From Rescue to Rosary

Joe asked me to meet Msgr.Reilly and every time we’re together at the sidewalk at Manhattan he insists that I’d love to meet him and I would fake an interest in my face and give some excuse. This has been going on for a couple of months. What’s so interesting about an 80 yr old priest and what more possibly he could teach me i thought. an astounding arrogance incarnate I am! However fate paved way that I had to think about my country ‘India’ which performs approximately 6 million abortions every year. I knocked the doors of well known Pro Life leaders asking for help for my country. Since i posses neither money nor reputation nothing about me or my request interested them. And just as I got used to call every Pro Life leader with the weird request to help INDIA or leave a message only to never hear back, one day I receive a call from a feeble old man whose voice or tone I never understood. After much difficulty I deciphered that he’d like to see me in person to discuss about ‘INDIA’.  And  that’s the beginning of the drastic change in the sidewalk counseling journey- from Rescue to Rosary.

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I decided to meet the owner of this fragile broken voice. Brooklyn- Uh not the kind of place like Manhattan. Old monastery building and rusty gates. I ring the doorbell and enter into a small room which is the visiting room of Monsignor. Old creaky fan, half ripped wall paper, old fashioned lights, not so fancy chairs, worn out table with piles of paper and on top of it is a letter from Fr.Frank Pavone the  Director of Priests for Life requesting Monsignor to review his book, Oh I know Fr. Pavone ! I try to make myself comfortable in one of those antique chairs waiting to see the owner of the broken voice. And behind me I hear a feeble voice trying to speak hard “Hello “. There he is, Monsignor. He introduces himself and asks how can I help. I was pretty straight forward. “My country needs help, I want to start a Pro life movement there and don’t know how or when and nothing more but my country needs help.” He smiled at me and asked do i know anything about Helpers and their work. My reaction pretty much conveyed him that I don’t. So he patiently introduces himself.

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Monsignor Philip J Reilly, the founder and Director of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants whose movement has spread from 4 person group in Brooklyn to Australia, Taiwan, Latvia, Yugoslavia, Austria, Capetown South Africa, Seoul South Korea, Bogota Columbia, South America and Central America. Shortly, Helpers are in all continents of the world. And here is the man who founded it sitting right in front of me and not bothered by the fact that I did not know about him or his movement. Incredible! The work of this Man whose seeds keep reaping the incalculable benefit of “LIFE” itself in remote corners of the universe: families saved, Doctors conversion, clinic closures, spooky tales of saying Mass inside abortion clinics with the equipment still there, vigils with overflowing crowd, death threats, million dollar lawsuits, cardinals and bishops heading the vigils, clinics turning to life centers on and on and on. What is behind all this? How did he do it? What made a simple movement of 4 people go trans continental? Well it’s definitely not technology, technique or tithe. The answer is a transformational journey from Rescue to Rosary!

I was taught to get out of my shell, to approach people, and to talk. I was taught various counter arguments to keep myself equipped to defend life, I was taught to stand for life without being ashamed and in fact with courage, I was taught how to start a conversation, hook people into it, i was taught to show videos, get deep into subjects, I was taught to divert people from getting into clinic and taking them to Crisis Pregnancy Centers, I was taught to handle arguments with contraception very delicately, i was taught not to talk about God at first in fear of putting off people, I was taught to be humorous, cool, relaxed all of which is perfectly fine. Yes! it has saved lives. But I had to unlearn what I learnt even though this is the famous methodology followed by the majority in the Pro Life circle.

I went to do sidewalk counseling with Monsignor Reilly to know what he had been doing and still doing with such perseverance for almost 50 years. He gave a bunch of Rosaries in my hand with brochures containing information for Women who are abortion minded, who already had abortion as well as those taking contraceptive pills and asked me to give in front of the largest Ambulatory Abortion clinic in Brooklyn where children are killed up to 6 months. All I have to do is to be there with the attitude of being at the foot of the Cross with Prayer and Fasting handing out the Rosary and brochure to the women going in as well as to those coming out of the clinic.

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This, I followed with reluctance for few months now. Hard to distrust our human intentions, skills and actions and completely leave the ground to God. No place for thinking of oneself as savior, no chance for accumulation of pride, no vain chatting, no relying on one’s own capacity and skills, no room for winning arguments or prove oneself, even no room for taking a sip of water, no pushing people to make decisions. Looks foolish from outside isn’t it?  Wait a min. Within few months of doing this even with nowhere near perfection the clinic in Elizabeth, NJ announces shifting to smaller office and downsizing the business. How about that? The place is going to be sold, they’re moving and so are we following them until they join us. Conversion! Monsignor says “God loves the woman before and after abortion. He wants their salvation. He wants the mother to be with Him in Eternity, and so the Abortionist and those involved. He died for them. He died for the soldier who would pierce his side with lance, blood and water gushed and this blind soldier was healed and saved. That’s the same with the abortionist.”It’s about saving the immortal souls.

But there’s more to this transcendence from Rescue to Rosary. Monsignor himself admits how he used to do things in wrong way, the rescue way: save the babies ! stop the abortion! until he learned his lessons the hard way. It’s about fighting the Culture of death. That’s way more in depth than one can assume. To fight this we must know the roots of the Culture of Death and  how did it start, where things went wrong. Pope John Paul ii explains clearly in Evangelium Vitae. Abortion is demonic. Attack against the human being created in the image and likeness of God is an attack on God himself. And to me it is stupid to think that we mortal humans can fight this battle by ourselves. This is supernatural. And realizing this truth with humility is the intelligence behind Monsignor’s approach.

 The spirituality of the Helpers is to be present at the Modern Day Calvary in Prayer with the children who are crucified like Jesus with the humility and meekness of Blessed Mother completely absorbed in passion experiencing both suffering and joy. Because after crucifixion and  death did take place Redemption and  Resurrection.

The battle is not between us versus them. It’s between Heaven and Hell!

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Facts every Sidewalk Counselor should know

Quite often Pro Lifers are caught up in baseless arguments of Pro choice people who claim to be scientists. Well if you talk science so much why can’t you appreciate the facts we revere?

Let me shoot it out:

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  1. Right after conception/fertilization a single cell in the egg contains genetic information we cannot fathom in a lifetime. Information enough to contain million page or twenty four times of Encyclopedia Britannica. (1)

 

Human_Embryo_-_Approximately_8_weeks_estimated_gestational_age2. An embryo responds to stimuli and exhibits reflexes as early as 53 days after conception. i.e in 7 1/2 weeks.By 8 weeks all major organs are formed. This is irrefutable since the organs are harvested, sold and used for other purposes. They feel touch and exhibit aggression.(watch videos in reference section) And how can they argue they don’t feel pain?(2)

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3. If you believe Human Life begins at conception you can’t be for contraceptives. The reason being most of the contraceptive do not stop conception rather they work in the famous three step process ending up being abortifacient most of the time. IUD, Nuvaring, Birth control pill, Mini Pill, Depo Provera, Morning After Pill all work in one same way of flushing the newly fertilized zygote before implantation. The zygote travels for 3-4 days from uterine tube to uterus and that’s the time when chemical attack against them begins causing them to starve and flush out . (3)

 

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4. Pro choice people do not know that the IVF clinics which fertilize eggs outside uterus artificially, inject the fertilized zygote after 2-6 days of fertilization  into the uterus.  So why IVF clinics implant the fertilized egg within 2 days ? there is life? life to be allowed to grow in uterus? They wouldn’t inject dead organism into uterus? If they know real science they know when life begins. How come they are for science when it’s IVF and against science when it’s natural pregnancy?

5. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is the quality test done in IVF clinics on embryos. Apart from the fact that embryos which does not pass the test will be destroyed or used for experiment,the PGD is done before implantation. If the embryonic cell before implantation is used to find future information of possible defects, illness etc How can they say embryo is not human yet?

 

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Without God

When I began Sidewalk Counseling I was perplexed by the fact on how can one approach women entering the abortion facility. The order goes something like this if I can recall from my training with Mr.M : Woman, abortion, baby, God i.e Talk about her- her issue,fear, concerns and the situation forcing her into the abortion center, then talk about the effects of abortion- physical, mental, emotional and relational then move on to talk about the baby- giving the scientific data about the child in the womb. Like, the developmental milestones. finally, talk about God. I was amused about the fact that one can  talk about God to a random stranger. I am dumb, after all it’s America. But what’s the connection between God and abortion? Can one try to be pro life without God? Can there be an end to abortion without God? For the matter of fact, will there be an end to euthanasia or any kind of violence without God? Can someone make sense without God? The answer is ‘NO’. It’s as simple as it sounds. Sorry folks!

You can try to use science at sidewalk, you can use psychoanalysis at sidewalk, you can use highly complicated and time tested methodologies to do good effectively and stop abortion but at the end of the day nothing works as much as Prayer, sacrifice, Mass or Eucharist to end abortion. I am very arrogant in presenting this truth because abortion is not a product of failed social system or political agenda but it is the result of evil. It might be hard to digest this fact and I will not be surprised about that considering the status of our secular society. It’s funny to see people discussing empirical methods and strategies to do sidewalk counseling, well they are doing good but remember the old verse : The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.- Proverbs:21:31 . Its very sensical specially when you see how God chose the most unlikely: the shepherd to fight a giant, the stammerer to lead people to promised land, the infertile to give children as many as stars, the widow, the  persecutor, the fishermen, the tax collector. Ordinary men for extraordinary tasks. Sometimes even broken men for mind blowing jobs. Yet people think they can end abortion without God, only with the help of science, logic and law. It’s nothing but foolishness.

People can try and do good but they cannot end abortion. A good no. of catholic organizations do not want to keep up neither their catholic identity nor bring God in their Sidewalk counseling approaches. The reason behind this might sound reasonable at first i.e; not to turn off people by speaking about God. However a grave mistake is committed here of trying to save the body and simply not care about the soul. That’s simply not a ‘save’ at all.

In training with Sister. Dorothy who has been in the ministry of Sidewalk Counseling for more than 20 years I was introduced to a different strategy. Monstrance and IncenseShe tries to talk about God as soon as she can. No avoiding God, No keeping God for last. This makes much sense because The Servant of God Fr. John Hardon once said: “There’s no stopping Abortion without The Eucharist.”  Many priests in the Pro-life mission like Fr. Frank Pavone, Fr. Imbarrato have explained the reason behind this. Eucharist is Christ giving his body and blood for mankind out of love for ‘other’ and abortion is the opposite: taking the life of the other for oneself. It uses the same phrase used in Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: ‘This is my Body’. Abortion is a sacrilege, a mockery at God. And how one can expect to combat this with techniques of Psychology and Biology? Will people stop committing abortion just by showing the videos of fetus inside the womb happily sucking the thumb? No.

Cardinal O’Connor said it perfectly: “The Culture of Death will be converted to Culture of Life…only by the spiritual life of those created in the image and likeness of God”. And for this reason The Sister’s of Life whose charism is to defend the sanctity of human life encourage their co-workers to deeper spiritual life with frequent communion, and close touch with sacraments. Especially Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. Without Mass, Rosary and Sacraments one cannot combat the evil of Culture of Death even if one is a world renowned Psychotherapist. I can bet my life on this.

If you are involved in active Pro-Life ministry like Sidewalk Counseling or Praying in front of clinics or volunteering in any least way to promote culture of life, then you need a very deep spiritual life. The struggle is much greater and the enemy much more schematic than you can ever imagine. Especially with things like Satanism and ritualistic abortion it’s humanly impossible to fight abortion by oneself. We are in need of grace, extraordinary grace, to combat the culture of death.

We had a wonderful opportunity to be with Sisters of Life this weekend to revive our soul to continue the battle for the next one year. I wish Catholics all over world involved in pro-life ministry had the opportunity that I had. Fr.John Hardon used to say : Remember even by simply being present before the abortion clinic after the reception of Sacraments opens the door to graces which works in its own ways for the conversion of souls. Encourage fellow catholics about this to combat the Culture of Death. We have to speak to our fellow Catholics about being channels of grace for those who are in need of them especially those who follow culture of death. Mother Angelica said: “If Catholics were truly Catholic, the world would change overnight.” Being silent and minding one’s own business does not help. The least people can do is hurt our egos by mocking us, making fun or talk behind our back and the most they can do is harm the body. None can touch the soul which is labors for God alone. Ultimately it’s the soul which is going to face the judgement and go to heaven. Not the image, status, vainglory. As Christians we are called to go out of our way to do good like the Good Samaritan. As Pope St. John Paul II said Let’s not be satisfied with mediocrity.

“At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT: FOR THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.”

The Greatness of Smallness

I have been doing Sidewalk counseling for the past eight months and I’ve never had what they call ‘a save’. I’ve never encountered drama, I’ve never been heroic, I’ve never had any eye-opening experience. I’ve never spoken to any women other than one single mother who eventually gave in to despair and went ahead with the abortion. I stand there among awesome people who work for God tirelessly saving a soul a week from abortion. Like Mr. M. Sometimes it’s disheartening. But that’s the work of devil. However I cannot say I’ve never really made an impact.

A lot of times I used to feel ashamed of looking at the sub-normal level of my role at the sidewalk and wonder what in the world am I doing here, doing nothing. I was always afraid of being insignificant and not making a difference, of not just failing but being average. I always felt uneasy with my presumption of people’s expectations of how I would be at the Sidewalk. I had thoughts about people mocking at me to consider it was ridiculous for me to think of becoming a Sidewalk Counselor.  If you have had moments as these better don’t let them stop you from standing up for the unborn, the dying, the terminally ill, the abused or the vulnerable; because, we share something fascinating and you will understand the greatness of smallness by the end of this post.

Everyone must have had an idea about the jewish holocaust. The monstrosity of evil couldn’t triumph over good and it was the great time of sanctity, sainthood and stout heartedness. Saints made best use of this time to show their love for God and neighbor. But among the 2579 catholic clergymen who were imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp Fr. Karl Leisner wants to tell us something very profound.

Dachau concentration camp was the result of deep hatred Nazi’s had towards the Church and a strong evidence that World War II was not a political event but a spiritual one. I would love to look at your face when I tell you that there was Holy Sacrifice of Mass and secret ordinations happening in the middle of a concentration camp among all the intensity of agony. Smuggling flowers for the altar and passing secret messages of prayer times, having a person to look out while singing hymns and breaking bread. Satan would have felt a terrible blow right on the face while looking at people making vestments secretly managing to find altar cloths, rusted old table and bringing hosts. Everything at the cost of immediate death or torture. How on earth would someone smuggle flowers for Mass when they knew they would be shot? isn’t that small thing look great now? Letting go of one’s life while picking flowers for Holy Mass where Christ would be present in body, blood,soul and divinity for others amidst the horrors unleashed by evil forces. And now it makes sense when St. John of the Cross said: At the end of the day we will be judged on love alone”.

In the middle of the institutionalized and widely accepted and celebrated human torture was a day of complete magnificence in Dachau. A secret ordination for Fr. Karl Leisner. A taste of heaven in hell. Fr.Karl was suffering from tuberculosis while he was in camp and lost hope of being ordained. During this time  Msgr. Gabriel Piquet, Bishop of Clermont-Ferrand in France was transferred from the Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace to Dachau. He worked along with Cardinal Faulhaber and the Bishop of Muenster and the arrangements for ordination began. Father Karl celebrated his first Mass on Dec. 26 — the feast of St. Stephen the Martyr, but it was the only Mass he would ever celebrate. He died in a sanatorium in few months after Dachau was liberated. Now does this one Mass look small, tiny, meager or trivial or does it look great and glorious? Fr. Karl was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II. How about that !                                                                          

We have to remember that “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – vincent van gogh. We don’t have to be or become great. The essence is in littleness. The only third woman b8890a28dc0a2139138607cc656d104eto become the Doctor of the Church revolutionized spirituality with this concept. Because the perspective of God is so different from the way we see and measure things. While organizations can go flurry over how many saves they had, how many turnarounds they achieved only God can see how much love you carry in your heart to try and do something for these little ones. While numbers serve great purpose and can be used to encourage people, no one should lose spirit because they couldn’t make statistics. let me tell you that sometimes the littlest  things take up the most room in your heart. Winnie the Pooh didn’t say it but St. Therese of Lisieux did. God can see through you and again sorry but i’ll have to quote her again: “You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.” -Saint Therese of Lisieux

So never be afraid to be little, do little, it is the Love that matters most. So next time you see or hear someone being low in spirits because their actions weren’t supposedly great or dramatic or the outcome of their efforts weren’t huge or brilliant or that no woman changed her mind from abortion or no child was saved or no worker left the abortion clinic or no souls converted tell them that still it looks great in sight of God. Because even we adults would naturally be carried away by how a child shows it’s love and there’s no doubt God will be pleased by our little effort and who knows He might be going around saying “oh look what my child did today!” in a proud fashion of a father and His grace will make impossible things possible. The more we are little the more God can work through us. Because at the end of the day we will be judged on love alone.

And Jesus called a little child to him, and set him in the middle of them,… – Mathew:18

His name is Jonathan

I spotted her as she walks by from a distance, to approach her and to talk about being in this insanely dangerous place. She looks hesitant and rigid. That’s one common body language many women who come down to this place exhibit. I should confess I was rigid myself for some reason. However my complete focus was on getting the information into her hands which might be the last chance for baby jonathan to survive. As she gets close, I understand the reason behind her rigidity and uneasy walk. She has a laminaria inserted and is on her second day of her abortion appointment. So Jonathan must be in second trimester. I gave her the pamphlet and asked her if she had thought about other options. Her response not only did blow me away but it left me speechless. She answered :

“What do you mean? other than killing my child?” 

Women very well know it’s a child and it’s their child but, how did we get to the point of having a casual talk about the death of a person? As we talk standing on the road what’s happening inside of her is of incredible importance. The baby jonathan (whom I named out of anguish to give acknowledgement and as a witness for his presence on earth) is soaked in poisonous solution probably gasping for breath for hours. Here’s how Jonathan died after I felt hopeless and shameful to convince the mother of the decision she was about to make.

I still remember the huge belly, the mother’s eyes, her ignorance mind blowing, very young probably in early twenties and her haunting statement “What do you mean? other than killing my child?”This happened 5 months ago and I never wanted to rewind the memory of the day to register the event in my blog out of the anger, pain and anguish arising out of the injustice happening in a massive scale. But I have to tell the world about Jonathan, his martyrdom, that he was killed so his mother may live. Jonathan was never given a chance, he was treated like a trash, like filth to be disposed and not interrupt the mother’s life from whatever she was up to.

But Jonathan died in my presence experiencing my love, witnessing my immature fight to save his life, seeing the anguish and longing for him which he never got to get from his own mother, leaving his imprints in my memory and probably even praying for me in heaven watching over me and his own mother. This is the reason I do what I do and am not afraid of doing it. I never experienced labor but I realized that doesn’t make one a mother. I am Jonathan’s Mother. I fought for him, I wished he was alive, I wanted to see him live and love. I am his Mother who gave him the identity and love that his biological mother refused to give.

What happened to Womanhood? Where’s Motherhood?  Will someone talk about this crisis of Motherhood? Women are made alien to the idea of Motherhood to the point of killing their own children, robbing the inherent God given identity of Motherhood. The Crisis is not pregnancy, the real crisis is Motherhood!

The one thing that fulfills Womanhood, i.e, Womanliness in a Woman is Motherhood! – Swami Vivekananda

 

Arguments at Sidewalk

Sometimes at Sidewalk there are certain encounters which calls for different kind of service. I was taught that Sidewalk Counseling is not just about counseling women and advocating for the unborn but, sometimes things can go further where we have to dig in a little bit deeper. But never did I think nor was I prepared for an unexpected experience which would go far beyond unborn and women’s rights. The following transcription was one such experience with a person who was pro-choice and who happened to pass by Planned Parenthood questioning me about as much as everything within a 45 minute conversation.  There were moments I felt desperate because I was incapable of explaining something marvelous like existentialism, human life, divinity, God or Sex.

Finally it is clear to me that nothing makes sense without God and Sidewalk Counselors may not be wanted but they are needed!

Let me know how better I could’ve answered.


Stranger :     What are you doing?

Me           :     Oh! am trying to offer help to women. Like giving information about the alternatives. this organization helps women, children and families with life-affirming options. so they take care of women who are pregnant and who need help with housing, schooling, rent, medical and legal help. Pretty much everything.

Stranger :    Who are you to do this?

Me         :    Why not? I’m just offering help. Many of them do not know about the help available. 

Stranger :    You think women just wake up and come to have an abortion? they know what they’re doing and they sit with their family and boyfriend and make the decision. You are here to force your morality on them. You’re not helping them.

Me         :    Well how many women have the luxury of talking about this with their family expecting them to support them? Do you know how many boy friends coerce their partners to have an abortion and threaten them of ending the relationship, i’m here and I see women crying and their boyfriend forcing them into this decision of killing their babies.

Stranger :    do you eat meat? are you a non vegetarian?

Me            :    Yes I do!

Stranger :    So you are ok with killing animals and you’re here to stop abortion. look at your hypocrisy

Me            :    So you say human beings and animals are same?

Stranger :    Yes! what makes human beings special or important than animals? do you know science?  do you know about Darwin and evolution?

Me            :   Darwin’s proposal was a theory. It’s not a fact.

Stranger :    Do you know big bang?

Me          :     No I don’t. I’ve heard people say everything came about in a boom by itself.

Stranger :    Look at that car. It has a design, a model, a reason…

Me           :     great yes. so it came in boom…just like that? you said it has a design and model and somebody made it for a purpose. so you sound like you don’t agree with bing bang. Life begins with fertilization that’s what scientists say.

Stranger :    No not at all. It’s not a human being until it comes outside. Do you know any science at all?

Me           :       Yes! but do you know the heart begins to beat by 3 weeks and 1 day. The child has a heartbeat, it has brain, kidneys all internal organs. It’s a living breathing human being. And abortion kills a human being.

Stranger :         No it’s not. You say you’re helping women but if you’re really concerned about women you should be volunteering in a women’s shelter. Or else you should promote IUD’s. You must be here handing out brochures about IUD’s and contraception so that there are fewer abortions. but you’re a hypocrite. you’re trying to make women feel bad about themselves. And we had to have wonderful people like this (pointing Planned Parenthood) to protect women from guys like you.

Me          :    Am sorry but contraception increases abortion. That’s what the research says. Planned Parenthood gives cheap contraception and forms a clientele which brings them back for abortion. This is an age old tactic. Do you know Abby Johnson? The former Director of Planned Parenthood? if you don’t know her you should read about her. And for your information  Planned Parenthood offers only  abortion. It does not even show the ultrasound to the women.

Stranger :    Yes they do. they offer all services. why should the women see ultrasound? they’re here for abortion.

Me     :    Don’t you think women have the right to know all the information before making a decision? She pays for a service and you say she doesn’t have to see her own ultrasound? Planned Parenthood does not give any information on adoption. All they care about is money. They even sell the body parts of the babies. You don’t seem to know their business model.

Stranger :    No. That’s not true.

Me           :    Unfortunately that is true. If Planned Parenthood exists for 99 years then why is the abortion rates increasing? If they’re providing  quality contraception services why there is such huge rates of abortion? Why couldn’t they end unplanned pregnancy?

Stranger :    Because of population growth. Because of people like you who don’t let them work. I pay people like them (Planned Parenthood) to do what they’re doing and people like you do nothing but cause trouble. If you’re really concerned about abortion rates promote IUD and condoms. We don’t need poor people. Why should a child be born if it has to live in poverty?

Me         :    So you’re saying poor people should be killed? You talk exactly like Margaret Sanger the racist who founded Planned Parenthood. How can you say only certain people can be alive and be born? Isn’t that wrong?

Stranger :   No. they’re helping women with their choice. Its legal. All you do is imposing your beliefs and make things difficult. If you really want fewer abortion then you have to promote contraception. Come on…

Me         :    No. I can’t. I don’t believe in IUD’s and condoms. Do you know the rate of cancer due to pills and chemical contraceptives? How IUD damages and even causes death in some women?

Stranger :    No you can’t speak based on single instances. people die of accidents, you can’t count individual cases. why can’t you promote IUD. It just stops the implantation from happening.

Me         :    I can only speak in terms of my faith. I believe life begins at conception, human being is made in the image of God and IUD is like preventing a natural course causing an early abortion.

Stranger :    no! it’s just like you’re having your periods. what happens when you have an unfertilized egg? it sheds off and you bleed. because implantation hasn’t occurred. IUD works just like that . So you take antibiotics when you get sick. aren’t you stopping a natural course of action now?

Me          :   Are you trying to compare human beings to bacteria? (chuckles) human beings are not parasite.

Stranger :    So don’t you use contraception?

Me           :   No . I don’t. I practice my faith and everything is based on that.

Stranger :    what is your faith? you’re a christian?

Me            :     Am a catholic

Stranger :    Oh! the pedophiles. those who say we don’t want to marry and who abuse children?

Me      :    yeah pedophiles are everywhere. In holywood, in planned parenthood…wherever human beings are there are pedophiles. No groups are free from mistakes. Just like Planned Parenthood which says they care for women but betray them and coerce them into abortion and sell the body parts of the babies.

Stranger :    so you are now dictating how people should have sex. who are you to say how i should seek pleasure. Where’s your f****ing God? there’s so much misery in this world and people are dying daily what’s your f****ing God doing about it?

Me        :    Well why is God suddenly responsible for all the miseries? We’ve been given freedom/free will and it’s human beings who messed up. that’s what history says.

Stranger :    My niece is 3 years old. He has cancer. So what did he do? how did he mess up?

Me         :     Well it can’t be his fault but he’s been affected by someone else’s actions. You can’t have just an instant answer for all suffering.

Stranger :    Why did your f****ing God give me appendices and an ugly eyes?

Me            :     (in my mind….well, you look good to me) smile

Stranger :   Even I love to see fewer abortions. Maybe we can agree on that right?

Me            :     Yes. No abortion. Zero.

Stranger :    Well then let’s promote contraception

Me            :     No.

Stranger :    why not. why not condoms IUD

Me        :     what’s the difference between human beings and animals? Human beings have higher sense. they know how to control their actions and behavior unlike animals. A dog acts on impulses. condoms makes human beings like dogs. besides condoms are not 100% protective.

Stranger :    So you say one should have sex only to reproduce?

Me            :     Yes. Sex is for marriage and babies.

Stranger :    So you are trying to dictate people’s sex life. Whoa….what bothers you if i say i don’t want a female in my life and i would just go mastrubating?

Me        :      I am not here controlling how people should be. I am not informing anyone about how they should have sex. Am here to offer them help when things mess up for them. I practice my faith and this is how i do things but i never dictate my belief on you. I give my opinion when people ask for it.

Stranger :    Nobody wants you here

Me            :     Yes they do.

Stranger :    look all those southern states. your catholic states, where they used to have 10-12 kids. now they have only 2. so do you say they don’t use contraception ?

Me            :     they do. but they’re not supposed to.

Stranger :    so what do you propose to end abortion if not contraception? you say people shouldn’t have sex?

Me           :     Natural Family Planning. if you ask me that’s what i would say. that’s what I practice. condom culture will promote abortion.

Stranger :    would you agree if I say you should only eat oats everyday because that’s the only thing healthy for you? why do you have delicious meal? because it’s a pleasure. so why do you say how i have to have sex? i seek pleasure in the way i want to. See how hypocrite you are. what you do is not going to stop abortion. If you want fewer abortions,you should promote contraception. Go and do some reading. And when you promote contraception call me in. I will come here and stand with you to help women. (checks mobile for time)

Me          :     Everything is not about pleasure. Well i will definitely look into the statistics you mentioned. But I will have to respectfully disagree with you that contraception won’t end abortion.  See you!

 

We need to realize that a society in which contraceptives are widely used is going to have a very difficult time keeping free of abortions since the lifestyles and attitudes that contraception fosters create an alleged “need” for abortion. – Janet Smith

 

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How I met John Paul

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This is the most unforgettable encounter of a lifetime. A total shift of paradigm takes place when she stops to listen to me as I fearfully approach her to give the brochure and explain about the services that are available for women and their unborn children. Mr.M always used to tell how I will have this one of a kind experience because I was getting annoyed with myself as I couldn’t get a women to stop by and listen to the good news that can save the dignity and life of two human beings.

That morning here she was, terrified and clueless. One can say she didn’t want to step into the abortion clinic just by her demeanor. I couldn’t believe myself that she stopped to listen to me and was willing to look out for other options. I felt a sudden rush of hormones however I tried my best to stay calm and give her the information as well as tried to get information from her so I can help her in a better way. We spoke for five minutes however she decided to go inside the clinic and have the abortion. We parted with hugs and I promised to pray for her. After 4 hours when we were about to leave the place, she comes walking right into me. I asked how she felt and she told me she couldn’t undergo abortion and had to reschedule it because she had had her breakfast. This wasn’t the only reason. Planned Parenthood demanded an additional $500 if she had to go through the procedure with anesthesia. Oh how happy I was. She even felt this might be a sign from God and she will consider other options. However things did not stop there. We took her to The Sister’s of Life who welcome and serve women facing crisis pregnancy and help with housing, rent, schooling, medical and almost anything that would help a mother choose life.

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The struggle began. The Sisters spoke to her about all the help and support available for her to make an informed decision. Things felt positive. The arrangements for the young lady to have a pre-natal check up and follow up with other services began. However there was something missing and it just didn’t feel right. She wasn’t happy or excited in knowing about the help available that will not only save a life or prevent her from the hurt of abortion but also that will keep her dreams intact. A week passed by and she informed she’s going to have an abortion. She took a bus from place A to place B which was 3 hours with a confused heart. She wasn’t responding to messages and calls. And that’s when I knew things are falling apart.

After a long sleepless night of waiting for sign of hope and preparing gifts for her I reached the clinic by 7 am surprised to be met by Sisters who were there already praying and expecting a call or a message from her. I informed her that I was waiting in front of the clinic and asked her to get the gift I had bought for her before she gets into the abortion facility. I was hoping to trigger her maternal instincts with those cute little baby gifts. All of a sudden the Sisters receive a call from her so they rush to meet her even before she steps into the block to avoid any further temptation. A group meanwhile pleads God as they meet up with her and joy fills the place as we anticipate this as a life saved. However our joy was quick lived. We were informed that she had changed her mind again and is walking towards the clinic. There i meet her with a feeling i’ve never felt before.

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She said she wanted to go through with it. She saw a crowd of 60 people praying on the opposite side, crossed the lane walked past by them and met with me to thank me for the gift and apologized. I didn’t know what more I could do to stop her from this terrible hurt. Though I was dumb as ever, I told her I wanted to whisper in her ears so her baby can hear what I was going to say.

She bent down and there into her ears I spoke to John Paul: “I baptize you in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, may you know that many of us fought very hard for you, and love you so much. We want you to know you are very much loved. And when you reach heaven please forgive your mother and watch over her!” .She hugged me and went inside and there I was standing at the feet of the cross to see the innocent Christ being dragged along to be crucified. I felt helpless,hurt, angry and confused.

I will never forget this encounter with dear little John Paul who was 14 weeks old. The only thing I was able to do was to speak to the child of the love of few people whose life he/she touched even before being born and to name him. Because he/she was not a random product of careless sexual experience only to be discarded into the garbage. His existence had an essence, his presence had a purpose. As Pope Benedict says it “ Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” and little John Paul was the Christ I met at the sidewalk. Because:

“Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord.”

                 – Pope Francis

The Love Note

noteThe temperature is  dropping down to 50 F ,however it feels well below 50. Even with a minimum of three layer clothing one could feel the chill. Not because of the dropping temperature but because being in the most coldest place in the planet. The eerie place of all where the value of human life has no meaning except for the dollars it can gain, provided the body parts of the innocent dead fetus’ are intact.

Standing there I wait for a chance to speak to women getting into the abortion facility. This is the toughest endeavor of my life, because this is a place where compassion reigns over skills and kindness over techniques. There’s literally 20-40 seconds to approach a women and make her feel comfortable to stop and get a pamphlet. But what’s even more challenging is that to get her to stop for a minute for additional conversation. These are the few seconds you have to communicate acceptance, understanding, kindness and to gain trust. I hear you guys, a real challenge right. May be just for me. I bet there are many others who have a natural charisma to handle these situations very well. Like one of the sidewalk counselor I work with. I researched on how to approach these women and found testimonies about personal notes being helpful in reaching out to them.

Gift bags with 10 week old baby models for women vulnerable to abortion
Gift bags with 10 week old baby models for women vulnerable to abortion

So the day before Sidewalk Counseling I sit down to write personal notes and stuck them to every single pamphlet I was going to give. I worked on 20 pamphlets and I handed almost 16 of them in 2 days. I wondered why I didn’t get a call or a text and was fighting back discouragement. I wrote additional notes and prepared myself for next week. Still no answer. Another 3 weeks passes by and still nothing. Probably I was made to wait in order to learn to be unconditional. As. Bl.Mother Teresa of Calcutta says, “God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful”. I pray that during times of discouragement, annoyance and shame I still stick on to this to learn to love these vulnerable women and their innocent martyrs no matter what. No matter they agree to take the pamphlet or decide to throw it on my face (uh  uh… not so fun on the spot), no matter they call or choose not to, no matter they agree to talk about additional options or go on with abortion. I’ll have to still keep writing these love notes to them, because this is the only way I can communicate God’s unconditional love for them.

I would very much give a big hug to each and every sidewalk counselor who faces sun and storm, wind and cold, curse and blessing to be at the sidewalk who does little things, make little sacrifices, takes minor annoyances because, the sidewalk has taught me that

“A little thing is a little thing, but FAITHFULNESS in little things is a great thing”

                 – James Hudson Taylor

Just two cents…

unnamed (2) I was tired the other day after my usual visit from the sidewalk. It’s a tough job I’ve ever done. Experts in this life saving mission would say I wouldn’t be there in front of the abortion clinic if I wasn’t called for it. However even if do not get to save a single life something in me keeps moving and doesn’t allow me to settle in. Good for it, because I would’ve given up long time ago. So I try to squeeze my tiny brain to think What do I have to give? what am I best in? what else I could do ? these were the questions I asked myself. All around me I see wonderful people with beautiful talents. But not many people realize how important their presence can be at sidewalk no matter if they can or cannot counsel.

People are different: some hearts can be touched by talking through the horrors of abortion, for others it works to get them realize what they are dealing with is a child, for many others it’s only prayer, some can be touched by protests but a lot others through art. Because art speaks in a silent way,loud and clear an approach which is very much required in sidewalk.

We need artists to contribute at the sidewalk through their artwork. May it be beautiful art depicting the life inside the womb, or the art that depicts how strong women are to handle the crisis or art which shows the humanity of the unborn or fatherhood or beauty of family or the science of fetology and so on and on. I realized the possibilities are endless. So what a single person can do for the speaking up for the voiceless can be much more than they can think. All that requires is the attitude to give. Am I right?

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” – Mark:12:43