Friday, October 26, 2012


Fr. Ray Blake recently wrote about stepping "outside [his] comfort zone" by praying aloud with his parishioners at the local abortion clinic. The initial experience of praying or protesting at an abortion center always makes one a bit nervous, not knowing how thing will turn out. Worse yet, our human vanity may fear that others will judge us and mock us. I know I had this misgiving the first time I did it. To hell with social respect.

Planned Parenthood of Ihaca, NY. Looks like grandma's house.
More like the witch's house from Hansel & Gretel

The first time I ever prayed at an abortion clinic, in Ithaca, NY, I went with a college buddy, a few mothers, a few female classmates, and a Franciscan friar. Not a faint bunch. At first we resolved to sing from a "program," hold signs, and attempt "interventions" with the "patients" as they passed—by giving them statistics about when the heart beats and the like.

Inevitably this strategy was less than successful. The most effective thing we could do was just to pray the Holy Rosary. It bears a quiet sort of witness. One hipster scoffed at us, but only after having walked a block past us. Another occasion a car stopped, a lady appeared, and condescendingly recited the Hail Mary in front of us. The Devil really hates the Hail Mary, particularly at abortion factories, where motherhood is so obscured.

Sometimes I still pray a decade there or the St. Michael prayer whenever I am downtown.

Pray, especially to the Blessed Mother. Bear a firm, unassuming witness. Save children.

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