This week, Laura and I spent the majority of our mornings sidewalk counselling outside an abortion clinic on Willoughby Street. Late in the week, we had the privilege of meeting, for the second time, Msgr Reilly. He is an incredible prolifer who has spent years praying outside abortion clinics peacefully. He gave us some incredible insights, and explained the importance of having a peaceful, prayerful presence outside the clinics. (http://www.helpersbrooklynny.org)
On the 14th of August, Laura's birthday, we noticed one of her clients from last week (who had left the office still wanting an abortion) go in for an abortion. We tried to get her to come out, and we immediately prayed and passed on the prayer request. Unfortunately, despite Laura's best efforts, the girl was intent on getting the abortion. We prayed for her and the baby, but her mind was made up. A few hours later she walked back out - a completely different girl. She looked sad and in shock. She walked straight past Msgr Reilly and refused to take a leaflet. When he realised that she was Laura's client, he explained to us, quite beautifully, about the story of calvary.
He reminded us that, as Our Lord was crucified, only one of the two thieves were converted. And then, even after He died, for the Roman soldier, it took for him to pierce the side of Jesus to realise that, truly, He was the Son of the Living God. Jesus died. Our Lord and saviour was killed.
This, he told us, shows what happens so often to the women. When the life of their child is taken, when the abortion is done, then they realise that truly, this was a child. This was their child and they chose death. How heartbreaking to know that as they walk out of those clinics they might, for the first time, be realising the life that could and should have been.
We can't expect to convert all the women who walk into those clinics. Even 1 in 2 would be an achievement. But something we have learned this week, is that, even if for the times we can't change their mind, maybe our presence will make them reconsider their options, if they find themselves in a similar situation in the future. As long as those women are alive, there is hope for the souls. Our God is forgiving and merciful. We are all sinners.
I saw firsthand today, the importance of being a constant presence outside abortion clinics. This morning, as I walked into Court Street (where we have our office 3 floors above Planned Parenthood), a woman praying the rosary tried to give me a 'Pregnant? ... We'll help' brochure. I explained what we did in our office and told her to send any women up that she speaks to. At 9;30, a woman came in to the office looking to talk through her options. It turns out that two years ago, she had an abortion in our building. Apparently, a woman had offered her information and prayed for her. She went ahead for the abortion anyway, as she felt like she had no emotional support from her family. However, finding herself in the same situation this week, she decided to walk to the clinic at the same time she did 2 years ago, in the hope that she might see the same woman standing, praying, and offering help!! Which she did! The lady gave her the same brochure, talked with her, and sent her up to our office. I was able to get her in touch with the Sisters of Life, who will be able to offer her all the help she needs.
So, 2 years ago, that lady standing praying probably felt that she hadn't achieved anything, but maybe now, 2 years down the line, the fruits of her untiring labour and constant witness will be seen.
How beautiful to see God work in such ways!
God bless that woman who has been praying there every Saturday for years!
God bless, Vx
Our Lady of Gaudalupe, pray for us.