(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "You must speak to Jesus, not only with your lips, but also with your heart; actually, on certain occasions, you should speak with only your heart." — St. Padre Pio

Monday, September 26, 2011

Your Presence Makes A Difference

My wife, I and four strangers spent an hour outside the local Planned Parenthood center [this morning], witnessing to and praying for all those entering that building – staff and client alike. This was only the fourth time over the past two years that I participated in the Forty Days for Life prayer vigil in front of this place of deception and death.

The majority of the cars entering the facility’s driveway while we were there sped up immediately when they saw the signs and leaflets we carried and the rosaries in our hands. Most avoided having any eye contact with us, perhaps in a last ditch effort to prevent their consciences from awakening them to the horror of what they were about to do. It was like we were lepers.

We continued to pray. We sang softly and sometimes off key. We listened to God’s Word. We encouraged each other and prayed that these women, their escorts and the facility’s staff would know that we were there out of love for them and as instruments of a loving and merciful Lord. We trusted God would use our presence to make a difference in someone’s life today.

We also watched as cars pulled out, driver and passengers again refusing for the most part to glance at us, anxious to get away from this place – that is with the exception of an obviously distraught young woman in the front passenger seat of a jeep. She used a crumpled tissue to capture the slow trickle of tears flowing from her eyes, receiving no apparent comfort or solace from her male companion.
She turned and looked right at me. I was drawn to her watery eyes and immediately saw in them the anguish and pain I suspect I would have seen in the eyes of my crucified and suffering Lord had I been at the foot of His cross. Silently and earnestly I starred deeply into her eyes, hoping that God would allow her to see in us, even now, the image of her forgiving, healing, loving and merciful Lord and His desire to give her new life.

Your presence makes a difference. Come. Pray. Be the eyes of Christ.

(The Integrated Life channel of Catholic Exchange.com published this reflection nearly a year ago. I hope it might serve to encourage all who read it now to come out, pray and stand up for life and for the Truth as part of Forty Days For Life's current Fall campaign. Visit their website to find a prayer vigil location near you. How tragic that the women for whom we will be praying have not likely looked at this - just be sure to subsitute "baby" every time you hear the word "fetus".

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