Mary Wagner: Resistance, Solidarity, Love
Archbishop Miller with Mary Wagner in 2018. It's time to offer resistance, in love,
to the powers of the world, says pro-life chaplain Father Larry Lynn. (BCC file photo)
Resistance, solidarity, love.
I heard those three words one recent evening from a woman named Mary Wagner, who, at the risk of embarrassing her, is a modern-day hero and, I think, a saint.
Resistance, solidarity, love. She kind of threw those three words out there as an afterthought to what she was saying. But I think they sum up very well what is required to be a Christian.
Mary Wagner is my hero. She is a fierce advocate for life. She has spent over seven years in jail for asking mothers not to abort their children.
She would not say that she is persecuted, but she is. Because as Christians we, the Body of Christ, are persecuted throughout the world. In Canada the persecution is not as overt as it is in North Korea, China, and countless other countries, but it is very real.
Speaking about being arrested, Mary says Jesus is present in that encounter. The face of love is present. Jesus is present in the pregnant mothers and he is present in the police who handcuff her and take her away.
She doesn’t say this, but she is the face of Jesus. Her commitment, as well as Jesus’, is to the mother and child. Mary says the reality is that there is going to be a confrontation. Which is why she doesn’t feel persecuted. It’s the reality of the situation.
That speaks to the reality of being Christian. “Blessed are you who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness … Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.”
In other words, the Christian life is radically opposed by the powers of this world.
If you are comfortable in your Christianity and don’t feel threatened by the opposition to Church teachings in the world around you, if you feel your children are safe from the harms of media, social and otherwise, and from the marketeers of nihilism and debauchery, then it’s time to take another look at your faith. It’s time to get uncomfortable.
It’s time to offer resistance, in solidarity with each other, with the Church, with Christ, and with our children … and to do it all in love. — Father Larry Lynn