|With Bishop Gregory and Hanna at the March.|
By Sister Marla Marie Lucas
It was late afternoon and the day before the March for Life 2019 in Washington DC. I was planning on attending the vigil Liturgy that evening at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. This Liturgy is awesome with priests, seminarians, religious, and laity from all over the country praying for the pro-life cause.
Instead, I found myself far from the Basilica. I had met up in DC with a friend who was bringing a bus of youth from her parish in Florida and they were going to drop me off on route to their evening destination. However, the bus driver was not very good with directions and ended up in opposite direction. He finally pulled the bus over in a plaza so that the teens could get a bite to eat before continuing on to their pro-life youth rally in Virginia. At this point I decided to look for a metro and make my way back to where I was staying because it was too late to return to the Basilica.
“Well Lord, this must be your plan for me tonight,” thinking to myself as I disappointingly walked down the dark street with snow blowing around me. It was only when I reached the subway platform and looked at the map, that I realized the location -- Largo Maryland and the last stop on that line of the metro. How did we ever get here!?
There was only one other person waiting, a young woman in her late 20s. We boarded the empty metro together. I greeted her and asked if she knew the best way for me to get to my destination. After studying the metro map, she advised me to stay on the train and I should be where I needed to go in about 40 minutes.
I asked what brought her out this evening guessing she was on her way to work a night shift in downtown DC. The young woman replied that she had a very rough week and was going in to meet a friend. She repeated again putting your head down, “I’ve had such an awful month. It has been so rough.”
“Is there anything I can pray about for you,” I asked. Her eyes welled up with tears and she began to tell her story. She shared how her boyfriend of nine years had just walked out, even after finding out that she was pregnant with his child. She mentioned that her grandfather, a Baptist Minister, had advised her many times over those years to get married. She lamented that God had given up on her because everything seemed to be going wrong.
We had quite a conversation and I assured her that God is truly looking out for her. Then I asked her about her pre-born baby and again she cried. Just the week before she went for an abortion and justified it saying, “I just couldn’t have a child at this time, I have another young child at home and I’m doing this all alone.”
“God is truly looking out for you!” I said, explaining how he put me here on this train to speak his word of love and mercy to her. “I was supposed to be an hour away from here in the opposite direction at church praying for pro-life. Somehow, I ended up in Largo. It was God’s plan to tell you how much he loves you and wants you to come back to him.”
I invited her to pray with me. We bowed our heads and I called on God the Father, asking his love and mercy for this young woman, and asked her to confess to the Lord and rely on him as her rock. We offered the Our Father and as we both said “amen”, the train pulled into her stop.
My new friend jumped up, gave me a huge hug, and kept saying that God had truly sent me to her. She smiled through tears of joy, “I will remember what you said to me. Thank you, thank you!”
|Our Maronite faithful at the March for Life 2019|
I may have missed the pro-life Mass that evening, but I was carrying out the pro-life mission. The rest of my ride was a prayer of thanksgiving to God who always has a purpose even if we think we are lost.