Friday, August 30, 2013

Baby Jesus

On Twitter the other day, I saw a post by Teresa Tomeo about the Real Men Pray the Rosary 33 day rosary challenge. As a woman who prays the rosary every day, I decided to join this challenge too - I was especially intrigued by the meditations being 33 days, one each year Jesus lived on earth. I decided also to meditate each day on Jesus at the age each day associated with it. The day prior, with the intercession St. Augustine gave me, I meditated on the time Jesus was in the womb, praying to end abortion, thinking how Mary lived carrying him, her total submission to God’s plan, how he developed and possibly heard things in the outside world. He was nourished by what she ate and was loved even though it was not a pregnancy that would be considered ideal. Yesterday, I meditated on Jesus at birth through age one and the blessings and insights grew. I have an eight month old grandson so I tried to relate to Jesus learning to sit and crawl, smiling, learning, and growing. I prayed that all children would get the chance to be born and that baby Jesus would surely be interceding in these prayers. It was such a blessing to imagine Him at this age. Thoughts came to mind that Joseph was a huge part in these incidences and asked him also to pray with me. I thanked God the father who sacrificially allowed His son to come to earth and how immense His love is for each of us. The meditations these past two days were so awesome and I can’t wait because today’s meditations will be on Jesus from age one to two. I wonder what He will do today!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My introduction to sidewalk counseling

I'm guessing it was about 15 or 16 years ago when I was invited to join in with others who were sidewalk counseling. I really didn't know much about what they did other than a vague impression of maybe picketing or being somewhat agressive in front of abortion clinics. I just wasn't ready for anything like that. But - somehow I was invited to join others in praying the rosary in front of the abortion clinic. I felt very safe with this task and was happy to go. This took place in front of Planned Parenthood on Auburn Avenue in Cincinnati all those years ago. I prayed with others and alone. I was on the receiving end of nasty remarks from cars going by. It was a lot to take in but I just prayed and felt brokenhearted knowing what was going on inside and felt blessed to be present in some small way. I knew the prayers were powerful. I paced a little in front of the place as time went on, getting somewhat anxious about everything. As I walked passed an elderly lady at the other end of the property line a couple of times, I became intrigued about what she was doing. I was finishing up my prayertime and was getting ready to leave. I noticed some of the pamphlets she had in her hands and that she was actually approaching young women humbly. I mentioned to her that I wished I had brough some of my materials as some were the same as those she had. She began to tell me about how some women would take them from her and she was able to speak to them for a bit. Then she motioned for me to come over by her car with her so she could show me something. She opened her glove compartment door and opened a tattered but full envelope. She began to show me the pictures and letters - pictures of the babies she helped save from being aborted by being present to the women - heartfelt letters from the mothers thanking her. I could not believe my eyes or ears. I truly felt like this was a huge turning point in my life. It was her witness to me that sidewalk counseling was nothing more than lovingly reaching out to a mother in a hopeless situation. It was not confrontational or sensational or illegal. I could no longer have an excuse not to join in this lifesaving effort. I wish I could remember her name - maybe someone out there knows who I am talking about. I've been told that there was a lady who has since passed away named Mae that fits that description. Her witness to me was LIFECHANGING and her witness to countless others was LIFE-SAVING. The countless names of the babies she helped save are unknown also - but they were able to be born and named. What a gift - an identity - one stamped by the hand of God. I have been involved with sidewalk counseling over the years and wish I could say I am more involved than I am. I pray that I can have the opportunity to begin it again regularly. I invite you to become involved in sidewalk counseling in your city. Even if it is just to silently pray. Life will never be the same.