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. She 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.”