February 7, 2014

‘Never again’: A high school student reflects on the national March for Life

(Editor’s note: Heidi Frye, a senior at John Paul II High School in Terre Haute, joined a group of about 50 high school students on an archdiocesan Youth Ministry-led pilgrimage to participate in the annual March for Life in Washington on Jan. 22. The following are her reflections.)
 

By Heidi Frye (Special to The Criterion)

“Never again.”

Never again, will we forget the awful time of the Holocaust. Never again, will we forget those whose lives were taken unjustly before God’s plan for them could be fulfilled.

Never again, will we forget the unborn babies that were murdered through abortion. And never again, will I forget this March for Life.

Although I had many lovely experiences on this March for Life, one experience really stood out, and it wasn’t an experience of the body, but of the soul and mind.

While watching the movie October Baby and then later listening on our bus to the theme of the homily at the Mass opening the National Prayer Vigil for Life—as it was broadcast from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington—I was enlightened from a hateful way of thinking to a forgiving way of thinking.

Many people, including myself, have a certain mindset about abortionists and those getting abortions.

We tend to judge and think of those getting abortions as being irresponsible, horrible and without moral grounding, and think of the abortionists as cruel, godless people. How can we think differently? They are killing the most innocent and precious beings while going against our main God-given purpose on Earth.

But on this trip, I was reminded that everything leads back to God, who guides us as to how we should act and feel. I learned to be forgiving, loving and caring even when it is hard to be so.

God is the only one who has the right to judge anyone, and we must forgive people involved in abortion for their transgressions. Being resentful and uncaring won’t change anything, and it will hurt our relationship with God.

Yet, if we follow God’s law and forgive and love them, we can help them through their rough times and turn them back to God while strengthening our own relationship with him. If they are participants in the cruel murder of abortion, they need all the care and love that they can get because they have turned so far from God to justify this brutal act.

I had many, many wonderful experiences on this journey, especially seeing other teens so involved in their religion, and praying the rosary together on the bus.

The greatest experience, though, was that my mind was opened to be a more devout person. It was a very moving experience to see all these people, Catholics and non-Catholics from all over the nation, coming together in a common cause.

I definitely have come home from this trip with a different mindset and a closer connection with God.

Never again will I forget this journey, the friends I have made, or the many wonderful experiences I have been blessed with on this march. †

 

Related story: Thaw our hearts, O Lord: Young adults bring their energy and convictions to annual March for Life

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