I am just now starting to get caught up on what all happened at Notre Dame on Sunday.  I missed everything while I was at the priory.

It’s just as well.  What I’ve read and heard so far is not one bit surprising.  President Obama told everybody to be civil and open-minded and to find common ground.  That includes pro-lifers and pro-choicers, even though–blinding news flash–our positions have irreconcilable differences!

You know, my family taught me the importance of being good to others despite our differences; they taught me that so no civil leader would have to.  But they also taught me that there are lines we should not cross, and we must each have lines we are not willing to cross–we have to stand for something.  This is true of even the most tolerant, open-minded person.  When it comes to respecting and protecting human life, the only reasonable places to draw lines are at conception and natural death.  I haven’t yet heard a single good, compelling reason to think otherwise.  And so I won’t think otherwise.

And what’s this Pres. Obama said about honoring the consciences of those who oppose abortion?  Did he mean it?  Did he undergo a genuine change of heart and mind?  Or was he lying?  And does he really think lying will win our hearts and minds?  Or is there some nuanced in-between region between truth and lies that my feeble, unenlightened mind fails to grasp?

Who knows?  What the president says and does and means is more or less beyond our control.

The important question is: What are we, the Church, going to do now, in the aftermath of Debacle Day?  What are we going to do with ourselves?  With our universities and other institutions?  With those who have so greatly scandalized us by their actions or inactions?  What are our bishops and priests going to do?  Where are they going to draw the lines?  What are they going to do to win hearts and minds?

We already have our common ground–our God, His Church, and her teachings.  How many of us are going to stand that ground, and how many will continue to reject it?  How many are going to return home to it, and how many will defect?

To some extent, we each have to determine that for ourselves.  On Debacle Day, I received my scapular, and I truly feel its power.  It is my new and improved holy armor!  And I am ready to do my part and stand my ground.

But we also have to stand as one, in solidarity, just as our Lord Jesus desired.

We must each pray for that solidarity.  For unity.  For firm leadership.  And that God’s will be done.

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