The Unfinished Derby

St. Paul the Personal Spiritual Trainer for the Pro-Life movement

Determined to improve your health, you’ve lightly exercised  every day for 15 minutes here and there. Seeing some improvement you decide to add a straight hour, one day a week. In both instances you had to battle the temptations to quit, to give in, and to give up. Each time, by sticking with it, you began to see improvement and felt a sense of success. However, as time has gone by, there have been some injuries. And times when your efforts did not seem as fruitful. So, after some consideration, you decide to consult a personal trainer to aid you in overcoming some of your lingering bad habits and injuries.

When you meet with your trainer, you are shocked by his opening statement when he tells you, “Be content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints.”

You find this statement to be disheartening, as you are tired of the pain and the struggle. You desire perfection; bliss; happiness. You think to yourself, “that is why I am here to get rid of this suffering, once and for all”. But looking you square in the eye he adds, “And accept them for the sake of Christ; for when you are weak, it is then when Christ is strong. You must persevere in running the race that lies before you, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” 

We Kentuckians refer to the Kentucky Derby as the “greatest 2-minutes in sports”. Often overlooked are the many hours, days, weeks, months and years that go into preparing for that moment. With some races prior to the main event, it can be easy for horse and rider to consider one of those early races as the summit, only to falter when the big day actually comes.

The Supreme Court is looking to reconsider its decision of Roe v Wade, mistakenly to some a sort of Pro-Life Derby of its own. Many pro-lifers have been praying for decades; 15 minutes here or there with the Rosary, an hour of adoration or Mass once a week. Enduring along the way many injuries and crosses in both instances. It would be natural to begin to let up. To think you’ve reached the summit.   However, your Spiritual Trainer beckons you. Reminding you, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” As the moment before the race arrives, things are not always as you imagined they would be. Things you did not expect are occurring. The Culture of Death refuses to submit. Did you really think your opponent would give up easily? Your Spiritual Trainer offers you more encouragement and reminds you that,” you came to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of adversity. Cling to Christ, do not leave him, that you may prosper in your last days. Accept whatever happens to you; in periods of humiliation be patient. For in fire, gold is tested, and the chosen, in the crucible of humiliation.” A changing law is merely a preparatory race. Our Derby is Heaven, and won with the free-will conversion of hearts and minds. A payout that shares with the world the treasure that they are:

  • loved by their Father and Creator; 
  • Loved by the Son who is one with the Father and gives of himself to us in the Eucharist;
  • allowing ourselves to accept these first two gifts we become bathed in the light and love of the Holy Ghost, who is Love itself.