Saturday, January 24, 2015

To Change People's Hearts We Must Love Them

The Cardinal who dresses in his Franciscan habit and marches with his people speaks about the power of solidarity, community and joy. Boston Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy, from Cardinal Sean's Blog <>


Cardinal Sean O'Malley gave a powerful homily at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. the evening before the annual March for Life. He expressed hope that the seeds of the culture of life and the civilization of love have already begun to sprout in the midst of a society where so many are starving for solidarity and community while others are suffocating from indifference.

The next day, a half million people marched down Constitution Avenue, not only to protest against the catastrophic violence of abortion, but also to affirm the goodness of human life, every human life; the goodness and the dignity of the human person and the possibility of human community.

The faces of these marchers are overwhelmingly the faces of young people. Among them this year were John Paul and Agnese Janaro. They went with their friends, and they were not forced to go. They went because they wanted to be there.

Young people are responding to the call to love human life, to affirm and accompany the human person in need, to love both mothers and their children, to be with the poor, the sick and suffering, the disabled, the abandoned, the lonely.

There is hope in the faces of the young, and the young-at-heart who accompany them. They help sustain and strengthen my hope.

"We must direct our love and attention
to wherever life is most threatened
and show by our attitudes,
words, and actions
that life is precious,
and we must not kill.

We must work tirelessly
to change the unjust laws,
but we must work even harder
to change hearts,
to build a civilization of love.

Solidarity and community
are the antidotes
to the individualism and alienation
that lead people
on the path of abortion and euthanasia."

"To change people's hearts we must love them
and they must realize that we care about them.
They need the witness of our love and our joy.
To evangelize is to be a messenger of joy,
of good news."

~Sean O'Malley, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston