We talk about how important it is to “have values,” as if they were beads or a string of marbles in a pouch. But these stories speak to morality and virtues not as something to be possessed but as the core of human nature . . . as something to be, the most important thing to be. - William J. Bennett, “The Children’s Book of Virtues”
I received a three-sentence email a couple weeks ago that managed to convey three decades of emotion. The supporter wrote, “No matter how many urgent phone calls, emails or written petitions I have done over the course of 30 years, THEY DON'T LISTEN TO A FLIPPING THING I TELL THEM! The system is so rigged, so filthy with corruption . . . there seems to be no hope for us!! I am tired. Period.”
Acknowledging the virtue of honesty, I admit my occasional temptation to bang out the same words, even bang my high heel on a podium a-la-Khrushchev. While I much prefer member emails that feature baby pictures or which pledge gobs of cash to MCFL (still being honest here), there’s something uniquely inspirational about encountering raw and truthful sentiments because they reflect another core virtue: courage.
For the past year, my daughter and I have anticipated a theatrical release, Season 4 of The Chosen. The series about Jesus and his apostles has, like those original figures, gained a massive worldwide following. While new episodes were in production, she and I revisited every minute of the first three seasons, even lingering through the credits and bloopers. It's tough not to smile at a tunic-clad Gen Zer startled on set by a bleating sheep, or Jesus emphatically teaching his 1st-century followers as a train whistles in the distance.
After I read our supporter’s email, a particular Chosen scene came to mind. It features the wealthy but reviled tax collector Matthew, fallen from his Jewish upbringing, working inside his booth. An elderly man at his life’s end stops by to announce that he has taken on his children’s debts, in order to spare their families continued hardship under the Romans. Matthew is stunned at the exorbitant amount now owed, knows the man cannot pay it, and struggles to understand the man’s seemingly senseless act. Before turning himself in, resolved to die in a Roman prison, the penniless old man insistently slides his last possession across the desk to Matthew: a set of prayer tassels.
Later, the converted Matthew, follower of Jesus, realizes that the virtuous old man gave away more than his life; he courageously passed his faith to Matthew, a man whose days had depended solely on logic and financial success – easy wins that offered a comfortable existence.
Weeping, Matthew clenches the tassels. He has been redeemed but senses how unclear his path will be, all that he and the other apostles are up against, how outmatched they are, and the utterly overwhelming mission ahead. In spite of it all, he knows he must walk on for the sake of truth.
We have to keep walking, too.
Matthew clings to his faith. And in his grasp, as in ours, other virtues will follow: loyalty, humility, patience, kindness, hope and, when we are tired of swimming against the current, fortitude.
The next phase of our movement must change hearts and minds if we are to support every woman in need and save more innocent lives. There may not be easy wins. And evangelization is rarely comfortable. In that spirit, we've planned several informative events for the coming months. We hope expert insights, tools and confidence-building skills at each one will strengthen and embolden as we continue the mission rooted in our core.
Check them out below, register for those that are open and mark your calendar for those we’ll make available soon. I look forward to seeing you!
Enjoy your weekend.
Tuesday, February 13 7:00-8:00 PM
Young Adult Meetup
Thursday, February 29 6:00-9:00 PM
Presenter: Erika Bachiochi
Tuesday, March 12 7:30-8:30 PM
Join Erika at an event this month, too!
Pro-Life Communication Seminars
Free evening events in partnership with Leadership Institute
Dinner included, locations TBD
Tues, April 9: Berkshire County
Wed., April 10: Hampden County
Thurs., April 11: Worcester County
Tues., May 7: Boston
Wed., May 8: MetroWest Boston
Thurs., May 9: Cape Cod
Mother’s Day Fundraising Dinner
Keynote Speaker: Steven Mosher, President, Population Research Institute
“Why America Needs More Babies”
Thursday, May 2 6:00-9:00 PM
Celebration of Life Day
Featuring members of Pregnancy Care Alliance
Tuesday, June 25 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
Annual Fundraising Banquet
Friday, October 4 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Boston Marriott Newton
Keynote Speaker Announcement March 15!