Monday, April 20, 2009

Blessings from the sidewalk

My wife and I both believe that life begins at conception and that is the moment that the life of an unborn infant deserves to be protected. She has organized a local chapter of The Helpers of God's Precious Infants in our hometown.

The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants is a pro-life apostolate made up of individual volunteers called Helpers with a mission to maintain a loving, peaceful, prayerful witness outside abortion centers; supporting pregnant mothers and their families with spiritual, emotional and practical assistance; praying for the moral conversion of our society; and informing others about the tragedy of abortion.

Since starting this pro-life apostolate, my wife has spent hundreds of hours performing sidewalk counseling and, recently, it has taken a toll on her physical health. She was unable to be at the sidewalk last Friday, so I volunteered to be there on her behalf. What follows is my account of that experience.

April 17, 2009
53rd & F Streets
Sacramento, CA

Today I substituted for the Chief Helper of God's Precious Infants who was very ill and in pain, unable to be at the sidewalk. I've been to the sidewalk before but as one among many. Today I left home knowing that I may be at the sidewalk alone, praying the Holy Rosary by myself.
Why did that seem so challenging? Was it because I was concerned what people would think, seeing me, a middle-age man, standing on a corner praying the Holy Rosary by himself. Maybe they would think or call me a Jesus Freak, or utter some unkind comment that I should get a life or that I was crazy, like the time a man walking his dogs told his dogs upon seeing us praying the Holy Rosary that some people just want to make fools of themselves. To this day, I still wonder if his dogs agreed with him. Or was it because deep down inside I had to admit to myself that I'd rather be doing something fun and easy, like a morning workout at the gym or a walk in the park, something more mainstream and acceptable to those who would see me in action.

As the clock on my cell phone approached 10:00 a.m., I readied myself to begin a two hour peaceful prayerful presence at the sidewalk. At that moment, three other Helpers arrived, one of whom volunteered to be the Sidewalk Counselor while the other three of us served as Prayers. In a sigh of relief, I realized that I had been spared from my fear of being "caught" at the sidewalk praying by my lonely self. As we prayed the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary together, I felt comfortable and safe in the peaceful and prayerful presence of my Catholic brother and sisters who, like me, were probably outside their comfort zones, trusting God that our peaceful and prayerful efforts would soften the souls of pregnant women wanting to abort their unborn infants, and the abortion facility employees.

Dear God, thank You for the blessing at the sidewalk today of exposing one of my many weaknesses, that of wanting to take the path of least resistance and do something fun and easy rather than pray at the sidewalk in front of an abortion facility for the moral conversion of pregnant women determined to have an abortion and the abortionist and assistants who perform these abortions. Thank you for giving me the strength to walk through my weakness and fear of praying in public, and to be fearless of what people passing by may see or think of me.

Click here to read more Blessings from the sidewalk

Pax Domini sit simper vobiscum


Anonymous said...

God often calls for us to do things out of our comfort zones.
Thank you and your wife for the wonderful work that you do to save babies. I'm sorry to read that your wife is having health issues.

God bless you both,

Charles Long said...

A very poignant and courageous post, Ed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ed, for filling in at the Sidewalk in Elizabeth's absence. We pray for Elizabeth's restored health, especially for this weekend's historic, prayerful, and spirit-filled Procession! god Bless you both! wynette

Anonymous said...

Make that God Bless you both, with a capital G! wynette

pierini said...

Thanks for the visit Donna, Charles and Wynette, and your kind words. They are blessings in cyberspace.

Have a great day!