On Monday afternoon, we drove to Brooklyn Park to the Planned Parenthood and prayed a rosary and a prayer to end abortion. The area has a low socioeconomic status and there were many signs of economic depression around. We prayed the sorrowful mysteries with reflection specifically relating and interceding for the abortion process - comparing Jesus' scourging to the pain the babies feel when they are aborted, and the like.
As we were praying, people stared at us as they drove by. We saw several cars go into the parking lot - many people dropping a woman off and driving away. There was one woman who limped her way to a car that was waiting to pick her up, the music blaring. Her gait very obviously spoke pain and trauma that she had just endured and it brought a seriousness and tears to many eyes. To end our time, we prayed a lengthy prayer to end abortion:
A Prayer about AbortionLord, you are the Creator of all things; you breathe life into every human before they leave the womb. Lord, we don't know how to stop something this horrible on our own; it is devastating that abortion has weaved its way into many people's minds as an acceptable choice. Please stop the enemy's lies from seeping into the minds of the confused, take away the voice of the wicked.
Help us to have compassion on the women who made or were forced to make this horrifying choice and are now suffering the consequences. Surround them with Your love and remind them that Your sacrifice covers even this and that those who belong to You are free in Christ from the guilt of every sin. Break the chain of guilt in those who have repented before You, revive them to live their life knowing true joy in You. May their changed lives speak volumes about the amazing power of Your forgiveness and love.
Help us to remember the unborn who are unwanted and tossed aside every day; help us to be a light in a world of darkness. Give us opportunities to love people and present the truth of Your Word, use us to offer alternative options to women in desperate situations. Jesus, You have the power to change hearts; we pray for the women considering this option - help them to see there is another way.
We pray for our government to change laws and close the doors of abortion clinics. We pray for a renewal of family and faith in the world, and may the Church come alongside single parents and families in need, helping to raise these children for Christ. In your Almighty Name, Jesus, by which all things are possible. Amen.
Each of the students offered a prayer for the specific intentions surrounding the abortion issue: for the mother and support of fathers, for clarity of what they are considering, for the government to change the laws, for doctors and medical professionals to stand up for life.... While they seemed uncomfortable and very aware that in their state of activism, they were definitely standing out, they also seemed encouraged and a little more confident because they were going out of their way to prayerfully protest and intercede.
Earlier in the day, I gave a lesson discussing the issues of abortion with the adolescents. We discussed eugenics and Margaret Sanger's white supremacy, we discussed the debate of when life begins, and we discussed the lack of education, knowledge, and clarity regarding life and how murky and confusing the culture of death tries to make things. Some of them even shared their awareness of the NY legislation allowing 3rd trimester abortions and the conversation that followed the lesson was honest and real and sobering.
While this violence is sickening and the reality painful, I believe making our students aware of the facts and harsh truth of this issue is important in order to equip them to combat the culture of death in our world. If we can inspire them to speak out against the injustice, we can set them up with the tools necessary to make a change in their generation as they come out into the community and the world. The babies being aborted and those who are uneducated about the truth of abortion demand an urgency from us and in turn, are relying on the awareness and passion of young people like the students in the adolescent classroom at the Way of the Shepherd.