Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Most Valuable Works of Art

Many interesting things happened in and around me one April day. Walking down that morning to pray at the abortion clinic and meet the parishioners who came over after 11am Palm Sunday Mass for the procession led by Fr. Kauffman, the pastor of St. Benedict’s, I was thinking, praying, and it occurred to me how ironic it is that in a little house with a small separate building the most precious works of art are being destroyed purposefully and legally.
Across the street is the huge building with heavy gates, security guards, and cameras, that’s known as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. These works of art created by human hands are guarded, cared for, of interest to the cultured, wealthy, learned among us, yet right across the street, original one-of-a-kind works of art more precious than the most striking painting, the most unusual sculpture, the largest diamond, the rarest gem, the purest gold are being completely destroyed at the hand of someone who calls himself a medical professional. The sign on the door of the house on the corner of Grove and Boulevard is one that deceives: Richmond Medical Center for Women when it is nothing more than another abortion clinic.
Note to reader: I've written several blog posts over the past three years about being involved in 40 Days for Life. Since the movement has grown bigger, but the message of love and healing has remained the same, I've decided to post the articles from my previous blog site here. This post was written and originally posted on April 13, 2009.
A man who has been involved in 40 Days for Life brings flowers and lays the bright bouquet at the side door of the clinic every time he comes to pray there. What a powerful gesture. This man recognizes this property for what it is, a graveyard for thousands, who died a traumatic, tragic death, at the hand of a trained killer and with the consent of their mother, father, grandparents...
And if this isn’t horrific enough, our government is now considering removing the conscience laws protecting those doctors and medical professionals who have moral, ethical, and possibly even spiritual integrity from having to participate in atrocities against life.
During this 40 Days for Life campaign, many things have happened in our city and around the world that are coincidences to some, and clearly God-incidents to others. In Richmond, our governor didn’t pass legislation that would expand the death penalty, and after much hard work led by some key local pro-lifers, he also signed the bill that has brought Choose Life license plates to Virginia. Yes, politicians can be taught the importance of respecting life and the calls of their constituents to answer to that will arise even if the people remain silent and the stones cry out.
I saw the Family Lifeline office for the first time that day on the way to having breakfast with Mom after praying outside of the abortion clinic with Fr. Kauffman and others after Mass. On the windows, there are huge pictures of the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. I believe there are four different panels. I intend to go back and take pictures of them.
A small white butterfly fluttered along with me as I walked to the abortion clinic to pray this morning, and during the time I was there humming the Divine Mercy Chaplet to myself, holding my Rosary, and an “I Pray 40 Days for Life” sign with an African American mother kissing her baby, I saw three, sometimes even four, of these small white butterflies fluttering around. These were definite signs of hope for me, their significance even stronger since the book I am reading by Sue Monk Kidd While the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions revolves strongly around imagery and symbols, especially that of the cocoon and the butterfly.

So how can we, an Easter people, honor new life? In Richmond, people involved in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil are continuing to pray at the clinic for at least two hours a week from now until the next 40 Days for Life starts in the fall. My family and I are again taking part in the Pregnancy Resource Center of Metro Richmond's annual Walk for Life. This resource for men and women, formerly known as the Crisis Pregnancy Center, provides a wide variety of services to help pregnant women in our area. Many of us are also contacting our government leaders and speaking for those whose voices are being taken away.

We can honor new life through prayer and apostolic action.
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