Wednesday, 29 February 2012

40 Days for Life

I've been regularly attending the 40 Days of Life vigil in Surry Hills since it's beginning on Shove Tuesday.

That evening we had a procession from the local church to the abortion mill, lead by Bishop Brady. I was a little bit nervous, since I've never been anywhere near an abortion mill (as far as I know). We prayed the rosary as two-hundred of us moved through the streets. People were in pubs and local shops and were staring at us. We had a few people even scream obscenities at us as they passed by, which I kind of smiled to myself about and thought 'I'm not really seeing the logic of why we should stop there'. We also sung hymns so it echoed throughout the streets. We finally came to that horrible place, I got a little teary, it was such a sad place. We finished the Sorrowful Mysteries on our knees and then Bishop Brady went straight up to the building and blessed it. There were about five people mocking him while he did it, laughing and scoffing. One of them, a woman, start writing something on the ground but I started pouring suddenly, there hadn't been a cloud in sight, and the police also grabbed her. It was truly amazing!

I managed to make it the Thursday after, I stayed for about three hours. A girl came right up to the group (which was pretty brave of her actually) and yelled at us, unfortunately it was in-between prayers too, so we couldn't ignore her. A man came up behind us and started yelling at us, and wouldn't leave for about 20 minutes. He had some friends standing on the corner with a 'honk if you like choice' sign, and there were people honking, but not all passing cars. We each made sure to raise our voices while praying the Rosary.


I woke up with a really sore back and legs from standing so long, but I decided to make an offering of it, and went again that night. A guy and some women came (they all looked very stereotypically left-wing), I think he might have been the man yelling at us the day before. He hung around, and very close to people, and finally asked one of the men if he could speak to them. They went off and started a discussion, a couple more guys from our group went over to help out. I noticed a couple of times that they were laughing, it seemed like a peaceful dialogue. Meanwhile a few big, muscly guys showed up, covered in tattoos, I was a little worried but then saw their Rosaries, and knew we were find. The tattoos were religious, and I'm pretty sure I saw theotokos up one of their legs. The man started to get a bit rowdy and the police were called. He and his entourage ended up leaving, but graciously. One of our group ran after him to give him a flier and he responded by saying "Oh, you want to give me a present, thank you'.

The vigil rapped up at 8pm and I had the opportunity to actually meet some of the people I'd been praying with for hours, even days some of them. There's such a friendliness and comradeship, I ended up getting a life back to the Church with a really nice couple. I spent a little time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, but I ended up heading home before it got too late to catch a bus.

I met up with my friend who is new to Sydney and we prayed together for a few hours and then went down the street to have lunch in the favourite cafe of the pro-lifers. I got to meet the regional coordinator who had some interesting stories about the trouble they've had with petty local authorities and the occasional pro-abortion people. Including one who stole the box of Rosaries and booklets and was chased down the street by one of the people praying. He managed to catch him and hold him down and wait for the police to come. It was then they foud out that this guy had been a bouncer for six years.

I went early in the morning. Probably not a good idea because I was so tired I kept stuffing up the prayers. There were only two people there when I arrived and the guy left shortly afterwards. We had a couple of people throw insults at us, including a guy who called us two girls 'bigots'. I mention to the girl that at least he can't call us sexists. She ended up having to leave for class, and I was resigned to my fate of having to pray there alone, but within a second two more girls showed up to pray. I really think Our Lord was looking out for me!

It was a rainy, horrible day. I tried to go to Confession before heading the vigil, but it was taking too long and I didn't want to hold up the Mass on account of some venial sins. I ended up being twenty minutes late. I met a very nice man who actually put off his day a bit so another man could leave early. He also genuflected during the Stations of the Cross despite having a bad leg. It really started to pour down and I had to juggle my bag, Rosaries and booklet while trying down to get wet. The hem of my shirt was wet, which was the most irritating thing, so it was a hard vigil. But a man, a little drunk but still very well meaning, turned up and thanked us and said he'd pray too, he patted me on the shoulder, then shook the two guys hands and then I thought he was going to shake mine, but he ended up kissing it. It was so sweet, and I went back to leading the Rosary with a very red face. A little late some random guy came up and asked for one of the peoples booklets, he let him have it and I handed him another one and we exchanged a look like "what the hell?".

I'm having a quiet day today, I'll be going back Friday night before First Friday Mass. It's being an exciting and rewarding thing so far. I'm so inspired that there have been so many young people. I'm even thinking about taking on the councilors course. I'm a little scared, but I know God will lead me the right way!