Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sorrowful Mysteries at Planned Parenthood

Last fall, for the first time, I prayed in front of Planned Parenthood during the 40 Days For Life campaign.  I was a bit fearful (Will I get arrested?), but the experience was humbling and incredibly moving as I joined a group praying the Rosary on the sidewalk.

After the 40 Days campaign was over, I often found myself driving to Planned Parenthood and praying on the sidewalk by myself.  I didn't have any "Choose Life" signs, but I did have my bright red Rosary dangling in front of me as I prayed.  I don't know if anyone realized what I was doing, but I was proud to be a silent prayer warrior, speaking for those tiny babies whose voices were silenced before they could ever be heard.

Today I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries on the sidewalk as Wednesday's suggested Glorious Mysteries just didn't seem right.  As I meditated on each mystery, I reflected on how abortion tied in with Jesus' sorrows.

In the Agony of the Garden, I imagine Jesus must have felt a profound agony at the thought of mothers callously murdering their own children.  This thought brought to mind a statue I saw several years ago when my family was traveling through Texas on I-40.  We saw a giant cross in the distance, and I told my husband to pull over and stop.  To our surprise, there was a ring of beautiful statues around the cross, depicting the Stations of the Cross.  There was also a statue of Jesus on one knee in front of a gravestone.  In His hand, he held a tiny fetus, and the gravestone honored the millions of babies who had been aborted.  It was so moving, and I think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, weeping over the loss of these precious lives.  (You can see a photo of the statue at the Cross Ministries site.  Scroll down the page a bit.  While you're on the site, be sure to check out the other photos, especially those of the construction of the cross.  If you ever pass through Groom, Texas, on I-40 you simply MUST stop and see it.)

As I prayed the second decade and meditated on Jesus' scourging, I thought about how much those tiny babies suffer during an abortion.  They are scourged by their own mothers in what should be the safest place on earth, the womb.  I can't even begin to imagine the horror as I fervently beg for an end to this holocaust.

During the third mystery, the Crowning of Thorns, I think of how the soldiers mocked Jesus as they pretended to do Him homage.  Abortion mocks the sanctity of life, it mocks the sacrament of marriage and it mocks the Blessed Trinity of which a family is an image. 

Abortion is a heavy cross to bear, as I meditate during the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery.  Women who have had abortions report depression and grief among other negative effects.  The person often forgotten is the father of the child, who must also deal with grief.  There is an incredibly moving video on youtube by rapper Flipsyde who raps a tale of grief on the "would have been" birthday of his aborted child.

Meditating on the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery gives me renewed hope as the virtue that shines forth in The Crucifixion is Mercy.  We must pray for mercy for those who have abortions, those who encourage others to have abortions, the doctors, nurses and administrators who run abortion clinics and those who cry for a woman's "right to choose." 

Our prayers can be powerful pleas to change hearts and minds.  If you can't pray the Rosary outside an abortion clinic, then please pray your next Rosary for an end to abortion and for those poor helpless babies who have no choice.


Anonymous said...

I'll forward this today to everyone on my email list. Thanks.

Peggy Bowes said...

I'm glad you found this post inspiring enough to forward. Thanks for reading and God bless!

Deacon Tom said...

I'll be leaving soon for an hour of pro-life adoration and will pick up on your prayers and intentions. We pray the rosary on Friday @ adoration - always the Sorrowful Mysteries. But I can't help but feel that the Glorious would work as well - because those souls are before The Throne in glorious praise of our loving God. May they pray to help us find a way to end abortion in America and elsewhere. Blessings. t

Peggy Bowes said...

Good point, Deacon Tom. Thanks for talking the time to comment.

FYI, Deacon Tom and his wife produce an excellent podcast called Catholic Vitamins:

Tiffany said...

I'm looking forward to participating in my first 40 Days For Life Campaign coming up soon. Thank you for this beautiful rosary meditation. i will be keeping it mind during my own sidewalk prayers. God Bless your week!

Jenny said...

Great post. Thank you for sharing your meditations. I too prayed for the first time outside an abortion facility this past 40 Days for Life.

I'm a new follower from Catholic Mothers Online. Please stop by and return the favor.

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

This is a beautiful post.

I'll be attending my first (of many more, I hope) prayer vigils on Saturday in Louisville. Like you, I'm a bit fearful, and not sure what to expect.

Thanks for the reminder that the Sorrowful Mysteries are probably the most appropriate.

Peggy Bowes said...

Tiffany, Jenny and Diana,
Thanks for taking the time to comment and for bravely praying outside an abortion clinic. The 40 Days for Life campaign begins today, and I'm signed up to pray tomorrow afternoon. Even if you can't physically pray in front of an abortion clinic, you can fast and pray at home for an end to abortion. God bless!

Rock Farm said...

My first thought was I wish there was a Planned Parenthood near me so I could go there to pray. My second thought was i should be THANKFUL that there isn't!

Peggy Bowes said...

Good point, Rock Farm! I'm so glad there's no abortion clinic in our small town, but I drive to the PP in a larger city, about an hour away. If you don't have an abortion clinic nearby, you can still commit to praying a Rosary, fasting, or some other devotion or sacrifice, especially during this 40 Days for Life campaign. God bless!