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Killing With Words

June 20, 2010

Rushad Thomas with the Central Walk chiming in here. So I’m like totally blown away by my experiences over the last four or five weeks on this walk. I started a journal at the beginning, but, as usual, I haven’t been very faithful to keeping it up. However, I do wish to provide a few reflections here about my experiences thus far on the Central Walk.

First of all, I have been positively amazed and humbled by the kindness, generosity, and faithfulness of the host families we’ve been privileged to stay with on the weekends. When I reflect upon the families we’ve seen I think of the words in Chapter 13, Verses 1-2 of the Epistle to the Hebrews: “Let the Charity of the Brotherhood abide in you, and hospitality do not forget: for by this some, being not aware of it, have entertained angels.” I have no illusions that we walkers are anywhere near the status of angels, but the hosts we’ve encountered have nonetheless made the words of Hebrews 13 their inspiration in welcoming us walkers, pilgrim strangers, into their homes and lives, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I am also often reminded of the deepest reality of what it is we’ve committed ourselves to this summer. Having been one of the night shift walkers for the last three weeks I sadly don’t have the opportunity to show off my PRO-LIFE t-shirt to passersby on the highway. However, I feel that the reason I’m walking is not primarily to get thumbs up or honks or what have you in support of the PRO-LIFE t-shirts. I am walking, first and foremost, as an act of penitence. The Abortion Holocaust has led to the slaughter of more than 50 million innocent children in the last nearly 40 years in America alone, and countless millions of children in the other countries that permit abortion as well. I am walking, in the spirit of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, ” to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and souls” by “laboring for the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor.” Reparation is my program.

I have said it many times in my talks at Masses in San Fran, Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake, and Denver, and I will say it again here: abortion is an abomination, and this evil will not stand before the living God, and the only way this murderous blood lust will end is through prayer, sacrifice, repentance, penance, and reparation. I pray that the Blessed Mother will take the poor sacrifice of my summer and transform it into sweet wine for the chalice, that Our Lord who reigns victoriously from the Tree of Calvary will be satiated by my love. Let this be the calling of all Crossroads walkers. I’m Rushad Thomas, reporting from the Central Walk in Denver, Colorado.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Fred Liederbach permalink
    June 21, 2010 3:41 pm

    Rushad,

    Thanks for your blog entry. My daughter Margaret is walking with the northern group and we have been following their group closely. It was nice to get an insight into your group as well. I was impressed by your thoughts in your blog and it presented an opportunity to continue a discussion that we need in the “pro-life movement”. I don’t know if just you will see this, but if so please feel free to pass it on.

    I appreciate your reflection on the meaning of the walk. It would be kind of silly to go to all this trouble and to overlook the purpose of the walk in the process. I’d like to emaphsize two of your beautiful topics in your blog entry, and urge you to blend them into the pro-life purpose. First is the loving hospitality you describe, and which my daughter and her colleagues on the northern route continually rave about. Second is the incredible example set for us by Mother Teresa.

    Rushad, when these families open their doors for you and love you, and when Mother Teresa and her army of saints cares for and loves the sick, the dying, the rejected, they are living the “pro-life” message. They are preventing euthenasia, they are preventing out-right murder, they are preventing abortions.

    Here’s the one part of your blog entry I want to challenge you on: “the only way this murderous blood lust will end is through prayer, sacrifice, repentance, penance, and reparation.” That, and when you said “countries that permit abortion”, as if the legality is the main problem. We must always love God with all our heasts, mind, and soul. We can do nothing without God’s help. But like that first, greatest commandment, we must also love our neighbor, through our concrete actions.

    We can, and we are, preventing abortions every day by loving our neighbors as Jesus taught us, as he commanded us. But we can do much better. If Catholics, and all Christians, were known as the folks with the open doors, the folks with the loving hearts, the folks with the healing voices, the folks who cared, people would understand our morals. They would understand that abortion is wrong because neglectful parenting is wrong, and abusive dating is wrong, and conspicuosus, dehumanizing materialism is wrong. They would understand euthenasia is wrong because leaving people without access to doctors is wrong, and abondoning our elderly to austere nursing homes is wrong. They would understand better that we are God’s children if we would not vilify alcoholics and drug addicts, and throw them away in prisons, but instead if we tried harder to help these embattled neighbors confront their demons. If we love the frightened mother, we prevent abortion. If we honor and celebrate the sacraficial life of fatherhood, and do not humor the anamalistic macho man, and we prevent abortion. If we fight for access to health care, and healthy living, we prevent abortion. If we cultivate a culture that loves the sinner and does not scream for the death penalty, we prevent abortions. And so on.

    Obviously our nation, and the modern world, can do much better on abortion. But, please, look beyond the legality of abortion, and look beyond abortion itself. Respecting life is much bigger than a law on a piece of paper.

    Thanks to you and all of the Crossroads volunteers. You are providing a powerful witness. When the walk is done, I pray that you will all carry on with the incredible hospitaltiy and love that you experienced this summer.

    God Bless,
    Fred.

  2. sue cann permalink
    June 23, 2010 8:15 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with Fred. Love overrides everything. God made us in his image and he is LOVE, perfect love. Loving God with all our hearts, mind, and soul is the first and foremost step to life in and with him. The second is to love our neighbour through prayer and action. We need to love and support those who are lost in life, who are hurting badly and who have made non-Godly choices. We must learn not condemn them but gently guide them back onto his path of Love.

    God Bless you all. Keep on walking the walk! Jesus is so proud of you.

    Sue

  3. donna masek permalink
    June 26, 2010 11:55 pm

    Thank you to everyone that has continued to make the walks possible past, present, and future ! Together, may we “….extend, as far as possible, the blessed kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”(kolbe consecration prayer)

    Walkin’ the walk in West Haven, UT
    d

  4. centralwalkers permalink
    July 11, 2010 1:02 am

    Hello Fred!

    Thank you so much for your comments! This walk has truly been an eye-opening experience for me with regards to my own reflections about what will ultimately bring about an end to the evil of abortion, and all affronts on the dignity of human life. If it wasnt’ already obvious, I want you to know that love is my primary motivation for walking. I desire that souls have their names written in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and if my walking across the country will bring one soul to that Divine Heart, which is love incarnate, then my work has not been in vain.

    I would like to counter your thought that the legality of abortion is not a salient matter in the fight for life. When Roe v. Wade was enacted in this country the lie that the pro-abortion movement fed to the High Court was that legalizing abortion would cut down on all the purportedly dangerous, life-threatening, unsafe abortions that were taking place illegally in the nation at the time. However, in reality when abortion was legalized the abortion rate shot through the roof. Furthermore, during the three years from 1973 to 1976 when the U.S. Federal Government provided funding for abortion through the Medicaid program several tens of thousands of babies perished on the taxpayer’s dime than would have had those entitlement funds not been available to low-income women. In addition, we have seen more than 50 million babies perish from legalized abortion in the last 37 years since Roe v. Wade was legalized. That’s a very hard and fast concrete fact, one which we can both lament.

    My point in providing these statistics to you is, very simply, that legalizing abortion obviously had the dramatic effect of increasing the number of abortions procured in this country. It’s just a basic reality that if abortion is legal you will get more abortions. I would love to live in a utopia where the values of the Catholic Faith were lived with integrity by every soul, but until the Kingdom we have to wrestle with the hard and fast reality that making abortion illegal is going to be the best way to prevent women from having abortions, and thus prevent the killing of untold millions of innocent infants. I’m all for changing hearts and minds, but that’s a much less concrete, empirically measurable instrument for determining progress in the pro-life cause. Pro-Life legislative measures, even the most incremental, are all concrete steps on the road towards zero abortions performed, which is the goal, and since the law is a teacher of morality (whether the morality it’s teaching is correct or not) I will continue to advocate for the banning of abortion in law, particularly by means of the Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, while at the same time working as much as I can to change hearts and minds. But we must not shy away from that very basic, concrete goal of outlawing abortion at all times and for all circumstances throughout pregnancy.

    Rushad

  5. Fred Liederbach permalink
    July 17, 2010 4:02 am

    Rushad,

    Well said! I’m certainly not suggesting we drop the fight to make abortion illegal, and I’m glad to read you appreciate the value in “even the most incremental” legeslative measures. Just being “in the arena”, taking a stand on political and legislative matters saves lives, I believe. Consider the young women who see you guys walking this summer and then find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy a year or two from now. You’ve planted an important seed, challenged them to consider the truth when someone tells them abortion is the answer. So just making the argument is important, and every incremental restriction helps too, for the reasons you’ve stated so well.

    But as our opponents always remind us, if all we did was to make abortion illegal, there would still be abortions! I can tell from your writing that you understand that. Yes, let’s fight to make it illegal. But more importantly, let’s challenge our society, and especially our fellow pro-lifers, to see the whole picture, to strive for a culture that values the sacredness of our sexuality, the nobility of responsible fathers, the heroics needed to be a single mother, etc.

    If we want to make abortion illegal, we have to argue that a loving support system exists for those mothers and their children. And if we do make abortion illegal, we’ll have an obligation to provide, live out, that loving support system. And that’s why I’m challenging you, your fellow walkers, myself, and anyone who stumbles on our discussion, to “look beyond the legality of abortion”. I think you get it, so I’ll quit there.

    As for looking “beyond abortion itself”, I’ve spent large parts of the last two weeks, since I last wrote, in a nursing home caring for my mother-in-law. Granny had a close call, but she’s doing well now. I won’t go into all the details, but trust me, the culture of death is storming ahead as much or more on that end of our lifespans as it is before birth. It’s scary. And of course there’s child abuse out there, spouse abuse, pornography, prostitution, false imprisonment, families without healthcare, drug addictions, obeisity, etc, etc, etc. All kinds of disregard for the dignity of life at all its stages.

    The harvest is plenty! I’m grateful to you Rushad, and all of the crossroads walkers, for being some of the “few” laborers. Keep up the good work. Not sure yet if we’ll be in DC, but if so I’ll look forward to meeting you.

    Fred.

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