It was one of those days.
In the morning I had my eyes dialated. Driving was difficult. I needed groceries–I wanted to cook a meal for a friend who had back surgery. The twins were cranky and needed their naps. The big kids were pokey. It was rainy and cold.
There were dozens of excuses. There always are.
But it was Good Friday, and we have a family tradition of praying in front of St. Paul’s Planned Parenthood. The service is organized and executed by Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM). Director Brian Gibson, his staff and a host of volunteers do a stellar job. Taking it up with the Author of Death is not easy work. They organize clergy to lead these prayer vigils every year, giving clear witness to the sanctity of human life.
The Prayer Vigil
We parked easily on the UST Seminary campus. A bus shuttled us to the abortuary. We sat near four young mothers and their wee ones. The busdriver thanked us all and said, “Have a blessed Easter!”
At the site, we prayed peacefully with hundreds of others. Our teenagers took turns holding the twins on their backs. Others held a life-size cross on their shoulders. We were humbled by the disabled people who attended, and the children were affirmed by the classmates they saw. It’s like a family, really. Everyone is curtious. Everyone is prayerful. That is, everyone except for the those on the other side.
They blasted Celtic music–trying unsuccessfully to drown out our religious songs and prayers. They wore neon pink and had a party atmosphere. What is so joyful about ending the lives of preborn babies? We wondered. They held obscene signs. One woman with green hair held a placard that said: “Safe Sex is Good!” They seemed to mock us by having a transvestite march with them, too, impersonating a woman or mother. Their false witness backfired, however. They showed our kids that the pro-choice view is convoluted. They cemented in their brains the fact that the Author of Life offers the way to the Truth. From going to these prayer vigils they have no doubt which side is right and which side is wrong. This is why we bring them again, and again, and again. Sometimes we even bring their friends.
In fact, one year when the Planned Parenhood was located in Highland Park, I received a tough question from my son’s buddy. He pointed to an incinerator-type thing outside the facility and asked, “Is that where they put the little babies?” I answered honestly, “I don’t know. Maybe.” He was disgusted. He was ignited. That kid will be a voice for the voiceless forever. The next generation needs to understand that women who don’t embrace life, carry the cross of regret forever. The youth need to work hard to help us end the right to abortion. But how can they do this if they do not learn about the atrocities of abortion?
Matthew Kelly, author of Rediscover Catholicism states:
“The only response to this cultural environment that will hold our students in good stead for a lifetime is to ignite in them a love of learning and a hunger for the truth.”
Sidewalk Counseling…Saving lives
Since March of 1981, PLAM has organized the nation’s most comprehensive and thorough sidewalk counseling program. It has documented that more than 2,500 babies have been spared from a torturous death. “These are children whose parents had decided to abort them and who were scheduled to be killed. The overwhelming majority would have been killed the same day they were saved.” (Pro-Life Action Ministries’ website–http://www.plam.org/) In fact, last year when the kids and I were at the Good Friday prayer vigil, a baby was saved by Fr. Larry Hubbard and some of the sidewalk counselors! When we heard the good news, we were so joyful. (Read the beautiful story: http://catholichotdish.com/embracing-life/a-baby-is-saved-from-abortion-during-good-friday-prayer-vigil/)
Thank you, Pro-Life Action Ministries, and all the people who pray to end abortion. Please consider attending a prayer vigil if you haven’t attended one before. And bring some youth; they will be ignited. I hope it will become a tradition for your family, too.