The 40 Days for Life Campaign has not been particularly spectacular for me thusfar. Not, of course, that I was expecting there to be fireworks, mind you, but I was expecting to spend more time at the Death & Dismemberment Dive, affectionately dubbed as “Ground Zero” by vigil participants. It’s Day 23 and I had spent about seven hours in total before tonight. That’s not even near the number I was anticipating at this juncture in the campaign. I just have not been able to do it — mostly because the administration of the Vigil Schedule has taken up too much time for me to justify more time at the Abortion Mill. It’s really frustrating for someone like me who likes to mix it up on the front lines. Of course, this is not because I am particularly effective, but there is something in my bones that just wants to be there. I know many people feel the same way. So I have had to offer my silent frustration and my “office work” to God, and hope that he will use this small sacrifice somehow. So far, it’s really not been that satisfying to be honest, but last night I got a little reminder that all sacrifices offered for the Vigil count. A good friend of mine phoned me to make a donation to the 40 Days for Life Campaign. He said he’d been working for Elections Canada for the past month, but felt disappointed he couldn’t make it out to the Mill as much as he would have liked. So he’s going to pony up $2000 instead! This should be an important lesson to all of us out there who just can’t make it out as much as we would like. Keep offering those daily sacrifices and humiliations to further the Work. God honours it. It all works towards the cause.
But tonight, I did have a chance to venture out to Ground Zero. I stood there and prayed fervently that the abortion juggernaut that has ridden roughshod over our nation would be tripped up and derailed. With virtually no hope in the political scene, it’s really in God’s hands now. We’re coming as beggars with no human hope to change things. Our hope must be divine. It must be supernatural. It must surpass the despair and the brutal reality we face in this time and place in history. Hope is the means for us to face this present darkness and desolation. And we must hold on to it, or else we risk being suffocated by this overwhelming and relentless evil. Yesterday, that evil was unleashed on innocent people who were praying for an end to abortion. Here is an account of what happened earlier in the day:
One of the participants told her that a woman came with some food and sat between two ladies who were praying. The lady was mumbling and finally she yelled out, “You’ve had your protest now I’m going to have mine.” Then she started attacking people by swinging at them. This is when Frances came upon the scene, she said the attacker was quite strong and she kept yelling and swinging at those praying. She also threw her food at them. The security guard from across the street came over and tried to block her, but she was very aggressive and strong. The security guard didn’t really know how to deal with her. Someone, Frances is not sure who, called the police and some police cars came. One of the police officers told the prayers not to sit on the cement wall. They put the screamer in a car and she was still yelling insults out the window as they took her away. The people at the vigil were quite shaken and one woman was visibly trembling and crying.
Here is another account of the same incident by another vigil participant:
She became verbally abusive, then quickly became physically abusive. She pushed her lunch onto the front of one of the ladies praying, as she pushed her back and shouted at her. The attacker became hysterical, screaming obscenities and swinging fists, at one point even kicking one of the ladies. Several of the ladies asked the onlookers to call the police, and for the security guard at the facility to help. A couple of men from the gathering crowd and the security guard eventually helped restrain the attacker until the police came. A paramedic came and attended to the two ladies that had received the brunt of the attack. Although, even restrained in the police car the attacker continued to scream her obscenities, the prayers continued. Many people came forward to offer their testimony as witness to the attack. The two ladies most physically hurt continued to express prayers for the healing of their attacker.
We sometimes think of hell as a supernatural state. This is, of course, true. But there is another kind of hell, a hell that we make on this earth for ourselves and for others. It’s a prefigurement of the existence to come for many. The effects of conventional war are sometimes described in such a way. War is indeed hell. It’s a hell that is born of sinful pride. But abortion is hell too. It is the hell of lust and selfishness. It is the hell of objectivization and abuse. It is the hell of coercion and threats. It is the hell of murder and unfathomable pain. It is the hell of the silent scream. It is the hell of guilt and remorse. It is the hell of barrenness and disease. It is the hell of unforgiveness and self-loathing and despair. And finally it is the hell of an eternal death.
Tonight, I looked across from hell. It wasn’t particularly mysterious or spiritual. It wasn’t particularly dark or shadowy. There weren’t any sounds emanating from it. No smoke was rising from the ground. Nothing ostensibly sinister about it. It wasn’t hidden from sight.
No, you see, it was right there on Bank Street, next to McDonald’s. It’s right in the heart of the city, among the government buildings and corporate offices, among the hustle and bustle of downtown and the legitimate business and work that’s going on. It’s all so serene, so natural, so sterile, so ordinary, so accepted and so respectable. But behind the veneer of slick marketing and inflated euphemisms is a deadly reality. Few understand what really goes on in the dismemberment room. No one sees the heinous crime. No one is bothered by the dead little bodies – or, at least, the pieces of them. Nobody hears their screams, except God and the other little martyrs that have gone before. The slaughter of the innocents – thousands upon thousands of them every year – are brought to the Bank Street Altar. It’s the altar of the god of lust, money, and good times where the great anti-Sacrifice, the great anti-Eucharist of the age is offered. For a price…of course.
Nothing to see here, folks, move along. And, for the most part, we do. We live our comfortable little lives. Don’t like to rock the boat much. We go to church and, if we’re lucky, we’ll hear 1 or 2 sermons on abortion in the year. It’ll go in one ear and out the other, and we’ll still vote for the pro-abort politician when the elections come around. Because they protect our jobs, our health care, our environment, and our pensions.
But God has other plans, friend.
He’s going to overturn our tables, take the whip to our favourite money changers, and bring us to our knees. And when the time of judgment comes, He is going to separate the sheep from the goats and ask us all one simple question, “What did you do, what did you say, what did you sacrifice to stop the murder of the innocent?” And then you will hear God say to many, “throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30)
My dear friends, hell is not just a supernatural existence. It exists right here and right now. It exists because of our sexual sin, our complacency, and our worship of false idols. Few of us understand or perhaps want to understand that hell need not be something epherial. It’s real and present and physical. It even has an address and a door handle, which, when pulled, usually means that a baby goes in but doesn’t come out.
In Ottawa, hell is located at 65 Bank Street.