of marriage. The solution? Being chaste and holy.
Reflecting on the gift of human life and the great need to support the unborn and their mothers and fathers, it is important to keep in mind that praying for a widespread graces of chastity and purity is very timely. As issues about same sex "marriage" and about contraception come to the national spotlight, it's important to keep in mind that the root of all these battles is sin, and that getting to the heart of the matter means promoting chastity and purity.
This is the very message that Fr. James Dominic Brent, O.P. brought to a youth rally in Gaithersburg, MD on Sunday night. He went to promote the Angelic Warfare Confraternity to 1000 youth. The result? The second largest enrollment in recent history - over 200 youth and adults joined the Confraternity so that they could share in its graces to keep their lives chaste and pure. While it was sprinkling outside, the Lord rained down His grace in the auditorium.
With the message of the Gospel of Life, and backed by chastity and purity, those youth and adults, so many others from around the country, and we marched on the Capital Building continuing to ask our Lady's intercession, finishing her hymn:
Vitam praesta puram, As we onward journey
iter para tutum aid our weak endeavor,
ut videntes Jesum till we gaze on Jesus
semper collaetemur. and rejoice forever.
Sit laud Deo Patri, Father, Son, and Spirit,
summo Christo decus, Three in One confessing,
Spiritui Sancto, give we equal glory,
tribus honor unus. equal praise and blessing.