Do you recall ever wanting to be invisible? As a child, playing hide-n-seek, I remember thinking that it would be really cool to just be invisible. Through the years, I can recall numerous occasions where being invisible would have been desirable, or at the very least saved some embarrassment. For example, I remember looking down at my feet during an early morning board meeting, only to realize that one navy blue pump, and the other jet black one were not a fashion statement I had intended to make. Motherhood itself is replete with instances when invisibility would be boon. Yes, I’d love to witness the diligence of my homeschool pupils on those rare occasions when the older lot are left home to work independently. Just what does happen when my car pulls out of the garage? How many trips to the fridge are required to complete an Algebra lesson? All in all, selective invisibility would be an asset.
Friday, I and hundreds of others had an opportunity to be invisible. My eight children and I stood shoulder to shoulder with approximately 500-700 other Stand Up for Religious Freedom Protesters, for over an hour in front of the Reuss Federal Building, on busy Wisconsin Avenue, in Downtown Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s finest knew we were there. We were polite and respectful, and so were they. I appreciated that they were there to keep the peace, and safeguard our Constitutional Right to Free Speech. Likewise, the security guards at the Reuss Federal Building were aware of our presence. We interacted with them as they urged us to stay on the sidewalk. The hundreds of motorists who passed by in cars and buses, often honking their support, saw us and responded to our presence. However, none of the Milwaukee news media saw us. Strange, how does one hide such a large crowd of peaceful protesters in the middle of busy city, at noon on a Friday? It is especially surprising when one considers that they were protesting such a hot-button issue in American politics.
Such has this skirmish been waged nationwide. We philosophically clash with those who seek to eviscerate our Religious Freedoms, yet that clash is a muffled one. The propaganda of the opposition is widely promulgated with the assent of the liberal media, yet our voices of dissent are silenced. We are invisible.
With a stroke of a pen, President Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, have attempted to force Catholic Americans to choose between the inviolable demands of our consciences and an unjust law. The HHS Mandate would force Catholic, and other religious institutions, to pay for insurance coverage for contraception, abortion inducing drugs, and sterilization –without co-pay- for all students and employees. Many of us understand that life is a gift from our Divine Creator, a gift that is given at the moment of natural conception, a gift that lasts until the moment of natural death, when united with Christ, it becomes transformed, and transcends even death for all eternity.
Today’s First Reading speaks of the Eternal Law of God, of His covenant with us. It states: “I will place My Law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31: 33).” God’s Law is Eternal, and immutable. It is unchanging. What is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong; always and forever so. It is written on our very hearts. Politicians come and go, as do their subjective legislative whims. But God’s law emanates from the Wisdom and Love that is His Being Itself. His law cannot be compromised. For when we betray it, we betray Him, and thus betray the deepest longing of our human hearts.
This is a battle for the hearts and minds of a generation, and the soul of a nation. Invisibility has a way of disappearing at the voting booth. We need to make our voices heard – even if the media outlets refuse to acknowledge our presence.
In today’s Fifth Sunday of Lent Gospel Reading, Our Lord Jesus states:
“Whoever serves me must follow me, where I am, there also my servant will be. The Father will honor whoever serves me (John 12: 26).”
We are at a cross-road. It is decision time. Standing still is not an option- one way or another, we must respond to demands of the moment. We must choose to follow our Savior- even to the cross, obeying the law that is written on our hearts, or choose to follow the whims of those who promote the culture of death. Following Him means ignoring the cloak of invisibility forced upon our shoulders, and prayerfully speaking the truth- with the assurance that it alone will triumph.
Ad Jesum per Mariam,