Thursday, September 14, 2006
The sight of people joining together to pray in front of an abortion center is startling! Sometimes our public prayer really bothers people. I think it rattles the conscience. Some people will stop to pray with us after driving by many times. Some like to ask questions, or debate pro-life vs. pro-abortion. Some just want to yell and scream at us...venting, I suppose. The truth is that the prayers we say in front of the abortion center is our power source.
The words we speak to the women and girls is not what stops them from having the abortion. The literature or CPC referral cards we give them is not what turns them away. No, we do not have that kind of power. It is God who is in charge on the sidewalk in front of the abortion center. He decides what the outcome will be for every person coming and going, including the abortionist and his staff.
I cringe when I hear sidewalk counselors spewing out numbers of "saves" and "turns". These are PEOPLE, not "saves" and "turns." It is not for us to know what God has planned for the people we speak with at the abortion center. Truthfully, we rarely know the outcomes. It is our mission to do whatever His Will is for us, and do it to the best of our ability. To me that means to act and speak with complete charity, obey the law, and respect everyone we come in contact with including the abortionist and his staff.
And now that being said....I am having a hard time with a sidewalk counselor who comes one day a week with her group. She intentionally breaks the law, harrasses people, and is rude to the staff. The police came when I was there with them. I explained to the officer that I am not with her, and I showed him our written agreement from the police chief. I feel she is unraveling the relationships Kathy established and we have maintained with the police, the neighbors around the clinic, and with the abortionist's staff. Our relationship with the staff is vital. This is the second time a nurse has offered to ditribute our cards from the inside. Our relationship with the police enables us to BE THERE. Chris has already been removed for breaking the law.
But, She does not care about the law and such. She follows the Joe Scheidler, Chicago method, and we are of the Fr. Riley, Helpers of His Precious Infants persuasion. She told me that we are not on the same team. I agreed! This is a sad situation. Satan is the divider. I am sure he would love to have us go against each other to distract us from the reason we are there....to be His instruments in front of the abortion center...doing His will...witnessing....evangelizing...and living the Gospel.
My Pastor, Fr. Browne, said in a homily that when you put yourself "out there" to do God's will, the road will get rocky. I wondered, at the time, what he meant by that. Now I know. We are challenged. God steps back to show us our true selves. Ouch...now we can learn just how charitable and humble (or not) are we really are in the face of a challenge! When the road is smooth it is SO easy. Now that is rocky, what will we do or say? I will have to pray about it. I am too weak, I need His help to know. When the police officer came to the sidewalk because laws were broken, he asked us in a loud voice, "Who is in charge here?" For obvious reasons I did not say it, but I knew the only right answer to that question was, "God is in charge here!"
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Last week my neice, Maureen, came to the sidewalk with me. It is a difficult thing to do for many people, most especially for a teenager. It was a busy morning. Maureen witnessed to the fact that two lives walk in the door, and only one broken life comes back out. Maureen did very well. I was impressed and pleased that she knelt with us to say the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy and other prayers. Kneeling at this very busy intersection is humbling. I think many teenagers would find it totally embarrassing. We say the prayers loudly at the abortion center. I laughed when I heard from her mother that Maureen said we shouted the rosary! There is truth to that....we are heard inside! I hope Maureen comes again. It is very powerful to have young people with us as witnesses to Christ's teachings, and to taking a stand against the crime of abortion. Maureen seemed truly concerned for the women going into this filthy place.
I had several debates with people driving by. They pulled over and we discussed the pro-life vs. pro-abortion issue. The people I talked with were very reasonable and interested in hearing the pro-life case. I think it is a very easy discussion on the pro-life side of the debate. One man has stopped three times to talk with me about it. I think he is seeing the light! At first he blasted his horn rudely, now he toots and waves! That is our method....charity....to the people having abortions, people that come with them, the staff, the abortionist, and the people who drive or walk by the abortion center.
Most people take our information which is on a business size card that can be put into a pocket. It works, we know this from the CPC's that notify us about the women coming to them from our information cards. I told Maureen that even though sometimes it seems no one is leaving, and the cards are not working, women DO leave, and never have the abortion. She thought our friendly method was right; she said a more aggressive method and constant chatter would scare these young women away. Maureen knows girls who have had abortions. She was very sure that our smiles and gentle conversations were much more likely to turn women and girls away than the constant talk and begging other sidewalk counselors do.
We left the abortion center after praying. On our way home, we talked about a particular girl at the abortion center. I talked with the girl, and her mother and cousin at some length. She was having a pregnancy test, and it was positive. She was very upset. I think she will go see Laura with her mother. Maureen asked me if I thought she would keep the baby or have an abortion. I told her I don't know, it is our mission to get her to the CPC. Then after Laura talks with her....she will decide....she has a free will. I mentioned to Maureen that I usually go to my church and pray in front of the tabernacle for the mothers and babies I saw that day. I asked Maureen to pray for them too. She was right there. She saw the pain in thier faces; she witnessed the murder of an innocent person. Maureen went to Calvary, and stood at the foot of the Cross.