“Good evening. I think I’m the only thing standing between you and a meal, so I will be brief. I thought briefly about what might be meaningful to say tonight and I recalled reading something in a book by Armando Valladares, the human rights activist in Cuba, who spent 22 years designated an enemy of the state in Castro’s prison. And he wrote something I think fits tonight. He speaks of watching men being taken out to be shot for their beliefs – you know, I’m sobering you a little bit. But he said there came a moment when seeing those young men full of courage depart to die before the firing squad and shout, “Viva Cristo Rey!” at the fateful instant, and not only understood instantly as though by a sudden revelation, that Christ was indeed there for me at the moments when I prayed not to be killed, but realized as well that He served to give my life – and my death, if it came to that – ethical meaning. Both my life and my death would be dignified by my belief in Him. Now, we’re here tonight to celebrate life, and the clatter in the room affirms that we are celebrators of life. We want joy to spread, we want women protected, we want babies guarded in the womb, we want a culture of life. And we are proud to be part of an organization, the Susan B. Anthony List, that works with so many of you out there to realize this. So if you just bow your head a moment, I’ll pray swiftly, and let the meal come on.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for this gathering this evening, thank you for so many people who have dedicated untold hours to sacrifice, and wait, and pray and work for the sanctity of the lives of Your smallest creations, the children in the womb. We know that belief is the answer for us, we know that the great work that You have done is already complete, and that Your cherishing of life will never pass away. We ask that You give us courage, that You bring light to those in prison, bring safety and comfort to women considering under fear of loss of a relationship, whatever it may be, that they will not be able to bear a child. We ask that You will be with them tonight as You are with us, to nourish us, to strengthen us, to give us peace, and to give us courage to go forward in Your name to protect Your beloved children. We pray in Your Name. Amen”