Wild 24 Hours
The past twenty fours have been passionate ones at the vigil site.
First, yesterday afternoon Michel Cacchione and I went door-to-door. Community outreach is one the three points of the 40 Days for Life program. Along with praying and fasting, and constant vigil, outreach consists of getting the message into the neighbourhood about the harm of abortion. Previously, we had spoken to pedestrians at the site, but had not ventured further from Lahaie park. That changed yesterday. So, between 2 and 2:45pm, Michel and I visited ten or so households to inform them about 40DFL and to invite them to pray along with us. Several were not aware of the presence of the Morgentaler facility and said they would remember us in their prayers.
At this time, one person we had met asked us to pray for her. Maria had recently been diagnosed with cancer. This news was particularly disheartening for she had enjoyed very good health all her 60+ years and so was dumbfounded when her doctor had informed her. She grieved her loss of hair because of the chemotherapy. Also, tears came as she shared that surgery would only be possible in a year's time. I invite all readers to kept Maria in your prayers.
As for today, two incidents I will particularly remember. The first occurred while praying the rosary and typifies the universality faith. Four of us were huddled in the sunshine and coolish breeze, reciting the sorrowful mysteries each in a different language – French, English, Spanish, and Polish. The latter was done by Anna, who had come to Montreal from Toronto for a weekend visit to the Oratory. She would have returned yesterday but her car had broken down and so, while waiting for the mechanic to repair her vehicle, she came across us. Oh happy fault!
The other incident is more somber. Shortly as we foursome were disbanding, our group was approached by a young couple. A young lady in her late teens accompanied by a neatly bearded young twenty-something was obviously upset at our presence. She was the more articulate of the two demanding that we close down our site. My explanation about the importance of our activity and refusing to acquiesce left her to dismantle it herself, beginning with the guide-wires and then the banner. Any attempt from us to dissuade failed. I appealed to the young man to intervene, but to no avail; my words fell on death ears. (Rather he presented economic arguments to justify abortion – “living in poverty is worst - than being dead”, and thought that our presence was unsympathetic to the girls who have had abortions for many would feel remorse on seeing our signs. It did not occur to him that our presence may be curative.)
The incident ended as she tried to walk away with the rolled up banner. I grabbed one end without letting go. She tried to wrestle from me, threatened to punch me, did so. Somehow I ended up with the banner beneath me on the ground. At this point she and the young man left. Never in my five years of sidewalk counseling in the Bronx,NY, did I experience anything of the kind. I think that I will read more often Paul's epistle to Ephesians, particularly Ep 6:13-20.
Shook up, I invited two of my peers to pray. And so I do likewise with you all; please keep this young lady and her friend close to your hearts.