Wednesday, February 10, 2010

following Christ up the mountain in prayer, rain

A few days back I had the blessing of leading the Eucharistic procession at the Diocesan Youth Rally for Life at Arizona State University. Climbing up the ASU mountain in silence, with an army of prayerful young people in tow, we begged God to resurrect our culture from death to life.

A procession is a corporal prayer--a physical acting out of what we desire to do with our hearts and lives. We physically walk with our Eucharistic Jesus, carried by His priest. We walk together, in the same direction. We go with him, stepping over obstacles and past baffled or antagonistic onlookers. We move our legs along a path that we don't choose for ourselves in a pedal prayer that our hearts will do likewise in the "procession" of our, and my, life.

The procession up the mountain at ASU in January 2010:

The prayer for life, from John Paul II, which we all recited aloud, as the rain fell:

Incensing the Blessed Sacrament under the canopy with the lights of Tempe, AZ in view from the mountain top:
The Solemn Blessing over the people by Our Eucharistic Jesus (still in the rain):
Isn't this a great photograph of young people kneeling before Our Lord on the mountain top?

Processing down the mountain:

The anti-feast of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is always a terrible occasion, but the entire week I found St. Paul's words consoling: "Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more" (Rom 5:20). If Jan 22 represents in our country the practically unchecked abounding of bloodshed, human destruction, and sin, can we hope for an even greater release of God's grace?
We certainly can beg him for it--and that is exactly what we were privileged to do as we marched up the mountain at ASU, which Christ Himself leading us, on a rainy Friday night in January.

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