I was on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood with several high school students. I frequently pray for a sign of encouragement for my young prayer warriors– it can be so disheartening to be out there week after week and see little apparent results.

As we prayed the Rosary, a car drove into the parking lot– a woman with a very young girl. About half an hour later, they drove out again. The mom stared straight ahead, but her daughter turned to us as they drove by. I flinched inwardly, expecting a snarky look or a one finger salute. Then I realized that — turned sneakily towards us so her mom wouldn’t notice — she was holding something up in the car window for us to see. Her ultrasound! And I’ll never forget the look on her face as she made eye contact with me. That look said it all: I’m gonna have this baby.

“We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out.”
– All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque