The path of sidewalk discipleship

Today I didn’t get to go to Mass up at EWTN. Well, I could have, but I stayed up much too late blogging so I slept too late. But I can’t let that happen tonight because tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, a day that has often been an important one in my spiritual journey. On at least two separate occasions I’ve had major experiences/events happen on the day of the Feast; I didn’t even notice the date until later. I take this as a sign that our Blessed Mother has heard and answered my request that she take my hand and show me the way to her Son. There are so many ways she’s helped me over the years. These days I am asking her specifically to help me as I pray on the sidewalk outside the abortion clinics in town during the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.

The Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy are my constant companions during the hours of vigil. Most of the time I have other companions too. I’ve met some wonderful people out there, some Catholic, some not, some who have been active in the pro-life movement for many years, some who are doing this for the first time, some who have just been passing by and felt drawn to come talk to us, all who have been instruments of God’s blessing on me during these few days that I’ve been standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

It’s funny, most of us Catholics, arriving at the vigil, get out of our cars, rosaries dangling from our fingers. Fr. Corapi calls the Rosary a powerful spiritual weapon. He’s not alone in this and he’s not the first one to say it, but it’s always his voice I hear as I slide from behind the wheel, fishing the beads out of my pocket, sending a silent prayer to my beautiful Mother that she will watch over us as we pray and protect the babies and their mothers who may pass by us on the their way into the place of horror and death where their paths may diverge, never to meet again this side of eternity.

Today we were heckled indirectly by the staff of the clinic. The director parked her van, as usual, in front of the spot where we had been tying a banner between two trees. (I say had been because this past Sunday, sometime during the rainy night, someone cut it down and stole it.) Another member of the staff parked a van in front of hers. I’d only been there for a short while and another vigil participant and I were praying the Chaplet when some of the staff came out and walked down the sidewalk to get something out of the van. One of them suddenly sang out in a loud voice, “Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me.”

Well, yes, of course, He does, I thought. That’s the point! He loves the women and their babies who come here too. And the mothers and fathers and grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends—everybody! Even the ones who are paid to end the lives of the babies God placed in wombs that were meant to be places of warmth, security and safety for them.

On their way back into the building, the same woman who had been singing began to cheer, “Yay for Planned Parenthood, Go Planned Parenthood, Yay!” The cheer was loud and perhaps was meant to shake our confidence or bolster hers, but it sounded hollow and died out as suddenly as it had begun. We didn’t stop praying. I was careful not to look up, not to change my voice at all but kept it calm and even, praying that God would pour love into their hearts and light into their minds so that instead of seeing us as enemies, they would recognize the true enemy of us all. And stop serving him.

I plan to go back tomorrow. And, God willing, I’ve met some good people who can help me find ways to do more, to find more ways to serve the Lord, more ways to be a disciple and help to spread the message that God loves us all, the people praying on the sidewalk, and the people in the clinic, people for whom we are praying.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us, sinners, and intercede on our behalf with your Son. May He grant us through your prayers, the melting of our hearts, the forgiveness of all our sins, the enlightenment of of all our minds, the salvation of countless souls. We ask this for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of souls, especially our own. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

2 thoughts on “The path of sidewalk discipleship

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.