WORKS OF LOVE ARE WORKS OF PEACE
We will never know how much just a simple smile can do. Mother Teresa.
Vinegar or Honey? Trembling or Posturing? This morning on the feast day of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, I felt prompted to head over to the mill and be a sign of love and peace. Indeed, she has left an indelible mark of love upon the world. She began her works of love from a place of poverty and emptiness. I am challenged by her saintly life as I ponder all the little ways she showed love and much sacrifice to the least among us.
With high hopes of spreading a bit of love today with my joyful pro life signs and my small furry dogs, I was ready to converse with souls seeking service at Planned Parenthood. Tragically, these wounded souls are quite vulnerable, frightened, and despairing and hide behind a mask of determination and denial of the reality of the growing child within their womb as they pull into the parking lot. Showing up at the sidewalk with a joy filled heart, and smiles is like giving a cup of cold water to a thirsting soul and many miraculous moments have occurred by taking the time to offer help with a gentle and loving touch.
Unfortunately, today was not one of those days I would be able to stand in the gap with smiles and solutions. As I past Planned Parenthood, I was overwhelmed with many pro lifers with their 6′-9′ signs of aborted babies littering the grass in front of the mill. These grotesque signs of aborted babies would make anyone nauseous. I felt deep anger within. I witnessed before leaving, cars zooming in without stopping to engage in a conversation as these posturing pro lifers shouted shaming messages.
I cringed inside and felt like ripping their signs down as this approach is not loving, kind, and certainly not a work of peace. I drove back home feeling angry, discouraged and very sympathetic towards these poor souls having to endure this barrage of bloody images of aborted babies. This counseling approach is like adding salt to an open wound and only serves to point out the hypocrisy of these passionate pro lifers who truly believe they are helping souls choose life thru these horrific images of aborted children.
All of heaven weeps. No meaningful dialog will rarely occur as these fearful souls hit the gas pedal and quickly turn into the parking lot with the guard waving them inside. Unrelenting, like a lion with a prey insight, the hysterical pro life agitators continues her shaming rant as the woman and man walk into the mill.
Ironically, last week I experienced what many of these abortion minded women experience from pro lifers who are not intent on listening and loving and being a sign of love and hope with a gentle spirit of peace to these wounded souls.
As I stopped by to pray and offer counsel with my few signs of love, a young woman stopped her car and yelled obscenities at me while giving me the bird. She was attempting with the same passion of these pro lifers to change my mind and shame me. I kept praying and did not engage her. She eventually left. However, within 15 minutes she returned with a friend and continued harassing, threatening, and mocking me. Their judgmental and harsh words were yelled at me with a demeaning and arrogant tone and with an air of superiority. I kept my head down and did not say a word. After 10 minutes of ranting and carrying on, they left.
After today’s experience of witnessing these perhaps well meaning pro lifers yelling and screaming , I thought, where’s the love and peace? I prayed, Lord have mercy on us. As people of the light, we often act and look like people of the dark. God save us from falling into self righteousness and forgetting we must first encounter the one who is PERFECT LOVE incarnate. I recall the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians. “I came to you in weakness and much trembling”, not with an air of superiority. We must become all things to all people that we might win a few with much humility and with a tender and gentle heart. Honey with a touch of vinegar, in our feeble attempts to bring about conversion and conversation from the heart while sharing our love for these women and men caught in the cancel culture web of abortion lies.
God help us not be clodhoppers in our attempts to save souls. We beg you, deliver us from a spirit of superiority and pride while knowing the log is always in our eye.
It is not what we do, but how much love we put into it. Mother Teresa