Sunday, October 11, 2015

What I Saw on Respect Life Sunday

by Maura Roan McKeegan
Catholic Exchange 

My heart was heavy when my husband and I brought our four children to Mass on the first Sunday of October. I had just learned that a few people whom I dearly love were supporting a notorious pro-abortion organization. Images of the violence happening in this organization’s abortion clinics haunted me, and I agonized over my loved ones’ choices.

At Mass, I stood in the back, comforting our baby, tracing his sweet face and picturing—aching for—the precious children lost through abortion and the dear mothers who never got to see their babies’ faces.

I glanced out at the congregation, and in the last row, on two separate sides, a striking parallel emerged. Two visibly disabled girls—one to the left, and one to the right—stood wrapped in the arms of their mothers. In tandem, the mothers, each unaware of the other, cuddled and pulled their daughters close. I looked from one to the other, reveling in the tangible grace and supernatural beauty of the One Love that synchronized their actions.

Then, through the doors near me, a father wheeled his disabled teen-aged son into Mass. The man stopped, leaned over his son from behind, and embraced him. The son moaned—the first of many moans and groans he would utter throughout the next hour. They sat near the back, and I stood behind them, mesmerized by the scene that unfolded before me. The sacrificial love that poured forth from this father for his son, and back again, echoed the divine mystery taking place on the altar. 

Maura Roan McKeegan lives in Steubenville, Ohio, with her husband Shaun and their four children. She is the author of the “Old and New” series of picture books, introducing children to biblical typology, including the award-winning The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2014), and the forthcoming Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah and Jesus, due in early 2016. Her articles have appeared in publications such as Catholic Digest, Crisis, Guideposts, Franciscan Way, Lay Witness, and My Daily Visitor.

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