Friday, January 06, 2006
The Big Apple on the Big Day
Praise God! I am very fortunate that I was able to spend my new years eve celebrating the vigil of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God with 11 people who I hold very dearly. We piled up in a fifteen passenger van [praise God it made it there- no problems] and were enthusiastic to hit the streets.
It seemed that God, however, had something better in store for us. I walked away from the weekend like I would after a retreat. I did not spend those three days in NYC to make a difference in the world, I ended up in NYC soGod could make me a better person.
This was made evident after we were praying outside a mill in Brooklyn. Monsignor Reilly was there and invited us to the convent for Mass after we were done praying. (By the way, God saved nine babies through our prayers and Monsigors talent that morning!) Of course we accepted and after Mass he taught us and told us stories for seven hours! In the end, he reinforced the valuable lesson that we are out to convert hearts, which at times is a lot more than simply "witnessing to the Truth". Monsignor said he could just as easily yell at the women "you are going to Hell if you keep killing your children" and that would be witnessing to the Truth. But that is not conversion and that does not do a lick of good.
For me anyway, that lesson is the most important thing to keep in mind while developing our projects.
It is a balance. Monsignor is out there and he invites himself into the mothers lives. In a way, he very is confrontational. But he does everything with the moms best interest in mind. We need to be confrontational in the same way; ever keeping in mind "how can we make the biggest and best impact on this persons life?" That will look differently depending on the audience. For example, I think we will have to be a little more blunt and forthright when confronting people on spring break and more compassionate and gentle when reaching out to women who have made the tragic mistake of abortion.
Praise God for learning experiences and being open to His gentle persuasion. Praise God for saints among us like Monsignor Reilly!
Who we are?
Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.
We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.