After completing treatment in San Francisco, I moved to Portland. Divine Providence saw to it that the closest Catholic Church to my house was Holy Rosary. I quickly realized what a real gem this Church was. Daily confession, daily adoration and mass celebrated facing east. Father Vincent, who is the pastor there, became my spiritual director. He would sit and talk to me for long amounts of time and help me figure out the answers to my questions. The great charity of this holy man I cannot overstate.
I continued the habit of going to daily mass and the powerful homilies at Holy Rosary helped guide me in the spiritual life. I made regular confession and recently I have started going to adoration every day. At first it was difficult for me to sit still and quiet, but now it is such a joy for me! I so look forward to my hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
I'm still attending Portland Community College, but this quarter I am going to take all online classes. This way I will have more time while Judah is at school to not only study but to devote myself to street ministry. The next 40 days for Life campaign is coming up soon and this time we will be at Love Joy SurgiCenter. Sometimes I like to set up my street ministry "table" out there and hand out sacramentals to the people passing by. Obviously, people are more hostile towards me out at the abortion clinic than they are at the farmers market. My good friend Scott said that this is a good way to unite myself with the 'mocked Jesus'. I try to keep that in mind when I'm out there. Someone has to be. We have to let the culture of death know that abortion is evil and we stand against it.
Often I go walking the bad parts of town with my friend Scott Woltze. He has an apostolate called Urban Missionaries for the Heart of Christ and he has graciously let me join! I was the first women to join him and often I find people are softened by my presence. We wear tunics with the Cartias on them to be a visible witness to the love of Jesus. We often come across such horrible suffering that it blows us away. How often I am reminded of all that God has done for me and how painful that existence of being homeless and all alone really is. The other day, we met a young women who was so devastated she was talking of suicide. She told me that she felt life wasn't worth living. Her hands ad fingers were swollen from injecting drugs too many times in the same vein. Her skin was leather like from time spent in the elements. I could tell she was coming down off of the drugs and she couldn't really look me in the eyes. I honestly didn't know what to say to her. I told her that life was worth living and I was so sorry that she was in pain. Later on, when Scott and I sat down to take a break, I started to cry thinking about her. Last night, I stayed up for an hour, in silence praying for her. I prayed that God would give her what she needed to recover, whatever that may be. For me, it was the utter desolation of being cut off from my family and ending up homeless for me to see that I needed help. Everyone's bottom is different.....They used to say in treatment, "You want to hit your bottom, then STOP digging!".....
We meet many other people as we walk around. I add them to my list by name so that I can pray for them. We pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy for their conversions. Only God knows what will become of them, but we do out part to show that He loves them right where they are. We talk to them, smile at them, hand out rosaries and miraculous medals. Most people allow me to put the medal around their neck...(this is my favorite! :)
Please pray for these lost souls. Your prayers really do have an effect. I am proof that even the most hopeless can recover. God can reach down to the depths of despair and heal our broken hearts.