Nothing can really compare to the evil and horror of abortion. We are witnesses to the pain and suffering this grave moral evil causes all the people involved, not to mention the lives of all the little babies that are lost each day all across our nation. A group of us faithfully congregate at multiple clinics here in Portland to pray and witness to life in a very important way. We try to give the women going in to the clinic help if they will accept it. We tell them that there ARE other choices for them to make. That we can help them with whatever they may need so that they don't have to kill their baby. We say, "Please, have pity on your baby!" ...Sometimes they stop and listen to us, often they do not and go inside to their appointment. We are there for them when they come out, if they want support then. Most importantly, I always ask for God to baptize these poor babies as they go in to their deaths, ripped apart in the one place where they thought they were safe. Their mother's womb. I think of it as a baptism of desire on my part and I pray that God will listen to my request. I am sure He does. As my good friend Therese put it, "We stand with the unborn babies as they die." Spiritually, we send ourselves inside the clinic, hoping that at least, the child knows there is one person who mourns for them. For the loss of the only earthly life they will ever get.
Yes, it is sad stuff, and often I wonder how I am not burned out completely from going to the clinics so often. Only by God's grace can I go there, day after day, and witness the devastation caused by the abortion industry.
Just when I think I am reaching my limit, God gives sends me a consolation. Something to keep me going for a while longer. Spiritual food for the long journey. And this time, the consolation came in the form of His devoted priest who came to help us laity fight the evil one. We are so very blessed at Holy Rosary Parish in Portland, as we have many good, holy, fearless priests. One of them is Father Gabriel who graciously answered my request to come to the clinic and say an exorcism prayer. He is known among the laity of being a priest that makes himself available to us. He is always ready to show up to do battle with the culture of death and all its evil cohorts. Among us, he is highly esteemed and respected. We so look forward to his homilies at daily mass, and treasure his boldness in teaching the authentic faith. Even when the teachings are hard. As our shepard, he loves us enough to tell us the truth. For this, we are grateful.
As we all stood around in front of the clinic waiting on Father and Brother Joseph to arrive, you could almost feel the heaviness of evil in the air. Looking at the building, one is taken with a sense of how massive and powerful the forces of evil we face are and how in comparison, we are so small. This is why Our Blessed Lord founded a Church, with a hierarchy. He put the authority into place that He knew we would need. He foresaw this battle long ago, and out of love, gave us the means by which to fight it. Our priests have an authority which comes from Him. They stand in "persona Christi", acting in the person of Christ. Jesus comes to us through His priests, and when He does, the diabolical tremble in fear.
I always think of the gospel passage about legion. How when Jesus comes upon the man with an unclean sprit who lived in the tombs, they cried out to Him, " Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!" Yes, the demons pleaded with Our Blessed Lord, they begged Him to let them go out into a herd of pigs. They were truly terrified, for they knew EXACTLY who it is they were up against. Their time of reckoning had come and they would have to answer to Him who was and is and is to come.
There is a whole reality that we do not see. An invisible realm where good and evil are caught up in a tremendous battle. As Saint Paul so wisely put it, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”
The evil one seeks to snatch souls from the hands of God, all the while, God in His Mercy is offering us the way to salvation. What may seem like just a building, a clinic where abortions are performed, is actually a battlefield. The diabolical seek to destroy the infant in the womb, to profane this sacred space of femininity. After all, it was from the womb of a women that their Vanquisher came forth. I am convinced that this is the reason behind the crime of abortion committed against humanity. It's almost like the devil is trying to get even with the Women, who he knows will ultimately destroy him and crush his head.
Thanks be to God for the Church and all Her ministers! The fact that we can call on our priests to aid us in this fight is a source of great consolation to me. I have to admit, that when I saw Father Gabriel and Brother Joseph walking up to the clinic that day, dressed in the habit of Saint Dominic, I was filled with awe and wonder. Awe at what God has done for us and wonder at His mighty power. I was struck by the knowledge that God is in control, no matter what it seems like. As the sun radiated down on us that day , I could feel the loving presence of the Holy Spirit moving through us as we prayed the rosary, invoking the aid of Our Blessed Mother.
After Father had finished his prayer in Latin, he walked around the perimeter and sprinkled holy water on the blood-soaked ground. Even though it may look like regular dirt and concrete, we knew the reality of all the lives lost that stained its surface. All the dreams that would never be realized, birthdays that would never be celebrated.
How much longer, Oh Lord, will You hold back Your wrath from us! For how much time can we hope to keep Your justice at bay?
For now, we continue, day after day, grateful for the consolation given to us by the Church’s ministers. That truly, without them, without our priests, the laity would be lost. We thank God for their service to the faithful and pray that He will reward them greatly for all their tireless service.
God bless you all. Please keep us in your prayers, and all the people injured by the abortion industry.