As I showed up at the prayer site for our 40 Day for Life campaign, here in Springfield, Oregon, I noticed that an old friend from the Ukrainian Catholic Church was there praying. OK, he was actually taking a break on the bench at the bus stop as I pulled up, but who cares…I guess I do! Anyway, I prayed the 7 Sorrows of Mary rosary and was starting to pray the Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary when a new friend, Dan showed up to pray with me. I had only gotten to the Scourging at the Pillar when he interrupted me. I realized quickly that he was not Catholic as he prayed a spontaneous prayer and used Lord God in his reference to the Creator as we prayed together. I really like to pray, so his spontaneous prayer was awesome, and I guess I shouldn’t mind that he cut off my prayer that I was in the middle of…But I do! Finally, Diane showed up to peacefully protest abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood with us, and she told me that I should not worry about offending an atheist who sometimes joins us to protest abortion and tells me he is not comfortable with my sign saying that we are praying. Her aggressiveness is excusable because she has been upset for a while with her people that are often too liberal for her to worship with them…But it still bothers me that she tells me what I should do!
When I got back to my office, I read through the gospel reading from today’s Mass readings. I realize that I need to forgive them all for what I perceived as a wrong that I saw in their service to the cause of ending abortion in our community. The reason for my forgiveness for them is that I am hoping that God will have mercy on me for the judgemental way that I seem to have approached my service to the 40 Days for Life campaign to end abortion in our community today.
Truth is, I am extremely thankful for their service to pray with me today and it gives me hope to know that there are others in our community that are willing to stand up for the wrong that they see in our world. Also, I need to remember to ask for forgiveness from Carol, who showed up at the end of my hour to join with us in prayer and I didn’t even introduce her to the group, because I couldn’t immediately think of her name when I first saw her.