Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Pro-Life Coward

Come closer, I have to whisper. I am against abortion.

I knew it was murder as early as college, during a course in embryology. But only in the last few years have I managed to make muted statements in private conversations that I know abortion to be murder and that the mother's soul is murdered just as surely as the baby.

I apologize to God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have never seen the comfortably critical mass of people it would take for me to join them outside the local abortion mill. That I have not made much of an effort to make it to church for a rosary for life. That I have lacked the courage to stand with those whose patient prayerful witness stomps my conscience flat, but not flat enough to show up to join them.

Oh, sure, I pray during these anniversary days of Roe v. Wade. And I'm pretty good with the donations. But I despise myself: those are private and not socially risky.

A coward is praying. Please, Lord, help me pray louder.


Old Oligarch said...

It took me years to go and pray in front of a clinic, even though I would publicly argue about abortion to anyone long before that time.

I was always afraid, I think, that I would snap and start yelling or something. Or that I would have to counsel a woman on the spot, and fail, and blame myself for the murder of the child. Or I just couldn't believe, at the end of the day, that these women would actually go in there and slaughter their children. I don't really know what it was that stopped me from going. Probably the devil keeping me mentally distracted running in circles about it.

But I needed a good penance two lents ago, and my parish announced that our bishop (Loverde) was spending Holy Saturday praying in from of abortion clinics. So I went for the first time. It wasn't that hard. Heartbreaking, yes; but not too hard.

When I saw my students going later on, that put the hook in me.

Go with a friend. Soon you'll be bringing one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I can identify with your discomforts. I do worry that I'd start crying and couldn't get hold of myself. Or, far less charitably, that the regular prayers would make me feel guilty about not being there before or the next time the mill was open.

My favorite priest and confessor goes regularly during a weekday, when I can't. I would feel a little better if I could go when he does. The next Saturday they have a big rally, I know he'll be there, so I'll have no excuse and I just have to, I just have to.



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