This morning, when I left to go pray downtown at our state’s only abortion facility, I felt an unusual sense of hope.
Part of it, I think, was the reminder that it is the Feast Day of St. Paul the Apostle. St. Paul was a bad boy gone good; someone who had viciously attacked Christians, only to have a profound conversion that, at first, left him blind, and later, being one of the foremost advocates of his time for the Christian faith. During his years as a convert, many came to Christ because of him. With God, all things are possible.
God graced Paul (formerly Saul) for seeking him. God awaits all of us to turn to him, and live. “Being converted is simply meeting yourself for the purpose of going to the very end of your being,” said A. Sertillanges (Magnificat, Jan. 2017). “Conversion means a willingness to see the truth of things and conform one’s conduct to it.”
St. Catherine of Siena once wrote of St. Paul: “That dear preacher Paul…was a wolf but he became a lamb, a gracious vessel of love — and the fire with which Christ filled his vessel he carried through the whole world.”
Knowing St. Paul is with us in a special way today, I had a hopeful sense that something big would happen on the sidewalk; that someone would experience a profound conversion of heart and turn away from the facility toward life.
I’d just arrived when I was pulled aside by one of the men who prays with us each week. He had something to tell me — something wonderful. Someone had gone in, and come out a short while later, and he’d had a chance to talk with her, and confirm that, yes, she had changed her mind.
Glorious, glorious day!
I also had a chance to give a little flyer to a woman going in. The lady next to her said, “Oh we won’t need that,” and the escorts scowled at me, but the woman took it anyway, and I saw her looking at the little baby on the front, and the note reminding her that her baby could already hear music.
I don’t know how or whether my offering affected her. It’s not easy to turn around when you are flanked with others nudging you toward a door. But who knows, maybe seeing that picture touched something inside her.
In addition to all this, one of my favorite little prayer advocate warriors is heading on a bus to Washington, D.C., to the 2017 March for Life. Her university, the University of Mary in Bismarck, was asked to carry the lead banner in this year’s March. This is a high honor that our local Catholic high school, Shanley, was given a few years back, the last time I was there. We talked then about it being a once in a lifetime opportunity. But a few of those former high school students now attend this university, and will have a second “once in a lifetime” chance to be at the lead of this monumental march.
How was it that two North Dakota schools were asked so close together? Well, after being stranded on the turnpike during a blizzard while heading home from the March last year — and constructing a makeshift snow altar to celebrate Mass — this group was found worthy of leading the charge. I’d say they definitely deserve it!
I was just leaving the sidewalk today when my young friend texted to let me know the University of Mary buses had pulled out and were on their way. I heard too that the Dickinson group had been praying for us that very morning. Knowing what these young people are about to experience, and also, what they are doing for us through their prayers and sacrifice, put even more hope in my heart.
And I’m just a little envious that among the speakers at their rally, they will get to hear from this pretty lady.
I’ve been hearing a lot of negative things about Kellyanne lately. I happen to think she’s pretty awesome. As a fellow communicator, I find her grace under pressure amazing. Learning she is a fellow Catholic mother of four, including twins, who is just a year older than I, makes me even more endeared to her. I hope the critics will pause long enough to see the incredible things she’s accomplished, and the gifts and grace she brings to our current administration. I’ll be praying for Kellyanne along with the rest.
Find the schedule here.
Though I won’t be there this year, my past two opportunities to join the March for Life have been incredibly transforming. I have two godsons on their way there as I type and I am so excited for what they are about to experience.
“There ain’t no party like a pro-life party cuz a pro-life party don’t stop.”
Yeah, baby. The pro-life life is where it’s at! As I reflect on the blessing of having eyes to see and ears to ear, I will be praying that many, like St. Paul, are struck in the coming days with the love of God, and compelled to turn away from sin and live in the light from here on out.
Q4U: What is your conversion story?